pools and pumpkins

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It happens every September in these parts.

Hot and humid give way to cool and breezy.

“I’m bored” gives way to “I have too much homework”.

In the span of less than five days that switch has gone into effect in this home.

However, unlike the flip of a light, it is not neat and effortless; so nominal we don’t even take note.

Much more than weather patterns and “back to school” routines my life has abruptly switched gears.  My last week of work was their first week of school. Their first week of school is a now a county over,  where they all attend the same small rural school.  It is where my husband works.

“Dad” is now the grumpy bus driver hollering over his shoulder to “quiet down”! and “sit down”! as he glances in the rear view mirror to see limbs flying. The first day of school last week was in the 90s and humid. Today, a week into school the girls all have on hoodies and jeans and I can see my breath in front of me on my morning jog.

The silence and openness of my days:

It feels like a healing balm and yet it sets in a faint panic.

A niggling in the way back recesses of my mind of:

what now?

What is this going to look like?

Like cleaning out the attic or switching dentists.  You know it has to be done, but it is not urgent. The more you tell yourself its far off, the more you find yourself feeling annoyed and tired  and asking how do I start?  That is how it feels because  I don’t know exactly how I am supposed to be spending my days.  I don’t know exactly how the kids going to school a near hour away is going to play out over the school year.  As with the majority of decisions Tim and I make, our reason for doing so does not fall into neat boxes of obvious and practical, or how our peers do things.

I am only on day two of officially not working and I am already feeling indulgent about taking this time off. It was very much a mental health issue, my leaving of work; and no one knows how to put a finger on that. Everyone at work assumed I got a new job. Everyone assumes our kids live in the district where they attend school.

You leave your job for a better one.

You send your kids to school across town.

Words like “deep rest” and “better atmosphere” do not easily flow from our mouths. I find myself talking fast with a lot of teenage-like fillers of “ya know…” and  “its just kinda like…”

Then my husband’s boss told him the school needs substitute teachers. It even pays better. And better yet, being a state institution it is going to take awhile for the paper work and back ground checks to clear so it will be a month away before I start.

Really a providential answer.

I found myself being so relived I could tell people a normal answer for once!

These long sunny breezy September days will find me:

Jogging in the morning.

Writing.

Sorting out the thousands of photos frozen in our computer and adding some more.

I can actually clean my house, not manage the clutter and clothes.

I plan and make meals, not dole stuff on plates.

I start counseling again, to put a fine comb through my brain, as it were, so maybe I can have some answers, and not just feel guilty.

Extra time and breathing room will allow me to think through changes in my diet, research nutritional options.

Space in my day will give space for other people. Especially people I would not normally hang out with. Because I know that a cloistered uninterrupted lifestyle will feed the beast of my depression and introspective thinking.

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I am looking at my nice, positive, pro-active list.  Like bullets on a to do list of How To Fix Leah  and wonder:

if I have it all figured out, why is this panic still in the inky shadows?

I think because it is still not smooth. I still do not feel relief and peace for very long. My husband does not get it. Isn’t my life now instantly better and easy? All my ducks are in a row a I have plan for every area of my life.

And yet,

It still feels dumb and indulgent, and I still get in bad moods, and quiet frankly, new situations and good plans do not make problems go away do they?

My own fallenness and this world’s keep marching along.

And both Tim and myself are trying to wrestle the good out of it, by believing in faith our acts will bring more blessings from Our Lord for our entire family.

Will produce testimony that Christ is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Every since deciding to put our house on the market this Spring and knowing our kids will be going to a different school district irregardless of whether we sell or not, I have felt dis-jointed. Quitting work just dis-located things further. Awkward in my own skin. I talk a good talk and write a good yarn about faith, but every day I find myself so tired of the struggle. My tiredness and lack of tangible fruit asks me a thousand times a day:

what is the point?

are you sure you are doing it right?

are you sure it is not just YOU?

So, I ask the Lord:

“is it always going to be like this”?

“will I forever be waiting and hopeful things will get better”?

“what if it is just this broken woman and world”?

I had to feed our ten rabbits this morning. By the time I got back there the sun had completely warmed the morning fog away.  Our pool is still open; bright blue and littered in the first fallen leaves.  Our pumpkins have spilled into our still green backyard lawn; perfectly round and rosy orange. Such a weird jux -a- position.  Summer with Fall creeping into it, in our pool. And Fall pushing its ways into Summer, in our pumpkins.

Usually when things like this {you know all metaphoric and nature-y} I take a picture. It is, after all, perfect blog fodder. But I decided not to because quite frankly our backyard is not very pretty.  And there was no way to possibly capture my pool and my pumpkins without zooming out and revealing our messy, stuff-strewn backyard.

Because we like, live here. You know…kinda like a family.

But I don’t want to show it for some reason.  I want to macro zoom and capture:

“peaceful fluttering leaves floating upon blue tranquil lapping water. And the promising swell of healthy sanguine gourds offset by verdant green grass with the morning dew still clinging to the blades”

You get the point I am making right?

For some reason I think my life, each season, each lesson, should be poetically beautiful and attractive to the eye, if it is good.  After all, we all know the bad or sinful, or lazy or wrong looks ugly because it produces ugly things, right? I think it is, but that does not mean doing the opposite will produce the  instant opposite. But that is what we are taught and what we expect.

Doesn’t the Bible teach us that sin is pleasurable for a season, and then brings forth death?  Why do I think doing the right thing won’t be hard or uncomfortable or even ugly for a season, to bring forth eventual life? {Life being the good}.

I should of been okay with the all the cluttery stuff and our dirt patches in our grass being in the picture.  Its presence is the evidence of life  being lived  here!

We all rant and rave about how this air-brushed- photo -shopped- selfies  business is so detrimental to our youth.  But we Sunday-school-attending-Bible-quoting- adults still want to project  and believe we have the right to attain a perfectly- air-brushed- edit-out-the-flaws self-life.

This is a long, circulatory, rambling post, but I sure hope it helps someone see that it is okay to not be okay. To not have all the answers, or not feeling all that jolly today because when you pray all you get is: ” be obedient and have faith”, again.

Because, as always, when we get down to the nitty gritty of what Jesus really taught, of how He really lived, it was not about Him, but He who sent Him to live on the planet. You and I are on the same plain of experience of the Messiah  if you feel disjointed with a not so attractive, a hard situation or life in general. Keep obeying anyway.

We live to show others not only is He real.  He can be trusted.

Cheers.

broken not shatterd

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