Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cities and Thrones and Powers

-by Rudyard Kipling

Cities and Thrones and Powers,
Stand in Time's eye,
Almost as long as flowers,
Which daily die:
But, as new buds put forth,
To glad new men,
Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth, The Cities rise again.

This season's Daffodil,
She never hears
What change, what chance, what chill,
Cut down last year's:
But with bold countenance,
And knowledge small,
Esteems her seven days' continuance
To be perpetual.

So time that is o'er kind,
To all that be,
Ordains us e'en as blind,
As bold as she:
That in our very death,
And burial sure,
Shadow to shadow, well-persuaded, saith, "See how our works endure!"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lent, reviewed

I don’t know that I can actually say that I observed Lent (which is kind of a weird thought to me anyway- I don’t think I’ve ever actually even considered observing Lent), but, if you remember a post from some time ago, I attempted to give up anxieties during the weeks preceding Easter. Now that time is over, and I am considering the success of my endeavor- or, rather, lack thereof.

No, I was not able to forgo worry during that time- not in the least. But it was not a complete waste of effort, because the experience revealed an important fact about myself: the enormous number of anxieties that I possess. Oh, my naïve soul had no idea.

There’s anxiety about my appearance. Anxiety about money (obviously). Numerous anxieties about my children, and numerous more about my husband, and then all the anxieties about my extended family.

There are worries about the house, the mail, the pets, the food, the gas prices (a separate anxiety then money in general), and then all the spiritual anxieties- do I read my bible enough? Do I really have faith? Am I ever going to mature spiritually, or will I be stuck in this rut of confusion and doubt for eternity?

Now, of course, I realize the foolishness of thinking I could shed anxieties as easily as I shed my winter coat as soon as the temperatures rise slightly above freezing. It is more like the shedding of stubborn weight- it takes a whole new lifestyle; changes in my thinking, in my habits, in my daily choices. It is a paradigm shift- from seeing myself as hopelessly battered back and forth by the vagaries of chance, struggling to do my best to maintain some sort of sense and order while protecting myself from the unknown future, to thoroughly accepting and taking comfort in the sovereignty and love of God, who easily moves people and events to bring about the best for my life, despite my own lack of faith and inabilities.

Cast your cares upon Him, for he cares for you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rehabbing Blues

David took the week off work, to spend some time with the family and also work on the house. Unfortunately, he was hit by the flu. But he has persevered through his illness and managed to get a few things done- fixing the downstairs toilet (hallelujah!), finishing (almost) a built-in bookshelf in the girls’ room, and cleaning out the room that is going to be our master bath and which is currently storage for all our unused crap that we have never bothered to sort through. We hope to start work on that final bathroom soon (which means, sometime within the next five years!)

I love living in a rehab. Yes, it does have its frustrations- but any living situation does. And it’s a great excuse for me not keep the house perfectly clean- it’s difficult to dust floorboards when you don’t have any :) But I think the best part of it is the potential. It’s like a fresh sheet of paper, or a new bolt of fabric. We can do whatever we want with our house, if we have the creativity and willingness to devote years of sweat and hard work! It’s a great learning experience too- you really figure out what you can and can’t live without. (When we moved in, we had only a few windows, no countertops, only one finished floor, no walls, no doors except on the one bathroom, etc. etc.)

But I do have to be honest here- will we ever do this again? Probably not! We would like to spend our time and money on something other than ‘the rehab’!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Broken Routine

For a variety of reasons, today did not follow the scheduled plans, and so I am lost and confused. I find that I am very dependent on my routine, or at least my plans. When they are changed I lose my sense of direction- I don’t know what to do, or when, and nothing gets accomplished (even important things) and I don’t know what to do with the children and feel like my day has been wasted.

It is good, though, because so much of my life is hinged upon accomplishing tasks, following my neat little schedule, and protecting myself from feeling useless or unprepared. These unfocused days shake that up a bit: I find myself wondering what really is important; why do I do the things I normally do; what is the purpose behind it all anyway? My usual routine guides me through my days without having to address these perplexing questions.

But I anxiously await the normalcy of tonight’s scheduled events…

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


….I’m not half the man I used to be (thankfully, since I’m a woman.)

Have I mentioned that I hate the Beatles? Well, anyway…

The girls spent the day with my mother yesterday, so the boys and I played hooky and had fun. Hardware store (for Stuart), pet store (for Malachi), grocery store (ok, that was just an errand we threw in. No one likes going to the grocery store!) and then the Loop, where we had snacks at the Bread Co and walked around a bit. It was a lot of fun to be with just the boys. Malachi was giddy with all the excitement. And the nicest thing about not having the toddler around is that I can go to the bathroom all by myself! Usually potty trips are such a huge ordeal.

The boys rounded off their fun day with ice cream at Crown Candy Kitchen and Star Wars before bedtime. I drank tea, researched our next road trip, and continued my plodding thru the Lord of the Rings. Since this is about the sixth time I’ve read it I feel no rush to get to the next chapter.

Note- never eat White Castle and Crown Candy Kitchen on the same day. No need for details, just trust me on this one! In fact, you should probably just never eat White Castle at all.

Today we will go to my bible study in the morning, then the Botanical Gardens. That trip is my fun choice, since we did all the boys’ fun stuff yesterday. The Gardens are my favorite spot in St. Louis (possibly in the world, though the rain forest and Old Jerusalem vie for first place as well. Oh, and New Orleans is pretty high up there, too.) David will pick up the girls on his way home from work tonight and our vacation will be over :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Housework Deficit Disorder

This is a malady that affects an unknown number of men and children worldwide. Typical symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Statements such as, “But I already do so much housework!” and “What housework? Where?”
  • Walking around large piles of objects on the floor without stopping to pick them up, put them away, or so forth
  • Complete oblivion and ingratitude to the amount of housework that the other members of the household manage to finish (while sick, tired, and already occupied with numerous other tasks)
  • Incessantly adding to the workload of the other members of the household because, of course, they have nothing better to do
  • Never finishing (or even remembering) the few tasks assigned to them, unless repeatedly reminded and/or nagged.

The only known cure is a good smack over the head with a frying pan.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Miracle Socks

Another busy weekend. Another extreme weather pattern. It’s déjà vu all over again.

Today, I want to discuss my socks. For years I’ve struggled with the 'sock issue'. I buy a pack of cheap Wal-mart socks. They get holes, they disappear, they end up in my drawer mismatched and unusable (Ok, I confess to frequently wearing mismatched socks. Most of the world doesn’t even possess socks, so how can I complain that mine don’t match?) I buy another pack of cheap socks. Same story. So I buy a pack of expensive socks.


That’s when I get really irritated. Hey, I can understand- you get what you pay for. So when my cheap socks get holey and lost, no big deal. But when the pricey socks decide to run off to Greenland on a weekend jaunt (along with all our good pens and important legal documents) while developing holes and matching up with a slightly lighter shade of black, I feel burned.

Finally, I took the plunge, and purchased three pairs of ugly, thick, expensive wool socks at Sam’s. And oh, do I love them! My feet are finally warm. After several washings, the socks are still hole-free. And best of all, they are impervious to water. Drip a bit of dishwater on my feet? In the old days, I’d have to immediately run upstairs and quickly change out of the squishy socks. Now, my nice wool socks simply sop up the bit of water and keep my feet cozy and dry. I even walked across a dusting of snow on our sidewalk so I could spread salt for our mail lady- it was just like a commercial. My feet didn't feel a thing.

Now you may be thinking- all this is true, but how can she put up with wearing such ugly socks? Where is her sense of fashion? (I have been wondering the same thing since I was about five. Just one of those little things I was not inherently endowed with.) So my answer to you is-

Walk a mile in my socks.