in which my week spins and I center

Written by Sandra Heska King

PRAY EDITOR "Once a nurse, always a nurse," they say. But now I spend my days with laptop and camera in tow as I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I'm a Michigan gal, mom to two, grandmom to two, and wife to one. My husband and I live on 50 acres in the same 150-plus-year-old farmhouse he grew up in. I love this quote by Mary Oliver, "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." That's how I want to live. And I'm still learning how to be. Still.

March 5, 2013

calm and centered

I’m curled up with my cream-colored plush throw to read in preparation for a High Calling book club discussion, when my daughter-in-law calls. My son’s vertigo is back, and he’s begging to go to the emergency room.

I sigh. Not again. When it happens, it happens out of the blue and keeps him down for a week. “Keep us posted,” we tell her.

I try to focus on “A New Story for Work” and “the gospel and medicine” and how doctors sometimes tend to get lost in their profession and how we tend to idolize them. I remember how as student nurses we were required to give up our seat in the charting area if a doctor entered the station.

My husband’s phone rings. “We need to go to the ER,” he tells me.

We’ve never been called to come for one of these attacks before, and my mother’s head goes all wonky. “Did she say why? Was she crying?”


I throw the book in my purse, but there’s no reading to be done in the darkened room. And no room for extra worry, either. As it turns out, he just wants his mom, the nurse, nearby. And so the three of us chat in the corner, and he lies still on the gurney while the room spins.

My whole week spins.

I still haven’t finished the book or written that last post. And I’m frustrated. But I have to let it go.

It happens sometimes when life bumps us off balance with interruptions and God-appointments. We just have to let some things go. But I find myself fretting about procrastination and preparednessless. And someone gets a book contract and someone else a writing gig I’d love, but I’m buying chicken rice soup and yogurt, and my book notes are notebooked on the shelf, and my husband has no clean dress socks, and he accidentally overdraws the farm account, and the grandgirl needs new soccer shoes (for the game we showed up for a day early), and while she’s trying them on, we get news of a basketball camp that starts in 45 minutes, and she begs to go, and I take my second pair of ears to my son’s neurology appointment–a three-hour affair, and the fire needs wood, and my days go up in smoke.

And sometimes you’ve just got to let it all go.

So I curl up with my cream-colored plush throw and center myself in the Old Testament, listen to my audio CDs of the Chronicles and Ezra and Nehemiah because I’ve answered Margaret Feinberg’s challenge to read through the Bible in 40 days.

And the sun’s shining, and the snow’s melting. The starlings are back. I saw three black squirrels playing tag in town, and I can’t help but laugh at the cat who’s shot clean up the drapes and is hanging from the curtain rod. The grandgirl’s shooting baskets in the driveway, and winter is coming to an end. It always does.

And spring always comes. And no matter how crazy life gets sometimes, it’s a comfort to know that God’s ultimately in control. We can center ourselves in that truth.






  1. Nancy Franson

    And the words to this hymn are swirling around in my brain: We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll. Love you.

  2. pastordt

    You have so been on my heart through all of this, Sandy. Grateful you can find a moment of center in the midst of the undoing, that regular undoing called LIFE.

  3. David Rupert

    “Centering” is a tricky thing, isn’t it? For most of us, it means we trim off the edges — less play, less stress. But that’s just not reality. Centering means taking all of that stuff for what it is — and finding our place

  4. HisFireFly

    Sunday morning we were singing “Jesus, be my centre. Be my all, be my life, Jesus”

    And there He is, standing firm in the chaos as it comes, whispering to you, knowing all the reasons that you can’t quite comprehend.

  5. Patricia W Hunter

    Just came home from leading a group of women through Ann’s dvd study and in today’s lesson, lesson two, Ann reminds us that God is the “I AM”…that Jesus is the “I AM” – present tense, that He is fully present with us in the moment….and knowing that and leaning into that is part of the centering, yes? Oh, to live it every day, every moment.

    I think it is so awesome that you are reading the whole Bible over Lent with Margaret AND memorizing Romans with Ann. Awesome.

    What a memory lane you just took me down – giving up our seat to the “high and mighty” doctor!!!!! That sounds like a book I’d enjoy reading. I used to think I wanted to be a doctor. While I was a N.P. I started back to college in pre-med. I’m soooooooo grateful life took me down a different road – I don’t believe I could have handled the pressure to be “idolized” and never make a mistake. It would have crushed me.

    Praying for all that concerns, sweet friend. xox

  6. Kathy Scott

    I listened to the UTube on “We have an anchor that keeps the soul,” and was blessed by the song. When we center on Jesus, we will be anchored, secure in our Savior’s love.

  7. Diane Bailey

    I hope your son is well soon. i have had vertigo, and it is miserable! But I know that God is in control.

    • Sandra Heska King

      I’m sorry, Diane. He’s dealt with it for five years now. The first time it lasted at varying levels for three months. They’ve tested for everything and finally think it’s of migraine origin–even though he doesn’t have headaches with it–though he does have a mild headache (back of head, one side) weekly that’s zapped with ibuprofen if he catches it soon enough. So they’re putting him on magnesium and a migraine preventative–and he has to have a sleep study. 🙂

      • Diane Bailey

        We have had to check for Extensive vitamin B tests and food allergies. I have a good friend who had debilitating vertigo and went to John Hopkins and found it linked to several lack of Vitamin B

        • Sandra Heska King

          Hmmm… He’s had blood work and eats a lot of vitamin B foods, but I’ll ask him to check on that. I did suggest a possible allergy component, but the neurologist is pretty certain at this time that it’s migraine origin. He’s going to keep a diary… Thanks, friend!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

in which my week spins and I center

by Sandra Heska King time to read: 3 min