|I feel like I am running around hanging pictures on sandcastle walls.~ Anna|
The past few weeks have been so busy! Early mornings, late nights, and so much to do in between. It has been one of those seasons where your To Do list gets longer each day instead of shorter. Someone asked me the other day how things were going and I told them, "I feel like I am running around trying to hang pictures on sandcastle walls!" That imagery popped into my head and captures so perfectly how I feel. Just about the time I get the paintings hung and straightened I feel the sand shift and the picture has to be reworked--- if it hasn't fallen and totally shattered!
Isn't life just like that? We get things all straight and perfect and a wave comes through and knocks it catywampus! Waves like your husband dropping a coffee cup on his foot severing a tendon and requiring surgery (yes, that is one of my current waves), colliding agendas at work, schedules that are packed with activity, kids who need to be fed (and with 14 year old twin boys that is a big ole wave!), trying to squeeze the last joys of summer, and on and on. Sometimes the waves are awesomely delightful unexpected surges, sometimes they are devastating tides that knock out a whole wing of your sandcastle. Regardless of the type, all I can tell you is that the waves are going to come.
You know we all live in sandcastles. Everything is temporary and in a constant state of change. We deceive ourselves when we act as though we can really control much (and trust me, anyone who knows me will tell you I struggle with this. Hi, my name is Anna, and I am a control freak.) So how do we keep from being frustrated when our paintings won't stay straight? This is what I am thinking:
1. Realize this life is a sandcastle, not a fortress. Change will come. Learn to adapt.
2. Get used to a little imperfection. There is no such thing as perfect in the world of sandcastles. You cannot keep millions and millions of individual particles of sand in line. A little imperfection creates some depth and contrast. Embrace it.
3. Maybe the beauty of life is in the sandcastle and not the paintings we try to hang on it. Perhaps we focus on the wrong kind of beauty. Enjoy the sandcastle for what it is; an ever hanging structure with great opportunities for improvement!
4. Try to relax and have a little fun with your sandcastle. Have you ever seen a kid on the beach running around with a checklist, calendar and stopwatch as they build a castle? Nope, they plop down with a bucket and enjoy. Relax! When waves come through it is a chance to get to play in the sand. Perspective my friends, it is all about perspective.
5. Building (and rebuilding) sandcastles is a lot more fun with a friend. When waves come a long that shake the walls of your sandcastle, remember you don't have to rebuild alone. So often we try to do things in our own power and strength. God is a great builder of sandcastles. He is happy to help us build and talk about creative! Your sandcastle will be awesome!
So today, I am setting down my hammer and nails and picking up a shovel and bucket instead. I think I will stop focusing on the pictures and start focusing on the sandcastle. Wanna come play in the sand?