Life has been hectic around here. And I guess that's why the posts have been far and few between. It's a season - not a waning of interest. I want to post, but finding time has been hard to do. As it is, it's almost midnight.
I seem to catch myself coming and going these days. Do you do that? I tend to demand more and more of myself the more I do. Tidy up, stay on top of picture taking, work, make list after list of chores or things to buy or journal new discoveries of Natalie's, read, pray, workout, and the list goes on. And yet, my laundry is un-done, my floors have not been scrubbed, my bathrooms are in desperate need of a cleaning and I haven't worked out in who knows how long. And yet I WANT to accomplish these things. It's as if I'll get all the to-do's scratched off for one single moment, breathe a sigh of "ahhhh" and then the dishes will start piling up in the sink yet again. Does it ever go away?
I fear becoming a slave to the "grown-up stuff" in life. The stuff that will always be there: the need to pay bills, clean the house, make dinner, work, yada yada. I LIKE that stuff. Doing it makes me feel better about myself. (Isn't that silly?) And what does it really add up to? Will they say at my funeral, "she really kept a clean house"? Or, "she always had a healthy dinner on the table"? Seriously. I KNOW that what life's about is really WHO I am at the core. It's about finding time to let God transform me. Because I'm learning, that transformation isn't something that just happens without me allowing it to happen.
I've been reading lately an excerpt from Henri Nouwen's writings regarding solitude. He says that it's the only time that we may hear God's voice in the midst of our daily storm. He talks about shutting out the flood of attention grabbing thoughts that come charging in when we just try to sit silently before the Lord - without motive but to listen. I've found that it's incredibly hard to do. My mind wanders to a task list within 10 seconds of having cleared it. A five minute stretch seems to be an eternity. And yet, I think Henri is on to something. If I find my identity in the "grownup stuff", where is there room for God? How am I to become what He wants? I don't think it means I stop paying the bills, making dinner or cleaning my house. But it does mean that I stop to focus (even if for 5-10 minutes) and clear my mind to hear the Lord and then meditate on His Word. I think eventually that I'll be able to silence the "task lists" during that time and just be in His presence.
So that's what I'm mulling over these day. Other than that, Kevin and I both are traveling a lot this fall. Kevin is away this week, and then again in a few weeks. I leave the end of the month and then am basically gone for all of November. It's going to really be hard to be away from the family for so long, but I absolutely LOVE my normal 30 hr/wk schedule and the ability to work from home so I guess this intermittent travel is a good tradeoff.
We got a new nanny for Natalie. She's a DELIGHT and a total and complete God-send (especially with all this travel coming up for me). We had to fire the nanny before her for having a criminal record and not alerting us. She had been arrested for stealing three weeks prior to starting with us and when confronted told us that she "kinda forgot about that". Nice. The new lady (J), is a Christian woman who attends a nearby church and drops her kids off at the school there every day. She is SO patient with Natalie and does so many creative things with her. We feel so blessed.
Well its after midnight, I ought to be off to bed. Here's a toothy grin to send you on your way. Look at that gap between the front two teeth. You could fit a straw in there - poor kid!