There has been a running list in my life of a few things that “I would never (own/do).” Marrying my husband broke my first “never.” There have been several other minor “nevers” in the mix that I’ve definitely broken like the proverbial, “When I have children I will NEVER.” A long with, “I will NEVER eat (livers/deer/etc.).” Browken, Ah say, Browken! (There goes a another… I will NEVER talk like Longhorn Leghorn.) *sigh*
Growing up my Mom had this horrendous vacuum cleaner called a Filter Queen. It was like pulling a roaring elephant around the house since the wheels made this terrible rubbing noise. It was even the same brownish tan color. It had the power to suck off your nose though and it was my favorite trick to suck up my sisters hair and make her laugh. Every once in a while I would get my Mom. Apparently, I’m not the only one who has a few fond memories. Retroist has a great picture of the one like my Mom had and even the hair dryer attachment which I had forgotten about. How I hated that felt pad that never stay on its’ attachment! How many times did I hit the corner of the door way as I pulled it around the house?
Fast forward 30 years until today. Two weeks ago my Oreck vacuum broke. It annoyed me tremendously by its ability to fall over when standing upright. The newness was gone. Wore out from years of use and children dropping it. I had it serviced a few years ago but it has never sucked the dirt up like it did when it was new. I gave up on it when it began blowing a huge cloud of dust instead of sucking it up.
You get it. No more details. The vacuum was browken, ah say, browken. *sigh* Determined NOT to have to put out a ton of money on a new vacuum I swore to buy the first used vacuum I found. Enter Facebook swap shop. Today. Right there. In the feed. A nine year old vacuum… you guessed it… a Filter Queen. I wasn’t too excited and confess I was about to scroll right past it until I saw the price. Forty bucks!! Only 40!!! Well, hallelujah, pass me the liver, deer, a husband from podunkia (who I really LOVE btw), and now a Filter Queen.
Fortunately, the newer models are prettier and the hardwood floor attachment has been discontinued and replaced with a better attachment. The wheels don’t make that annoying noise and it rolls easier than the one I grew up with. The boys and I happily vacuumed the house today after we got home and I was thankful to see it clean again.
And I had to laugh once again at our heavenly Father. What a sense of humor that He has! ”Lord, I need a vacuum cleaner and you know exactly what I need…” Did He get out the list of all the things I said I’d NEVER have and say… “I’ll give her this one.” I am SURE He does and I’m glad He does or I’d be missing out on a LOT of excellent gifts He has given me. (My husband for instance…)
Yesterday, I sent my sister an pin on Pinterest. How to make a ninja mask from a t-shirt.
She loves stuff like that and this morning she sent me this….
And I couldn’t stop laughing.
And the boys had to know why I was laughing…
And then they just had to know how it was done….
And they all ran to get a t-shirt and Sweet Pea had to as well…
And then Sugar Biscuit had to get it on it…
And now the house is filled with Ninja noises and for some reason one Sherlock Holmes…
CREATIVITY = SO MUCH BETTER THAN SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS!
Curiosity had driven Sugar Biscuit into the kitchen again. The sound of a thud and Sweet Pea’s exclamation jerked me out of my revelry. There it was, perfectly broken onto the floor, one of the eggs that was sitting on the counter. The desire to see, feel, and know what she hasn’t known before… all that stuff she is curious about that is up out of her reach. Just now she is getting tall enough to put the tips of her fingers on it.
And I sit here stagnant… bored… complacent. I have seen everything on my level and I’m no longer curious about it. I know it like I know the back of my hand. Until Sugar Biscuit broke the egg this morning it hasn’t even occurred to me to look up to the next level. As you get older the next level is always beyond you… I can remember as a teenager how fascinated I was with the roof. When my parents left I was often up there just sitting because I wanted to and I could. It didn’t matter that it was “out of my reach.” One full moon night I quietly left the house to sit on the roof of our storage building. It was fascinating, exhilarating, and peaceful aside from the few bumps in the half light until I realized it was our dog.
Sugar Biscuit has been grabbing her sister’s camera and trying to capture the world, her day, and I have no idea who she gets that from because I haven’t been doing as often as before. The Tireman points out that my camera is collecting dust on the shelf. A quiet symbol of my inner complacency slipping down the slope to melancholy inactivity. I stare at the walls, the floor, the children but I’m looking past them into nothing. It isn’t a surprise to find that my anxiety has found a home in my heart in which to return.
And I long to make our days different, full of laughter instead of irritation. It is easy to find things to be irritated about ALL day. I focus on the negative because I’ve been blinding myself to the positive for a long time. The news, the gossip, … every one’s dirty laundry for all to be seen… bad moods, drama, political issues, political anger, misdirected passions, grief, and loss… I’ve been looking at the negative far too long. It is effecting my life and affecting my household. I’m reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s statement,
“If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.”
After all, we’re all sinners aren’t we. Me, you, the world, your neighbor, your pastor, your friend, your spouse, your children… and it doesn’t take long for any of us to show it. My response to it all has been to withdraw. First, from the world, my neighbors, and now unintentionally I find myself wanting to withdraw from all the irritations of this house, from my family… but the problem isn’t with them. It is with me. I’ve taken my eyes off the things above… I’ve dropped my hands instead of stretching them to reach the next level… while I’ll never obtain it, maybe I can just get my fingertips on Christ enough to drop His grace around our feet on a daily basis.
Let brotherly love continue. 2 Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. 3 Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. 4 Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge immoral people and adulterers. 5 Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Don’t be led astray by various kinds of strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established by grace …. Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the gate, so that He might sanctify the people by His own blood. 13 Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing His disgrace. 14 For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore, through Him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips that confess His name. 16 Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.
~Hebrews 13: 1-16
The still cosmos is circling around me. The grey skies, the quiet house (yes, it actually happens here), the children off playing in the cold snow, the Tireman napping with his Sugar Biscuit on one very unusual Saturday afternoon.
So I’m sitting here quietly contemplating the mysteries of my life… Baby thoughts keep circling my brain while my womb is virtually dormant. My due date for our first miscarriage came and went this past week. I woke up crying one morning, I thought I was being weird. Wiping tears from my eyes and thinking to myself, “great! What kind of day is this going to be?” It was the word day that brought the date flooding to my mind. Staring out at the blank snow I thought, “Oh. That’s why.”
Celebrating the one month anniversary of my second miscarriage on the due date of the first one seemed enigmatic. “Why have You made it thus?” I query. But there is a peaceful silence and for some reason the poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken, stirs my mind.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth;Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear;Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.
From the shore – through observation- the sea often looks calm and placid. Standing there you can’t see the undercurrents that swirl and screaming jet fast undertows that can sink the best of swimmers. Faith can be like that too. The water can be smooth in appearance while the inner man struggles. You know what your response is supposed to be but underneath you are struggling in the undertow of the questions that go unanswered, fears for the future, understanding the mysteries of Jehovah.
The Tireman and our oldest daughter were cutting and stacking wood in the dark before some coming weather. In a moment of bad timing the Tireman threw a piece of wood just as she stepped forward and it caught her across the front of her face giving her a black eye. It scared the Tireman to pieces and of course it hurt our daughter terribly but she is a pretty tough girl. What she said to me yesterday entirely blew me away…. “Mom, it was almost worth it.” I look at her puzzled. How could a black eye be almost worth it?! “Daddy held me all the way home in his strong arm as I cried through my pain.” And she doesn’t even know how these words took a grip on my heart. “Daddy held me…through my pain…” Her words caused a rip tide in my soul… Does the lamb go back to the lion after it has been mauled?
His words in my ear… Not one sparrows falls to the ground apart from ME…. I discipline those I love… I love you more than many sparrows… I know the number of hairs on your head…. … even MY son Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered… I wrote your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world…
I tremble as the Master Gardener prunes my branches. As a gardener myself I am well aware of the beauty of pruning. The year I planted strawberries I pinched off all the flowers. Sure, I could have had a few strawberries that year but I knew if I pruned those flowers that I would encourage the roots of the plant to go deep and that the runners coming off of them would be massive. The following year I was rewarded with massive amounts of fruit ~ almost too much to keep up with.
And I find comfort that He will not let me go…That the Man who wounded me will hold me in His strong arm as I cry through my pain… and paradoxically I will love Him the more for it… and there will be fruit in abundance. I’ve known this to be true before in my life. I know it too be true even now… as promised the Lion will lay with the lamb and there will be peace.
Li’ora pats my face with her two little hands after I get home from town. She smiles and kisses me. “Home Now?” She did this three different times with a big smile on her face. She was so happy I was home. And it made me think… and I had to smile… that one day Aviva Joy (and others) will pat my face with two little hands and kiss me as she says “Home Now?”
Today Malachi quietly scooted up next to me on the bench while I was on the computer. This is unusual behavior and so I turned to look at him and he said, “How are you?” in his sweet little voice. It really made my day.
Yesterday, while I was meal planning (and mostly staring off into space fighting tears) Petra came up behind me and quietly started doing my hair. She really lifted my spirits with her gentle hands loving me and doing my hair.
In the early hours of the afternoon, on the last day of the year, under a fog of anesthesia, our second little one of the year was born. I didn’t get to hold her hand or see her face and I never will beyond the small ultrasound photo that is hers. Although, truly, I do not know if she was a girl, in my heart she would have been Aviva (spring) Joy – the only name Jerry and I tossed around a few weeks ago. She was supposed to be 18 weeks.
And it has become increasingly apparent that in this life that sometimes God gets ahead of your schedule. Your children go to the promised land before you get to. It seems out of the natural order; a thing not right. And He whispers, “my ways are not your ways…” I think of how Mary pondered all the things in her heart that the angel told her about Jesus. When Jesus was dying on the cross did she wonder at the turn of events? Was she caught off guard when the eternal God-Man died and left her here?
The year closed and Aviva’s life did too. It seemed somehow fitting that it happened that way. She joined Ahren, Emma’s twin, and Tiny Bear at the beginning of eternity. I can’t even begin to imagine the sights they are beholding and the joys they are sharing as they walk the streets of gold with God himself as the light of the city.
And today starts the first day of the New Year 2014. The turning of the page… the turning of my heart… the coming spring joy… and pondering all these things in my heart… the grace of God… His mercy… and little children that dance around His throne… dance little children, dance little children, dance around his throne…
Momma to Petra, “Well, I’m broke.” Sweat Pea (who is four) says, “Aw, why are you broke?” with a sad expression on her face. Quickly, I realize she has no idea that I am talking about money. She actually thinks Mom is broke.
Little Bear (12) , so excited about the new puppies, is eager to help take care of them too. I caught him hand expressing milk from the dog in order to be able to give the puppies milk too. (duh…)
Christmas is always a time of cheer and excitement but nothing can ever be so exciting as something unplanned and strange out in your back yard on Christmas day. Farmer Boy walked out to take care of his pigs out in the chicken pen only to find a beautiful Peacock (which turns out to be a peahen) walking around outside the cage. She has been hanging around outside since yesterday and she is very unapproachable. I’ve been wondering just how we might catch her and throw her inside the pen so that we can keep her.
I felt like it was significant that God decreed the appearance of a white Peahen in our yard on Christmas. So this past hour has found me researching Peafowl. And for a little bit of fun I will lay down a summary of the Peacock and its religious significance that I have found out.
The early and Medieval churches recognized Peafowl as one of the wonders of God’s creation. They often looked to the things God made to find the hand of the creator in His creation. This beautiful bird was held in high esteem as defined by the characteristics it displayed.
- Apparently, the flesh of a peacock does not decay after death. It reminds us that neither did Christ’s body decay after death.
- The tail of a Peacock has a multitude of eyes reminding us of the scripture in Revelation where there are four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.” It is my thought that this multitude of eyes could also remind us that the Lord sees all things. It makes us reflect on his omnipresence.
- Peafowl destroy poisonous snakes and consume them. The poison apparently has no effect upon them. This reminds us of what Christ did at the cross. He was the destroyer of the serpent and immune to its venom.
- Tail feathers of the bird were often used at Easter time to decorate the church and feasting tables.
- A white peahen would also represent holiness or purity.
So there you have it… a little post Christmas trivia.
BTW – If you are missing a white peahen you can find her at our house.
Here is one of the links where I read some of this stuff.