When I awoke, in a suburb of Vancouver, B.C., early Monday morning the sun was behind the mountains – not that I could see them as they were behind the clouds. I said a little prayer that I would be able to see the mountains at least once. The sun continued to rise, burning away the clouds and allowed the mountains to appear. They didn’t return the entire week – the clouds, that is.
Those of you who know or are from the Pacific Northwest can recognize the miracle of five gloriously sunny days. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Can you believe that?
One day I lay down on the floor in a patch of sunlight just as I had when I was a child.
The majority of my time was spent lounging around in my pajamas, drinking coffee, eating delicious meals, talking with my sister, Torey, and her sister-in-law, Allison, watching T.V. –
(“What do you guys like to watch?”
“We pretty much bounce between HGTV and the Food Network.”
looking at mountains, breaking up showdowns between the toddlers-
“What do you need to say to your cousin?”
“Ah sorry Ah took yo stroller. Will you fogive me?”
“Ah fahgive you.”
“What do YOU need to say to your cousin?
“Ah sorry for hitting you on da head with my puppy. Will you fahgive me?”
“Ah fogive you.”
and weeping. All week I was extremely emotional. A bread commmercial made me cry. (It was an extremely moving bread commercial.) The last night I was there I was debating about going to a Pilates class Torey was teaching. I had put Beanie in bed a little early as she had skipped a nap and was rather fussy. I waited a bit and then decided she was going to make it and hurried to put on my coat. Checking in with David just as I headed out he assured me, “We’ll be fine. Just go. Have a good time.”
Allison chimed in too, “If she gets up we’ll just squeeze her.”
Heading downstairs to the garage I began to cry. When Torey noticed this she was concerned then, learning why, started to laugh.
“Do you need a hug? Come here!”
I was a teensy bit hormonal – but still! I think it was getting out from under almost all my responsibilities and allowing myself to rest and to be cared for. I didn’t really sleep great, but I rarely felt tired: that’s feedback.
I am learning a lot about what I carry. I don’t really know what all it entails, but I am recognizing the heaviness and know I have been promised that, “His burden is light.” I can do the math: if my load is heavy and His burden is light, I must be holding onto things that don’t belong to me.
This is not the first time; through the years I have been invited to and have laid down pride, unforgiveness, guilt and fear. Now as I searched through my spirit to name the unassigned burden it fell with a gentle ping – joylessness, even, a resistance to joy – and I shuddered a weep.
Upon consideration, choosing joylessness, in the midst of all my blessings seems really stupid, or at the least, ill advised.
I know I get to choose joy and I’m not sure how.
Fortunately, I am surrounded by excellent teachers.