“Caleb!” I hollered. “I woke up from my nap but now I can’t get my butt off the couch!”

I could hear the bleeping and clicking of video games as my son registered my comment. It took a half beat before he shouted back up the stairs, “So stay there then! You can just sit there!”

I can?

I’m allowed to just sit on the couch when there are closets to be cleaned out and laundry to be folded? I felt guilty about the closet/laundry situation but my brain was still too tired to let my body off the couch.

I watched a few puffy clouds float by out the window.

It felt good. My brain started to put intelligent sentences together, which is why I finally got off the couch and picked up this laptop so I could write out those (semi) intelligent thoughts for you, my dear reader.

I know our family isn’t alone– we’ve had some big stuff on our plate the last two weeks. I thought perhaps my mind would explode, which it did not do, but now there’s some residual stress that still needs to leak out somehow even though all the big decisions have been made and life should be returning to normal.

Can you relate?

At one point, when my brain was the most stressed out, I emailed my friend Susie twice because I needed some clarification on stuff for the Breathe Christian Writers Conference. She responded and I read her emails a couple of days later. I was shocked. My original emails made NO SENSE.

Was I drinking when I wrote these? I wondered to myself. I honestly had to think back to make sure I hadn’t overdone the Riesling while emailing.

Nope– I recall being quite sober but quite, quite frantic at the time. It’s to Susie’s credit that she didn’t point out that maybe I should think coherently before typing things.

Stress does hard things to our brains and bodies. It’s okay to acknowledge this and then treat ourselves kindly as we find space to recover.

Sit on the couch for an extra hour and stare out the window. Water the flowers slowly. Sit in the backyard and hope a hummingbird shows up at the butterfly bush. Accidentally toss your phone into the garbage.

Whatever it takes. You have permission to do what you need when your brain has been through the blender.

And when your brain has recovered enough to put a few coherent sentences together, don’t forget to pray. The greatest healing comes when God is allowed into our addled minds to do what he does best– bring grace. Bring perspective. Recover joy.

We’re spending the end of today on the beach with friends. I can’t wait to watch the waves roll in while my brain continues to sort itself out. May you also find some peace, however you need it.