Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Be Still My ADD Soul

Courtesy J. Shuler
If my brain had brakes, the question would have left skid marks down my soul, and you'd smell rubber burning as you read these words. “So, how's your first full week since 2:1? Are you choosing joy?”

I wanted to raise my teacher's pet hand, flail it wildly and say, “Oh! Oh! Teacher, pick me. I'm the good girl with the peaceful heart whose finding joy even in the chaos of life.” Instead, I stared at the screen and thought, “Awww...no one wants to hear my true take on this issue. I've been too 'chatty Cathy' already anyway.” But, I could feel the tidal wave in my soul beginning to grow. The fraidy cat would not be ignored much longer. He was coming to demand his due.

I winced as I began to type. The truth hurts even when you are among friends that won't use it against you as a weapon. So, I told it like it is: “Color me a remedial class candidate? I'm up and down like a see-saw.” I went on to explain how inadequate I feel for the tasks ahead and how far behind I feel when compared to my writing and blogging peers.

In truth, I feel as tho' I'm running to catch up with life. I look around me and see that just about everyone I know feels the same. No matter how I schedule my day, there will not be enough of me to go around. I wonder how others with more (and far younger) children look so put together and so calm when I feel overwhelmed to the point of frenzy. 

Welcome to my world. If the schooling gets done and the house stays presentable, the yard will suffer. If the yard gets the attention it needs now, the house will suffer. Those cabinet doors that still need priming, painting and hanging? Are you kidding me? My writing life often doesn't start till 11PM. Sometimes it isn't over till 4AM. In the next week, we begin another medical 'adventure' and are not sure how we will need to flex for those unfolding realities. Into the unknown we go. Again.

You'd think life was busy enough? Yet, here I am racing to prepare for a nest that will be empty in three short years. As part of that race, I am plunging into a new and daunting world where the landscape is unfamiliar and out of my comfort zone. In the excitement of my re-entry into normal, post-conference life, I have managed to stay one step ahead of the fraidy cat. Until my friend's question brought me to a dead standstill. 
As soon as I saw the question, I lectured myself with the challenge in Psalm 131:2 (NIV) But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Big ole sigh. How can I know that truth and yet fail to live it? Is it the ADD of life that buries us all in a breathless sense of feeling that we will never catch up? If so, where is the prescription that will calm my raggedy soul when I'm in the throes of ADD of the soul?

Courtesy J. Shuler
Do you know the principle of iron sharpening iron? Proverbs 27:17 says, As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Here's the thing about that dynamic. It requires reciprocity. If you are never willing to reveal you weakness, your posse cannot come along side you to offer direction, comfort, encouragement, or wisdom in those ADD moments of life.

I risked a lot of pride today when I admitted I needed a spot in the remedial class on how to choose joy in my life. And yet, when I did, an amazing thing happened. A friend saw me floundering and chose to act as iron sharpening iron. She could have rebuked me. She could have chided me. She did neither. She simply reminded me that God has only called me to fulfill my unique calling in his time. He is not asking me to do more than I can at the expense of other demands on my time. If I am being faithful to my call, the rest will come without the frenzy of an ADD driven life.

The tightness around my chest began to dwindle. I was aware of oxygen flowing in and out for the first time in a week. I could feel my focus returning rather than my attention darting uselessly from one thing to another. I began to relinquish the chase. I have no one to catch up with. I have only one call, and that is not predicated on the calling or mission of others. I take a slow, deep breath. I had forgotten who I am in him. I am ready to begin again. I crumble before the Lord and repent.

Courtesy and in Loving Memory of  Christina Jones Hooker
What about you, fraidy cat? Have the demands of life given rise to ADD of the soul? Can you remember the last time you had a quiet spirit that allowed restfulness to penetrate your soul? Maybe you are like me? You look around and see the uncomplicated, picture perfect lives others live and lose hope. Have you fallen into the trap with me and forgotten that your call is distinct with a time table all its own? Take a deep breath. You are not alone. Your faithfulness is all that's required. He will do the rest. Love you long and strong. I do.

Romans 15: 13

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


  1. Love this post! The pictures have nothing to do with it. ;-) Seriously, I do love how you've started highlighting the scripture in a different color. Love it!

    1. I liked that too. Blogger gave me a FIT last night, so I didn't get the verses linked nor was I able to link another blogger who encouraged me in this post. And...I had trouble with my background. I was ready to go postal by 3AM. In a loving, Christian way, of course! ;-)What a nice surprise to wake up and find your comment waiting moderation. Your check is in the mail!