When I found out I was pregnant, I was seeing an OB in Atlanta. Eight weeks into my pregnancy, we moved to Charlottesville, so I found a doctor here. Four weeks later, I decided it wasn't quite the right fit, so I found a new practice again. By the end of the first trimester, I was on my third OB and feeling a little bit like the Princess & the Pea.
For my first appointment with my third doctor, I wanted to arrive early. I mapped to the office, but, as I pulled up, realized I had selected the wrong location. I called them, panicked, telling them I'd be a few minutes late, as opposed to the preferred 15-minutes early. I arrived a little scattered and asked if I could use the restroom before the appointment (I know, I know.). They said yes, but asked for a urine sample. After consuming 32 ounces of water on my drive to the office, this would not be a problem.
I rushed to the restroom and filled the cup, placing it next to the toilet. A moment later, as I grabbed toilet paper, the roll fell off the hook and knocked over my urine sample. Every last drop spilled all over the floor, spreading quick across the room - the way liquid does so magically on tile surfaces.
I was mortified. And there was no way I could switch OBs again after my long journey to find this one! :) I told the woman at the front desk and she, along with all of the other receptionists, had a nice long laugh.
I like to think I made a lasting impression?
I tell you this because sometimes - especially during seasons of change - life can feel a lot like my office experience. You're doing your best, trying to make everything work and yet, despite your efforts, things keep going just a little awry. Not horribly wrong. Just a little off kilter all of the time, requiring a lot of adjusting, patience and focus.
I felt a lot like this in my early 20s and have learned from friends that motherhood can be very similar. You're doing your best, but the learning curve is so steep. How can you possibly expect yourself to get it right every time? These seasons require massive amounts of grace and patience for ourselves.
During these early days in Charlottesville, some moments have felt this way for us. We made a lot of major changes at once - new city, new house, new baby, new church, new friends, new clients for Chris - it's only natural for there to be some bumps along the way.
Some days, life feels like it takes a lot more effort than it did in Atlanta. We have to be more positive, flexible, patient and focused, just to navigate a typical day. And, some days, even with all that effort, it still feels like we're not quite getting the hang of it.
One of our family mottos (which we learned from the amazing Brené Brown) is that we don't want to live for the quick and easy, regardless of how often our world tells us we deserve instant gratification. We want to create lives that are abundant and honest and true. Doing this requires trusting that the best things are hard-earned and long-awaited. It requires being unafraid of real work, difficult conversations and tough decisions. It requires more grit than we sometimes feel we have - being willing to hang in there just a little longer than expected before things fall into place.
But we must also remember: when we're doing hard things, we have to give ourselves - and one another - extra doses of grace and patience. We have to be gentle with ourselves. We have to understand that, sometimes, you're going to spill the urine everywhere. And what do you do when that happens? You clean it up. You laugh it off. And you begin again.