Yikes! It was 9:15 am and I was just lifting my head off my smushed pillow. I had lost almost two hours of the most productive part of my day. What had happened? Had I gone comatose? When I sat up I had to admit I felt pretty good. What was the reason for this extended sleep, this slow motion of my body. Well, for the past three weeks I had been telling my body what to do. Now, my body was telling me what to do. I was recalibrating.

The three weeks had been heavenly. Our family welcomed a new granddaughter, Daley Elizabeth, on April 8th. Our worlds will never be the same. Afterwards, I was able to stay in Dallas, and help her parents and her big brother, Will. It was fun to cook, rock, run errands, and be the number one companion to Will. For three weeks I climbed slides, slid on the floor on my belly, held a newborn in one arm, a 30 pound toddler in the other, slept with a sound machine which sounded like Niagara Falls, followed trash trucks all around the neighborhood, and walked more miles pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon than I could ever count. During the three weeks I felt young and invincible. I was happy that I could carry out my duties. I didn’t have time to even think, but I was learning some important lessons.

Will became my teacher. I learned to identify heavy equipment from Bobcats and John Deere tractors to the diggers and dump trucks that haul off the dirt. I learned to see a school bus, taxi, or mail truck a mile off and gasp for at least five seconds before I blurted out my sighting. I learned that wood chips in a playground or rocks on the side of the road are as valuable as gold. Stopping to see the wonder in the mundane is a lesson I don’t want to forget.

There is a second lesson that I don’t want to forget. It was a lesson on ownership and security. Will loves his small red fire engine which fits perfectly into his small hand. He takes it everywhere-in the car, to bed when he naps, to the playground, and of course throughout house and yard when he is playing at home. A major crisis evolved one day when we couldn’t find his treasure. All of our minds went into overtime. We retraced our steps; we rethought where it might have been put while Will repeated, “Firetruck, my firetruck,” over and over. Ding! The last time we saw Will with the truck was at a crowded consignment store. There was a small amount of suffering as we struggled through the afternoon and evening routines without his fire truck. The next day, Will and I arrived at the store and started crawling around on the floor, pulling back racks of clothes, looking under hundreds of shoes and galoshes and stepping over car seats and other baby paraphernalia. One customer asked me if Will had lost his “lovey”. Bingo! It was then that Will spotted his security blanket and beloved fire truck in the store window. It must have fallen off a shoe shelf and into this wide open space. All the stars had aligned and the world was right again.

Looking back, it kind of surprised me how much I got into this treasure hunt. I was reminded that problems, losses and issues will become bigger in Will’s life. They will be harder to recover and restore as he matures. People who love him will probably want to come to the rescue, but he will have to learn on his own where to put his true security. I will definitely be praying for him and cheering him on.

All of this brings me back to what has been my lesson? We all have “fire trucks” in our lives, but not the kind we can hold in the palms of our hands. I have realized that people and places can be my security blanket. I like being wrapped in the familiarity of long term, secure relationships and familiar patterns and places. I have a hard time realizing that relationships can dramatically change. Places change. External security is vulnerable to disappearance. It is easy to tell a child that his fire truck is lost and that we will go buy him a new one. As adults it is harder to accept the disappearance of relationships. We can’t go out and buy another of those. Places don’t just change, but they develop in different ways. Favorite restaurants close, favorite trees are cut, serene vistas fill with condominiums. It is hard to accept at times. I do know that only the Lord is my ultimate security, my “refuge and my strength.” I do believe that losses can becomes doors of opportunity to new relationships and new places of rest.

As I recalibrate to my life back home I don’t want to forget these important lessons of security and happiness. There is a child in all of us. I am thankful for the gifts of people and the wonderful place that the Lord has for me at home and elsewhere. I do not need to crawl around on my belly to find them because they are right in front of my eyes. However, while I am thanking the Lord, I know that my grip in new sources of security has to be held lightly, as the little red fire engine.

“God is our refuge and my strength.” Psalms 46:1 NIV


6 thoughts on “Calibrate

  1. Always amazed at your “right on” perception….I miss you dearly and that life I left so many years ago… I am thankful, that I get a dose of “The Morning Glories” thru your insights. I thank you and God Bless your precious family.

  2. Love this, Lindy. Good perspective and reminder for me, too.

    I’ll be home on May 24 until July 14 – except for a week in St Louis the middle of June when Mike is getting married. Can you make time for me? Breakfast, lunch…whatever?

    Love you Faith

    Sent from my iPad


  3. LIndy, I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks. How true the words you have shared. There are so many times that I feel lonely since Mikie has moved…we used to do everything together…like two peas in a pod. Your words are so insightful. You have touched my heart.

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