Character

Tranquility Now!

Getting dressed is hard.

It’s Monday morning and I’ve made the list to end all lists to prepare for a week full to overflowing.  The brain is literally buzzing with productivity and thoughts and energy.

Next thing I know, I’m out IN PUBLIC about halfway through the long list of errands when I look down and realize I’ve made a grave fashion error. You might call this get-up a cross between “homeless lady” and “Amish-girl workout”.

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Seriously, what was I thinking?

My thoughts on the dawn of this week of Giving Thanks weren’t exactly on gratitude. They were brooding over the extra padding that seems to have collected itself around my waist this year. After chunking another pair of jeans into the giveaway pile, I pulled on a pair of running pants that could keep me squished in while “running” errands. Right? But a quick glance in the mirror told me that would be inappropriate. So exactly what does one wear to cover over squishy fleshy running attire? A knee-length cotton knit skirt. Of course.

Because it’s 31 degrees and static is everywhere and staticky summer skirts sticking to spandexy running pants is all the rage.  In my mind, I was envisioning those real-life models in the Athleta catalog with spandex skirts layered over spandex pants. My vision didn’t exactly translate. Not even in the least.

Sort of like this week of holiday expectations. How many times has my vision not translated? Too many to count.

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My vision of thankful fun and grateful connection and memory making too often gets layered under the static noise of “youmust” and “youhaveto” and “youshould”. Gratitude layered under anxiousness just doesn’t work.

Instead of being distracted by all the wrong things, I want this week to be different. The verse that found its way to my kitchen points in the right direction.

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh. (Proverbs 14:30)

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Instead of being distracted by stupid stuff like gift lists and Christmas countdowns and muffin tops, I’m going to choose a tranquil heart.

Instead of being distracted by menus, I will focus on soaking up 5 days with our college daughter.

Instead of trying to be the hostess with mostest, I will play messy games with our niece and nephew.

Leave dishes piled up in order to take a walk. Say no to Mr. Striving and saying yes to Mrs. It-Is-What-It-Is.

Remember that a gentle tongue is a tree of life and curb the habit of harsh.

I’m thankful for the lapse in good clothing choices.  I’m thankful for the reminder to seek that which gives life to the flesh, not wasting time fretting about flesh.

Peace and breath and presence is what I need to pack around my middle. To become fleshy and round with that sort of life must surely be our goal.

Tell good stories around your tables this week, daring to let go of the “shoulds” and embracing the “it is what it is”.

7 thoughts on “Tranquility Now!

  1. So does this mean I won’t be getting my favorite chocolate pie for thanksgiving . . . I know, I know, it is what it is 🙂

  2. During this two+ month bout with mono…

    (Parents, get your children exposed NOW!) No one should get mono as an adult. No one.

    I have found that the temptation to self-pity comes up.
    Every. Single. Day.

    The “I should’s” and “I wish’s” swirl about, threatening to drown. I begin gurgling, suffocating, sliding down under the waves of “oughts.”
    Then like a life line, just in the nick of time, I remember how to float.

    Thank you, God, for _______”
    And thank you, God, for _________”
    Oh, and also, thank you for ________”

    Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and yours!

    (Ok, I kinda like how this sounds, so I think I’m gonna post it as my FB status. But I wrote it for YOU first. AND I wrote about Dickens and Nelly Ternan three times in response to your post, which I loved, but my reply disappeared every time I was about to “post.” I was using “my mobile device,” so that may have been the problem. Or maybe my Victorian ramble was never meant to see print:)

    1. Good words Ang. Gratitude is THE key to all the ails of life…physical, mental, emotional. The kind of deep lifesaving gratitude you’ve experienced. And I want to know what you think about the Dickens movie!

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