There are a number of quirky things in my life right now. I sort of like anomalies. They keep things interesting. And weird. Of all the things I wrote in my head in the weeks, the two I actually typed to post disappeared in unexplained computer glitches. Isn’t that hilarious?
One of the library books we checked out in February was missing. We renewed it repeatedly and scoured this house, even going so far as deep cleaning the boys’ room. Finally today I called the library and told them we give up. I will pay for the book, but could they just check their shelves to be sure it wasn’t there. It was. They had missed it when they scanned the returned books. I did all that cleaning and digging and offering of reward money for a book that wasn’t even in the house.
We planted rye in our garden last fall to enrich the soil this spring. It felt so good to till that green manure under this spring and plant our peas nice and early. Until Gabe’s dad, the greenest thumb we know, told us that you have to wait a while to plant after you till the rye under, because it messes with the germination of seeds. I kept hoping he was wrong, but those peas did not come up and he was right. Two weeks later we replanted without that smug glow of earliness. At least it is supposed to be a cool, wet June, so the peas should still feel happy.
Then there was the wonderful feeling that the month of May was deliciously empty of assignments, yet I somehow managed to drag out portfolio finishing and homeschool evaluations until the last week of the month. I did it just because I had the luxury of time, but then it hung over my head the whole time. Silly me.
I am also interested in the fact that we made it through the entire winter, all seven of us, with only one episode of puking, and that with my husband working daily with sick people in the ER. And yet. Here we are, on the 10th day of a vicious stomach bug that is working its way through our family one person at a time. Yesterday I thought we were finally home free until I heard the familiar, “My belly hurts,” in my deepest sleep early this morning. Do you know how fast a mother can spring out of bed with fight or flight coursing through her veins as she grabs a bucket to shove under her child’s nose? It is very speedy indeed.
Most amusing of all is my perusal of Own Your Life, by Sally Clarkson, in just about the most disorganized weeks ever. I did really enjoy the book. Here is why.
I like organization. I like the idea of having order and purpose to life. I like to have a clear vision of my role and a plan to fulfill it. However the reality is that I am a “fly by the seat of your pants” person deep inside. With discipline issues. Recently I had an aha moment when I thought of what would happen to the wife of a nurse with weird working hours if she was incapable of dealing with irregularity, and I embraced my spontaneity a little more. Yet I liked Sally Clarkson’s book with it’s emphasis on calm and sanity.
In chapter one she talks about basic training in our lives: the soul stretching, mind numbing, mundane sameness of faithfulness. In our youthful dreams we don’t think about sagging curtains or ugly carpet or fighting children. We don’t assume that there will be illness or peevishness or cabbage worms. Our dreams are noble, full of greatness, which goes to show that we are meant to rise above the grittiness in life and flourish. Sally is an older woman now, recounting a moment when she realized that she had unhappily succumbed to a life of monotonous drudgery. This became her prayer, (page 9)
“No matter what happens…
I will be as obedient as I can to
bring joy into this place,
create beauty in this wilderness,
exercise generous love,
persevere with patience.
I will choose to believe that wherever You are my faithful Companion
is the place where Your blessing will be upon me.”
I relate wholeheartedly with that prayer, with embracing the seasons of life, with deciding to like God’s will for me. Anybody out there with me?
I was challenged to identify the things that drain me, sources of life-noise and chaos that produce “sawdust souls”, as Sally describes it.
Chapter seven is titled “Allowing God’s Spirit to Breathe in You”. This, really, is where it’s at if I want abundant life instead of living constricted by human inabilities. When I keep tryst with the Lover of my Soul, I flourish; when I live in my own strength, I become impoverished nigh to death. This is a simple fact. I know what happens with constant activity, becoming preoccupied with all that needs to be done, where pressures cause harsh reactions to the people I love, all for lack of refueling my exhausted soul.
I think that the defining statement of the book is this: “Home is the stage where the play of your life is delivered. As you clarify your vision, accept your limitations, and cultivate grace, you are laying the foundations that will build influence and legacy… Own your home life, right where you are.” (page 201)
So that’s where I am right now, hugging life with all it’s rare oddness and boring sameness combined.