Saturday, November 7, 2015

Rise and shine

Reading: I'm on a book binge lately. Wrapping up Wilkie Collins' Fallen Leaves--not my favorite but I'm still a loyal Wilkie fan to the core. Before that--Poldark, because, have you seen the show?? And while we're in the Brit Lit pot, I also recently read Gaskell's Mary Barton and Burnett's The Making of a Marchioness.
Watching: Since lending Far From the Madding Crowd to my SIL, I've had to look elsewhere for evening entertainment. Naturally, PBS's Masterpiece is a good fallback. This season it's Home Fires--I love the scenery and costumes but if I'm being honest, World War II era is not my favorite. Also, the first time I read the title I got it all wrong and I still mistakenly read this as Home FRIES. And did I mention Poldark? Let's just say I've watched all the episodes more than once. Lest you think I have no concept of life outside of BBC, the Blacklist is back and it's nice having a show that both the hubs and I enjoy watching together (without grumbling and complaining.)
Listening to: I love me some Bethel worship. Amanda Cook's solo album came out in September and it's fantastically good in a quiet sort of way. But my favorite song of all is "Pieces." I've had to stop playing it while working because it's just one of those stop everything and listen songs. Especially right before the 4 minute mark.

Speaking of pieces, my favorite mug shattered last month. It was a noble death--dashed upon rocks where it's pieces nestled among the fallen leaves. Although it certainly wasn't the most glamorous of circumstances--me racing around, returning from dropping the dog off at the boarder, trying to get all the kids and all the car things (so many car things with these children!) into the house before the school bus arrived. It was, as they say, like slow motion. Mr. Darcy's words fly out of my hands, my eyes grow wild, arms flailing in the still, autumn air. All too late.

The kids stopped their typical smacking/chasing/teasing routine and looked at me with the realization that, hey, we're not the only ones who break things! Then they roused their deepest sympathy and gathered around their mama patting my arm and giving me "huggies." Kids know things. And they know that we're coming to the end of an era. This isn't just about the loss of a beloved mug--there will be new mugs to drink out of ... and new kitchens to make coffee in, and new paths to front doors, and new buses to wait on.

Family walk. There was one picture of me but I forgot to change the camera settings, so all you can see is two glowing eyes in a dark bamboo forest.

And then there are people like me. People who love watching the leaves change and the temperature drop, who deep down inside crave adventure and newness, but who struggle to let go of what's comfortable. Who order the same thing off the menu every time because they're afraid something else won't be as good. Who get frustrated when their husbands try to sleep on the "other" side of the bed in hotels because that's "not how we do it." Who drink out of the same old mug every morning and never stop until some unforeseen catastrophe rips it out of their hands...

You see, it's our PCS season--our year to change jobs with the military--and I am two different people these days. I'm the Zillow fiend--tagging rental favorites all over the country. I'm running out of notebooks while keeping tabs on all the good churches and MOPS groups in 4 different states. I've mastered personalizing Google Maps to keep track of my favorite restaurants, grocery stores, school districts and preschools ... In short, I'm doing all the things to make me feel like I'm preparing when really, there's nothing I can do.

There is also the less adventurous but more sentimental version of myself. The one that studies the crayon drawings that keep showing up on our walls and wonders how I'll ever get this house ready to go on the market in a few months. The one that knows just which floorboards to tiptoe on at 5:30am so as not to wake the littles. The one that was nearly brought to tears during our family walk last weekend--admiring the beautiful foliage while thinking about possibly living in the land of eternal flip flops. I'm seeing all the things I've grown so used to and can't imagine living without. And I'm struggling to determine which girl I want to be.

If only we had coordinated clothing a little better I could have had my Christmas card photo completed!

In case you're wondering, I replaced the mug, because I need a good mug to rely on each morning. But not with the same one, because I'm working on being a person who embraces change (and also because I couldn't justify spending that much on a mug that's expected to undergo a cross-country move next year.) Instead I found this little guy at Target. You could say I've replaced Mr. Darcy with the prophet Isaiah:

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Isaiah 60:1

I also like to wear this shirt to send subliminal messages to the Coast Guard detailer.
It's been a good reminder, lately, that God's glory is on us even in our moments of "exile" in places we know are not our home. And also in the most temporary situations--the half-painted house with all the unraked leaves, one daughter's frustrating tantrums and the other one's mega-early risings, or this completely unglamorous sinus infection I've been battling for weeks on end.

And His glory doesn't change like the leaves. It's Zestimate isn't higher or lower depending on which side of the street you live on. It's not dependent on the climate, the school ratings, or the size of its yard. And you can't Google Map "The Glory."

Because He is constant, I can be at peace. And my job, wherever we are, is just to rise and shine.

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