This month isn’t going the way I’d planned. Yes – it’s been fantastically surprising in some ways…We’re up to 115 women in the Bible Study I love so much and wrote about here just days ago!…But on other fronts, I personally have felt – encumbered. And I have been strenuously trying to not become impatient with the state of things, but it’s hard. Because the truth of the matter is, it’s not things that are weighing me down, it’s my expectations about them. I’ll explain.
More than two weeks ago, for the second time in the 13 years since we’ve lived in this house, the racks on my side of the master closest literally fell off the walls, leaving gaping holes and a mess of clothing, shoes, and purses all over the floor. We decided it was time for a complete re-do, and ordered a new ‘closet system’ – to be installed tomorrow. We’ll be glad we did the appropriate planning when it’s finished but meantime, we’ve been stepping over piles upon piles, and right now, I’m sick of looking at the stuff. I’m now thinking that one single pair of jeans, shoes, and a t-shirt sounds like a ‘good enough’ wardrobe. And my own attitude is getting on my nerves.
Secondly, in the last week of September, I decided to move my blog to a new host and to overhaul its design entirely (I was blind to how hard this would be), while also challenging myself to write every day for the month of October. My husband – the voice of reason – gently reminded me that blog pieces can be short. Very short. But did I listen? No. Instead, I jotted down a list of stories I want to tell, each requiring at least an hour of writing time, and this month? Well, let’s just say I didn’t take a good look at my calendar before I announced, “Challenge Accepted.”
Am I impatient to have things fall into line – Clothes re-hung? Blog posts spaced perfectly? Photos just-so? All of life’s wrinkles removed?
But should I expect them to be done immediately?
We all say, “No way!” and yet, I know I’m not the only one who is banging her head against the wall day after day, trying to put square pegs into round holes on a schedule that’s partially dictated by the incessant needs of three school-aged kids.
This is what happens when I let the flesh lead. When I let the desires of my ego, brain, and self-centered drive for perfection and order (as if I could make ‘perfect’ happen!) take over my days. I end up in a state of misery. And it’s rather pathetic actually, because I have caviar problems for sure, and no one but me cares about the disarray I’m staring at day after day. Or so I think.
Last Thursday, I was entering Safeway to pick up orange juice and bread when I saw my friend’s name pop up on my phone. It was a notice that she had commented on my blog. I knew I couldn’t read what she’d said until I got home (another glitch since the transition), but I felt a wave of relief just seeing her name – as if we were in fellowship right there. I thought about her as I bought my items, and then I realized I could use the Starbucks card she’d given me in Safeway to take a break and sit for a moment. I can’t recall the last time I sat still to enjoy something so delicious. That White Chocolate Mocha was heaven sent.
On Thursday, in a tiny way, God stepped in to remind me that He sees it all. The messes. The frustrations. The way I’ve held it in. The way I’ve taken it out – on myself. And that savored gift of coffee from a friend was His way of telling me – ‘You’re holding on a little too tight, Gretchen. Come, follow me. Again.’
Feeling refreshed, I took a walk and a photo of this rose. And I realized it was time to relinquish my expectations for this month. My plan was not His plan, and His plan is the better one for me.
If I write, I write for His glory. If my house is tidy, it’s for the benefit of my family and their well-being, and that goal is best achieved while I’m seeing my role as wife, mother, and homemaker in its proper perspective, as my blessed vocation.
My obsessions with trivial concerns rob me of joy and the life He came to give me. I thank God for His reminders, and for the people He’s placed in my path, to show me that the journey is meant to include moments of care and tenderness to self.