Lists. She could make lengthy, detailed lists of all the things she needed to do. She could bullet the bills, errands, library books, phone calls, emails, notes to teachers, and plans to arrange. Grocery lists, menu lists, and birthday gift lists. She could jot forever the undone tasks that haunt her mind at night, keep her from focusing at work, and steal her miniscule lunch break time.
Laments. She could wax poetic about her stress and shortcomings. She could write long complaints about the way things are, and paint wistful pictures of how she wishes they were. She could give in to the longing sob that lurks in the back of her throat at every thought of her mother, father, sister or brother. She could explain why everyone should cooperate with her plans, and expound on the misery that results when they don’t. She could compose a heartbreaking account of betrayal and brokenness, nearly drowning in the sorrow of it all.
Laugh. She could throw up her hands and laugh at her ineptness. She could give in to the cheshire cat smile that would make anyone wonder what she’s up to. She could let out the giggle that erupts instantly at the sight of her two year old boy. She could snort with her ten year old son at words like “fart” and let herself thoroughly enjoy that his presidential candidate choice is based on that candidate’s opinion of McDonald’s. She could roll her eyes with her soon-to-be fifteen year old daughter and enjoy the inside jokes just the two of them share. She could send her husband a steamy, silly text message and wait with baited breath for his reaction.
Love. She could let herself feel the painful tidal wave of love that threatens to burst her heart each time she kisses her children goodnight or good morning or goodbye. She could plan an unforgettable birthday celebration for the husband whose love overtook her life. She could try… just try to love that someone she just can’t stand. She could bake something, write something, give something to try to show her adoration for those friends that see her through the best and worst. She could mail something to her mom and dad, Fedex something to her sister, fix up the guest room for when her brother comes to stay. She could forget the remark, overlook the mistake, let go of the offense. She could remember a name, remember to hug, remember to look an old person in the eye. She could let the tears fall because she knows no way to contain her affection for a God who loved her first.
Her chest heaved a sigh and she did the thing she hadn’t yet dared to consider…
She let go. She let go of it all and let it fade with the daylight. She loosened her grip and let the load she’s carrying settle into a pile that will still be waiting for her in the morning. She dropped the notion of perfection and propped her feet up on the ottoman of “good enough.” She popped the top of something cold and slipped into a tub of something warm. She kicked back and let Jesus take the storm of wife, and mother, and professional, and writer, and sister, and daughter, and friend, and citizen, and believer, and somehow bring about….