This ‘whiplash’ is really a cha-cha

As I sat down and attempted to stretch my outer left fingers to their usual C-to-C keys, my thumb-restricted wrist brace held me back.

Ughhhh, just add that to the long, lovely list of things I need to keep waiting on, I bah-humbugged to myself, as I bitterly walked away from the piano.

Thanks to a little thing called “Mommy Wrist” — a type of tendonitis that caregivers of kiddos can get — I’m off the bench for a while. (Ha! Get it?) 

Like most things that need healing, the light at the end of the tunnel is currently blocked by a question mark. Who knows how long it’ll be till I can text, type, play my songs, or [insert the 1,372 things a day that involve the thumb] with ease, speed, and no pain again.

I mean, as long as my 34-pound, brown-eyed shadow keeps turning into a puddle on the stairs and saying, “Mommy, UP! UP!” at least 20x a day, I feel like it’s gonna be a while. 😉 

It’s gonna be a while.

Those worrrds. 

I feel like God has been whispering them into many of my plans and expectations for quite some time now. It’s like he sees my projected timelines in my journal and laughs. I swear he saw the entry where I mapped out exactly how I’ll get my book done by 3.31, because since then, the number of physical and mental interruptions has been comical.

As soon as I take one step forward with a job, idea, project, or anything remotely outside the realm of my role as a mom, something seemingly pulls me back, whether it’s back-to-back-to-back illnesses, brain fog, burnout, self-doubt, The Tiny Tornado not napping, or, ya know, an injury involving the body part for the task. #thumbsdown

All this back and forth is starting to feel like whiplash, I thought to myself the other morning, as I opened the dishwasher.

Moments later, my diaper-donning, shirtless shadow arrived. 

“Mommy, come on! Let’s go!” 

“Hang on, buddy. I’ve got to put these dishes away,” I replied. 

“Mommy, sit down,” he said, as he motioned for me to sit on the rug below the kitchen sink.

The dishes can wait. So can the vacuuming. Sit your butt down, mama, said a not-so-usual voice in my mind.

I obliged.

Then, JeeWoo climbed onto my lap, pointed to the drawstring of my hoodie, and asked, “What’s this?” 

As I looked down, he tapped the edge of my nose, and said, “Boop! I got you, mommy!”

Oh, we laughed so hard. Then, we played, danced, and played some more…all over that crumb-riddled kitchen floor. 

Then, I’m pretty sure God whispered again, because the following words so vividly washed over me:

Perhaps this whiplash is really a cha-cha. 

At that very moment, it was as if someone replaced my dark, cynical, woe-is-me lenses with some fresh, rose-colored Ray-Bans.

All those interruptions and so-called setbacks that I’ve been huffing and puffing about for the last year were no longer seen as pain-in-the-keister inconveniences. They were…

…divine delays.
…joyful invitations.
…missed opportunities.

They were life-giving, growth-granting nudges to be more present in this precious season. Negative Nancy just wasn’t seeing them. 

Then, I remembered this quote:

Yeah, yeah, she’s not doing the cha-cha, but dang, her dancing is inspiring. And that’s what this stuff is all about: Perspective, baby. 

When things don’t go according to plan time and time again, you can let the so-called whiplash put a kink in your neck or you can loosen up and dance with it. 

You can bah-humbug or you can boogie. You can grumble about it or you can go with the flow. You can gracefully move your feet to that back-and-forth beat. 

You can trust that any challenge that presents itself is there to teach you something. It’s not there to slow your goal. It’s there to grow your soul. 

But remember…

It might take a while.

Because all the best things in this wild life take an annoying amount of uncertain, question-marked time. But what happens in the tension of The In-Between is the gooood stuff. It’s hard. It’s awkward. But something beautiful is always at work in that mighty, mysterious meantime.


Why not dance while you wait?

To your cha-cha,

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