Posted by: Kara Luker | March 6, 2011

So that’s how it’s done

Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2

Note: I promise to stop making Karate Kid references soon; the movie’s almost over anyway. But, for now, I just can’t resist.

Friday morning was tough. On my way to victory, the sensei with the huge arms and “show no mercy” mantra directed my opponent to sweep my leg. I fell to the mat grabbing my leg and writhing in pain. Except it wasn’t my leg. It was my heart. And it wasn’t a mat in a karate tournament. I was sitting in front of my boss venting my frustrations with strong words and a couple tears, trying to make sense of things.

I was tired. Really tired, which always makes me feel like the world is ending. But it felt like I was once again bumping into that issue of Too Many Groceries (see previous post), and grieving (in a ticked off sort of way) about having to lay down – yet again – things that truly mattered to me in order to maintain the immovable pieces I need to do.

Fortunately, I didn’t stay in the frustrated place very long, but took all my cares to God and told him I was once again willing to lay down anything that didn’t fit. That I would surrender the very things that mattered to me. That I would trust him with my heart and passions. The prayer ended. I cancelled some weekend plans and restructured the following few weeks. My heart was soft toward the Lord, but it felt throbby and achy. I did research for work, entered the data on my spreadsheet, listened to hymns, and cried a bit.

It reminded me of a sleeping bag we bought for Cole when he was in boy scouts. The thing came nicely rolled up in a fabric bag with a drawstring at the top. I think the intent was to be able to store the sleeping bag in this thing after each use, but it was a scientific impossibility. After it had been removed from the bag, the darn thing expanded to a size that would never allow it reentry in that claustrophobic little space. Believe me, we tried. And tried. And ended up wrapping it up with bungee chords or something.

Well, that’s about how my heart felt. Like it had been taken out of a small enclosure where it had been packed away so tightly, had been given the chance to expand, and was then directed back into that confined space. It seemed an impossibility for my heart to go back in there. And an awful thing to do anyway. But I was determined to get instructions from God on my prayer walk at lunch about how to make it fit.

My crushed hopes were revived when Mr. Miyagi (okay, God) rubbed his hands together and touched the hurting place. What he spoke to my heart was not what I was expecting. He didn’t give me directions about how to reign in my time, cut things and people out, and make tidy little compartments for what remained. He said he wasn’t asking me to shove my heart back in the space he’d freed it from. The gist was, “Relax. Don’t worry about it. I’ll work it out.”

My heart continued to be a little achy as I walked out the day. But, if you’ll remember, Daniel didn’t exactly run back out onto the mat either. He limped out there, but he still fought. The thing I knew was that I felt a great release has transpired. I felt joy and, believe it or not, a considerable amount of physical energy that was decidedly absent beforehand.

It turned out to be one of the most satisfying weekends I have ever had. The burden of making everything fit was lifted and replaced by a trust that someone bigger and wiser would do that. I didn’t get much physical rest, but my soul was refreshed and nourished. Instead of worrying and tiring myself out in the process, I was left to enjoy all the rich things portioned out to me – going to a friend’s birthday party, helping another friend move, spending invaluable time with John, participating in a church service that sang to me, dinner with the sweetest community of people, conversation with my brother and time with Cole and his friend. Oh yeah, and walking, hiking, biking, time on the beach with a dip in the ocean. Ah, and here I am at the end of this unbelievable weekend with the blog I love to write. So relaxed, carrying a light load, and full of all that is good.

When hearts grow


  1. My eyes caught the Grinch’s dog “Max”, and the Spirit overwhelmed me. Don’t you love how every once in a while, a rabbit trail appears? I’ve always wanted to have a heart like Max.

    • I love when that happens! Maybe you were made to have a heart just like Max. 🙂

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