Monday, July 30, 2007

Back to One

Anthony went back home on Saturday. We enjoyed his visit. Elise especially enjoyed having another child around. And now the house is very, very quiet.

Yesterday morning there were ten children in our church nursery. And seven of them were crying. Three extra adults ended up coming in to help, giving us a 3:5 adult to child ratio. We still had to call one grandparent back to pick up his grandson, unfortunately. The poor kid was just beside himself. I'm always disappointed when we have to call a parent to pick up their child. I would so much rather be able to comfort the child and have the child enjoy his time with us, but with the two and under crowd, that's just not always possible.

After surviving the nursery in the morning, Andy and I were tired. What do we do when we're tired? Why, rearrange furniture, of course! What, that's not relaxing? I had decided that I thought our living room and dining room were looking too cluttered, so we moved some bookshelves to other rooms and then rearranged the furniture that was left. I find rearranging furniture to be very refreshing and somewhat therapeutic. We're not entirely done yet (sorry, sweetheart), but I'm pleased with what we've done so far. And apparently the rearranging bug is going around, because when we dropped Elise off at a friend's house yesterday evening, my friend was rearranging her living room, too.

We have a nice, quiet week planned, which is to say that we have very little planned in general. I have some cleaning and home projects I'd like to do, and a few sewing projects that have been forming shape in my mind for a while, and I think Elise and I will check out the story hour at the library. I like my life. I have no complaints. I was just thinking about that the other night as Andy and I were sitting on the sofa watching Elise dance around the living room. So much of what we had hoped for when we were first married has already come to pass. When we were first married, Andy was in graduate school and I was working at a pediatric hospital. I think we both enjoyed our work well enough, but knew that we wanted it to be short-term. Andy liked school, but he has always wanted to work "in industry", engineering designs and products. I found healthcare to be very rewarding, but knew that I wanted to raise a family. And now, five years later, Andy has his industry job doing things that I can only sort of understand, and I am a stay at home mom. And even though we still have hopes and goals for the future, I was just thinking that if I make chocolate milk every day for the rest of my life, I'll be happy.

I know that we'll have worse days than today and we'll have better days than today, and I pray that we will be content no matter what kind of day we find ourselves in. Contentment is an idea that fascinates me. It's so interesting. To be content no matter the circumstance; to have your joy be completely independent of ambition or success; and yet not to give in to complacency. It's such a fascinating concept, so beautiful, and so countercultural. And I know that it's something I haven't fully grasped. I know that if I'm not content in all circumstances, then I'm not content at all, I'm merely pacified temporarily. And I know that - and this is the part that ties my stomach in knots and puts a lump in my throat - being content in the face of financial hardship or material disappointment is not enough. True contentment would require me to be content in the face of great loss. Would I be content without Andy or Elise? Just thinking about that brings tears to my eyes. I can't fathom life without either of them. But you know, the more I think about it, the more I believe that I need to be content right now, with the situation in which I find myself today. Today I have a healthy family, and I can rejoice in that and be content. If the day ever comes when, God forbid, I should have to live without one of them, I trust that God will provide the strength and peace required at that time. I don't need to imagine every possible hardship today and wonder whether I would be content with it. I just need to be content today.

Well, thanks for sticking with me while I hashed that out! Now I need to go and find some socks because my feet are very cold. I am content with my cold feet, but in order to not be complacent, I must find socks.

1 comment:

Busy Quilt Mom said...

Hi there, I just happened across your blog.

Contentment is something that I struggle with at times too, and I think, many Christians struggle with this. We either want more possessions, friends and in my case more time to myself (I have four kids 6 and under). Or we are unhappy with our family, church or have sickness or grief. But we must one day at a time lean on God our Father and look to Him for our joy!