It’s a coffee and afternoon blogging kind of day. The kids are spending the day with Grandma and that gave me extra time get some work done in the house. There was laundry to be done as well as areas that needed sweeping, mopping, and tidying up.
When you’re needing to make choices on how to spend your time, once you’ve finally made your decision, I think it’s important to put the other options out of your mind. I could’ve gone to the Y and swam, or gone to Goodwill and looked around, or gone to Ross and attempted to find some shorts and church clothes for summer. I could’ve organized the laundry room or done a mass purging in the boys’ room. I could’ve started painting the schoolroom hallway or kept working on scraping the carpet glue off of the steps.
I’ve been trying to visualize my next direction with the schoolroom. Each year I try to rearrange, get rid of what we didn’t use, and add a little something here and there to make it different. In another week or so, my grandma’s guest room furniture is going to be arriving at our house and I’m hoping to find a place in the school room for it. There’s so much space down there, I’d like to be able to utilize it more for guests while also keeping those special areas that look like they were made especially for children.
a place that says, “children live here”
and I’m so happy they do.
In former summer stages of life I always felt like I knew exactly what to do because seizing the day was the theme of those months. Several times I’ve walked by the rectangle kiddie pools in Aldi, wondering if I should’t just go ahead and buy one. That way on weeks like this week when we’ve got three or four different groups on the camp grounds, we can skip the lake and enjoy instead the space of our own personal pool.
I’m not sure what to do when I’m not busy seizing the day and trying to make the summer the absolute best it can be. The kids don’t need as much attention and supervision, so we don’t do as many things together anymore. We had a good chunk of school time this morning and I was happy about that and feel like slowly and steadily the younger boys are making progress with the reading. School in summer isn’t so bad.
It’s an amazing phenomenon to step outside and the whole world simply delights you to the core. When you see it, the sorrows of the old day are forgotten, and if not forgotten, then they’re far enough away to know that something else is surely closer–or not.
I have a tendency in life to drift away slowly. Related to this is a tendency to obsess over fleeting earthly knowledge. I read and look up things and want to learn. I remember though one time about ten years ago, where I thought to myself that I didn’t want to know anything else more than I knew and studied God. Last night I opened a Bible to a random page, started flipping through the pages, and found a part I’d once highlighted:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” ~Jeremiah 9:23-24
I have a simple faith in Christ, and I’m content. I don’t need to be scholar, or a master, or a student. I will never understand the workings of God, his world, or humanity. To that end, I have no goals. All I want is to be and to trust and abide and to love. In the hour of death nothing else seems to matter. Why would we live, then, in any other way? To love God and love our neighbor seems to me like the greatest life a mortal could ever live.
When I sit down to write and the words aren’t coming, it’s often when there’s something else I ought to be doing. I wiped down the cabinets with Wild Orange essential oil. I called my Grandma and made my bed. I went over and hung out with the nurse of the week. I took a picture of my boys with the new friend they made. There is still so much that needs to be done, but in this moment, I truly don’t know what else to do.
There’s a lot of people hurting in life right now. This might come as a surprise to some, but I don’t like talking about pain very much. I also though don’t like NOT talking about it. It’s one of those things where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Either way you must experience something unpleasant.
That’s probably why I stare at the sun so much.
In my sleep last night we were all at the party. I couldn’t list off every name of who “we” was–I didn’t know everyone–and there was no sense at anytime that anyone was missing. The party though was not in a church gymnasium this time. It was in my Grandpa and Grandma’s back yard. Grandma was busy getting everything ready.
There was a hired hand out mowing the lawn. That used to be Grandpa’s job, and one of his favorites. Several years ago he started falling while tinkering around in his shed. He wasn’t able to mow anymore and soon he wasn’t able to keep us his garden. Before he put his garden there we used to search that side of the land for wild strawberries.
I walked up to the back yard to find that there were stepping stones newly placed in ground they’d never been before. Each one had been decorated by a woman or grandchild. The hired hand was still mowing, I still could hear the weeds being whipped beneath the trees, but then another man was there on the stepping stones with Grandma.
He was handsome, not tall, and when I saw him I thought to myself, “I’m taken.” I was delighted and impressed by the surprise of the stepping stones, and there was always somebody else he was talking to. My aunt made a joke about all the girls liking him, the one I could talk to the most about boys. I finally went inside thinking, “He’s taken too”.
The mowing was finally finished at dusk. The dream ended with me looking out at the land from the road. If I was standing, or riding away in a car, I don’t know. I was at total peace and in awe of the beauty of “the property”, where I stood in the hole that became the foundation, where we saw every plank and hammered the nails, where we played in the sandbox, and climbed the rocks coming out of that gigantic hole, where a house became our childhood home, where the deer run free and the strawberries grow.