Discovering Love in a Bowl of Soup

I am learning how to be loved.  It feels stupid to type.  Moronic to say in my head.  But, there it is.  It’s true.  I am learning how to receive love.  And by receive love, I mean receive help.

I like being independent.  If I work hard enough at something, I like to think I can make it happen.  Notable exception being: actually carrying a pregnancy to term. But, we’ve already been down that road many times here.

This semester of seminary has been the toughest balancing act for me; I finally hit a place where my limitations exist.  I’ve been sick.  I’ve been stressed. I’ve had to say “no” to things I wish I could say “yes” to, and been sad about some of those missed opportunities.  I’ve been jumping from project to project like a flying squirrel breezing through a forest. Though perhaps not quite as gracefully… I think I’ve smashed face first into a few metaphorical trees.

I wanted to savor and enjoy the semester (and I keep telling myself to do that very thing).  And yet, I find myself just surviving and dreaming of days without homework.  While I’ve been stressed out and sick the past week,  I’ve had a case of the grumpies.  A cough developed last Monday, and I felt totally crabby about its worsening progression throughout the week.  I had “grand” things I wanted to do and instead I felt miserable curled up on the couch.  I was trying to think about God and writing and homework, but really I just wanted to be healthy and able to go for an adventure outside. Inwardly I was a grumbling complainer.  I don’t like having limitations.

And then I’d get mad at myself for my ridiculousness because there are much worse things happening in the world right now (google Nepal or Nigeria, for instance).  Why can’t I just be grateful, and let go of my frustration and feeling drained?  I don’t like it when my emotions refuse to march to my rational dictates.

And in the midst of all my silly crabby crazy, I’ve been cared for by some really neat folks.  Out of the blue, people check in about how I’m doing and offer to bring us food.  Sometimes I take them up on it. That’s happened multiple times this semester, and I feel so incredibly blessed by that.

In particular, yesterday a friend texted and asked if she could bring us soup for dinner. Her generosity helped shift my perspective.  I realized I’m not alone in the stress that I’m facing, and that my value isn’t measured by whether my work is perfect. I just felt loved and noticed. And in order to receive that gift, I had to be vulnerable. My sickness located me a place where I was able to receive a gift of love and a heaping helping of joy from artwork that two kiddos made.

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