All the houses looked prettier this morning as I drove through my neighborhood to my chiropractor appointment. Installed sprinklers and landscapers who visit weekly are the norm in Congress Park (a little neighborhood just outside downtown Denver), contributing to it’s recently-won title of “best place to live in Denver.”
Just so we’re clear, I don’t live in one of the famed Denver four-square behemoths that line the leafy streets of Saint Paul Street & Detroit Avenue; I don’t have a sprinkler system installed either. And instead of paying for someone to mow my lawn and pick my weeds, I choose to see a chiropractor once a week who helps snap my poor pelvis back into place, #GiantBabiesRuinBodies.
My chiropractor is a Healer—she loves God and she believes that Love Wins, as do I. So I get undressed and laid prostrate on the blue leather table, reverent and ready for the relief. As she feels my body, I exhale. Finally, someone to snap it all back into place.
“Hhmmm…” She mumbles through her thoughts.
“What’s going on back there?” I breathe sweaty breath into the crinkly paper covering the face/head rest.
“You’ve got to relax, Honey.” She finally speaks up. “I can’t even start working on you. You’re too tight.” Her touch and her words sink down into my flesh and bones.
“There you go,” she coaches. “What’s going on this morning?”
What’s going on is that my children yell “MR. WEINIE!!” without abandon every single time they see a dachshund while we’re out and about, and it’s embarrassing sometimes.
What’s wrong is that the two older girls planted pumpkin seeds in absurd places around the vegetable garden, and now we have pumpkin problems — huge pumpkins vines snaking around like hot lava, “No Mama! Don’t step on my pumpkins!”
And don’t even get me started on the little boy who picks baby bell peppers before they even stood a chance—they chose life! He didn’t. At least the baby is sleeping through the night now.
What’s going on is that my sod is actually straw, because I don’t have sprinklers. I know grass should look green, but what about when it’s brown and squirrels blend into it? I know friends should text you back, but what about when they don’t? I believe my pant size doesn’t determine my worth, but sometimes I get afraid that it is.
What happened this past week? Life. Life happened.
And here’s what I realized on that blue, sweaty, leather table: I wanted a fixer, not a Healer. I wanted a life that could be secured by sprinklers, obedience, loyalty, and weight loss. I held tight to my expectations of what a life should look instead of releasing. Inhaling. Exhaling.
If only the chaos and crazy (and beauty) of my full life could be snapped back into place with the same technique my chiropractor uses.
But that’s not how our Healer works, is it? Nope. God must go deeper, beyond the chaos, pain, and discomfort. My chiropractor couldn’t do her job, she couldn’t access my injury, until I let her ease apart the scar tissue a shitty week left behind.
She laughed when I told her about the Dachshunds. “Well I’m glad it made somebody smile,” I chuckled. And she reminded me that not every family of six is blessed with the outdoor space for three different pumpkin plants to comfortably invade.
Then she casually recalled that I’ve lost one-hundred-and fifty pounds, and I am a Love Hulk—fearfully and radically crafted by the Healer who cured my cancers and then gifted me FOUR miracle babies.
“Do you think any bit of your life is an accident?” She teared up a little.
Everything adjusted back into the places God intended upon creation.
The drive home wasn’t nearly as awful. Instead of resenting all the big houses I can’t afford to live in, I thanked God for the perfect little Victorian bungalow that houses all the healthy humans I love.
“I bless you, green grass. I bless your lushness,” I spoke while passing all the sprinkler systems. And when I arrived home, to my own beautiful mess of a front yard, I thanked God for the hundred-year-old gate protecting the babies who make me better.
One day, things will stay tidy, I tell myself, noticing the chalk pieces and tricycles strewn about.
Life happens, all day, every day. We don’t get to choose whether or not our kids listen. We can’t control our income, our blood pressure, or the success of our marriage—even though we think we can. Sometimes we choose to “fix it” by gripping tighter, controlling, manipulating, and ignoring.
But what if we choose Healing by inviting Truth and Gratitude into the fears that we allow to hold us hostage?
We can breathe. And somehow, through the miraculous power of Love, we get snapped back into place, where we can receive the Good gift of content sort of kids, lower blood pressure, and happier husbands.
You are fearfully and radically made by a Healer who can’t wait to ever-so-carefully rip you apart, and then mend it all. Once mended, you have power that puts superwoman to shame, and you realize that you can choose Joy, here. Now.
Inhale. Exhale. Smile. We are all gonna make it, even if our sod dies.
🎃PS- It’s Halloween, which means I say a special prayer for all teachers everywhere tonight as I fall asleep. “Lord, help them handle the cocaine-candy angels tomorrow.” In our house, after we arrive home from our hunting and gathering, we do something that really pisses of the kids, but also really excites the parents and teachers. The kids dump out their haul on the floor and pick three pieces of candy they would like to eat over the next three days. You’re welcome. Amen 🙏🏼
So interesting, I was thinking similar thoughts this morning of; hanging on, letting go, trusting God…. Beautiful writing, as always. Thank you.
Love this post!
150lb?! Claire that’s awesome. I think a lot of people would just feel sorry for themselves and not try after all that you’ve been through and all that you do and put up with everyday lol. I mean, I’m sure there are days, maybe even lots of them, when you feel sorry for yourself (and kind of for good reason), but you still do amazing things for so many people. Just by writing, let alone the actual parenting and wifing and life-ing you do daily. I wish that everyone who reads your stuff had the generosity or capability of time to write about how it makes them feel. I don’t have that much time for “stuff” in my life, your post is actually how I wind down my day or I “star” it in my email for 3 days until I get to read it one night while I settle into bed so I can feel a good, or hard, or goodhard feeling before I sleep. And I think it’s important for you to know that. It’s the only way I can give back to you of giving to me.
And yes I still will write back in our email chain… I was planning on it tonight actually but then i got to read this, then write this 10min essay, and now I’m too tired LOL. Another night. Promise.
Love your writings…….I think that tomorrow as I am driving to work I am going to scream out the window…..Mr. Weinie at least 10 times!!!!!!! Sounds like fun!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂