A Lesson from Knots


After two weeks of living out of suitcases, lugging around multiple other suitcases, teaching our dogs to travel, and living under the nervous cloud of expectation about whether our travel plans would work out, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. But it wasn’t just me. We are all feeling it. None of us have our own space. We are grateful to friends and family who have housed us and offered unparalleled hospitality but we are tired. Patience waning, butts sore from hours spent in the car, and we really only have dirty clothes to measure our progress to date.

So, I started laundry. As I pulled the first load out of the washing machine, I found a pair of panties that were tied in a knot. True story. Not an analogous knot, an actual knot. I won’t wander down the rabbit trail of how and why. Instead, I’m going to jump straight to the obvious metaphor.

This random and remarkable discovery gave me pause. Literally, I had to pause the transfer of laundry into the dryer to untie the knot. In that brief act, I learned a valuable lesson. One that has taken me a few days to practice and truth-be-told, I’m still trying to master it.

Here it is…I’ll walk you through it.

When your panties end up in a knot,

try these three easy steps…

  1.   Take a deep breath. A seemingly obvious choice and hopefully most often subconscious but when the unexpected strikes, the conscious choice to breathe deeply provides a moment of space. A chance to set aside the why or how and refocus attention to the immediate issue at hand. 
  2. Patiently untie the knot. It has to be done. You are the one holding the knot, so carefully get the panties out of the twist. Set them free.
  3. Finally, move on. It happened. Yes, it was unforeseenand apparently unavoidable because panty knots can be an actual thing. Oh, and I have found it very helpful to take a moment to practice gratitude. Thank God the knot didn’t happen while wearing them.

As I mentioned, I’m still practicing the steps on more metaphorical panty knots. We still don’t have our visas. The deadline is noon today. It’s our deadline and a rather long story, a boring one. A story about expectations and “best-laid plans” and such. Long story short, I may spend today cancelling travel plans and transferring us further into limbo. But now I have three easy steps to help. And I commit to practicing today.

Any steps I missed? Feel free to share!

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2 Comments on "A Lesson from Knots"

  1. Lin Wilder
    15/08/2019 at 11:26 am Permalink

    Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. No reason for you to know this since it is a Catholic feast day. But while at this beautiful mass, celebrating this extraordinary woman, I prayed for you, David and the girls…that God’s will be done in your lives.
    Having seen your FB post regarding the stress you and everyone else are under, I knew that this will help…in ways I will never know.
    Perhaps not the way you expect or even want but then we’ve talked at length in the past about how careful we must be when we pray.

  2. Rebecca Qualls
    15/08/2019 at 11:31 am Permalink

    Thank you for your prayers! I know it will work out. Just trying to keep my heart and faith in the growing position through it all.

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