1. New, real, full length post coming soon. Promise.
2. My husband impetuously changes his facial hair like I used to cut my hair in college.
3. My two favorite quotes from yesterday: (each of these took place at the church service for the developmentally disabled that I attend with my DD ward on Tuesday nights, said by two of my favorite attendees)
-“Oh, this is the hug I’ve been waiting for!” said one gentleman while hugging his girlfriend. “This is the hug I’ve been waiting for all this time!”
-After asking me when my baby was due and hearing that, while I’m not due for a few weeks, she could come anytime, this young man nodded wisely and said, “So your water’s been breaking then?”
I walk into the gas station on the corner of 25th and College, its walls and tiles a dingy white, perhaps stained by the the cigarettes whose stale smoke I can still smell clinging to every orifice. I look at the girl in front of me in line, and am slightly sickened but somehow not surprised to see that she is sucking on a baby’s pacifier. She’s at least 25 years old. Her hair is cropped close to her head, her features flaccid and unemotional, although I can feel her staring at me, perhaps to see my reaction to her oral fixation. She and the man she’s with, a slight fellow maybe half her size with layers of masking tape wrapped around the arms of his plastic glasses frames, purchase six boxes of black and milds, then saunter away behind me somewhere to my left. They don’t leave. I step up to the counter, my twenty dollar bill already out. “Boy or girl?” the boy behind the counter asks me, his accent ambiguous. I notice the smell of weed at the same time I look into his red rimmed eyes and see his lazy slur of a smile. Surprised by his question, in a way that only a first time mother should be at 35 weeks, I involuntarily put my hands to my stomach before answering. “Girl,” I say. “Pretty soon too.” He smiles, nods barely discernably. I feel awkward, and would like to make conversation if only to return the friendly gesture. Instead, “I’m on pump 7,” I say, extending my money toward him. “How much?” he asks. “Twenty,” I answer, then “Have a nice day,” after he nods once again and takes my money. After I leave the building and fuel my car, still feeling vaguely disconcerted, the cigarillo purchasers finally exit the gas station and begin walking across the parking lot. I have a brief, hysterical vision of them taking me hostage or threatening to steal my baby, and wonder what I would do. First I figure I can take them, then try to pretend that I didn’t just think that, but still. In the greenish twilight of this woebegone gas station, it seems somehow that anything is possible.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how worry works. You can’t worry about just one thing. It’s impossible. Think about it. Without fail, you start out worrying about something immediate, say, the money situation through the end of the month. It’s doable, but things are going to be a little tight. But within minutes of letting yourself worry about tomorrow, or this week, you add on next month, this summer, the job situation post baby, the school schedule in the fall, and all of a sudden, without quite knowing how you got there, you start to panic that your husband will die and how will you ever get everything together after that?!
Oh, worrying and its irrational descent into hysteria. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so restricting, time-wasting, and joy-killing. It makes Jesus’ words on anxiety ring ever truer in my worry-ridden ears (see Matthew 6:25-34). Even if you don’t believe the whole bit about a God who feeds the birds and will provide for your needs, you can’t help but relate to these words “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” or these: “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Common sense, right? I am missing out on the very life about which I worry, when I succumb to anxiety and fretting.
“Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”–you know that’s true. So, what can I do today? Well, I just owned our tax returns and got those filed, and I can clean up around the apartment and reduce some visual chaos. I can read a little, maybe play some music. As for worrying? Come on. Cleaning is too much for me, let alone the next eight months of my life. Ridiculous Rebekah. Do what you can today, and leave the rest up to the Lord. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (since I do believe the whole bit about a God who feeds birds and me too) and everything else? It’ll work out. Maybe not always how I want, but certainly better than if I waste all the time between now and then worrying.
Don’t be worried about tomorrow. Tomorrow can worry about itself.
Before I say anything else this morning, I would like to offer a word of advice to all those out there who cook, and who cook within a time frame that has very little wiggle room. Never, I repeat, never believe a recipe that calls itself simple or easy, when it involves stuffing manicotti. Simple it may be, easy it could be, but time consuming it most definitely will be, and you will run out of time. That is all.
Now, some of you remember that I wrote a few weeks ago about the fact that I had to write a song in a very short time frame, my first in over two years. Well, that song was written, and was played at church, and was recorded. I am biting my tongue (or…restraining my fingers?) to keep from making excuses or inserting caveats here, so without further ado, if you’re interested, here it is.
Nothing On My Own
I’ve been sitting here for 45 minutes trying to work up the motivation to clean my apartment. It’s not in terrible shape, just kind of the general chaos of disarray it usually takes on by the end of my three days at work. I know it’s totally possible to hold down a FULL-time job and keep your abode clean, but I have not mastered even the part-time job and cleanliness mix. So by Wednesday night, our apartment is usually a bit of a mess. It’s worse since I’ve been pregnant–dealing with my developmentally disabled charge during the days at work completely uses me up, leaving me physically and mentally exhausted. Which is infuriating, because it doesn’t feel like I do very much at work, let alone at home. But that’s another story, one not worth telling because it mostly involves self-pity, which is not very interesting or attractive.
ANYway. My husband is a much neater individual than I. Now, I would say I clean (as in scrub with chemicals) more than he does…but he organizes much more often than I do. And the clutter bothers him in a way that doesn’t occur with me. I mean, I get paralyzed by the mess, but I am usually still able to turn my head and fall asleep at the end of the night (which might have something to do with the aforementioned state of gestation). Obviously, I am not going to get motivated to clean for myself (although that does happen on occasion), or because I should. But I have found that when I think of cleaning as an act of love that will bless my husband, it becomes a little easier to work up the motivation.
Matthew recently took on an additional job for some friends of ours who own a car business of sorts. The job more or less involves them calling Matthew last minute to see if he’s free to drive or fly to some distant location and then drive a car back for them. This happened for the first time on Tuesday, he left Wednesday, and will be back late tonight. And I am determined that he will come home to a neat-ish apartment. Not because I have some sort of archaic notion that it is what is required of me to be a good wife (I will not be freshly applying makeup to greet him at the door with a kiss), but because I love him and I know how much better he will feel if he walks into a clean-ish apartment than if it’s a messy one. And really, when I compare the payback with how little effort the gesture will really take, it’s a no brainer. I simply learn to respect the way he works, and tailor my gestures of love to speak to his needs. Like the need for neatness instead of clutter.
True love isn’t really found in the grand gestures of romance and affection, although those are nice and have their place, I guess (not being a big romantic myself I guess I don’t really know). Loving someone effectively really takes place in the tiny banalities of the every day. It’s easy to shrug them off, but the true importance of those little things is quickly remembered when you’re angry because somebody didn’t do them. So…I’m off to love my husband and clean my apartment. The nice thing about this particular little thing is that it actually makes my day better too…I’m not really that awesome at loving someone yet.