One might assume the title implies online shopping therapy. It does not. I do not like to shop. In fact, shopping usually has the opposite effect on me. This might be attributing to my holiday funk– the focus on holiday shopping and post-holiday sales. There is more to my mood and I’m just going to write it out as therapy.
I’ve been feeling a bit like this turtle with my soft underbelly exposed and an inability to turn myself right side up. On the outside, folks normally see my tough exterior and assume I can take on whatever comes my way. Much like this turtle, my heard shell is inhibiting me more than protecting me at the moment.
It has been an interesting month. I’m between jobs, this time by my choice. I knew I had some resources to make ends meet and a lot of faith to fill in the gaps for lean times. In many ways, it has been good to be in this vulnerable position to encourage me to press on with more vigor in the coming year and hold true to my belief that life needs to be simple.
I’ve committed large segments of time to complete an online counseling course for the lay ministry at our church. We had a moderate schedule from summer through this coming spring, but I found it difficult to fully absorb the material with continual stops and restarts– sort of like a car gets better mileage on the highway than in the city. My brain operates with the same efficiency.
We have another teenager in our home for a short while as we host a student from Japan. I wrote about this a couple weeks ago and was very excited to share our life with her. But now I feel tepid about third-party parenting. I’m feeling cautious due to another situation that is in a state of flux that may never resolve. There isn’t anyone to talk it out to work toward a resolution so I’m going to type it out. Once it is out, it should proverbially be off my mind. I won’t have to explain it over and over to try to make sense of it. Churning it about in my mind is proving to be maddening. Writing about it will help let it go. Praying about it is truly the best and only remedy. I’ve been processing what I’m learning through biblical counseling training, I’m sorting through the events that have turned me on my backside to contemplate my predicament.
This will be a series of writing that I will release in short segments. I’ll continue to write about our marriage, cutting apron strings with my daughter, parenting across cultures, and returning to the workplace full-time. There are as many questions as there are revelations at the moment which has put me in this precarious state of mind. What good is my faith if I can’t rely on it in the midst of a storm? Some folks lean into their faith most when the going gets rough while some of us are fair weather followers. After all these years, I’m determined to let go of pride and self-reliance by giving this all over to God. What you read will lay some groundwork for understanding but will also be my outward prayers to process the changes.
If you know me personally, laying the groundwork may be enlightening if you weren’t aware of some realities. However, not many within my own circle read this blog so I will worry less that writing appears to justifying myself. I’ll try to provide clarity for those reading it in all corners of the world. Through prayer and outward confession, I hope to offer counsel to others as I counsel myself. I’ve got a firm grip on my bootstraps and my nose is in the Word. I’ve armed myself for battle.
“Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed.” Ephesians 6:10-18