Thursday, March 31, 2011

One step at a time,

Earlier today I sat here, in my favorite pink armchair and whined about having so much to do and no idea where to start.  It's funny how writing it out somehow helps me figure it out!  No one responded to my post about it on the board where I frequent.  But I had taken steps to getting things done and I was happy to mark the tasks with a bold "done".

In the shower this morning I tried to recite James 1.  I'm working on memorizing it.  A challenge taken up by several of us on the Hearts at Home bulletin board.  I've done it before, when my oldest was an infant.  I was bored, lonely, and depressed so I started memorizing James.  I only made it through the first chapter and a few verses of the second.  This time we're shooting for the whole book.  It may take awhile.  It may take months.  But we'll get there. 

I find it ironic that I am willing to meet large challenges head on.  I will plan, think, pray, prepare for them and look forward to it.  Yet, small things.  Daily life things can break me down.  Feelings of failure swirl around in my head and my own voice taunts me with how incapable I am. 

It is good to sit here with the sun shining outside my windows.  It is good to see my girls laugh and play in that sunshine.  And it is ok, for today, to not read outloud our history, science and even Bible.  God's world is full of ways and things to learn about.  I'm not a failure for letting the girls be children and play.  I am a success.  I have evaluated what was critical for today, and bookwork inside was not it. 

The laundry was set to defeat me as well.  Tim is in the midst of renovating FOR ME! He's making our downstairs bathroom into a bathroom and laundry room that will be pleasant to use.  A new shower, new (at least to us) washer and dryer to come, a new floor and a white sink and toilet. Bliss!

But for now it is hard to use that space.  The area is cluttered with tools and debris.  There is a partial wall, with the spaces between the boards too small to slip a laundry basket through (yes, I tried).  So I need to go around.  To get through that doorway I had to clear rolled up carpet, underlay, and more garbage.  PHEW!  I opened the door to the dryer and groaned.  It was full of clean towels.  A good thing, except, where to put them?  I started the washer first, giving me an empty basket, moved the now full basket of towels into the hallway and THEN I was able to put the wet laundry into the dryer. 

That too is a success.  I didn't have to leave our house.  I didn't have to use money at the laundromat and take time from my day I just don't have to spare away from home.  I didn't have to load the van, unload the van, then load and unload again.  But most of all, I am washing the clothes and blessing my husband with clean jeans.  

Supper is in the crockpot, a roast with potatoes and carrots.  I will go to work and my family will still be fed.  There might even be leftovers for me to eat when I come home! All this because I wrote a list of what needs doing and started doing one at a time.

Do you know what was crippling me?  The feeling that I had to figure out the perfect way to do it.  That there was a perfect way and if I was just smart enough I could figure it out.  Crazy, huh?  Since I couldn't figure out the perfect way to fit everything in I wasted a bit of time just sitting whining about how hard it was going to be.   So I am thankful today that God hears my thoughts and answers prayers I'm not even wise enough to pray.  He gave me clarity of thought, but beyond that he simply impressed to do one thing then another then another til my list is nearly done. 

One step at a time.

Here's the lyrics to one of my favorite hymns:
  1. Day by day, and with each passing moment,
    Strength I find to meet my trials here;
    Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
    I've no cause for worry or for fear.
    He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
    Gives unto each day what He deems best,
    Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
    Mingling toil with peace and rest.
  2. Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
    With a special mercy for each hour;
    All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
    He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
    The protection of His child and treasure
    Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
    "As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
    This the pledge to me He made.
  3. Help me then, in every tribulation,
    So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
    That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
    Offered me within Thy holy Word.
    Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
    E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
    One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
    Till with Christ the Lord I stand.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hurray for Spring!

Hurray for Spring and sunshine filled days to come. 
Hurray for mud because the ground is softening into earth that can be planted!
Hurray for wind that chases away the cold and brings in the warm.
Hurray for March giving way to April and crocuses, daffodils, and hyacinth peaking through the ground.
Hurray for lilac bushes with tiny buds hiding bounty of wonderful richness and beauty.
Hurray for birthdays and growing older.
Hurray for my child's birthday and watching her blossom into a lovely young woman!
Hurray for mercies that are new every morning and faithfulness that is everlasting despite myself.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thank You for this day.

     There are moments when the superfluous extras in life swirl to gray and the immortal truth of mortal life becomes crystal clear.  Moments when the heart stops and holds still before rushing on while you gasp for breath and struggle to hold onto what is true.  These are the moments that forever after you look back on think, "I remember when, and I'm so thankful now."

     Sunday, my husband calmly told me that my dad had been in a motorcycle accident.  Life focused at that moment and the most important need became the words he would say next.  "He's ok. They think.  Your mom is taking him to the hospital."  I took a deep breath, then another and another.  I knew perfectly well that I am helpless here.  I can't rush to his side and be there to wait in the hospital and know he's ok.  So I prayed asking God to let him please, please be ok.  Then I took another deep breath and we continued to Walmart. 

    Yep, Walmart.  Funny how quickly the boring every day details still need taken care of even when you very much want it to stop.  I smiled as I read my girls shopping lists, deciphering a few words and feeling proud of the one who spelled "raisin bread" properly!  Laughed at the idea of a Barbie doll being a grocery need.  And I put a bottle of orange pop in the cart, simply because I could, and they are my children, I love them and it was something small I could do. 

     Then we came home to wait.  And wait.  Then wait some more.  It was just a couple of hours but it felt like too long.  I forgot to pray for a little while and started to crave food, any food in massive quantities.  While standing at the cupboard I remembered that this is not what I want to do.  Food is not my drug, it is not my god, it is simply food.  So I stood and prayed again.  I asked some friends to pray too.  Amazing how quickly communication started after I remembered to do that. 

     I did eat.  I ate frozen yogurt.  Totally within my plan, although a bigger portion than I would've chosen to eat on a regular day.  But still, it was ok.  It wasn't too much in a big way.  And I prayed again thanking God that he really IS going to be ok. 

     So as I sit here today and listen to my husband talk to my dad, listen to him joke about how now dad's ruined it for him to ride a motorcycle,  I am thankful.   I am thankful for motorcycle helmuts.  I am thankful for Carhart jackets, cold weather that required multiple layers of clothing, and thankful for life.  I'm thankful that today I still have a dad.  There are two young men in our community whose dad chose to take his life yesterday and my heart breaks for them.  For the man's wife as well.  And again, I am thankful for my husband and for this day. 

In everything give thanks for THIS IS the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.