Landry, at three, is a remarkable communicator. His vocabulary is extensive, and he has a joyousness about him that’s contagious.
Seeing the picture of him hiding in a hoodie playing on an iPad while the temperature dropped outside was too cute. It didn’t appear to be him at all. He lacked the beaming smile that typically adorns his face.
What was more remarkable was how much he resembled our youngest daughter about twelve years ago, when she was just beginning high school. Not in looks but in perceived attitude.
Debbie was self-aware at a young age. Being the youngest of six does have its rewards. One of her richest lessons learned at that point was that she needed time alone to recharge. She enjoyed being with family and friends, but she has always been a better judge of how much energy she can expend in situations.
We were on a family vacation one summer in the mountains of Colorado. It was pleasantly cool–appropriate sweatshirt weather. We had a wonderful time together, playing games, hiking, enjoying each other’s company.
Debbie was a participant. How willing she was to engage was another matter. She walked around the premises, her hood pulled up, looking morose. Not angry, not mean. We’d just come through our national staff conference that we hold every other year, and we’d had people stay with us, constant meetings, activities meant to be enjoyed but often adding exhaustion to tired.
She was worn out.
We knew that. We all chose to refer to this as “Debbie’s angsty season”.
Angsty had become the word used for challenging people, issues, or situations. Defined as feeling, showing, or expressing anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity, the current connotation often addresses kids with an attitude. Where they’re focused on themselves and what they feel they need, where behavior is often less than exemplary and attitudes border on what Mom used to call “snippy”.
Behavior and attitudes often brought on by anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity.
Debbie was tired. We’d asked a lot of her, and she’d showed up with enthusiasm. She hit a tipping point and no longer had what she needed to sustain that much activity.
We all have a tipping point. In every area of our lives. When our capacity runs dry and we try to move forward on fumes and good intentions. We tip over into behavior that isn’t our best. Actions and attitudes that don’t reflect our good choices but our default behavior.
We all have default behavior. When I get tired, I get busier, my tone gets shorter, kindness diminishes, and I speak more directly.
Everybody recognizes when I’m not myself.
Isn’t that all of us? Anxiety and apprehension are a major part of life. We live under the potential of our dreams and desires not being realized. Fully aware that we’re not enough for all that we want to do.
God is enough. He has provided us a way to experience His sufficiency in Jesus. A relationship that strengthens and supports us when everything and everyone here lets us down.
He never fails. Never gives up on us. Never abandons us.
Security and hope are found in being known and loved.
That’s the enough we all need.
No angst required.