Lovely is the best word to describe my day. Spending time with a new old friend (you know who you are) who is as comfortable as a much loved quilt on a cold day and whose book reviews are always spot on. Toss in the fact that she’s ok with Kraft mac n’ cheese and didn’t even flinch when I mentioned tossing in some Smokey Links and it’s a match made in heaven. In this quest to be real, it’s good to be around people with whom I’m comfortable being just so.
The Kevins are growing like weeds. And smelling like dirty socks, but they’re still cute so it’s ok. We purchased thirteen planning on the kids loving a couple to death before too long, but the kids have proven to be savvy chick wranglers and the Kevins seem to be amazingly resilient. The Kevins and I are an odd couple, them so dirty and me so put off by dirt. And animals. And anything whose leg skin resembles a snake’s. Dan declares we have the cleanest chicken brooder in any developed country and I just keep chasing kids around the house with hand sanitizer. Every time I run the vacuum they crap all over the place, but I figure I’m just desensitizing them for the noise level of this family.
Peter asked me really sweetly to go hunt snakes with him this afternoon and I said with alarmingly little shame, “No. Thanks, buddy, but no. Not a chance. I will probably never want to hunt snakes. I hate them. I know we don’t say hate, but I do. Hate them. I’m sorry.” And with that run-on sentence, I officially lost my bid for mother of the year. Oh well. At least I don’t have to hunt snakes. It’s still been a lovely day.
Oh, and my confession is that I’ve checked my blog far too many times since posting on Saturday. Seriously far too many times. And I had to pray about it this morning and God had to remind me that it’s not about me. It’s not about people leaving comments that make me feel good about myself or that sing accolades to my writing style or savvy use of grammar. It’s about Jesus and being ok with not being perfect but just trying to be best jar of clay I can be, cracks and all. And getting all my good feelings from Jesus. Counting on Him to tell me how great I am. And how selfish. And how distracted. And so and so. So, this is me. Being real.
So I’m cleaning the toilets just now and I get this strong impression that I’m supposed to drop the brush and go write, but Lucy is sleeping and the window of opportunity is so small, so I don’t right away. And the impression gets stronger and then I ask God what He wants me to write about. If it’s the one about crap that’s been cleverly mulling around in my mind for the last few days, you know because I’m cleaning the toilets and He’s like, “Forget the toilets, OK? Just go.” And then I remember that I’ve committed to being real and so I’m going to do that.
Peter is in Little Leagues. He’s at practice with the Man and Grant right now. He was in tears before he left because he thinks he’s the worst one on the team and so he didn’t want to go. And I forced him to because he’d made the commitment to do it and I think it’s important to follow through, but he left with tears. Peter, I think, has some performance anxiety issues. He hates being the center of attention unless he’s great at what he’s doing. And since I have anxiety issues, I think my genetics ordered that for him. And I ache. Grant has a hard time separating and now, Peter, and I think it’s all my fault and I ache. But then I remember years ago when I was discovering that I have an anxiety disorder and how it felt like the safest place in the world was with my mom because she’d struggled with depression and she gets it. I remember being a limp pile of brokenness in her kitchen. She was standing at the stove stirring something and she turned to me and said, “I’m afraid I did this to you.” I don’t think I’ve ever loved her more and I think how much harder this road would have been if I’d been alone, without people who get it, like my mom and the Man, who is amazing, and friends who pray. And I’m so thankful. See, my genetics may have ordered some nasty things for my kids, but it’s ordered some pretty great things too. And God has spent the last ten years making me gradually more ok with having an anxiety disorder maybe so that I can be that one really safe earthly place for my kids when/if they realize they struggle too. And I pray they don’t. I beg God to spare them that, but if He choses to meet them there, that way, then I praise Him too. Because I met God in the bathtub when I was really really sick and felt like I was going out of my mind and it was so good. So good.
That rotten Satan just preys on our weaknesses, real and perceived and today I think he’s quite satisfied that he managed to worry me for a bit. But I’m claiming this one for Christ, the author and perfecter of my faith. Game on.
funny post tomorrow. i promise.
My sister and brother in law in Norway have just completed their third and final round of In Vitro Fertilization. Would you join me in praying for the teeny baby who has been implanted? For you mothers, you know nothing in this world rivals holding your baby in your arms and understanding for real what it means to love and be loved completely. I yearn for her to have that. I find myself breathing out, “please” a thousand times a day as I look at my own kids. Our family is begging God to bless them with a baby and she has consented to let me ask you to do so also. Thank you.
Oh, in case you like to pray for people by name as I do, she is Veti and he is Ole-Kristian, but we call him O.K. and you can too.
The kids are in the shower playing with shaving cream and a foot scrubber since the Man officially put the k’bosh on tubs until April 22. Seriously. April 22. They’ve destroyed our bathroom for years each time they take a tub in there. We find water dripping off the walls, covering the floor, popping the tiles off the surround. We scream, threaten, rant and rage and it’s always the same messy story. So last night he posted a sign and made it official. Leaving me with wreckage today as I started enforcing it. Anyway, they are there and I’m here at the computer trying to ignore the email I’ve just received that says “Now is the Perfect Time to Visit Britain”. As if there were an imperfect time to visit Britain (more on my love of all things British later). And I’m thinking about my dad. Who wrote a book. Last week. For my whole life he’s not writing a book and suddenly, last week, blam-he’s written a book. And it’s about the 10 second rule which basically says that you should do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do and you should do it now. My dad has a system for everything, even obedience and perhaps someday you’ll be able to pick it up at Schuler’s and read about it. Anyway, it’s a good system and I’ve been trying to use it lately. Been trying to be more spiritually impulsive, because when I pause and think I lose the guts to do the next right thing and then the moment is over and I’ve missed out. And so has God.
So yesterday in the doctors office (more about this later) I sat across the waiting room from a young woman who looked sad. So sad. I can’t describe it, but I know I’ve looked like that before. Where every part of your body seems to say, “I give up. I got nothing left.” I hurt for her. And God was nudging me to tell her it’s going to be ok, but I didn’t know her and this doctors office is a Psychiatrist’s office and probably filled with all kinds of loony people like myself, so what in the world would keep her from thinking I’m completely off my rocker? So I didn’t say anything and my hands started to shake and I felt an anxiety attack coming on and before I knew it she was walking out the door.
I caught her in the hall and told her I didn’t know if she knows Jesus, but I had a strong impression that He wanted me to tell her that it was going to be ok. That she’d be ok. It was ok. And she thanked me hesitatingly and got into the elevator, putting an end to my daydream of her breaking down and talking to me and me having all the right answers and her leaving with Jesus. But the result part isn’t my deal. It’s Gods. The obedience part is my deal. So, I’m praying for her and leaving the results up to God and asking that He give me the courage to act more quickly next time because I’m pretty sure this was more like 7 minutes than 10 seconds. And I hate it when I have to ask my kids to do something a million times before they do it and I’m sorry I do that to God all the time. All the time.
And now since Lucy is squawking and we’re very likely out of hot water, I can spend the afternoon reminding myself that there are no perfectly obedient people, only a really forgiving God who is willing to teach me this lesson a million times before it sinks in.
I’d been toying with the idea of writing a book since long before my laptop crashed and erased everything I’d ever written, including the intro for said book. Friends and family have been encouraging me to write for as long as I can remember, possibly to get me to shut up, but more probably because they seem to like the Christmas letter I send each December and the lengthy emails I put out asking for prayer or a recipe or some other simple request it takes 1000 words to make. I’ve always modestly demurred when asked to publish a blog, believing that no one could possibly be interested in what I have to say and feeling that blogs are sooo self-centered. But since I was considering writing a book about myself, a magnum opus of arrogance, I thought I’d give it a try. So here it is. I’ll write in it as often as the spirit moves me and my four children, one husband and three and a half rotten fish swimming in their own poo allows me.
This title comes from an email I sent to some friends a while back asking for prayers for a rough patch I was going through. One of my friends (you know who you are) fell in love with it. So this is my ode to her. The deal is Jesus, working his grace in my life and me being such a completely imperfect vessel to contain it. So imperfect. I’m tired of being surrounded by hurting people who slap a smile on and sit in the pick up line at school looking for all the world as if the biggest hurdle they are facing is deciding wether to renew their Allure magazine (more on this) subscription or what insanely expensive herb to give their kid for his cough. I’m tired of being one of them. So, this is me. Being real.