Mabuni, Life's DisruptionsBy Vivian Mabuni

Yesterday? Horribly unproductive. Today, I purposed, would be better. After crawling out of bed and dropping off my son at school, I came home at 6:50 am and made my “most mornings” breakfast: Coaches oatmeal, brown sugar, Trader Joe’s Omega Trail mix and some milk. I ground up some coffee beans and made a large, 18 oz Starbucks NYC mug of deliciousness just the way I like it: one third coffee, one third sugar, one third half-and-half. Basically dessert. I took three trips up the stairs to my nook. Bible, journal, and water on the first trip. Oatmeal and coffee the second trip, and of course an additional “I can’t remember what I was getting” down and up the stairs trip. I finally settled in to enjoy some time alone with God (TAWG). Koa, our almost two-year-old German Shepherd, thinks he’s still a lap dog and usually jumps up and keeps me company.

This morning as he turned in circles on the ottoman, the way dogs do when they prepare for a long slumber, his larger than life tail knocked over my completely full coffee mug onto everything on the completely full side table. UGH! I grabbed my coffee-covered iPhone and tried turning it on. The screen was blank. I ran down the stairs, working to remove the phone cover and prepared to throw the phone into our big tin of rice next to our rice cooker in the kitchen. I read somewhere that throwing a wet phone into dry rice can bring dead phones back to life. Thankfully the phone turned back on. I could hear the fast dripping sounds of coffee splattering all over the carpet and the books below the table when I came back up the stairs.

Deep exhale.

An extra, extra large towel lay in a mound in front of my just-about-finished-with-sophomore-year high schooler’s room. This was probably the only time I was thankful he left his towel on the floor. I grabbed it and began wiping up the sticky mess.

I had to remove everything off the table, empty out the basket full of books and memorabilia, throw out coffee-covered receipts and wipe down all the books. It occurred to me as I cleaned: this is just another one of life’s disruptions.

Sometimes our best laid plans are curtailed. Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan A. Sometimes coffee gets spilled everywhere.

However, disruption times can open up time to:

  • clean out clutter — I throw lots of stuff into the baskets found on most flat surfaces around my home but rarely take the time to weed out unnecessary bulk. Today’s disruption forced me to throw out what turned out to be a trashcan full of…well, trash.
  • rediscover lost things – hidden behind the lamp I found two bracelets I forgot I had. I also found a blank journal, some actual bookmarks (I usually stuff whatever scrap of paper is around to mark my spot in books), a fun photo of friends, and a mini-tin of Altoids mints. Today’s disruption helped me uncover some useful things I forgot I had.
  • remember – two things that were spared the coffee stickiness held special significance. One was a phone charm Leila gave me during my cancer journey. I don’t know where the old phone is anymore, but I kept the charm. When it used to be attached to my old phone, it reminded me of God’s love for me back then. Holding it in my hand today caused me to pause and reflect on God’s faithfulness to bring us thus far. The other item was also from my cancer journey: a ticket stub to the musical “Wicked.” Darrin didn’t hesitate to pay top dollar for the best seats in the house. Seeing the show together was an unforgettable experience and holding the ticket in my hand today reminded me of my husband’s love and the gift he is and has been.

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Perhaps you find yourself currently in a disruption time; perhaps it is a time God is opening up for you to clear out the clutter, rediscover important lost parts of your life or space to reflect and remember.

What would you add to the list of benefits of life’s disruptions?

Vivian Mabuni and her husband Darrin work with Epic Movement, the Asian American ministry of Cru. Vivian is a mom of three kids and a cancer survivor.  She is part of a group of women writers called the Redbud Writers Guild, and her first book, “Warrior in Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community and the God Who Comforts” was published this past April.

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