On a Learning Curve

Life may not be easy, but it's always an adventure.

Word of the Year?

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I don’t have one. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. All sorts of people have chosen their word of the year. But not me. It’s not that I’m rebellious; on the contrary, I’m pretty much a rule-follower. It’s more that I’m indecisive. Do I really need a word of the year?

I’ve done some blogging for Compassion International, and December’s topic was to prayerfully consider a word to focus on during 2014. This isn’t supposed to be a New Year’s resolution; it’s “a challenge to surrender control of our goals and ourselves and let the Lord lead.” Well, January is a third over, and all I’ve accomplished is mulling over several words.

It’s not like I’m trying to wrestle control back from God. Nope, I’ve learned all sorts of lessons over the years about who’s really in control. I’ve had multiple knee surgeries, mourned for my lost babies, struggled with anxiety, and faced a child’s diagnosis of a lifelong disease. None of these were in my plans, and none of these situations were events I could control.

Instead, I’ve been distracted by bad news and hard circumstances all around me. Cancer¬† relapsing. Chemotherapy not working. Families in crisis. My own husband separated from our family as he prepares to deploy overseas. Children who aren’t thrilled that I’m the solo parent 24/7.

The best word I can find is flexibility. I find myself being pulled in more directions than usual. I’m the mom (and the dad). I’m the teacher, the nurse, the substitute pancreas, and the chauffeur. I’m the cook, the housekeeper, and accountant. I’m not quite ready to be a soccer coach again, and I’m very thankful that I don’t have to teach a co-op class this year. Yes, I am a human Gumby these days.

Maybe I should buy one of these?

But I can be flexible. I mean, I don’t really have a choice, right? Ryan has completely uprooted himself from our family, left his job, and is preparing to live in a foreign country for two months. That’s flexible. A girlfriend was just released from a 2-week hospital stay to prevent preterm delivery. She’s not allowed to get out of bed until her twins are born. I’d say she’s being flexible, too.

There are always two choices in life: Accept change and make the best of the situation, or fight for control and refuse to adjust. One is hard at first, and one is hard forever. I think I prefer the former to the latter.

Flexible. See how it rolls off the tongue? The more I say it, the more it sounds okay to me.



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