26 July 2010

A Contented Heart

A high school friend of mine was a farmer's kid, too.  But for some reason he decided to work for my dad the summer he graduated.  And near the end of his employment he contrasted my family's farm with his own.  He said that on his farm they bought new.  New trucks, the latest phones/CB's, good tractors.  And our farm, well, we kept things around past their expiration date!

I can attest to this, with great and undying respect for my Papa.  More than once I sat on a tractor feeling like a complete idiot because I couldn't get it started.  Only to have my dad drive through 30 minutes later with an, "Oh yeah, you have to lift the hood and connect these two wires, then push the pedal 3 times, put it in reverse and then turn the key."  No wonder.

Lately I've been feeling the pressure.  Let's get real and call it stress.  My house just doesn't measure up.  Life is chaotic, and I just cannot get it all accomplished and keep everything looking beautiful and in working order. 

Take my kitchen...the coffee pot, for instance.  I woke up one morning only to find the carafe in the trash.  But when I looked closely in desperation for my morning caffeine fix, I found that it was only in 2 pieces!  Nothing a little duct tape wouldn't fix until I got around to buying a new one...it's been at least two months.

Then there's the crockpot...needs to be set on an upside down pan because the heating rod is too long and burns holes in my nice corian countertop.  And the lid, now also fit with lovely looking duct tape, cannot even be bumped in the slightest or it'll lose suction.

Just a couple of examples of my feelings of inadequacy and chaos.  But you know, the other day as I was thinking about these mild stressors, I started laughingThis is the way I am.  I like to make things last as long as possible and there's no Bible verse saying that I can't.  It's not sin.  It's a way of being and I kind of like it.  Any way I can be a bit like my wonderful Dad is good in my estimation. 

Am I content with today for what today is?

Because if I'm not content now with the chaos and disorder and too much to do then I'm guessing when I'm old and frail I won't be content when all is orderly and there is nothing left for me to do.

That amazing lady described in Proverbs 31 keeps coming to my mind.  Especially the phrase "she can laugh at the days to come."
I've always assumed it to mean she had a years' worth of dinners in her freezer, tons of cash in her money market account, and enough clothing to dress her family and neighbors for the next 10 years.  But I'm reevaluating that interpretation.  She'd probably experienced famine.  She didn't have electricity, preservatives, or polyester.

She laughed because she knew what the Apostle Paul knew "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Both of them knew who they believed in.  They believed, yes, even trusted fully in the One who holds the future and made them who they were.

I'm walking to the basement pantry to get a can of fruit, berating myself  for not being wise enough with my grocery money and time to keep fresh fruit in the house in the height of summer.  Then stopping myself and smiling because a day or two with canned fruit is just fine...it's more than enough and it's who I am.  But as I return to the kitchen I hear a knock.  A neighbor holds out a bag of fresh blueberries from her yard.

Just a little reminder of Who's in charge and always watching.  I look up and smile a thanks and I look ahead and laugh at the days to come.

And more gratitude to God this week, #84-106

*Reading about Ruth with my kids
*Conner leading everyone in "5 deep breaths"
*Boys building a "high-winged plane" with donated scrap wood
*Kids chasing pheasants

*Noticing the beautiful Clematis
*Boy babying his Delphinium
*Friends who stop by and bless
*A listening husband
*Baby blue jays and boys with deep mama hearts and great devotion to them
*Evening walks in summer's fading sunlight
*Neighbors helping neighbors
*Eyes sparkling with mischief
*Hambone soup
*New life
*Healthy boys with creative energy
*Praying for erring child
*Traveling mercies
*Special trip to see grandparents and aunt
*Harbor in summer

*Beautiful ladies in summer dress shivering in evening breezes
*Quiet Sunday afternoons
*Hugs from Timmy
*Family resemblances
*Grace upon undeserved grace in my life as I stumble and fail over and over
photos: visit to gig harbor, the tree farm
script: proverbs 31.25, philippians 4. 12, 13

1 comment:

Katie said...

I sure love you this way! The duct tape way! Becuase now I have someone to relate to and I love getting a good chuckle in at the pictures. I think I might copy the one of the coffee pot and make it my screen saver :)
Love you!