And, in the newness of this pattern there's a stirring. Our home is stirring - projects long rejected in favor of something else are getting done. That must be why I'm so willing to share photos of under my kitchen sink with you...
This space. Everyday activity happening here - actually there's almost an alarming frequency with which we run the dishwasher, reach for a rag, pull out a fresh garbage liner - the kitchen is almost always open, and it's most often in need of systems analysis and improvement.
It's been so easy to ignore - because I'd rather chase somebody else's idea for how to deal with chaos under the sink than get into my own. I do research on the internet instead of preparing the proper dissertation on the condition of my home. I claim to be an eager student of this at home role, but in recent months have spent more time studying others instead of doing my homework.
So, the first obvious sign of change in this Lenten practice has been a clearing of my mind, a cleaning of my heart, and real practical household work getting done. I've been adapting the 40 Bags in 40 Days project my friend Sara has encouraged and instead of filling a bag, I've set specific tasks to be accomplished.
My camera has been begging for greater understanding. I think my mad photography skillz are improving, but I've so much to learn. I thought I'd start with reading the manual. I'll only say that this was not a natural move for me. Perhaps you'll get a chuckle when you study the picture below and I tell you that of the two manuals that came with the camera, I saved only one. Who needs two? And now. (four years later), my hasty dismissal is coming home to roost. Slow down, Laura, slow down.
ahem - I neither read nor speak Spanish!!!!
As we settle into the new normal of Firstborn son being absent from our every day I've turned to recipes, cooking, and the family table as a way of making connection and coming together. When we linger we tell stories, laugh, lean into the comfort of each other's presence, and are renewed.
Handiwork has kept us focused while we do school work. Our library basket has overflowed with books. And, there's been sweet fellowship around bowls of fragrant hot popcorn and piles of pets, people, and blankets on the couch while watching movies.
Seed catalogs arrive daily, and we overflow at the prospect of redeeming this farm again this season. And for this moment, we don't worry about pests, disease, blight, drought. We just anticipate with joy the fullness of the harvest.
And, as is my habit and delight, the harvest of thanksgiving and gifts this week has yielded its abundance.
February's Gifts: 46-55
- My father, breaking fast, struggling with the problem of pain, and finding comfort in God's Holy Word.
- Firstborn son's safe arrival.
- A medical emergency, Firstborn son available to help, serve, comfort.
- Bright foliage on new houseplant.
- A note on the counter, for my eyes only, from Weekend Farmer Husband.
- Teenage girls, gathered together to enjoy Downton Abbey
- Skype and real time video chats with loved ones far away
- Homemade Chai Tea- creamy, spicy, comforting, warming.
- Sunday afternoon nap.
- Friends who know my interests and care for my heart