Preferable

It’s time to write again.

Because, quite frankly, there’s nothing else to do.

The two extroverts in the house are dying a slow death. The two introverts are thriving. It seems as though there should be a perfect balance to the family dynamic with that two plus two combination. There isn’t.

I’ve cleaned every surface that can possibly be cleaned. I’ve cleaned out almost every closet and shelf that exists in this house. Discipline has been enforced and promised for the minor squabbles that keep breaking out amidst all the Stir Crazy that is setting in within these four walls.

Each human is organizing their schedule for the pending remote learning reality we are all facing. Workspaces have been designated. Playlists have been curated. Movie cues have been arranged – by genre. Books are sorted and stacked in the most desired reading order. The pantry has been raided, sufficiently, thank-you-very-much. Exercise DVD’s are standing at the ready from all said raiding.

A 2,000 piece puzzle is currently spread out over the expanse of the dining room table. Every family member takes a stab at it at some point in the course of the day. Sometimes, we even sit and tackle it together.

Riveting information, I know.

Spotify has introduced me to more new music genres than I ever cared to know exist. Did you know that in addition to House music, there is also Tech house, Deep house, Tropical house and heaven-knows-whatever-other kinds of house music?

Netflix, Hulu, and PrimeVideo keep alerting me to shows/movies I might like. I’ve decided they don’t know me quite as well at they think they do.

My Amazon cart reminds me that I still have 48 books that I’ve saved for later, should I blast through the current 35 I have waiting for me on my nightstand. “Three down and 80 left to go,” I’ve taken to telling myself.

My meme game is strong. I’ve been flexing those social media cruising muscles and finding plenty to lift.

This self-imposed period of isolation has introduced more choice into my life than I ever wanted.

Too much, really.

Choice is exhausting.

A blinking cursor seems less overwhelming than deciding which pantry snack I’m going to have to ration today.

These aren’t even real problems, people.

Having no toilet paper, or food for your hungry kids, or job because your place of employment has been closed for the immediate future – those are real problems.

So, maybe I’m more overwhelmed because I’m faced with the realization that what I’m going through mentally doesn’t quite rank up there with Things to Be Worried Over, after all.

Blowing off a little steam on the page, or screen, seems a preferable outlet for my anxiety over this pandemic than another household chore, snack, movie, or book choice (Although, really, are there ever enough books to be read? Correct answer – no.)?

For now, anyway, the blinking cursor is definitely preferable.

Yes indeedy.

 

 

 

Always More Grace

Raise your hand if you knew what you wanted to do when you headed into college.

(Admit it.  Some of you started to raise your hand.)

I wasn’t among you lucky ducks that had it all figured out.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I wanted to figure it out, at all.  I just knew that there were parties to attend “in college” where there was no curfew, and no one would be waiting for you to get home to make sure you hadn’t broken any rules.

I never did, of course.

Except that one time.

And I never looked at wine coolers the same way again.

Ahab had a way of exacting discipline that involved no hands and no harsh words at all.  Just a lesson.

And you learned it!

Oh, yes you did.

In fact, the wine cooler lesson was a doozy.  At a ripe age, below the legal drinking one, I decided to imbibe.  It was a Friday night and I always followed the rules.  But, not this time! Oh no! I was gonna cut loose and live it up.

Except, I forgot that Ahab and I had planned a special father-daugher reef dive for that following Saturday morning.

And, if you’ve ever read any Ahab stories, you already know that means we were to be up and attem’ at an ungodly early hour.

Also, that you stick to a plan, come hell or high water.  And sometimes, it was only the high water that kept us from keeping it.

So, as I unlocked the door an hour later than curfew, clearly smelling of rule-breaking-behavior, he had only one question.

“Is your alarm set?”

I’m fairly certain that his eyes had a twinkle in them as he asked.

“I’m not sure I’ll be up for getting up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, Dad,” I warned him.

“Oh, you’ll be up,” he promised.

And that’s how it rolled.

As well as my stomach.

Every foot of boat chop that we pounded across that morning, on the way out to our dive spot, my stomach railed at me for the previous night’s activity. And he knew it.

I survived.

Barely.

But I can assure you – the lesson sank in.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart.  I remember hearing that once or a thousand times.

And God parents me much the same way that Ahab did.  He loves me despite.  He disciplines me even when it’s going to hurt him to see me in pain far more than it will hurt me to be disciplined.

And He gives.

Knowing that I can never give back as much. And that sometimes, I won’t even remember to give thanks.

Today, though, I find myself grateful.

Grateful for the grace galore that He heaps on me.

Grateful for another day to get up and breathe deeply and commit my way to Him.

And grateful for the opportunity to love my children the way He loves me.

Knowing, of course, that when I fail – because, I will – there will always be more grace waiting for me.

 Creationswap_Matt_Gruber_Grace_Abounds