It's the last evening of Spring Break. The girls are sleepy and tucked into their beds, rooms are neat, clothes laid out for tomorrow. I'm not quite as organized or accomplished as I thought I might be at this point in my spring break (the kitchen isn't quite put together yet, and there are random toys and some clutter in the living room, my school bag isn't quite organized for the week), but still I'm very grateful and content.
And so....a list (that doesn't even scratch the surface) of the blessings I've been grateful for in recent days...
- lazy mornings with coffee, and eggs, yorkshire pudding or pancakes, french toast...or even just an un-rushed bowl of oatmeal.
- the decadence of a blank schedule
- the time to just be
- conversations that Ryan and I have even been able to finish.
- time to just laugh together...and smile across the room or couch at each other.
- singing together with the girls in the evening, playing games with songs, singing parts, and trying rounds...seriously, it's a little 'von Trapp-ish' or maybe just 'Rudd-ish'...but it's been crazy fun
- finishing a book, actually the last book in a
series (by Madeleine L'Engle, of course) I've been working on (little by little) for....four years!?!? As much as I am happy to have finished, to have the stories completed inside of me....I will miss these stories and characters, the beauty of the storytelling, the wisdom and truth in the words. Happily, all five of them are neatly stacked on my bookshelf downstairs waiting to be reread someday (and discovered by my children!).
- a God that loves me more than I begin to understand.
- a world that is full of complexity and beauty and mystery.
- summer is coming
- long drives with windows down, schubert symphonies playing, and sleeping girls in the back seat
- ice cream
- Sophia figuring out the potty just a bit more (we had a few major successes this week)
- finishing another "Little House" book...The Long Winter. We read the last chapter (which was all about the arrival of spring and the relief from the near starvation and bitter cold of the long winter) sitting out on the deck in the sun, wrapped in a soft blanket, smelling the grass, listening to birds, eating apple slices. Maya and I agreed that we'd store that memory away for a long time
- making running a new habit (again)
- summer is coming
- open windows and billowing curtains
- a job, actually two, that I love....these make the return to the 'real world' a little easier
- getting to fall asleep and wake up next to my Love, knowing that he loves me
- waking up to little voices and big eyes peering into my face
- some new shoes
- brothers and sisters
- summer is coming
- living near beautiful beaches
- almost forgetting what snow looks and feels like (well, okay..that's an exaggeration)
- a warm and lovely home full of everything I need (and lots that I don't)
- a rare and delightfully long late night phone conversation (full of everything and nothing, planning, and laughing) with my dearest Mandy who now lives in the same STATE (and for a few months, the same town) as me!
Sometimes these moments of realization...this overwhelming sense of joy in life...can be hard to remember. This feeling of bliss may fade quickly (as the busy week actually begins). But the truest things that bring me joy won't actually fade, only my awareness of them.
As I age (I am almost 30 now), I fear that my heart is sometimes harder, more practical, sometimes even quiet. And my racing mind silences the quiet voice of the Spirit in my heart.
The truest things that are 'deepest in my soul' are less and less what I think about and live out. And the more pressing things, the worries, and urgent obligations crowd my mind so that in the few moments that I dream, I dream of silly, fleeting, foolish things. Things that are lovely but might be shallow. And the softness, the gratitude and passion are less evident in my life.
But the people and relationships that I've been given, (my daughters and my husband most of all) show me daily what love really is. They remind me to keep my heart softer...they help me to desire more than anything, to have a heart that is not conformed and hardened by my own selfishness and the world... but is being transformed by my Loving Rescuer and Creator.
This blogging thing always borders on narcissism, or 'navel gazing', and feeds the image-conscious affirmation seeker within me. Sometimes I think I really should just get a journal. But I can't write as well (or as fast) as I can type. Blogger just does something clarifying (and good, I think) for my brain. But in recent years (since Motherhood) I've devoted less time to this outlet. So for this reason, (and in an attempt to avoid (or feed?) this narcissistic tendency)...I mostly just post pictures and simple stories from our life, so that the people we love can see them (or not-- if they understandably don't really care to know what we had for breakfast).
Yet somehow this post turned into that introspective rambling that I used to do a lot more (when I had time). But if you've read this far, you must have loads of time...or you love me enough to put up with my level of craziness. So, thanks.