Monday, August 31, 2009

I Should Be Doing The Dishes

But instead I will post another photo retrospective (since I have no new photos to post).

Two Years Ago
One Year Ago

And three years ago...I guess that's when we used to take pictures of the dog I often now forget I have several hours out of the day.

Sam is at a board meeting and the kitchen is scary messy and emitting a barrage of smells between the compost and the garbage that would warrant a walk out to the alley, but it is dark now so it's going to have to wait until morning.

On Saturday and Sunday, my dad, Lisa and Grandma Barb came up for a visit. The children were charming, my second stab at pizza went relatively well, and Lisa and Dad spoiled us with many treats, including an enormous peach cobbler that I just ate for the second time today.

On Friday night, I was in that "the world is a horrible, messed up place- how can I even bear to live another day" kind of mood, which was too bad, because Friday nights are supposed to be our take-out dinner, kick back and enjoy that we made it through another week date nights, but I totally killed it with my sour mood and story after story from the news of psycho people ruining perfectly nice peoples' lives. Blah. I think I realize that when I feel that way, conversation is the worst antedote. I need to jump on the elliptical trainer and watch one of the three movies I own on DVD. And that does not include the Die Hard series, which was a gift to Sam years ago, because I don't think Die Hard would be what the doctor ordered for that kind of a mood. Not for someone like me.

But then Grandma Barb comes and realligns my perspective. She is so good at that. And I don't think she really tries. It's just her nature. Because she says, yes, yes, that's all true. And that's all here. But God is so much bigger. And there is so much that's beyond our understanding. And there is this mysterious act of trusting God that we practice. And then she tells me about the generations of our family that have trusted God and what they trusted God through and though I am moved and amazed, the cynical part of me wants to resist and protest and say, "but, but, BUT!!!" But in my heart, I sense that she's right. I understand about zero in regards to what that means, but then again I don't understand much of anything. I am truly astonished at how little I comprehend, practical, mechanical, political, historical or spiritual. I understand that food makes me happy, my children make me laugh, I am indescribably lucky to be married to Sam and a list of other things that I guess entails what I am grateful for, but I really don't understand much of anything, including my oven which I can only turn on half the time.

And yet, there is this peace that passes all understanding and if I am not bathed in it, it is only because I stepped out of the tub. The older I get, the more aware I am that there is always a choice - to surrender or to tighten my grip. To embrace the mystery or claim to have the answers.

Grandma is wise and full of the richness you would hope to see in a woman who has surrendered over and over to the Lord for 80+ years, but when I am with her, I see a clear picture of what Jesus meant when he said we are to have faith like a child. There is nothing simple about Grandma, but she repeatedly comes to the conclusion that she doesn't have the answers, but she knows who does. And there is rest in that. Even if the headlines make you want to suffocate in your own despair.

By the way, on Saturday while Sam and I were putting the girls down for a nap, Manny took off all his clothes and made quite a show of trying to fit his penis on the baseball tee for the visiting family. Since he was really little, I have talked to him every time we have guests about being a good host. I guess being a good host is open to interpretation.


Carmen Goetschius said...

Such a moving post.... concluding with the penis tree, which was the unexpected, hilarious twist. I feel the same way most days. Overwhelmed and certain I know nothing about nothing. This is why writing sermons is hard. I have to begin to block out this "what do I know?!?!" mentality. Thank God for your grandma. Thank God. Truly. Thank God for God!

My heart feels a trillion times better than when I talked to you last. I'll write more when I have time. Love and miss you, Ang!

Mark said...

The Die Hard movies might be the perfect antidote for melancholy. There must certainly be a sense of control in the midst of chaos and power over uncertainty that comes with blowing s*** up. Right?

On a more serious note, your post made me think of my new favorite U2 lyrics:

“But while I’m getting over certainty / Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady”

God doesn't need us to be certain, he just wants us to trust him.