Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In the Hallway

Yesterday I went to the gym for the first time in a couple of weeks. I'd been getting out of the habit of going as frequently as I should, but when I saw the scale numbers start to creep back up I figured it was time to get a grip and get going! (No gym+one ton of malted milk balls=creeping scales. THAT kind of math equation, I understand.)

I've discovered that gym-going is not just good for my physical self, it's also good for my emotional self. As you can probably imagine, these past months have not been easy ones for Steve and me and it's pretty easy to get depressed over this particular chapter of life. It's amazing though, how some time on the treadmill working up a sweat can help to scatter the blues and give my mind a fresh grip on life.

So anyway, I had just finished my tiring but rejuventating workout yesterday when I ran into an old friend. He asked how we were doing (which is a hard question to answer truthfully without giving too many dire details) and then he said something that really caught my attention.

He said, "They always say that when God closes one door, He opens another. But it's the time spent in the hallway inbetween that's really tough."

Those words really hit me as a perfect way to describe where we are--we are "in the hallway." And hallways are generally not places where a lot of living goes on; they're just empty, blank spaces whose purpose is to take you from one place to another.

I know there may be some other hallway dwellers who are reading these words and I just want to tell you that I understand where you are! The good news is that hallways aren't forever. Eventually that other door opens and the hallway is left behind. In the meantime, we know that since God is everywhere, He inhabits hallways, too. We're not alone here in this empty space and where God is, there is the assurance that everything is going to be okay.

After I got home from the gym (and my hallway lesson), I fixed dinner for the family and then Steve and I took a walk. There are few places more beautiful than North Carolina in the springtime and it was a perfectly clear, calm evening with things blooming everywhere. It's hard to stay depressed when life is just bustin' out all over!

By this time, it was about 7 pm and after forty-five minutes at the gym and thirty minutes walking, my body was telling me it had had quite enough, thank you. However, as we rounded the corner to our house, we noticed that Nathan was outside shooting baskets. I looked at Steve and said, "Let's go over and play with him for a few minutes."

You should have seen Nathan grin when his (almost) over-the-hill parents arrived on the scene saying we wanted to play. I knew I would last all of about five minutes (due to my not-so-great lungs) but I gave it everything I had and even managed to make four lay-ups in a row! (Where are the ESPN cameras when you need them?)

Nathan just kept on grinning and playing and running huge "Nathan circles" around Steve and me while we tried desperately to pretend like we had some idea of what was going on. As I finally bowed out with great gasping breaths Nathan looked at me and said, "Mom, you have natural basketball ability. I think you've just been hiding it all these years."

I didn't know whether or I should laugh (at such a ridiculous idea) or cry (because he was so dear and serious when he said it) but since I had no remaining oxygen for either reaction, I just gave him a big grin and dragged my wilting self back into the house.

The gym. A Walk. A round of basketball.

Take THAT, you malted milk balls!

In two hours, Steve and I will leave for the Scary Doctor for my 1 pm appointment. (Bring on the happy medicine!) Even though I'm dreading it, I'll go through just about anything in the hopes that someone will eventually find out what's going on with my "now you hear it, now you don't" voice. I'm certainly hoping the solution will not involve surgery but I'm desperate enough for about anything.

Alrighty then. I guess it's time for me to take my "built for basketball" body off and get ready for the day. (Or maybe I should say my "built LIKE a basketball" body.) Yup. That's definitely more accurate.

Either way, I'm just thankful that we can still play basketball, laugh and live life--even in the hallway.

12 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Pam D said...

Excuse me??? Built LIKE a basketball? Oh, I don't think so, Becky. You truly are slender, and that's a fact. You may be in the hallway, but at least you're lookin' good while you're there!
I do like the hallway analogy.. just as I like the "waiting room" in which all of us are sitting, bound together by ties of love and respect for a woman who sings like a bird (and apparently floats like a butterfly, too... 4 layups?). Praying that all will go well and that today will be the day that answers are found. I do know that you'll be at least one step closer to the doorway...

Anonymous said...

I love the hallway analogy. I am impressed by your basketball prowess. I do not have a lung disease and could not do what you did. Hold your head up high! When we were in a time of transition, a pastor told us that when God closes a door He opens a window and we have to wait to feel the breeze. I loved that and at the end the breeze was perfect! I will be praying for a breeze shortly...both on the job/house front and the Scary Doctor front. btw...does he know you call him that, Scary Doctor? That is funny!
Lisa L. from GA formally Texas

Anonymous said...

I wish the best lucky your doctor appointment Becky..

MaryH said...

Well, I am sure I am joining a lot of folks who have moved from a hallway or two into the waiting room for Becky. Hope the doctor visit goes smoothly and an answer and/or solution is found for your voice - which is wonderful, I might add. Love that "hallway" analogy, also. I wish spring would hurry up and take a good hold on St. Louis weather - we bounce back and forth from spring to wintery-type days - I am ready for a full blown spring!
I didn't get to add what I was doing on Friday - I was shopping and then on the way to Champaign, IL for my daughter's first baby shower on Saturday - it was so much fun and then she and I did baby laundry and set up the nursery on Saturday evening - it is so cute - there is another shower here in St. Louis in mid-May.

I will keep you in my prayers, Becky, for a stress free doctor's appointment with a diagnosis that has a name because if "it" has a name, they know what to do about it!

Anonymous said...

We also pray your appointment goes well.

Also, tell Sarah I am rooting for her to "ace" the therapy sessions.

When we were there, I noticed how she is like a "sponge" soaking up all information we discussed.

She is a very hard worker and intends to succeed...good for her!!

May God be with all of you as you walk through the hallway.

Also praying it is a SHORT hallway!


Anonymous said...

Becky, I so agree about the hallway. I shared with you about our life of owning our own floor covering/gift store. We have owned it since 1992. I have worked her doing the books since 1994. I enjoyed the freedom of coming and going pretty much as I pleased. I did have a couple of part time jobs during this time of working here as bookeeper. Well I know you are aware the economy stinks. Our business is almost non existant, we all 3, that is how many employees we have are on partial unemployment, Thank goodness for unemployment without which my husband and I wouldn't be making any payments. While owning our business we got in to a lot of debt, I mean thousands of dollars by using credit cards to pay bills. Not smart over the years it got to the point where all credit cards raised the interest rate to 30% and we couldn't keep up. After trying a debt consolidation place for 6 months the economy got so bad we couldn't pay them either. So we have had to file bankruptcy. What a truly humbling, stressful winter we have had. I had a friend tell me that sometimes God allows you to break clear down so he can build you back up. Not sure if Steve and you feel that way but I feel I am rebuilding as a better person, things I took for granted, home, health, family, things you think you care about but when finally faced with loosing your home and livelyhood you find what is important I mean really important. Like you have never seen it before. I feel like I am you guys wondering, waiting, praying, asking for God to put me where he wants me to be. Well yesterday I got a job as a custodian working evenings, with benefits that will blow your hat off. We have never had benefits, paying over 900.00 for health insurance and now for both of us it will cost 175.00 per month. anyway even though I will miss being with my husband and daughter in the evening, I feel a huge sense of relief that we will be taken care of. So don't give up hope, you will get out of the hall way soon. You are helping many of us and maybe that is what God wants you to do. To bad your blog doesn't bring you money, or maybe it will. Hang in there, hope your appt. goes well today.
Hugs from Iowa,

Sue G said...

You know, I kinda like the hallways of life. I get to traverse the metaphorical building, stopping to look in an occasional room, greeting other people as they pass through. As I pass along, I notice that some of the rooms are filled with joy and laughter, and some of them speak only of sadness and pain. And I notice that each room is meant to be temporary because otherwise, why would there be a door...a portal of entry and egress? For me, the hallway exists so that I can learn from the journey. Like a voyeur, I peek into every room, sometimes entering, sometimes backing away, but always learning a little more about where I truly want to be.

I especially like the hallways because I meet so many other people there, people who would be strangers to me were it not for the hallway.

You see, to me, the hallway is a pathway, a means by which I journey through my personal growth. It may be small and seem confining on some days, but in fact it has as much room as I need to change, to grow, to expand my awareness.

The important thing about hallways is that you must keep moving. There is no room to just sit down and give up. You have to move, and movement allows for successes, failures, and everything in between. Growth! Not stagnation.

The hallway is a lot like that treadmill you were on yesterday. You walked and walked and walked, and in terms of actual proximal distance you really didn't get anywhere. But in terms of taking steps closer to healthier lungs, stronger muscles and a faster metabolism, you won the race!

There is satisfaction in the hallway...because you are moving, perhaps not at the speed you had hoped, but at the perfect speed in which God can work for you to bring you to His ultimate good.

Kim said...

What a great mom you are! As the mother of a 23 year old boy, a 16 year old boy and a 13 year old boy, I read your posts about motherhood and boys flying the coop with special tenderness as I know of what you speak. I am sure you playing basketball for those few minutes will be something Nathan remembers for a long time to come.

Praying for you and the scary doctor appointment-hope it all goes well.
*smiles & hugs*

Erin said...

I hope your appointment went well today and that you finally got some answers and hopefully a solution!

Pam D said...

I honestly think I'm going to harvest Sue G's guestbook responses from various sites, edit them, and put out a book.. "Balm for the Wounded Heart", or "Highlights from the Hallways of Life" or somesuch. I think it would sell, don't you? If I took your posts in one volume and Sue's musings in another, a two-book set would most likely hit the top of the best seller list in no time.
Anyway, I'm here, in the waiting room... waiting. I may go peek out in the hallway for a minute, but I'll be back....

Sue G said...

All guest book entries are under the express copyright of UPwords Unlimited and may be reprinted only with the written permission of the author.

: >)

(Thanks for the compliment, Pam.)

SueEllen in Dallas said...

Thanks for this post, Becky. As someone searching for the right job after being laid-off 14 months ago (after 15 years of service) this is just what I needed to hear. I had never thought of the hallway angle, but it is so true.

Also, spring in NC is truly beautiful. I really miss the pink dogwoods....