We’ve been talking as a family about how God always answers our prayers, but sometimes it’s “not in the way you might desire.” For example, a gentleman might pray for more time to spend with his family…and the Lord might allow him to face an injury that keeps him from going to work. In our family recently, the oven we had blew up. Well…not really “blew up” but the element died and the whole thing shorted with a loud pop and then smoke came billowing from the oven door and my 8 and 14yo sons stood as soldiers ready for fire with extinguishers in their hands watching it.
Me? I just started laughing, because at that very moment my husband was walking a gentlemen out the door who had just helped repair a hole in a water pipe in the bathroom. We’re playing “whack a mole” as my friend says.
I was a little (ok…a lot) disappointed because although a new oven was in my “someday” plan it wasn’t Today’s Plan. I didn’t want to buy a new oven. I wanted the old one to last so I could buy–after our old house closes–a small swing set for my kids. But I was resigned. After all, one does need to bake scones on occasion. And boil water for tea. So we prayed for an oven.
Well. Turned out my husband shared this with our secretary. Turned out she had one she didn’t need anymore. Turned out we could have it. For free. Today. So off we went to bring said oven home and let’s just say that my attitude wasn’t the stuff of Gratitude and Appreciation when I saw the condition of it. The secretary apologized for its filth…she hasn’t used it in a year, and so it was needing a little TLC. I said it needed a blow torch to get it clean. And so there I was in all my Flaws (aka “sins”) murmuring about a FREE.STINKIN.WORKING.OVEN. And if that wasn’t enough, my dear children reminded me of the lesson I had expounded just days before about how “God answers prayers, but not always in the way you might desire”. Yes, your children will quote you someday if they haven’t begun already. Sometimes my Lord pokes at me like that. And then I sheepishly get on with life and buy oven cleaner.
My house is still a disaster. It feels like one of the square plastic puzzles where one room is finished, but in order to finish another room, that unfinished room needs to be emptied into the “finished” room and once again we deal with piles of boxes, clothing, books, STUFF cluttering up the hallways, floors and corners. I keep lamenting to my whack-a-mole friend (yes, she’s that pithy on a regular basis) that “I just want my house in orrrrrderrrrrrr….” And she just snaps back each time with a smile and, “You will.” I think at this point I’ll just start testing my theory that she will always say that. But don’t tell her that. I might just need to hear it regularly and often.
So, today I figured I needed to look past the Mess (capital M) and find some good in the nooks and crannies. I really do love this house; I love its flaws and even the projects we need to do. But it’s sure going to feel awesome to see my floors again and rest my eyes on orderly countertops. Here are some glimpses of the good things I need to think on instead. Cameras are good for that, you know.
Grapes are coming in along the fence lines. I’ve never grown grapes before; we hardly know when it’s ripe to pick. But what a lovely fruit to come into season at just this time, as the blackberries are fading in another summer’s memory. I’m reminded that as often as I lament my lack of a garden this year (I never claimed not to be a whiner), the Lord still saw fit to provide a harvest I didn’t plan on. Isn’t He good? Yes and amen and hallelujah thank you Jesus.
And, nope, not tired of our backyard mountain view yet. You’ll probably get a bazillion pictures of that over time 🙂 Nothing messy about this view!
We got two cords of wood delivered from a very nice gentleman and although I know we’ll need more, I have to say it feels really good to have the woodpile at least started. It feels better to me than money in the bank (which is a good thing if you know what I mean!). Just like having food growing, my children around me, and a roof over my head. Running water. Olive oil. Music. Make your own list 🙂
The kitty feels right at home. Having a kitty makes a home more homey, methinks. She’s not real bothered by the mess, either.
My children continue to bring in little flowers from here and there and pop them into jars on windowsills or dresser drawers or tables. I don’t know what I like more: the flowers themselves, or the fact that my children pick them to share with me. Probably the latter 🙂
My eldest daughter has taken on some chores on her own, like the laundry. She loves to hang them outside. I don’t blame her; it’s a nice, meditative work–in the sunshine and fresh air. She’s doing some sewing, too…like making these curtains for the bathroom out of extra shower curtain fabric. I think they’re so pretty.
I’m almost finished weaving a baby blanket. It’s a soft and nubby cotton with a ribbony blue trim on the edges. Sometimes I just gotta forget the call of the mess and just sit and weave. Or knit. Or doodle. And, yes, I missed a couple of threads in the reed, but the pattern is still good and the finished blanket will shrink a smidge and hide that spot well. So says the expert weaver I asked. Wish I could hide my own imperfections as easily as that.
The one thing I manage to do, other than prepare and eat three meals a day (that’s an accomplishment all on its own, don’t you think?), is make my bed every day. The rest of the house can look a mess, but if my bed is made, my eyes rest there instead of on the stuff I’m tripping over. I think everyone needs “the ONE chore” that makes for good feeling. Then, everything else is just frosting on the cake.
I really do want my house in order, but it is coming along. Just not in the timeframe I would desire (um…yesterday?). Instead, I feel the pressure of deadlines. Schoolwork to finish, winter to prepare for, a baby on the way. God knew it would be this way. He is teaching me and showing Himself in ways I would have missed otherwise. Maybe I didn’t–and don’t–desire the manner in which these prayers of mine have been and are being answered, but patience, experience, hope and strength are apparently more important to Him to cultivate in me than in my having a tidy home right now.