Rituals

rituals

rituals

Space makes the way for such surprising things.

With all four young ladies now full time in public school my days are open.

Of course space allows for much more freedom during their time away from the nest- so I can hunker down, do those things that require more than a distracted frantic ten minutes of time.

That does not surprise me.

What surprises me is how my mornings, that now start at the black frigidness of 6:30am; softly awakening, then cajoling, then shaking, then threatening {always, always the last resort of threatening to finally get children to move!} has given way to simple rituals each morning. There is much more motivation to start the day well, with plenty of time for good nutrition and nice visual touches-when I know they will be away from me for the next seven hours.

I set the table pretty-

to set our hectic day

that will branch in different directions-

in the right direction.

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Green tea steeping in an old stoneware teapot

Bright oranges set atop of petite china serving bowls

Cut glass and sterling sugar cube server

Knock off silver cream server

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This I set every morning while the kettle heats up, my cup of coffee cools.

I keep my ear cocked to listen for girls who are supposed to be shrugging off PJs to slink into skinny jeans and Hunger Games tees and Percy Jackson hoodies (these being the only thing on their Christmas list this year…thank God for Amazon).

When they do stumble down in mixed matched fuzzy socks and bad hair I remind them like I do every morning to:

“drink up your tea…antioxidants”!

“Eat up your orange…Vitamin C”!

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Of course I always end up gulping down cold somewhat bitter tea, with way too much milk, and more than a whole orange worth of drying out citrus-y segments, afterwards.

But at least they got some of it in their system I tell myself.

Breakfast now takes roughly twice as long to clean up with all those serving dishes, and vintage tableware bling that I hand wash and put away.

I have thought several times over these last ten mornings of back- to -school- breakfast- for- four:

“this is too much time and work”

especially when it is 9:30 and I’m still wiping counters.

But then I think of how much I like it.

And maybe even more important, no scratch that, definitely more important

the memories and the atmosphere this ritual creates will soften the edges of those bad mornings, those harsh memories.

If it is true that it is the little things

that pull us down and stumble us

, then it has to be true that it is the little things

that will raise us up and keep us going strong.

Because we humans are slow learners and sinful.  All the cramming in of information and inspirational reading and trying, trying harder will never completely reverse this.

And we, the striving going crazy feeling guilty Christian Mamas, have to come to grips with this:

We are not Jesus.

Jesus being a one day intentional, struggling, choice that our children need to make.

I know too well, and lots of days it makes me sick and nervous at the same time, the day is coming when my daughters are going to ask:

“How can it be that Mom was always talking about Jesus, praying, reading her Bible, doing ministry, crying over orphans in Africa, but acted so hideous, got so mad, dropped the F-bomb, would shut the door and tell us to go away, yell at Dad and be mean…how can that be?”

It’s not an excuse for sin or lack of self control.

This:

“that which I ought not to do, I do, and that which I ought to do I do not”

but it is not a death sentence either.

I hope it will give space for the Holy Spirit to show them they are in need of The One who is perfect.

And then I hope they remember those cold mornings in ugly skinny jeans and antique tea pots and oranges and me saying

“Drink your tea, eat your oranges…antioxidants and Vitamin C” because what I am really saying is:

I Love You.

Cheers.

what time does

This post took me a span of five days to finish by the way.  Because life still is spinning at a fast, packed in, pace and taking time for slow nice things means most activities take days, not a few hours to complete. It still bothers me, makes me feel almost panicked, but I’m trying to not let it.

 

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