I hold the canned blueberries in one hand and the strainer in the other. I look at them for a few beats too long. I need to pour these blueberries into that strainer.
So I do, right in the middle of the kitchen.
Not over the sink, not over a dish. Just pour it all right into that bowl with holes and watch as the purple juice spills onto my hardwood floor. It takes me a minute to realize what’s happened.
For a moment, I worry I’m losing my mind. Maybe early onset dementia? Hand-eye coordination deterioration? Insanity? Because first of all – canned blueberries? Who eats those?
I grab a towel and begin to clean the floor, the cabinet door, my own shoes. I recognize I’m probably not losing my mind, just trying to cram too much into it.
I’ve been here before.
Two Decembers ago, we slowed down because every day was becoming an Emily-is-pouring-blueberry-juice-onto-the-floor kind of day. John’s dad had just died and my first book just came out and one of our girls was afraid to go to school. There’s more, but you get the idea that it all got to be too much.
So we slowed down on purpose and that helped us re-collect ourselves. Then a year later we looked back and thought, How did we get through that?
Here’s what I’m hoping – I’m hoping that this time next year, I don’t look back on this fall and say, How did we get through that?
For example, right now I’m feeling like if I have to make one more decision, my brain will malfunction. Question marks and hashtags will fall straight out of my ears. If you ask me paper or plastic? I will stare blankly and resent you for asking such a hard question.
The next few months will be full ones for our family. It’s also different than any other fall, because this year I have a full schedule but John doesn’t. His schedule is to help me meet mine. We’ve never had that before.
Even though we’ve carefully considered all of my fall events, even though I don’t doubt them or question if we’ve made the right commitments, the truth is I’ve never made this many at once before.
On one hand, it’s all very exciting.
My next book releases this fall. In case you didn’t hear when I announced it on my blog last week, we have a new release date. Instead of November 1st, this girl is coming out on October 1st!
And it’s wonderful and exciting. But also? Chickens. Running. Heads everywhere.
I think this new release date is part of what is causing my brain over-load. But the full schedule and loose ends are also doing useful work, forcing me to confront the things I write about and decide if I am willing to live like it’s all really true.
Do I really believe it’s possible to live my life like an artist rather than a robot?
Am I willing to finally release my perceived right to control every outcome and instead trust the results to God?
Am I willing to be obedient in this moment, to respect what this moment is for and not try to cram work into resting moments or rest into working moments?
These are important questions for me, questions I have to ask myself several times a day.
What about you? When life feels too full and frantic, what are some ways you come back to your center?
I have to mention to my (in)courage friends: To celebrate the early release date, we are offering some gifts for you if you pre-order A Million Little Ways. Simply fill out this form to claim your freebies – including a $10 gift card to the lovely Lisa Leonard Designs shop. If you have questions, you can read the details here.