braceyourselfBack when I worked as a waitress, the hostess would sometimes seat four tables, one right after another.  When this happened, you would have to flag down another server and say, “My hair is on fire” to let them know you needed help.

My hair has been on fire the past few months. I’ve had a book deadline, and the stories for this book were personal, complicated, sad, and funny. Telling these stories took more talent than I have, so I wrote for hours every day, working like a sixth grader works at Calculus. I wrote and rewrote and ate cold enchiladas and counted the days until January when I could finally exhale.

January is here, but the waves haven’t stopped. Even though the book is done, my days are still full of mothering and writing that feels way more challenging than I’m skilled to do. At 41 years old, I’m constantly surprised to realize there is no quiet shore, no furlough to exhale. Just as you’re wiping the salt from your eyes and the sand from your tongue from one busy season, another wave of busyness and challenges is cresting over your head.

And I think, actually, this is okay. Even though the hair-on-fire, cold-enchiladas-from-a-Styrofoam-container phases can knock us down, we do need the constant pressure of the waves. Every single one of us relies on the battering tide to strengthen our selves. And to teach us where we can turn for stability and support.

Now that I’m realizing the waves don’t stop, I’m also learning how to lean into the hard work.  God has made my body, my soul, and my faith very strong. The waves will not knock me down. They will keep coming, yes, but I can handle them.

So can you.

So, today, on this grey day in January, I’m ready. I’m wiping the salt from my eyes. I’m spitting out the gritty sand.

And I’m bracing myself for the next wave.


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