Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let Me Count the Ways

I've been housebound for nine days now. Well, I suppose I did run down the street to get the mail on Saturday. And I did drop Drew off at his percussion class last week. But that doesn't count. For the most part, we've canceled lessons, invitations and events to tend fevers, coughs and sniffles.

The funny thing is, it wasn't until last night that I realized I hadn't gone out (for real) for over a week. Now if a mother of four can stay in one spot for a week and not notice, she's either delusional . . . or blessed.

I choose to think of myself as blessed.

It is a blessing to look at one's surroundings and see beauty, no matter how much laundry is piled up or how many legos are scattered across the floor. Now don't get me wrong. This isn't always an automatic reaction. Far too frequently, I fall into the trap of not seeing the beauty. And I miss out on the blessing.

God has infinite treasure to bestow . . . . Blind as we are,
we hinder God and stop the current of His graces.
(Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God)

I don't want to spend my days missing the blessings. I don't want to fester in stagnancy when the current of His graces is so close at hand. So I pray that my heart might focus on the beauty.

When I see the watercolors and the brushes and the newspaper all over the kitchen table, my first instinct is to cringe. But as I bring my little one to the sink and wash the colors from her pink hands, I choose to focus on that moment: I hold that hand -- that hand that won't be so tiny for long -- and I wash away the mess. I force the smudges, the mess, the ugly -- that in me which fails to see beauty -- I wash it down the drain. I kiss the paint-smeared forehead, knowing that I've just taken part in a blessed, holy moment. Again.

So even though I might be hanging out at home for a few more days, I will continue to look for beauty. Perhaps put a little twist on Elizabeth Barrett Browning's words: "How does He love me? Let me count the ways . . . ."

*little hands stroking my face
*Drew's first youth group retreat
*Avery baptizing herself while taking a bath
*exchanging emails when I'm housebound (especially with my mom and sister who agree to the challenge of sending only correspondence that rhymes. This week we moved on to haiku. Please feel free to join in.)
*fevers dropping
*a friend who shares Scripture: Isaiah 55
*words of joy!
*hot soup on a cold winter day
*foggy mornings
*sisters sharing a stack of library books
*reading with Bethie over a cup of tea
*Aidan's paper airplanes
*steady work -- God's faithfulness!
*sunshine after endless rain
*rearranging furniture
*hearing the front door, knowing he's home
*surprise hugs and kisses from my Aidan

I will tell of the kindness of the Lord,
the deeds for which He is to be praised . . .
yes, the many good things He has done.
Isaiah 63:7

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  1. looking at your blog
    seeing how your words speak life
    sisters thanks to Christ

  2. lol, I am not going to post in Haiku unfortunately....I'm no fun today I guess. ;)

    I just wanted to say that I am glad you see the blessings in day-to-day life! I hear so often from busy, tired Moms the negative aspects of motherhood and taking care of a home, and it makes me sad, even though I do know how much of a challenge these things can offer.

    I am taking a sick day today too (feeling icky myself), and will again tomorrow. I hope to be back to work by Thursday, but during this time I just can't help but dream and wish for the day where I too can be in my own home all day with my own little ones. I am so glad to have work, to bring much needed money into our home, but I yearn for the time where I won't have to worry about what my boss is thinking or planning, and whether I am going to have a job for the next year or not. I think it is wonderful that you choose to home-school and stay home as a mom, and I know your kids will have so many beautiful memories of their childhood at home.

    Thanks for another uplifting blog!

  3. Haiku or not, I so appreciate you ladies! Thank you for blessing me with your friendship :).



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