I took my kids to the park the other day. It was a bright and sunny, beautiful day. (Finally!)
Our littlest, Ezekiel, had to use the bathroom, so he and I tromped across the park. One thing you need to know is that Zeke waits until the absolute last minute for a bathroom break, so by the time he announces the need, he is pretty zealous for the bathroom. But halfway across the park, Zeke stops, bends halfway down and covers his ears. It was like the fetal position, only standing. I’m still half-running to the bathroom, hollering “Come on, Zeke, buddy. The bathroom is right over here.”
I take a moment. I look at my child and I hear the problem.
Near us there is a swing squeaking loudly. Maybe squeaking isn’t the right word. It’s more screeching throughout the entire ascent and descent on each pass. No one else notices it, but when I hear with Zeke’s eyes (it’s true), I can spot the little things.
“Zeke, is that swing loud, buddy.”
“Yes. It makes me feel loud inside, Mama.”
In that moment, I have never been more proud of my son.
What if I could identify what makes me feel loud inside?
All kinds of things make me feel loud inside every day, half the time turning me into a wild woman, searching for order and demanding perfection.
It’s time for me to pay attention and be a little more like Zeke. We all have stuff that irritates us, that gets under our skin a little bit, or a lot. Those things pile up and stack on top of one another and become internal. We feel anxiety in different places, welling up like foam overflowing a mug or maybe sitting like a weight on our chest. Either way it builds, one thing, than another. Sooner or later it comes out. Angry, tears, ugly words, little fits of frustration.
But, if I can identify and lift it up to God –
“I’m feeling loud inside, Lord.”
Then, we’ve got this together.
We may not even “solve” it, but it becomes a “Be still and know” moment. God and I. You wouldn’t believe the difference that makes. Anxiety softens, grace becomes tangible, things become slowly manageable as I sit in His Word.
Zeke straightened up and headed to the bathroom. On the way back by the swing he gave it his angry face and moved on with life. He, a little bit calmer, and me, wondering at the wisdom of my son.