Thursday, August 30, 2012


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.


EJN said...

Amen, he is, indeed, merciful. I am glad that your day was calm - a testament to Christ - love that... and sorry about your pantry.
have a good day tomorrow.

Jacqueline said...

I found you from your signature on ENHA's listserv. I, too, am an introvert and have been trying to find balance between workload and solitude (if that's possible w/ 4 kids). We are renovating our home and have been since June. There is a spare room filled with unpacked boxes and it seems as everything is unorganized and misplaced. I'm reminded that He is control and there are things that I need to "let go". His mercies are new every morning. Thank you for sharing the Scripture. It is going on my fridge!