Confined & unlimited

Updated: Dec 24, 2018

My grandpa, whom I call Peepa, likens me to a bad check. He says I just keep coming back around, every time.

For the past six months I have had the unique chance to live with my Grandma and Peepa and it has been nothing short of comfort and laughter and good memories. I stay with them on the weekdays, and then on the weekends I am usually traveling somewhere. So every Friday morning Peepa will ask where I'm off to this weekend, and then he will say, "Well, I'll see you again. You know, you're like a bad check. You keep coming back."

And I laugh as I walk out the door to my next destination.

But that's just me. I love to go. I consider it a big privilege to change my environment often and jump around to different places. I put more miles on my car than anything, and that 32 MPG is the prettiest feature about it. Gas in my little Nissan is cheap, which is all the more reason to keep those wheels turning.

The point is, I don't like being too stuck in one place.

And then this week happened.

An unexpected and contagious infection on my face has caused me to turn in my car keys and erase my to-do list. If I walk out into a different environment, I run the risk of having a hundred unknown and weird pathogens attack my face and cause irritation, or I either run the risk of terrifying someone and ruining their holiday cheer if they catch a glance of my skin. So I just really need to stay hidden. Indoors.

It's odd to be confined inside when it's the busiest time of year and I could be bustling around town with all the other frazzled, tired shoppers as I normally do. Instead, I am Keeping Up With the Kardashians and scouring Instagram for home decor inspo. {And I don't even have my own home. Ugh.} Gone are my December plans of attending scheduled lunch dates with friends, running Christmas errands, visiting with family that came to town, and being festive and merry. There is nothing about me that is festive or merry right now. I haven't showered since Wednesday and there's 1/2 tub of Vaseline and Hydracortisone on top of my cheeks, which are bright red-ish purple and sprinkled with puddles of puss and yellow scabs.

So sorry for that. You probably didn't need to know.

But it occurred to me this morning that this could be on purpose. Maybe it wasn't so accidental and random that I just happened to allure the ugliest form of bacteria to leech onto and plague my face.

So I prayed. God, I'm home. I have to be. But I feel like You want me to be doing something with this time. What is it?

And pretty clearly, I believe God shared with me what I need to be doing: writing.

That is what needs to happen in these home-bound hours.

Oh, I love to write. I seriously do. But 80% of the time (maybe more), I just don't. It's not really because I don't want to, but it's because I get caught up in the perpetual going and I allow easier, less mind-intensive tasks to take the place of writing. On so many weekends, I have good intentions to open my laptop and craft a blog post, but I chip away at the time with other tasks that really don't mean that much to me - scrolling through Insta, organizing my room, going to Target for something I don't need... I'm bound to come up with something that absorbs my attention for a few minutes, and then I wonder when did those minutes melt into hours?

So I am thankful that God limited my abilities this week so that the clutter of life and all its distracting stuff could be cleared away, and I could be left with the simple task of writing. I would have no excuse in the world if I spent all this time inside a quiet house and yet failed to craft a sentence to share.

At the end, most definitely, I hope I get my face back. But I won't ever get this time back.

I wonder what is it that you need to do, but you fill the space with what's easier and simpler instead? What's on your mind or your list week after week? Is it a visit you need to make to a sick friend or a distant family member? Is it a letter you need to write to someone to breathe life into years of empty communication? Is it a project around your home that you've pictured in your mind for months - maybe years?

Maybe you're not as lucky as me to have your list of responsibilities voided and your tasks wiped out. (I haven't felt very lucky in this.) But I urge you, even still, to make the thing happen.

I am in awe of people who work by moonlight. Those legendary people who already have a full-time job of mothering or cashiering or leading a company. But by night, when the kids are asleep and the dishwasher is running, they are writing books or stringing their project together or completing online classes. That is so amazing to me. People who defy what could be confining.

I immediately think of my friends from church, a family that has undergone trial and managed to remain so brightly shining in my eyes. A husband limited to the walls of his home due to pain and disability. No longer able to serve and work like he used to while he watches his daughter and wife do what he can't anymore. Confined. Yet God sent him a man who desperately needed hope; a construction worker who visited his home weekly found hope and reconciliation in conversation with my friend, and he never had to leave his living room to be used by God.*

And that's what I felt God can do with my infection because I don't think he's limited by small spaces.

This week I have felt confined. But it was really just a way God brought me quiet and a handful of possibilities.

The fam told me I kind of look like Santa with my rosy cheeks. So we can roll with that. {I am on the healing side of my infection :).}

*More on their fascinating story can be found in a link to CrossPoint Church's website I'll provide super soon.

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