Friday, October 19, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Seeking What Suffices

Gianna (age 5) surprised me by copying this 1Corinthians verse.  It is a lovely reflection for days like this.

1.)  It is 10 am and it is pouring rain and quite dark outside.  I am not yet showered, still in my jammies, and the kids -- all of whom are ill and each of whom had a turn waking me up last night (along with my clumsy cat who knocked the alarm clock off my end table at 1 am) are watching another t.v. episode on Netflix.  This is a Bad Mommy morning.  This is the kind of day the anti-homeschool crowd would crow about.  I am swilling coffee while I sit here, hoping that the back-lit computer screen will initiate some interior “wake-up-motivation” sequence in my brain.  Still waiting...  Ah well.  

2.) Along with lack of sleep and the usual backload of laundry, I have been living without a working dishwasher since February.  Because I went out after dinner last night to shop for popsicles, ginger ale and clementines, the dishes and pans were forgotten on the table.  I realized this when I finally dragged myself off the couch to get a bowl of cereal, only to find there were no bowls...  This is no way to wake up.  The temptation to have an inner tantrum is strong in me.  I resist.  I give this to you, God!

3.)  I hadn’t planned on going this long without a dishwasher.  After learning that the cost to repair the old one would equal the cost of a new one, I’d embraced hand washing dishes as a Lenten sacrifice.  My husband wanted to buy a bow on eBay so that he could take the last bowhunting course before hunting season; I was happy to hold off on a new dishwasher so that he could fulfill his wilderness dreams. In fact, I was thrilled to do it.  It was so much better than giving up wine or chocolate...

 A few months later his car broke... twice.  Our submerged well pump died in August.  A week later I realized that my five-year-old didn’t fit in her toddler bed, and I realized: she isn’t a toddler!  Having royally botched the paint job on the free bed we’d gotten, we broke down and went to Bob’s for a factory painted new one...  

Long story short: Lent lasted longer than I’d anticipated.

4.)  These are the days that I ask myself: what would I do with these kids if I had a career?  Seriously!  I know other women do it, but how?  Do they bi-locate?  Do they have a magic elixer that gets the kids school-ready at 6 am?  I am mystified.  It is hard enough to wrap my mind around a healthy brood habitually pouring out into the world at the crack of dawn, but sick kids tend to slow one down.  

I bet those women all have working dishwashers.

5.) I just gave the boy a bath.  He’d eaten four popsicles this morning and was sticky as flypaper.  OK, now I feel like I’ve redeemed myself a little.  I mean, its only 11:00 am now.  The entire day is still ahead of us!

6.)  My husband tweets that he looks forward to sitting in a tree stand tomorrow.  I’ll admit that I am tempted to say, “No way!” to his hunting impulse, but he stayed home to visit with my family last weekend, and he has his myriad work week stresses, and he does spend time doing chores and kid activities when he gets home.  Just last night he decided to make water bombs with John Paul.  (I would have been perplexed by this activity, except for the fact that folding the paper is pretty complicated; the kids can’t replicate this on their own.  Yet.)  Daddy then released the paper water grenades onto the kitchen floor, to many squeals of delight (again: I would have been very put out by this activity, but the floor was a little cleaner once the puddles were wiped up.)

Anyway, we ordered a new dishwasher on Columbus Day, and Emre is installing it this weekend.  One good turn deserves another.  Happy hunting, honey.

7.)  I am still in my PJs, the dishes are still in the sink, my kids are still watching Netflix, and now I need to think about lunch. I'll admit the temptation to stress out/feel bad over child illnesses, a messy house, my unfinished to-do list.  I'll try not to give into such wallowing, though.  Instead:
Let nothing disturb thee;

Let nothing dismay thee:

All thing pass;

God never changes.

Patience attains
All that it strives for.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.

"Poem IX", in Complete Works St. Teresa of Avila (1963) edited by E. Allison Peers, Vol. 3, p. 288

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. "Long story short: Lent lasted longer than I’d anticipated." If I had a nickel for everytime I thought!

    My husband is a hunter too!

    1. Hi Jenny, I was just revisiting older posts, and found your comment! I am glad I gave you a chuckle that day. How has your husband's season been? We are still feasting on the one doe my husband got opening day; we had venison steak tonight! (I am hoping he'll get another after Christmas, because I am nearly out of the ground venison we love.)