Welcome to the week of meltdowns.
Yesterday, it was my son over his legos. He couldn’t make them do exactly what he was thinking.
“I have a picture in my brain but I can’t make my hands to it.”
He came into this world creating a gigantic mess out of everything.
At 18 months old, he could dead climb the kitchen cabinets. I came out from a shower one day to find him standing in the middle of the kitchen table. He wasn’t doing anything. Just standing. Taking in the view, I guess.
I stopped showering when he was awake.
As a toddler, his favorite toys were the spatulas and spoons from the kitchen drawers. They were large and they were “tools.” Later, I rescued him from potato peelers, food processors, and blenders.
No, we have not been to the ER yet but thanks for asking.
Thanks to his innate curiosity about tools and utensils, he can easily become frustrated when he can’t immediately figure out how something works. Most of the time, his legos offer hours of fun and imagination. I call him, “My Lego Builder,” and he thinks that is the coolest title ever.
But yesterday, the pieces and the vision in his brain didn’t play well together.
Likewise, this morning, my daughter selected an outfit a little outside of the norm for her.
She struggles with sensory issues. Neck, ankles, legs, chest. Basically, anywhere a seam might hit. These have become fewer and fewer over the years. She and I have worked hard, together, to make sure her clothes are comfortable and easy to wear.
But every now and again.
This morning was one of those now and agains. Today, leggings. Occasionally, she’ll tell me she has a “vision” for her outfit. Sometimes, she intentionally focuses to make that vision wearable. Even if the clothes aren’t her normal thing. Other times, like today, she simply lays the clothes out the night before and expects to just slip into them the next morning.
Only she can’t.
All her bells and whistles and nerve endings go bonkers.
Now, hear my heart when I say, I have been known to lose my ever-loving mind in these situations. I can easily get frustrated with my children’s frustrations. Clearly, that helps approximately zero of us so I spend a good bit of mental energy and prayer time seeking more self-control and patience.
And, in these latest meltdowns, I shocked myself by having an abundance of both.
Thank you, Jesus.
With my son, I sat down on the floor with him and told him stories about…well…him.
“You know what, Little Man? You have always loved figuring out how things work.”
Laughing, “I have?”
“Yes! God made you just that way. And I love that you have a picture in your brain of what you want to create! That’s awesome! But sometimes, we have to try and try and try over and over again to make the picture in our brain become a real thing in our hands.”
Now, he’s studying my face and hanging on every word.
“And you know what? You’ve got all of your life to create those pictures in your brain into real things in your hand! God gave you that ‘tinkerer’ talent! And He loves watching you use it!”
Miraculously, that worked. He’d heard words of life about how he was fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving Creator.
No longer frustrated, he was excited to start building again. He dove right back in and started creating.
This morning, when I found my daughter face down on the bed, bawling, I bent down and got face to face with her. I apologized. I am genuinely sorry she has to go through anything like this.
And then I told her what every woman knows.
“Sometimes, clothes just don’t feel good. Sensory issues or not, some days, clothes feel…off. Sweet Girl, do you know some mornings I go through two or three outfits before I find one I’m comfortable in?”
Wiping tears and whispering, “Really?”
“So really, girl. It’s universal. All women go through it. Different reasons but, yes, we all get the joy of feeling like our clothes are wearing us instead of us wearing them.”
And, that worked. I made it normal for her. I admitted my own struggles and made it okay. All those fits and tears and frustrations are uniquely hers but, really, women, we’ve all been there.
Now, you’d think after all that, two meltdowns and two miraculous resolutions, I would be grateful for the patience, self-control and the word God gave me.
And I am. Absolutely.
But what I need you to hear is what God whispered.
“Don’t give up. Keep going.”
A holy echo.
As I think through the recent posts on showing up and callouses and even my grandmother’s story, each one is an encouragement to KEEP GOING. Don’t let yourself be swept away by the lies of not being enough or unworthy. Stay the course. Run your race. And don’t look around at the other runners.
Take the same advice for my son. That vision, the picture in your brain, God gave you? Keep working to make that vision something you can tangibly hold in your hand. Nothing happens overnight or even the first time you try something. But it’s worth it.
And then take the advice for my daughter. Everyone struggles. We all have to try on lots of outfits, lots of ways of doing something until we find the way that works. We find the way we can recreate God’s vision. Sometimes, we try on one way and it doesn’t work. So we throw that way off and try a new one. But we keep trying, because everyone struggles.
I suspect you need to hear that as much I needed to hear that.
Keep going, friend. No matter what hallway you’re in right now. Whatever the vision, the calling, that Thing you simply have to keep doing, keep on keeping at it.
At the proper time, you will reap the harvest.
To God be the Glory.