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In The Overflow

It’s a feeling, really. Nothing more.

It’s the unease of highway driving in a deluge, it’s the inability to see the lines on the road through the watery windshield. It’s guiding yourself only by the blurred taillights of the cars up ahead and wondering how long the rain will last before you can pick back up to full speed.

I unpacked groceries yesterday and laid them out on the counter. Fruits and farm stand vegetables and herbs. Meat that I didn’t even pay attention to being on sale or not. Dark chocolate with sea salt. Enough hummus to feed a family of four for a week. Snacks to feed an entire neighborhood (and they probably will.)

I unloaded my children’s dressers this morning, stuffing clothing into bags for giving away, making room for new shirts and shorts and dresses. One overstuffed trash bag filled, I moved to my bedroom. Hanging in my closet, the accumulation of dresses bought over the course of this spring. More dresses than I’ve probably ever owned. I began my own trash bag.

In my bedroom, folding laundry, purging, I looked around at all the cluttered stuff of eight years of home ownership, completely overwhelmed. How does one get here? How did I get here? After years of worrying that bills will go unpaid or the car could break down or jobs would be lost. How are we here? In this moment in this house, with all the piles of clothing, with the fridge overflowing, with Disney reservations a week away.

How deceptive is this contentment, this moment of having too much. After years of anxious sleepless nights with bank statements running through my mind and avoiding collection calls, here I am, aching-hearted. And I can’t seem to stuff these bags full enough.

But this feeling is greater than feeling overwhelmed at not knowing how to best bless others with anything I have to give.

As I unpacked those groceries yesterday, I stacked up the hummus containers and thought, well, this has been nice. Being able to buy what I like, whenever I want. I’ll miss this.

This is an overflow. This is a season.

And in our family, change is looming, autumn is coming. And so comes with it the feeling of moving forward without certainty.

In September, we will begin homeschool.

This autumn, we will attempt to buy and sell houses.

This fall, jobs may change, and with that finances may (or may not.)

So, I am praying for wisdom and guidance. I’m trying to follow the hazy blur of the taillights up ahead, but wonder if it might just be better to pull over to the side and wait for the rain to pass. (If only life gave us the option.)

And in the meantime, I will fill these bags as best as I can.

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