Reclamation

The fullness and

Scope of this

Gulf Stream life

And I’m right saturated

Even bogged down while moved along

Regardless of my desire for calmer (stagnant?) waters
I’m the mom

For all practical purposes

But all I feel is to be like

“Butter spread over too much bread”*

*Bilbo Baggins

 

All these children’s questions

Charge the particles

In my like-an-old-school-tv’s

Snowy insides
Instead of jolting to life

Every audible word

Zaps already taut and sensitive fibers

And this tired old battery sparks only to grinding
Proof again

That mere machinations

Aren’t the source of life and

Just-function won’t sustain any of us
Without the proper mechanic’s lifeblood to

Recalibrate all these lifeless moving parts we’re all just

Bound for the junk heap
Overdue

I wheel myself in for inspection

Open the hood

Expose the innards

Wait for His assessment
It took me way longer to get here than it takes for Him to look

Surprisingly gentle, thorough, and quick

He fusses with something (I don’t see what) and
I expect the damage report – as ever –

To be that this time I’ve ridden too far, too long

Without this scrutiny, this help, this exposure
He bids me turn the ignition and

Expecting dead space

A deep resonant purr sounds instead.

Instead of more static misfires and sparks

A healthy hum of life and connection fires full and throaty.
Smiling

I shake my head in wonder and thanks and

Roll forward back into the stream

Anticipating a new horizon and steady current to

Carry me along
Thank You, Lord.

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Tasks… And a cheerful doing


Today’s the day I fell in love with food.

I’ve always loved eating food, but its endless preparation? Not so much. I haven’t exactly begrudged it, but I haven’t loved it.┬áThis is unfortunate because I make a lot of food and really often. But today, quite without warning, this thing-I-have-to-do-or-at-least-think-about-every-single-day took on a new delight.

I can’t take any credit. I’ve screwed enough things up to know the good things I experience have nothing to do with me. Today’s love affair – like any other – caught me quite off guard. And it wasn’t because everything went perfectly. Taken from another angle, you’d notice the loaves in the above picture didn’t rise quite as much as (I would consider) ideal. Also knowing my tendency towards fickle (moody?), I know that tomorrow might bring quite another conversation that may sound nothing like this one. I might talk about how sick I am of spending so much time in the kitchen. I might bemoan that no one seems to see the crumbs on the counter or cleans up the unidentified sticky spots on the floor. (In our house we have someone called Itwasntme who’s normally the offender.)

Anyway, this falling in love with one of my household tasks and all its quirks and (’til today) annoyances has happened before. Take laundry. One day I was retrieving the clothes from the washer for approximately the 11,000th time (I actually did the math this morning to roughly calculate how many loads of laundry I’ve done in my married/motherhood life. Some people count profit margins, I count clean clothes.) and I suddenly loved it. Where it had before seemed an endless chore it suddenly became a comforting task. It had a start and a finish. Sniff (the nose is the measuring rod in our house), gather, wash, dry, fold, put away. Repeat. At least 11, 600 times. (For those of you who are stuffy about all things green, would it help to know that I do full loads and dry on a clothesline whenever I can?). Laundry, I realized, leaves my mind free to roam while keeping my hands busy. And you know it allows for alone time (the others in my household do not share my Laundry-Doing-Is-Sacred perspective).

Maybe it happens when you do something so much that you either drown in a mundane-tasks-depression or you decide to love it. Though like I said, I don’t know that I decided so much as something just switched over. I will say that I was giving thanks intermittently during both processes. (Not that I can take credit for that. Prayer and its doing is yet another gift inspired by not-me.) Been prayerful. I see a trend is what I’m saying. Slime on the broccoli earns it a blessed place on the compost pile, sourdough not rising presents more as another bread lesson learned than as a baker-failure, sticky rice seemed, well it was still sticky but I didn’t mind it as much, I was even grateful for slimy pre-cooked chicken as it meant we were having chicken. Crumbs, instead of being an annoyance, reminded me that there’s a lot of life ’round these parts. This spills over to the endless piles of laundry, children’s chatter, 7 billion dishes to wash (and counting. Ok, not really, but it would be a REALLY big number), aggravating relationship troubles, lawn mower maintenance, frustrating coworkers – whatever our daily challenge(s). These aren’t just┬ásimple sucky things-to-get-through. They’re sacred ground spaces, and they’re everywhere if we have the eyes for it. I know that I’ve talked about this before, but it’s such a wonderful gift to see things with an eye towards redemption. No matter how messy, uncomfortable, or inconvenient our circumstances, there is a great sacredness – a great potential – in all of it. I’m not theorizing: giving thanks for things, maybe especially for that thing we first found unsavory, elevates the thing. Redeems it. Redeems us. And if there’s a gift, there must be a Giver. Thanking Him’s appropriate and it changes everything. He’s not stingy, people. Given a little attention, He does things like make tiny moments and seemingly insignificant tasks magical.

Y’know, like how we expected and hoped life would be.

Liberation (of motherhood and otherwise)

  
Sometimes I think I could stay here
All quiet and thoughtful up on this mountaintop
If only I could remain undisturbed

And left alone

THEN what a difference I’d make

And then I remember that I have you to thank

For all my best and worst rising to the surface

You help catalyze all my grandness and terribleness

And all this facing’s what makes a person whole

Without your love

Without you to love

I’d just be all face

And no facing

Void of depths

Too heavy on shallow heights

Thank you for all your yous

Meeting all my me.

And please, God, may my me (with You) liberate their mes as much as they’ve saved mine.

Expenditures of loving these all that fills right up:

Love’s liberation