A Dark and Rainy Day

It’s one of those days when even though nothing specific is terribly wrong, everything in general seems terribly wrong and overwhelming.  Had one like that? It doesn’t help that our house, which has poor lighting and is usually dark inside, is even darker today with the cloud cover and rain outside.

Even as I try to get in touch with the joy I know is somewhere inside me, I can’t stop looking at the disorder, mess, and accumulation of things in my house that put me into a near catatonic state. Who would think that remodeling one small space in the house could affect the whole?  I wander from room to room looking for something that I can make a decision about.  Do I need it?  Can I part with it? Where will I put it if I keep it?  How do I get ride of it? Should I sell it or just put it out by the road to be picked up? How can an innocent jar of paper clips that I don’t need immobilize me? (Paper clips are good and these are the cute colored ones! I was given a donation of office items and I know someone needs them, but who?)

Please, please forgive me for cutting you down just when you had gotten beautiful.
Please, please forgive me for cutting you down just when you had gotten beautiful.

I went outside this morning thinking it would clear my mind and give me a better perspective.  I ended up pruning a beautiful bush that had finally gotten full size and was bearing beautiful yellow flowers.  Unfortunately it is planted right next to our AC unit and is a constant frustration to the men who service it.  A beautiful plant in the wrong place, along with countless others in the overgrown acre I call home.  That didn’t help my perspective much.

And even as the husband and I prayed over our day, I let him do most of the talking.  Today I am just not in touch with the part of my brain that houses joy.  It keeps me from being relational with God and with others.  I kind of shut down. I’m not proud of it.  I’m just tired and ruined and feeling my humanness, if that’s a word. My own superficial problems, the problems of those I love, the disease and fighting in the world, the homeless children, the anger, the injustice – I can’t keep up with it all.

Time is moving fast, and it really is a gift from God that things change.  I know I will feel different if I wait long enough, especially if I ask God for help in understanding where I fit in.  There is a reason, a purpose for my being here in this place, at this time.  Even as uncomfortable as it is to be revealing my gloomy self in a post, there is probably something behind the urge I felt to write this way. Even in this state of mind I know these things.

There is a God, there is a Jesus and nothing anyone says or thinks adequately explains them away.

There is real evidence that what I need to know about him is given to me in scripture.

Scripture tells me and my experience bears it out, that he is good and powerful and loves me.

I am safer with him, no matter what circumstances look like, than anywhere else.

And for now, on this dark, rainy day, I will keep those things in mind as I search for some meaningful activity to dispel the gloom.  My precious daughter in Seattle turns to housecleaning when she feels oppressed, so I will too and there’s no shortage of things to clean around here… just sayin’.

A to Z Challenge: Surprise!

It was a really pretty evening, the sun had gone down gloriously and the sky was now darkening with stars and moon getting brighter minute by minute.  They were on another of his goofy dates.  They had both stayed on campus that summer for their jobs and he had been coming up with casual, out-of-the-box ideas to get them together.  This time he had driven them in his green Econoline van up to a scenic overlook where there were a few cement picnic shelters.  So why the briefcase, she wondered?  He opened it up and drew out a bottle, two glasses and a candle and proceeded to set the table and pour the wine. One more thing from the briefcase – a small black box, which he opened and turned toward the candlelight.  Surprise!  Yes, it was.

It had been a tough, challenging winter.  Finances were tight and the eldest child needed some therapy that they just couldn’t afford.  It had been a nice break when her brother and his family came to visit. The mood lightened and they had fun, all of them, but they were gone now.  Everyday reality had been happening all day as she cleaned up the house, putting away the post-company clutter.  It was about time to quit for the night and she went into the bedroom to turn down the bed covers, only there was an envelope on the pillow.  She knew it would be a thank you note from her brother, and it was, but there was also a check inside for an exorbitant amount.  Surprise!

They were excited, pulling her out to the driveway, telling her to cover her eyes.  It was her birthday. Her daughter and friends had been gone for a while and now they were back and who knew what they had planned out for her?  She was led out to the truck parked in the driveway and given permission to look.  There it was!  She had seen and remarked about it any number of times as she drove past the abandoned building where the Loyal Order of the Moose had met.  It had been dangling, high on a pole by one chain at a rakish angle. And how had they ever gotten it down?! And now it was hers – a 8 foot long plastic sign with the word MOOSE in large red letters. Surprise!

She sort of viewed life as living from one surprise to the next.  There had been quite a few and she was not afraid to think there would be more.