How About Some Shorter Days

Christina_Shaw_Creationswap_Missindeedy

This has been a vacation week full of laughter and tears (goodbye routine!). We’ve been mending bodies that are trying desperately to stay healthy, enjoying family time in another state, and playing games that require a doctorate in astrophysics to understand.

It’s been fun.

Wouldn’t you agree, Sweetman?

Sweetman???

I think he went on a long quick Starbucks run.

Desperate times…

In addition to all of the fun and games, we’ve had a few new interesting conversations, too.

“I’m not gonna teacher you any more daddy.”, promised Sweetgirl.

“What’s that now?”, he asked.

“Teacher you! You KNOW, Daddy, drive you crazy.”, she explained.

“Ah, you mean torture me?”

“Yeah, that word.”

So she says…

And then, Sweetboy… He who is obsessed with All Things Maps and All Things Countries, presented us with this little list of Countries that interest him. Some, he’d like to visit.  Some, he hopes never to have to.

Sweetboy_Country_Info_Missindeedy

Beware the Puffer Fish!

As of press time, he informed me there are new ones he’d like to add.  And I’m guessing poor Papua New Guinea will be on the left; for, as we talked last night, he made sure to tell us that they wear scary looking masks there.

And, with that pertinent information, I know you are waiting on the edge of your seats for the newest additions. I can only imagine that you are especially eager to find out which column each additional country will land in.

He says they will be forthcoming.

Oh children… how I love you and treasure this time with you. And, to be quite honest, I’d prefer some shorter days and longer years, please.

Yes indeedy.

Panic Attack at the Dump

Snowy_Roads

The road I drive down to get to our town’s “Recycling Center” is bumpy and has potholes galore. There are a few sketchy turns that I have to be very careful of during the winter months when that awful black ice can be hiding.  (I haven’t taken out any trash cans lately, though, Ahab.) Whenever I make the turn to head down this street, I see that grooved pavement coming up and know that it will provide a little extra grace for my tires.

Although I know the road well, I should be alert when I’m winding my way down it. While I’m aware that if I take one of those curves too quickly, I could easily find myself kissing the trees just past the ditches along each side of the road, I sometimes zone out as I’m driving along.

As I made the turn onto this road the other day, I instantly noticed something different.  It took a few moments for it to register, though.

The road had been re-paved. It was all smooth black asphalt.

That should be a good thing.

I was horrified.

The first thought that came to mind, was that the road would be an unknown this winter.  The questions started whirling in my brain. Would it be more icy than usual? Would the snow be extra slippery instead of fitting neatly into the grooves and providing a little extra room for slipping and sliding? Would other people have taken notice of the newly paved road and be driving more cautiously? What if they didn’t?  Or weren’t?

And before I knew it, I’d worked myself up into a full-blown panic attack at the thought of visiting the dump in the winter.

Until…

I remembered The Message version of this verse: “So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

Traveling that road is a lot like life. Often, I know what to expect. But, I also know that there are unforeseeable dangers. Experience has taught me that there will even be some potholes that threaten to take the wheels right off! I must be alert and aware. 

Not scared, though.

We are not called to do life, scared.

We are called to be smart.

So, I’ll drive a little slower, and maybe even a little slower still, for those who may just be discovering that the road has been paved. And I’ll say a prayer of thanks to God for making all things new.

Finding the Treasure

You might not have realized this about me yet, but I march to the beat of my own drummer. And my Spring Cleaning Drummer often drums in the winter.

I’ve been itching to clear out a ton of few Things that have accumulated inside these four walls. As winter sets in, up here in New England, I’m bent on getting rid of All The Things that are taking up space in my house. Things have begun to fill up spaces that were meant to be filled with other things like hospitality and laughter and love.

Friends, who I now consider to be brilliant and best, introduced me to the world of local online yard sales.  You know the old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”?  Yeah. That. Oh, what I have been missing! Not for all that can be bought and found, but for all that can be sold and lost. I don’t have to set up a table and drag things out and wait for 5 hours while people kick tires and pick through things and haggle over prices. Oh, no I don’t! I can do it all from the comfort of my couch while wrapped up in a warm blanket and sipping hot chocolate. BOOM!

It makes me seven kinds of happy to clear out shelf after shelf of toys that no longer hold appeal, and gadgets that are no longer used, and clothing that I might fit into again “someday”.

As I take picture after picture of some Thing that needs to go, I’m made painfully aware of just how many Things we’ve collected over the years.  The books alone… mercy! In fact, the more books I go through, the more I realize just how bad our book addiction is. We’ve held on to more than our fair share of books because, well… BOOKS!

If you do the math (and I think we all know that I try not to, whenever possible), it adds up to a Whole Lotta Stuff.

Stuff that we don’t need anymore.

Or want anymore.

Or use anymore.

Here is where the spiritual boom really gets dropped on this thick-head of mine: the more I clear out of our home, the clearer my mind has become about priorities. I’m discovering that with less stuff to maintain, the more time I have for maintaining relationships.  I’m finding that the more I give away, the less I feel the need to hang on to.  And, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that emptied out is a much more comfortable feeling, for me, than filled up.

I’m embracing The Empty because this is where I find the treasure has been all along.

Matthew_6_21_Missindeedy

I can’t help but wonder if this is how we’re really meant to live – pared down and thankful for all the we do indeed have. As I chuck the stuff, I find the real treasure is more time to spend with The One and the ones I love. And, maybe this is why those who are wise encourage us to accumulate people, not things?

Because, that’s where I want to be.  I want to be with The One who created me and those He’s given me to love.

Treasure indeed.

Do NOT Go In There

You know how they tell you that you should never go to the grocery store hungry?  Well, you should also never go to Target with your wallet.

True story.

I walked in intending to pick up three things.  Soap (a noble endeavor, as everyone likes it when I shower), a gift card for my nephew (I started wrapping all of those presents I was talking about the other day and apparently, I forgot his!), and a new cereal that Sweetboy is fixated on (and, as luck would have it, only seems to be at Target right now).  Three things, people.

It did not go well.

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And this is only the top part of the cart.  You know… that little part where your baby/toddler’s sweet cheeks used to rest, but is now occupied by your purse?  Or, it was. Now, there’ no room at the Inn De La Tarjay Cart.

And, if you are an astute observer (as I’m sure all of you are), you’ll notice that I did indeed score the gift card.  And, buried in that pile in the actual cart is the cereal.  (We do not even want to consider what fresh hell awaits if I return without The Cereal.)

What I did forget, though?

The soap.

Yup.

Today, I’m so going to smell Peachy Keen.  Yes indeedy.  I’ll be using Sweetgirl’s 2-in-1 shampoo/body wash.  Because that’s what we’ve got on tap.

Sweetman’s just gonna have to fend for himself.

Beside, I can just run to Target to get some soap.

How To Be a Stellar Procrastinator

It’s been a rough couple of weeks around our house. We’ve had strep throat rip through the house twice.  Good times. And just prior to that, we sent The Nana and Ahab home with colds and ear infections.

We like to send people off with parting gifts.

On another note, being stuck in bed allowed me to get the majority of my Christmas shopping done early.  I felt pretty great about that until I dropped the kidlets off this morning and came home to a room full of boxes that now needed to be opened, the contents wrapped, and All Of The Boxes broken down and taken to the recycling center.  That just makes me six kinds of tired typing about it.  I think I’ll tackle that one tomorrow.

Or not.

I still have seven more days until they absolutely HAVE to be wrapped.  I am nothing if not a Stellar Procrastinator.  Oh, yes I am!

In the midst of all this mess, I borrowed Sparkles’ vacuum cleaner… and broke it.  You wouldn’t believe how if I told you (but it involves finally having a vacuum cleaner with enough power to say… clean the house, and being so ecstatic about it that I went into a very uncareful cleaning frenzy. Or something along those lines.)

The vacuum cleaner was so awesome, in fact, (and cheap enough that Sweetman agreed to it), that when I bought Sparkles a replacement, I bought one for myself, too.

I’ve been a vacuuming fool ever since.

Seriously.

A fool.

Because there are approximately 10 family members’ worth of gifts to be unboxed and wrapped.

But I don’t think I really need to vacuum in there today.