Friday, April 22, 2011

Rebels in the House

Yesterday, rebellion almost won. In my house, in my heart and in my head, everything appeared broken. Yet today, as I write this, I smile. It is my intent for you to do so as well. My sweet husband always says, "Time is the great differentiator." And on this side of yesterday, I must agree!

Salome' is learning letters. In a heated moment, she has expressed her newly discovered abilities, "I have two words for you! N! O!" She also stated on one angry morning not long ago, "I am so mad, I want to hit someone, maybe even a mommy or a daddy!" Well, my passionate little Latino beauty says things I'd sometimes like to say!

The dictators of yesterday's mutiny were an unlikely crew, whose presence in my life is usually one of deep devotion and servitude. Yes, I will type this quietly so as not to rouse the computer's possible allied relationship. The culprits were the appliances! The lovely subject of laundry must be addressed first, I know it is generally uninteresting, except in commercials; then you'd be delighted to think of me smiling radiantly, in sleek white jeans surrounded by perfect piles of pristine linens in a laundry room the size of Maine. The boring reality is that yesterday the washer, perhaps in jealous competition with those TV- star appliances, took center stage in its own ballet...spinning and spinning and spinning without ceasing. Meanwhile my perfectly disastrous angels (dirtier then usual for the sake of my mood no doubt!) kept requiring multiple changes. The heaps of dirty clothes mounted beside the obstinate stainless-steel toaster who had given up the ghost last week. Instead of tossing him out, I'd perched him on the side of the laundry room sink, reticent to accept his untimely death. The unplugging of the toaster resembled the shutting down of water supply to the refrigerator, whose leaking tube had damaged the floor. Though this dilemma was several weeks old, yesterday, the crack through the refrigerator's fruit drawer split down the middle and a large, metal bolt appeared from nowhere leaving the door ajar. Lastly, the dishwasher, whose inadequacy had been ignored for far too long, joined the ranks of stubborn stainless-steel subjects and initiated her own strike. Certain that my desperate plea to the "Same Day" appliance service would result in an appointment the following week, I plopped into a chair to steal a moment for a reviving cup of coffee. There was no question of the loyalty of my beloved espresso maker. The first soothing sip was lovely, but that was it! A sad, little, brown lump floated on the surface, no reviving aroma for him. The fat, drowned fly had certainly had a rougher day than me! (Was that steam or snickering coming from my Benedict Arnold coffee maker?)

To my amazement, Mr. D, the appliance repair man, sauntered in at 4 o'clock. He seemed to have all the time in the world, and the confidence of an Old World sheriff. Zion, the resident bull-dog, met him face on with a kindly word, "Go Home!" But the steady professional only smiled broadly. I was glad he had no pocket doggie-treats like the mail carrier, for Zion had already eaten a bit of cat-food that day, to which he'd rubbed his tummy and said, "Yum!"

Mr. D tackled each problem with a steady hand and the wisdom of 36 years of job devotion. "Began when I was 12!" he stated proudly. My unruly dependents submitted to his abilities, and the live little rascals watched with great interest and subdued attitudes.

With everything working, a few replacement parts on order, and a bill I would pay only on job completion, Mr. D tipped his cap and drove off into the sunset.

It is good to be humbled by the mundane things I think I need. And it is a deep joy to be blessed by another's talents.
We need each other and God is good to create us so utterly dependent.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Today I stole away to a secret place-the sunny place, where quiet lives. The sun-soaked bench, tucked out of sight beckons me often, but I am a long lost friend. These moments are sweet reunion with solace, a wise and faithful companion. My days of mothering are vibrant; tugging on every emotion, enveloping my heart, as our children live out-loud. The dance is beautiful and confusing, I confess the two left feet often take the lead. It is then we fall, and to regain our footing requires soft words of repair for which I must dig deeply, from the Source far beyond my inadequacy. The Source is strong against the bombardment of chaos. Here now the solitude welcomes my spirit to pour out the struggle, from weary flesh, and sit and breathe. The gift of God's lavish grace drenches my parched soul as confession and repentance make room for the mending and renewal. God is good, available and waiting. He never sleeps or turns His face. He is in your solitude and in all that threatens to consume, He is the living hope and you are precious in his sight.