Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Palace of Time

Recently our minister preached about the wisdom of taking a Sabbath. Carving out a "Palace of Time" in our busy, hectic week.

I jotted that phrase down in my notebook two weeks ago, resolving to carve out some time each week to write and reflect.

Then two weeks passed, and everything else on my "To Do" list but that phrase was crossed out.  And I thought, yup, I must be doing this wrong.  Because I've got two more "To Do" lists started across three more pages in my notebook. And no palaces in sight.

Ah ha, I thought, this is why Sabbath keepers have those strict rules! Otherwise, they might also just keep going and going, crossing things off their lists and writing new lists, on and on and on forever in their palaces of stuff.

Not that anyone would call our house a Palace right now.

Because this is our lawn furniture:

and this is our backyard:

It's very, very scenic. But if I wait for my house to be a Palace, I will wait forever.  This is the lesson I'm learning right now- to live in the moment, even in the moment is imperfect.  And I don't like that lesson. one. bit.

I'm also learning that trying to rush contractors is impossible. Also impossible: contractors staying on schedule and work being done by the 1st (or 2nd or 3rd) date mentioned. Work is done when it is done. Sometimes I come home and viola! the siding is (halfway) up! Or, look! Floors! And sometimes I come home and the house is dark and in the same unfinished condition as the day before.

Our poor little house. Its been through a lot.  A good friend said that she thinks of houses as alive. They need love and attention and care, just like animals or people. She said, it sounds like your house needs a lot of love.

Yes, yes, indeed.

Yesterday our new upstairs windows were installed. And the contractor discovered that none of the old windows had been screwed or nailed into place.  They were just balanced there, held in place by the molding.

And I thought, of course. That's just how I've been feeling lately: unmoored. Held in place but not rooted. Ready for any brisk window or strong blow to knock me out.

Time to build some palaces.

Last Sunday we began our (now annual!) celebration of Advent. The link to the simple worship we do as a family together is here.  This year Lily was once again extremely overanxious to blow out the candle. This year the promise of ice cream once again proved a strong motivator for happy participation.

A year ago I wrote this about waiting months and months for the phone to ring and then being at the dentist when our referral finally came.  Then a day later I didn't write about the best day of our lives, but instead wrote this to the President about gun control.  (He did write back, I'm happy to say. And I'm sure that unlike the other thousand letters written by his staff, MINE was penned by Obama himself.) Sadly, a year later our country is not much further along in protecting children (or adults) from guns.

So this is the season we are in.  One in which I try to root down into sandy, uneven, construction-debris filled-soil. In which I entertain torture my children with Christmas music.  In which I remember the extremes of joy and sadness that have occurred in Decembers past.  In which I struggle to create little palaces in time in which to just BE and not "to do".

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