Makes Me Happy Monday : Gifts

My Friday night starts with a phone call. Joy has had a visitor over so she wasn’t ready to go to her dad’s house. She tells him that she will be ready at 6:00. By 6:20, Daddy hasn’t called or arrived so she calls him.

The conversation about when he would arrive was difficult. When she told him to be here at 6:00, he said, “I’ll just pick you up in the morn.” She talks him into coming on over. She hangs up and says to me, “I shouldn’t have to beg daddy to come get me.”

I mourn. But, I don’t say anything
to him
to her.
I just tell her that I am sorry.
Because I am.

He doesn’t always arrive when he says that he will, so she has learned to take her time getting ready for departure. Thus, he often has to wait for her when he does finally arrive. I have always been the disciplinarian.  But, I have made the decision to try to stay out of the turmoil between Joy and her daddy. So, I don’t say anything. I’ll let him handle this situation. As far as I have known, he has not gotten on to her … at least, not the point that she has made a change in promptness. This has been going on for months.

She and I are sitting on the couch together, she’s reading a book and I’m reading a blog. She calls. Among the conversation, he tells her, “It’s your turn to wait,” and he will arrive within an hour.

I can’t stand it anymore. I have to say something. I text him to let him know that she is hurt and that I will make sure that she is ready from now on. (Why do I always step in and try to “fix” things???) He gets angry with me and tells me that he was kidding with her. I am in the way. He does not want my help. But, I don’t want them to be strangers in a few years. I see it going that way … one injury after another. It’s already so with the man/child …. and it is heading that way with the girls.

I heard his tone. There was not jest in his voice. I would certainly recognize that in “Comedy.”  And, no matter what I heard, she was hurt by his statement ….
in fact, by both of them.

Ann’s book sits beside my bed. I’ve read three chapters.

When I ordered, Amazon asked me if this will be a gift?
I check “yes.”

It comes gift wrapped and I slowly tear away the paper of blue
to reach the words in black.

Sometimes it’s difficult to read Ann’s blog. I spent twenty years listening to speaker, teacher and preacher alike tell me of the high calling of motherhood. I believe my place is in the home with my children … living beside them, teaching them, leading them. I belong at home with a book in hand, papers scattered across the dining table, living my life with and beside my gifts … my blessings … my children.

I would rather be home.

But, I am in school. My home rattles empty off and on through the day. My youngest is off learning, among other things, “do unto others the way that they do to you.” I hate it.

So, while others are reading Ann’s tender words
and learning to embrace soap bubbles on lunch dishes and scattered legos,
I wonder, “How do I do this, Lord?”
How do I glorify you
as I do this thing that I know You don’t prefer ….
but that You allowed?
letting someone else raise my child?
leaving my home and my calling?
so that I can go off and make money? *shudders*
Lord, I have no dishes at lunch … no scattered legos.
And can you tell me, Lord, why did you allow this thing to happen?
I don’t yet understand.
So far … I’ve certainly learned one lesson:
I can’t fix everything.
Maybe that’s the point?

I almost feel “in the way” in my own story …
because I feel out of place….
an awkward feeling of “where do I stand?” prevails
while I watch a room full of graceful dancers … all these other women
working around me and appear to be completely comfortable.
I don’t know where I belong.
And, where I want to belong,
I am no longer allowed to tarry.

Comedy wrote me an email recently telling me
that I need to quit “playing the victim.”
victim: a person harmed, injured, or killed
as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
he said I was “playing the victim” …. does he think I am acting?
Because, yes, I was harmed as the result of an event.
I’ll accept that definition.

And like most crimes, it may take some time to recover.

As a homeschool Mom, I have always heard
for each year a child was in traditional school,
it will take them one month to adjust to being homeschooled.
If that can translate to marriage,
I still have plenty of time to adjust to divorce
after a twenty-five year marriage was lost.

Ahh, but the cover of Ann’s sweet book even reads,
“A dare to live fully ….. right where you are.”
Right .. where .. you .. are.

And maybe that is where the problem lies:
I don’t know where I am.

And so, I continue to read
one page at a time
and thank Him.

Before dawn, I walk back and forth from one side to the other
pulling taut the crumpled sheets
– lingering cozy on flannel that moments ago cocooned my body warm –
and I think on this book.
The dog is at my feet wishing me a good morning.
She must turn her head so as not to meet my knee with a thud
as I pass back and forth
back and forth.
“Yes, Dulcie, you are in the way.”

Or … maybe it’s me … maybe I am the one in the way.

So, here on this Makes Me Happy Monday,
I return to my list of One Thousand Gifts
and count the beauty in my days…..
…. I search for them …
and for my place in the snapshot of my life
for things aren’t easy yet
and I’m just not sure where I should stand.

Thank you, Lord, for …..

344. crumpled flannel sheets of warmth
345. a canine happy to see me in the morning
346. hot coals, evidence of the gift of wood
347. a daddy that still comes to pick her up
348. bird’s nests – a home made for babies out of tiny twigs
…. knitted together with love and persistence
349. the ability to read
350. creativity that spills into every area of my life
351. a van that continues to run (I say “thank you, Lord” daily)
352. after five months of payments, the van repair is finally paid in full
AND the van is still currently running!!! Praise God!
353. fellowship with friends over Raisin Bread French Toast and fresh fruit
354. a Sunday School teacher who always comes to class prepared
355. violinist accompaniment in the worship service at church
356. roadside trash pick up in my neighborhood
357. bulbs that I KNOW are moving within the ground
… as they get ready to burst forth with new life in bloom
358. chick-a-dee-dee-dees
359. echinacea – a gift to my immune system
360. witch hazel – another natural gift from God’s medicine cabinet
361. found objects from the paths of life
that I work into art for my walls
362. a playground within sight of my front porch
363. leaves on the floor by my door that let me know that
we have been healthy and traveling in and out throughout the weekend
364. (in)courage and bloom book club

Won’t you join us? As we read through Ann’s book, One Thousand Gifts?
(My deepest apologies.  I absolutely cannot get my links to be active this morning. But, you can go to:
http://www.incourage.me/category/bloom to find out more
or read Ann’s blog at http://www.aholyexperience.com)

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