Crossing a Bridge

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There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

We’ve been in a “season” over the last few weeks and months. At the beginning of the year, hubs said, “The Cookbook is our thing. That’s what we’re doing right now. That’s what we’re going to focus on.”

God bless him! I needed to hear that. I needed to know that recipe testing and extra time at the computer would be “okay.” I needed to know that a little disruption to “our well-oiled machine” (hahaha) would be okay. I needed to know that survival mode was going to okay for awhile.

We’ve eaten a little more take-out than we might otherwise have done, particularly on nights when I holed myself up in the office to edit recipes. We’ve been homebound a little more than normal as I cook and cook and cook. We’ve done things a little differently the last month or two. And my children and husband have been willing participants.

Survival Mode

JessieLeigh wrote about “survival mode” and what it is and what it’s not. I really appreciated her post because it relieved me of some guilt — and gave me some things to think about, particularly this:

Survival Mode should not be a new way of life.

Don’t get too comfortable with this new, wacky way of living. Survival Mode is not supposed to be your new normal. Rather, Survival Mode should serve as a bridge between two far more stable times… you’re not trying to set up camp on the bridge. You’re just setting up a safe way to navigate the wild rapids so you can make it back to solid ground without falling in and drowning. See you on the other side!

So true! It is simply a new stage in the journey of my life. In fact, it’s been an adventure that I have wanted to take since I was in high school. I always, always, always wanted to write a cookbook. And I’ve been blessed to have my family take the journey with me.

And we’ve discovered some things on “this bridge,” things that we’re taking with us to the other side.

We’ve tried new foods as I develop a larger variety of recipes and we’ve found some new favorites. I’ve been helped by sooo many people near and far and have been reminded what friends are for.* I’ve developed an even greater appreciation for my husband and children — oh, and my mom, too.

I’ve also learned a little more how to “go with” the seasons God puts before us. There, indeed, is a time for everything.

Your Bridge

You may be on a bridge. You may be climbing a big, steep mountain. You may be venturing into a frightening valley.

Whether this is a pleasure trip or not, God is there to sustain you, to guide you, to walk with you along the way. It may be a bucket-list kind of adventure, like mine.

It may be a journey that you never asked for — and wish you could turn back from. It may pull you into “survival mode” when really all you want to do is “life as normal.”

But, it is a season. And you will survive.

God willing.

*Huge thank yous and blessings to Jessika, JL, Amy, Amy, Phoebe, Erin, Sheila, Lynn, Lauren, Christina, Patti, Allie, Caroline, Michelle, and others who I may inadvertently be forgetting. You guys have been a huge help to me!

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  1. Thank you so much for this post…I cannot tell you how timely this is!! Reading this has helped me open my eyes to the fact that I am right here, on a bridge right now – my husband is in the midst of a big, life changing job/career switch ( which is a great thing , big picture). My pretty structured “normal” life came to an abrupt halt the day he made the switch (which coincided with the kid’s last day of school). He has been telling me for weeks that I have got to adjust my expectations (for myself) during this time – although lots in our lives have changed, I have not really cut myself any slack on my priority list & this post has made me realize that I can do that for this period & it is ok. More “normal” stable times are on the horizon, but I have to accept this period for what it is & do the best I can with it – and see the good aspects of this time also. I really needed this post this morning! 🙂

  2. You have navigated this bridge with grace and aplomb, my sweet friend. I am so very proud of you… not just for this major accomplishment that is (almost) under your belt, but for all the many wondrous things you’ve achieved. This post is beautifully written… though that comes as no surprise. 🙂

  3. Thanks Jessica. So often, I get caught up in what other people are able to do and accomplish, while ignoring where I am right now. It’s an encouraging reminder that HIS presence that sustains us. I find that when my life is out of whack, it’s because I am far away from HIM.

  4. My life has been on a “bridge” since September of last year; a bridge I will probably be on through the rest of the summer at least, maybe longer. However, being on this bridge has taught me how strong I am. I don’t have family near by, but I have had people praying. Eventually I will get to the other side of my bridge and I will be able to look back at this season of life with a smile. But for now I’ll just be content to hold My Saviour’s hand as we continue to walk…..

  5. I’m so excited for you to be so close to the finish line — yay!!!!

    I’m looking forward to trying out all the new recipes as soon as the book is out!

  6. Thank you for this reminder…I am on one of these bridges right now and it probably won’t end until sometime after September when Baby #2 is due! We just bought a new house and moved and wow there is just so much stuff to do and there were so many unexpected problems to deal with. I freaked out a little bit the other day when I realized we will have to buy a new car by the time the baby is born because I can’t fit two rear facing car seats in the back of my little car! But somehow we will get there, hopefully with an unpacked and organized house and a freezer full of food…with the help of God and the Grandmas!

  7. My daughter fell off a piece of playground equipment 2 weeks ago and ended up with a trip to the ER and 20 stitches in her chin. It was a huge gash, lots of blood, lots of pain there and at the hospital for her (when they numbed it). It shifted my family into survival mode for about two weeks, and I finally feel like I’ve come out of it on the other side. Most people might not be bothered by a trip to the ER, but it’s only the 2nd time in the 8 yrs of being a Mom (both times within the last 2 mos!) of having to do something like this. Flashes of her chin, plus the fact that I was not watching her and had no idea what she was doing when she fell – I just couldn’t escape from. Guilt ate away at me for the last two weeks because I felt like I was consistently failing and letting my family down. If I’d just allowed myself to allow survival mode be our guide, I might not have beaten myself up so much, and maybe been able to pull out of it better. Thankfully it was a short period of time and I’m feeling better (and my Dd is returning to her self as well).

    Thanks for the reminder about survival mode not being permanent. And I seriously doubt any one would really (in the long run) let survival mode become the norm. You always prefer to return to your own sense of “normal!”

  8. How do you manage to crawl inside my head and post what I need to read?

    Seriously…it’s getting creepy.
    ; )
    Thank you for this. I am looking at a big bridge…we’re almost halfway there to our debt-free scream, and I am losing steam. It’s a tough season right now…I’m just really, really tired of being Mommy all day and then switching cars with hubby so I can go to work…
    Thank you again…I am so blessed by you.