Loosening the Vice


 It was a time when the standard answer to “How are you?” was “In a time of rest.  I feel like we are in between crisis times and need to rest in this season.”  It was only a few years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago. 

 I distinctively remember giving this answer over and over.  It was an acknowledgement that life is full of seasons.  I confess: I do love the seasons.  I am a Michigan Girl through and through.  When one season is coming to an end, I’m ready for the next one.  New green peeking through the earth in spring, flexible summer days, the routine and crispness of fall, the beauty of winter (hey, if it is going to be cold, it might as well be white, so YES!  I love the snow!) all have appeal to me when their time comes. I’m always ready for the change. 

 Here we are again in another autumn…an autumn that is what I lovingly like to call “normal chaos.”  Because having a family is often chaos, but it is the normal feed-them-drive-them-enjoy-them-be-frustrated-with-them chaos.  You see, shortly after that autumn we were hit on all sides: we spent a few years in a vice. I yearned for normal chaos because things outside of my control and outside of my family pressed in.  Pressed in on our time, on our resources, on our emotions, on our stress level, on our marriage.  Like a vice – ever tightening on us until we could not breathe. 

 I learned a ton about myself during that vice-like season:  how selfish I can be (and recognize it when I am), what it means to honor someone, how to say NO and to prioritize, how to allow something I normally do to fall to the wayside and be ok with it. 

 One by one those objects of pressure have fallen away.  The vice has loosened and this fall I am cherishing the time of healing it has been over the past months.  Stretching our arms into the margin of our lives and finding time to read books again with the kids, do puzzles, play games.  We’ve even had lazy Sunday afternoons.  It has been glorious! 

 I know it won’t last.  It is merely a season but I’m going to enjoy it while it does.  I’m going to cherish the margin and white space before the next season hits.  I will be prepared. 

 Resting again, 

Heather Smith 

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