following through

Son: Whatcha gonna write about today, Mom?
Me:  Cleaning the bathroom.
Son:  Oh.  That’s a strange thing to write about.  

These days I’m all about celebrating the little victories.  When you’re coming out of a life stage where even the basic activities of daily living felt impossible for so long, there’s a strange sense of feeling like you’re slowly learning how to live again.

Every morning I take a shower. When I’m done with that, I use coconut oil from Aldi as a lotion for my face and skin. When I’m done with that, I get dressed. When I’m done with that, I make my bed. When I’m done with that, I clean the bathroom.

I’m keeping the Clorox wipes for the toilet, but it felt like overkill to use them all the time for everything else.  So I cut up a bunch of old and thready towels to use as designated bathroom rags.  I use these on the sink, the floor, and around the tub.

These started out as beautiful white and fluffy towels that I received for one of my bridal showers (everything has a story).  I had almost thrown them away, but I loved the idea of keeping them around a little longer, and getting to use them in a new way.

Why do I feel the need to explain the frog?

This was hand-painted by Joann, the woman who was the primary caregiver for my husband from infancy all the way to high school.  A friend of his grandmother, she offered to keep him during the weekdays, while my mother-law-worked.  Joann and her husband recently had to move from their home into an assisted living facility.  Their house and all their possessions were auctioned off this past summer.  This frog is something my husband remembers from the days he was a boy, where it was used as a door stop to hold the front door open on nice days.   This is a way to honor this woman’s memory, her art, and most of all her love and care.  It’s little things like this I want to keep in the house-things that mean something.

I told you everything has a story.

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So here we are at the end of January.

The upstairs bathroom has stayed consistently clean.  It’s not that I never cleaned it before, or that I never wanted to clean the bathroom.  It is just one of those ever many a things that needs to be done.  It’s a matter of assigning this task to a specific slot of time in the day.  It’s a matter of needing a direction, and then following through.

There are days when I think, “I don’t even need to clean the bathroom today.  It doesn’t even look dirty.”  And then I think, “The reason it doesn’t look dirty is because you’re cleaning it every morning.”  Except for Sunday mornings.  And then I think, “Oh. Right. That makes sense.  I guess this is actually making a difference.”

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in the zone

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.”
~Romans 12:1~

As a woman living in strange times, I can feel a bit lost.

where do I fit in?

a part of me, more and more, is realizing the need to accept the fact that everyone isn’t going to like me.  and they don’t need to.

the Grammar Nazis don’t need to like me.  the people who would be offended I used the word “Nazis” do not need to like me.

the people frightened by our new administration do not need to like me.  the girl i sat by in high school band does not need to like me.

(I logged into Facebook for a while, can you tell?)

even my family doesn’t need to like me all the time. I want my husband and children to like me, and they do, but even if they didn’t, it would be okay.

I am not alive to please these people.

God, however, is a different story.  I want God to be pleased me with me.  And I don’t just want God’s approval, I need it.  I need to know that God is pleased with me. My entire and eternal life depends on it.

my inner Lutheran immediately wants to respond. “Rebekah, don’t get self-righteous. don’t you know you can’t please God?  God is pleased with you because you are reconciled to God by the blood of Christ Jesus.”

To which I reply by giving my inner Lutheran a great big hug and say, “Thank you, inner Lutheran.  I love you so much.  This is why I need you in my life.”

Then I’m asking my dear inner Lutheran to hear me out a minute and give me a chance to talk this through. and if there are Lutherans out there who would have a problem with me wanting to please God, this too is okay.

the Lutherans don’t need to like me–not even the ones i would care about most.

(wow, I needed to say that.)

I serve only one Master.  I have one Father, one Brother, one Helper–the Triune God of heaven and earth.  He is the reason I breathe and the reason I have breath.  My life is devoted to His Highness, to His service.

The home is my place of service.  I used to think this made me a better person.  I don’t think this anymore.  It only makes me a blessed one.  I feel so privileged to be able to raise my children and build a home with my husband.

Home is where God has placed me.  Home is what God has given me.

If I am not concerned about more outside things at this point in my life, that is okay. I don’t need to be a pacifist and I don’t need to become an activist.  This gives me all the more time and attention to give to what is most important.

Eventually, I want to speak from more than just desire.

I want to speak from experience.

awkward silence

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He appeared to me again in a dream.

There was hurt in his eyes, and for the first time, I was able to get a good look at his face. Rumor told him I was hiding something.  I’d told him he was the first and the only, but in my dream, two others had heard the same story.  Like all the dreams where you try to run but can’t, I wanted to explain, but couldn’t.  There wasn’t enough time.

We were all in a church–me and my better half, the two witnesses, and the one who felt betrayed.  I was coming back from Communion, sad I would have to walk past him. When I was close enough to hear his side he spoke to me, “I regret ever believing that I meant something to you”.  There was hurt in his voice, but his eyes pained me most.

I had time for only two words.

“I don’t.”

I couldn’t have spoken more real or heartfelt words.  I had told him the truth.  And as soon as the words left my mouth, I looked to my left and saw my better half wince and stand up.  He grabbed his chest, looking at me in pain and disbelief.  The hurt was now in his eyes, and for the first time, I was able to get a good look at his face.

I was able to regret what I had done.

 

free time

We finished breakfast with time to spare.

This doesn’t happen very often, but today, we were all ready before schedule.  Breakfast is typically at 8:30 which leaves us with just enough time to eat without much rush before school.  Today we enjoyed our oatmeal and yogurt at 8 and finished somewhere around 8:20.  With approximately forty minutes to spare until nine, I told the kids they were free to go and use their time to make the world a better place.  They disappeared downstairs.

I finished painting the hallway purple.