“No cinnamon rolls it is just too much it is making me stressed!!!”
Not exactly the normal phrase that comes out of J’s mouth when I offer to make him his favorite breakfast for his birthday. We had totally forgotten his birthday was coming until the day before, and the idea of having an “unplanned” event or holiday to celebrate felt like another change, stress and disruption to a not so normal type of normal. Perhaps we should back up, lots of change in our family over the course of the year, a change of continent, country destination (three times), language, culture, health status, and safety. Recently the loss of access to all our belongings that say “home to us” the swift decision to move to a new country in two weeks (more on that to come), and the loss of proximity to the many people that have become dear to our family and our concern for their safety and well being have slowly added up. As we’ve attempted to process each change, death, health status, and location adjustment we have handled it pretty well, but it doesn’t change the stress factors as being big and often manifesting themselves in odd ways. Abook crying in a coffee shop to a friend, PJ crying that she cannot finish her math book (she only had 3 pages left), and J being angry about cinnamon rolls.
Our trust in God’s provision, direction and leading are strong, but so is our sense of loss, disorientation and grief. We are not making comparisons – we know each of you has known the same stress, where that flat tire, or the missing box, or the broken can opener become the stress marker in a time of great strain and character building that make you say, that is it this is all too much!
We share this story for several reasons, the first is that it is just funny (we laughed about it later), and the second is to thank you for your prayers and ask you to keep praying for us. We are no different from you, life is hard here and we feel it, and leaning into your prayers has been such grace for us! We are using our resources well, delving into scripture, spending focused time as a family, laughing, playing, praying some more and seeking outside input to think through and process and grow in our times of trial…but sometimes even then there are days when we stand there and have conversations where the change in breakfast routine becomes all too much to take.
I made J cinnamon rolls for his birthday. Sometimes the best way to deal with feeling overwhelmed is to just keep going and we did, and you know what, they tasted great and he enjoyed three….and we realized that sometimes what we think is going to break us gives us a bit of something to laugh about instead.
Thanks for letting us lean into grace along with you,
J, Abuk and fam