Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lent, Poetry, Being a SAHM, and why I don't exercise

This week's miscellany . . .


This was a low-key week.  My mom came to visit for a couple days, which we all love, and this weekend I took the kids home to my parents'- the land of no cell service, and 1998-speed internet- which once in a while is a good thing.  

Baby #3
Today I stopped in the drug store that I ran to nearly three years ago to pick up a pregnancy test.  It brought back how scared I was that day, and then how shocked to discover that I really was pregnant.  Not that we didn't possibly want another child someday, it just felt impossible at the time.  Jim had recently changed professions and wasn't yet getting full-time hours, we were living in a tiny apartment, I knew that I was in for another round of hyperemesis and was not mentally or practically prepared . . . and there were so many other overwhelming factors that at the time were all I could see . . . not the amazing gift of a third child at the end of the nine months, something that deep down I wanted more than anything.

In the drug store today I was wishing that I could go back and do it over, accept the bend in the road as God's beautiful surprise, anticipate the miracle with joy rather than fear.  

I hope that the next time life happens in a way I do not expect . . . in the next turn of events that feel impossible or unpleasant, I will look at Josie and cling to the truth of God's goodness, to believe that every surprise is working together for good.

SAHM
Something about Josie turning two has me a little anxious about what's next . . . as though I suddenly need to make a decision- which I don't . . . yet I know that we could breathe a little easier if I were contributing something financially . . . there are several job possibilities I've been thinking about, along with a million other considerations.

 Janet's post about being a Stay At Home Mom was encouraging.  I liked the comments on this post as well.
To me it’s that availability that defines motherhood. When all is said and done, this time when they are at home is a fairly brief period. They will graduate from high school in the blink of an eye, and I don’t want to have any regrets. As long as God provides, we’ll keep on as a single-income family. One key element in all of this is that “provision” is not necessarily “abundance”; we live on less, and there are plenty of things we cannot afford. But the operative assumption is that presence is worth more than stuff, and so far nothing has happened to convince us otherwise. 
Lent
I didn't write about it, but my Lenten "fast" this year was actually a work:  to commit to writing (my novel) every day.  I didn't always succeed, but this commitment allowed me to think of writing as a spiritual discipline rather than just a hobby.  I hope to continue with this daily offering.

Related,  this piece by Anne Lamott on Finding Time is so, so good (I believe I have posted this before):
 there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.
Then I bring up the bad news: You have to make time to do this.
This means you have to grasp that your manic forms of connectivity—cell phone, email, text, Twitter—steal most chances of lasting connection or amazement. That multitasking can argue a wasted life. That a close friendship is worth more than material success.

National Poetry Month
Today begins National Poetry Month.  I really liked Ruth's post, especially this:
"April is the cruelest month, mixing memory and desire," wrote T.S. Eliot. Maybe that's why April was chosen as National Poetry Month, since one of the best ways I know of to deal with memory and desire, and the havoc they can wreak on me, is by reading poetry. Why else do you think a whole section of the Bible - including the longest book - is dedicated to poetry?

Books
Gilead by Marilynn Robinson
This book took me quite a long time to get through, but it was magical.  Only fiction can contemplate God and life so luminously.
As I have told you, I myself was the good son, so to speak, the one who never left his father's house . . . I am one of those righteous for whom the rejoicing in heaven will be comparatively restrained.  And that's all right.  There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality.  It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal.  So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence?
Exercise
I remembered this week why I do not exercise.


i am a little church by E.E.Cummings
In honor of National Poetry Month, here is a delightful little poem sent to me from a friend:

i am a little church (no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april
my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying) children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness
around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection;
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope, and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains
i am a little church (far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish) at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing
winter by spring, i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever;
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

Wishing you a meaningful and blessed Holy Week!
Jess

4 comments:

Brandee Shafer said...

What a wealth of good stuff!

Deb Colarossi said...

I loved every last bit of this.
Thank you .

Janet said...

Ditto what the other commenters have said. Sign me up to pre-order your novel!

Fijufic said...

This is so cute....