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Holding Patterns

When Jack was born, I was terrified of SIDS, irrationally terrified.  I worried when people held him too close, he’d be smothered in their arms.  I constantly checked on him in his crib, pulling the sheet taut under his tiny mouth and nose as he slept.  At a friend’s house it challenged me to enjoy myself, while he slept one room over, in an environment I was not in control of.  I can’t say for sure when I stopped obsessing about this, but it was probably sometime around the 6 month mark.  It didn’t matter whether my anxiety was founded or not, it just lingered until I was ready to let it go.

I went out with a longtime friend last week and we laughed at how, even though you realize this is happening, it’s difficult to stop the worry cycle once it begins.  Dear self, “you’re being irrational, please stop.”  Input rejected – worry already in progress.  Please try again later.

If I’m not cognizant of the things I currently, irrationally worry about, I could obsess about something new at each stage of the boys’ lives.  There is always something new to worry about.  Always.  Are the boys polite enough, kind enough, smart enough, healthy enough, happy enough?  And on, and on, and on.  These questions are just slightly altered from the “enoughs” we ask about ourselves.  Did we do enough?  Did we give enough?  Are we enough?

And once we’ve entered into these enough doubts, well, enough – it will steal your joy.

Theodore Roosevelt said “comparison is the thief of joy,” but enough is just another measuring stick.  Whatever our standard of enough is, it requires comparison of ourselves to others and that is a losing battle.  There is always going to be someone else who is or has more.  But their blessings and my blessings are not the same.  Comparing them is unproductive.  Comparing them only knocks over my own already overflowing cup.

We are all more than enough already, today, right now in God’s eyes.  Contentedness is found in counting the have’s because there are so many.  But, the enough questions can be sly and cunning.  They unwittingly sneak up and snatch our joy.  They loot our gifts and leave our worries.  They constantly creep in with us unaware; leaving us to wonder, why the intermittent feeling of discontent that gnaws at us in the background from time to time?

The answer for me is this – go back and examine my own cup.  Look for something beautiful and say thank you.

Our family is currently in a holding pattern on many fronts and the frustration surfaces occasionally, usually floating impatience and other undesirables to the top.  Something akin to – if you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans.  We’re just trying to land the plane and get to our next destination, but air traffic control hasn’t given us clearance to land yet.  So our holding pattern continues.  We do what any good pilot and co-pilot would do – we adjust for wind, mechanics and other planes – and wait.  Sometimes this means having a glass of wine while we wait, and seeking out hidden gems in our circuitous route.

And then we fly some more.

We have a small family birthday party planned for the boys this weekend.  I’m making Jamison a rag quilt for his birthday similar to the one I made for Jack a couple of years ago and I’m hoping to have it completed in time for the party.  What a joy it is to sit at my sewing machine and make something for my boy.

I can’t wait to celebrate this mark in time with Jack & Jamison.  They light up my life in innumerable ways.  What more can I say than that?

To those of you who’ve already contacted me about contributing to our Mother’s Day collection, thank you!  We have room for lots more mama love, so contact me if you’re interested.  I’m hoping to have all your submissions by May 1st.

Keep on, keeping on.


Jenny Imhoff

Contentment (or the lack thereof) has been a struggle for me this week, so this post comes at a perfect time. Sometimes counting the joys doesn’t seem to be enough but it’s only because my focus is still on the thing I want or think I need, instead of on the gifts I’ve already been given. Thank you for sharing your heart on this. My husband often reminds me that God has blessed us with many gifts, and we shouldn’t waste our time wishing for something else, but instead use the time He’s given us on this earth to enjoy the gifts He’s chosen to give us. You are a gift, and so is this post. Thank you for the reminder.


Jenny ~ Thank you for the kind comment. Isn’t it interesting how we so often know the right thing to do or say, but we still ignore it. I’m guilty of this often. I’m so glad you have your wise husband around to bolster you with encouraging words when needed. I loved our talk the other night and I love you. I’m praying for your mom daily.

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