My Life Inside a Pinball Machine

My soul follows close behind You;Your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:8 (NKJV)

My life, for the most part is calm. Not much happening and if there is a small hiccup, I keep going. But, there are some years where each month brings something else and although I get through them it has an affect on me. Those years are few and far between. They each are prominent in my memory and in hindsight I see a period of growth and lessons learned.

Last week it occurred to me that this year, especially the past few weeks, has been like a ball in a pinball machine. The machine where you put the token in the slot, and begin to hit the lever to shoot the ball and score points. I have not been one to score any points however. I have been launched in the machine. I scurry off to the top of the machine. Beep, I hit a possible score, beep,beep, another one hit. I am bouncing around and sending beeps into the air. It looks great, I can do this! And then, I go into that abyss that is scoreless. Another token into the slot, the same scenario played out. Constant moving and no reward tickets.

The other image that comes to mind is that of a race in a track meet. You are on the starter’s block, feet in position, hands placed perfectly, you lift your head, waiting for the starting pistol. Bang! You are off and running towards the end goal. You are making great strides and then, the goal at the end disappears. You look around, you were so close. You look behind, something you never do in a race and see the goal far behind you. It’s time to change direction and yet the goal keeps relocating.

This has been a dilemma of mine this year. We began the year with a flu. No positive tests, but, we were both hit hard. Dale recovered first and took excellent care of me. I then went to the writer’s conference, it was exactly what I needed to get back on track with writing. I started a plan and it was in place. New blog, check. Writing daily, check. Getting book started, check. Getting a support group for my writing, check. Deadline set, check. Deadline met…. uh, deadline met,…. I said, DEADLINE MET…no. Condemnation setting in, check. Feeling like a failure, check.

That was just one area. The other area? My house. After breaking my elbow this year, Dale took excellent care of me. I lacked nothing. But, in the midst of this all, I lost the grasp I had on cleaning and organization in our home.

All of this peaked last week. Peaks are at the top of every mountain. You reach the peak, you take a breath and you observe all that is around you. It’s breathtaking! Except, last week on that peak I looked at the calendar. Dale’s birthday next week, Thanksgiving, next week. Christmas party, three weeks, early Christmas with our oldest, three weeks. Christmas four weeks. UGH! That was bad enough, but then my phone, with all of it’s smarts, notified me of pictures from a year ago. The house completely decorated for the holidays, trees up and garland hung, all that good stuff. After this year, I confess our toy room is where all my Christmas decorations lie, waiting still to be put away. It should make decorating a bit easier this year.

So, this year has been one that will be prominent in my memory. I am the healthy one usually. This year I have not been as much. Flu, biopsies,broken bone, lingering cough, and general tiredness.

Sunday our pastor spoke on “Soul Fatigue”. Besides the fact that all he really needed to do was kick me in the behind, the message was written for me. You know, one of those sermons that happen. It is then that I realized that I needed time beside the still water to be refreshed. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;” Psalm 23:2-3a (NKJV)

“When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:19 (NLT)

When I stepped away from writing for a couple of days, I did so to center myself once more. What I realized was that yes, I am a bit behind, but, who is really going to notice? The house will be cleaned and decorated when it needs to be. The most important realization though, was that writing renews and refreshes me. It is my time to express what I feel the Lord is showing me. It is my place to do what I have felt I was born to do.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:” Psalm 103: 1-2 (NKJV)