Things to Remember

Relearning the Same Thing, Again 

Sometimes it seems as if my life is on replay. Or maybe that it is punctuated with Deja-vu moments.

We were driving across Indiana when it began happening. My son was shivering and not feeling well. Basically miserable, he was, and I was trying to comfort him. Encourage him that this too shall pass. When it did pass. Up from his stomach and out onto his father’s coat that was lying across his body, the back seat, floor, and my shoes.


But the thing was, I was taken by surprise. Totally by surprise.

Somehow, I had missed the warning signs. Warning signs that have repeated themselves more times then I care to count or remember.

This scenario has replayed itself out on car rides numerous times. From the time he was a toddler to now.

I look at him, taller than me these last few months, and I am still surprised at the outcome. And yet all the signs were pointing towards this outcome. This culminating stomach upheaval. Once again, I had misread the signs. Not learned from experience.

This boy is so like me that I can not fault him. For I was known in my family for a stomach that liked to empty its contents. I did in the car. Across the bedroom floor. Outside the door of a motel (you should have seen the look the owner gave me. I remember thinking she should have been counting her blessings because it is easier to clean a flower bed than a motel floor.). Beside the roadside. In a cow pasture. In the middle of a mall parking lot. At a title company. In the shower. At school. And occasionally in bathrooms.

We are a pair of soft stomachs. Him and I.

We are driving again after cleaning the mess up, and he is lying on my lap, and I am looking out the window wondering how many times is life about relearning something. Relearning the same thing we did earlier. Maybe the circumstances and players are different, but the lesson is basically the same. Though sometimes there may be some new awareness or twist.

If you are like me, you are forgetful. Eager to lean and move on to the next thing. Not wanting to waste time on the same old thing. Wanting to cross it off your list as mastered and move to conquering the next big life changing thing.

How many times have I relearned that patience is not a virtue I have yet mastered? Been reminded that hate hurts me more than others? Remembered that God loves me plain and simple; not for what I do or because I conquered my day, but because of whose I am? Been surprised about how much my husband and kids love me? Relearned the pain of heartache? Had to remind myself that God is in charge? Seen how people are willing to help others?

How many times have I learned that a 30-minute dinner takes at least 60 minutes. That it takes longer than an hour to wash and dry a load of clothes. That driving across town takes more than 15 minutes, even if all the lights are green. That kindness motivates people more than guilt. That I can’t leave the library without gathering a stack of books. That baths are never as relaxing as I think they will be. That friends make life such a blessing. That getting outside clears my head in a way nothing else does. That laughing is a great stress releaser and perspective changer.

It seems my life is learning and then relearning at regular intervals the same things over and over. Again and again, and then once more. Sometimes the lessons are small, like my feet are still the same size. Not enough sleep makes me crabby. Most people respect your no. Winter is much colder than I remember. And the same song can make you smile each time you hear it.

Sometimes the lessons are bigger, like perfectionism steals your joy. Sharing and being vulnerable heals you and others. That God is bigger than our problems. That living now and here is a blessing. That people usually do the same thing over and over no matter how much I think they should change. That I can only change myself. That forgiveness does not mean letting others take advantage of you.

Round and around I go, like a merry-go-round. Passing the same real-estate and encountering different scenarios where the lessons look vaguely familiar.

Ah-ha, I think, and then stumble on with life, convinced I have finally learned that lesson, when whack, later I relearn it again.

This is part of learning. Part of living. Part of being human. Part of growing.

It’s called giving yourself grace.

It’s called repetition is necessary for our soul.

It’s called learning from your experiences.

It’s called shaking your heard and laughing at yourself. Knowing you will once again find yourself in the same real-estate somewhere again down the road of life.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.


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