3: characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements
August 29, 2012
This morning before I got out of bed for the day, I read Celtic Daily Prayer's morning office. One of the verses for today was Proverbs 20:24, which says, "A person's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?" Given how chaotic these last weeks have been, I found this verse comforting. What I didn't realize was that it was prophetic as well. Because I didn't know at 7 AM how my day would go. At that point, I was naive enough to think it might go as imagined.
At 9, I put in a call to our pest management company. In the 10 years we have lived here, I've generally seen them only once per year to check for termites and get the thumbs-up all clear. But today I needed to ask about the tiny moths that were appearing with alarming frequency around the house. The answer I got was unexpected: pantry pests. In preparation for the noon appointment, I should empty the pantry and throw away anything not in a can, glass jar or sealed plastic. I had thought I would spend my morning teaching K about dimes and nickels and reviewing mixed numbers and ratios with A and B. I didn't. I cleaned out the pantry. Four trash bags later, we ran through our math lessons so that we could leave the house for the afternoon and avoid the post-pest control fumes.
Instead of spending the afternoon packing or reading or doing laundry, we killed time at the library, waiting for B's 3:00 piano lesson, A's 4:30 dance class and our home to air out.
I don't think of myself as a control freak. In fact, I often find it comforting to remember that ultimately I am not the one in control. But I am wear and over-loaded and overwhelmed. And I am finding it increasingly difficult to recharge and rest when I don't have full access to my home - how can an introvert recharge without being able to go home to do so? Can my home serve as both a place to rejuvenate and the source of the bulk of my current workload?
I know that flexibility is key. That's one reason I've drastically paired down our school day to hold just a few warm-up activities, a math lesson and a reading list chock full of classics. (First up? Great Expectations for A, Edgar Allan Poe short stories for B and The Princess and the Goblin for K.)
I am trying to be flexible - to not try so desperately to understand my own way - to accept the paradox that I am not in control but must still do the work. Our house must still get packed up. I am trying to bend, but not break. If I can't manage to do so gracefully, I hope those around me will understand.
After writing this post yesterday at the library, we all prayed last night for a calm day today. Mercifully, we have had one. We drastically reduced our already-pared-down school plan, watched last night's So You Think You Can Dance and packed up six bookcases' worth of books. While I don't feel exactly rested, I don't feel as out of control as I did yesterday. So thankful to God for mercies, big and small.