A colleague of mine wrote a most encouraging article in our local newspaper, where he concluded by saying:
"Maybe it's a good time for all of us to have a garage sale of the mind and spirit, to sort out who we are and what we most profoundly want and need, to let go of some of the gaudy economic furniture that has cluttered our lives and our thinking."
It was a good reminder for me, learning to be content with less.
In case it hasn't been wholly evident from the last month's posts, I am not handling our lifestyle transition well. Today I resolved not to write much more about my complaints, before my attitude appears toxic, and because it is so much of the same song, second verse. It's true, I'm failing mightily at maintaining my footing in the wave of changes. Were it not for the bright stars twinkling on the horizon, and my faith in a God who hung those stars there for me, I know I would be in a serious emotional crisis.
And yet, daily there are reminders that I need to refresh my perspective. Just last night, as I stood in the kitchen surrounded by the scent of french toast baking, the sound of the girls playing nicely with each other, the touch of Jason's hand on my shoulder as he nudged past me to get the syrup, I was overcome with emotion. It's hard, this particular stage of life we are in, but it is not unbearable. It's exhausting, but it is not without rewards.
My daily perspective gets cluttered with reminders of how hard this all is. When Sydney shows me the house she has drawn--"green, just like our old house that we loved"--when she says, "I miss our church," when I realize we don't have a muffin pan at the apartment, when the girls wake each other up for the 30th night in a row because they aren't used to sharing a room: I break. I sob. I wonder how to be strong.
But then someone encourages me to keep going, a quote finds its way into my vision, a verse resonates in my soul, a voice, a hand grasped in mine, and I take stock of what needs to go. Real stuff, mental stuff, spiritual stuff. Abandon the complaints, the sharp tone of voice. A simpler faith flashes before me again, fits into my daily stride. "The opposite of faith," says Anne Lamott, "is not doubt; the opposite of faith is certainty."
There is faith. For me, there is always faith.
And so I start again.