Monday, September 17, 2012

I Am Tired

We are all tired tonight because we spent the weekend working together to paint the entire exterior of our house, including our detached garage and an old shed out back.  It took all 7 of us 2 1/2 full days from start to finish, but it looks beautiful.  I didn't get photos of it yet, but will tomorrow.  It doesn't look much different, just a brighter, fresher shade of yellow.  But I loved it when Josh and I ran to the store and he turned and looked back over his shoulder at the completed front part of the house, got a big  smile on his face and said, "Now our house looks as happy on the outside as it is on the inside!"

To me, nothing sweeter could have been uttered by a child of mine...that their house is happy inside and out.

Daily we see the boys taking large steps toward manhood, but we really saw it this weekend.  I realized as I watched Matthew up on the roof painting a difficult to access spot that I now had no qualms about him being up high working, and that he is projecting a kind of quiet, self confidence these days that is causing me to view him as more man than boy.  He is so capable that at times Dominick and I are forgetting he is only 13 years old.

Kenny is showing some real growth as well, as for the first time he approached me with iPad in hand and asked, "OK, Mom, can you tell me exactly what I need to do and in what order?  I know I won't remember it  all day, so I thought I would make a note on my iPad and if I get distracted or lost I will come back to it and remind myself."  We went on to make a short list of items, and then he proceeded to get right to work and stayed on task really well.  He and Matthew also worked really, really well together as a team.

Josh primed and painted a good portion of the shed all by himself, sticking with it for 2+ hours at a time working away from the rest of us before taking breaks.  He is at the stage where he can do many things on his own, but not quite as much as he wishes he could do.  9 years old is still quite young, and yet as with Matthew, we sometimes forget.  Josh is very conscientious and diligent in his work...and then goes off to play imaginary super heroes.  Just as he is with his school work though, he is a man on a mission and will complete his task, no matter how challenging!

Angela and Olesya took turns being sick this weekend, with Olesya ending up in bed all day Sunday with a fever and cold.  Angela was on the downhill side of it but still feeling lousy.  However, when we told her to stay inside and just lay around resting, she flat out refused, saying, "I am fine, I don't want it to take longer for all of you guys." and she spent most of the weekend up on a ladder cutting in around the roof.

It was very interesting to watch the kids and how their skills have grown since last year, when we did the rental house.  While Dominick used the airless sprayer, the kids did virtually everything else...masking things off, painting all trim, cutting in everywhere, removing items to get the house ready and prepped.  And they did the job quite well!!  Oh, sure, there is a lot of paint spilled on the concrete (with the biggest blob left by Dominick late this afternoon! Hahah!) because we didn't have any drop clothes and most of the house is surrounded by gravel.  But I'd rather have uncomplaining, hard working kids and NOT undercut their enthusiasm or gripe and complain as they are learning than to have unsplattered concrete.  One is worth far more than the other.

The hard work is over with for the fall...the dead shrubs are pulled and 1 1/2 tons of gravel has been moved.  The exterior is painted, the garage WAS clean before painting and another hour will have it back cleaned as much as it will be.  The closets are emptied, the garden is cleared.  All is good...

Now if my mind could be as cleared as our container garden now is.

I have a lot weighing on my heart these days, things I need God to speak to me about.  The kinds of things that I can't just cover over with a coat of happy yellow paint, but that need to be scraped and primed first.  The scraping is just beginning, I fear, and I might not like what I find below the flaking paint.

The good thing is that with God, all things are like new.  We become whole after being broken, as long as we remain open.  Right now, I am finding that a real challenge.  We all go through phases like this, where we question and doubt, where we ask ourselves what we are really doing in the world and why we are doing it.  Many times we discover we are on the wrong path, and we need to reverse and take the other fork on the road.  Sometimes we decide to keep going to see where it leads us, hoping we have made a wise decision.  And every once in awhile, we just stop and do nothing until we get our bearings once again.

Then again, sometimes we get hit by a big ol' Kenworth as we are sitting idly by.

There is so much to be thankful for in my life, so many wonderful, wonderful things.  Having a daughter who just this evening came to me and asked "Mom, are there any other people alive right now sort of like Jesus in the world?  Ones who teach us new and important things like Martin Luther King did, or like Mother Theresa did?"  With those words, Angela touched my soul, for she is reaching for Big Ideas, and that makes a mom's heart sing.

There is my faithful, devoted, handsome and utterly reliable husband sleeping beside me, after having been on his feet since 4:00 AM and what does he do?  Tonight he rubs MY aching heels.  There is Olesya who finishes cleaning the garage so I can go to Walmart to fill the empty cupboards and not have to get home at 10:00 PM.  There is my beautiful quilted wall hanging staring back at me, speaking to me on a spiritual level of all the twists and turns my own life has taken, and might be taking again.  Lovely denimy blues and happy yellows, as if I had custom ordered it myself.

Life is complicated, difficult and rewarding.  Sometimes though, we focus on the difficult and complicated, and rewarding seems non-existent or so far off in the horizon that it is virtually unattainable.  I am training myself at those times to drop my eyes right to the ground before me, to stop and see what is immediately in my proximity that offers comfort and solace.

And it is good.  The rest, well, life will be what it will be.


Anonymous said...

I got sidetracked after reading your blog. One was a memory of a friend who gave me a rose when I reached a very difficult place in my life. She thoughtfully stipped it of all thorns. It wilted within hours. It seems roses cannot live without thorns. Thorns are as much a part of their life as the incredible beauty, grace and fragrance.

Then came to mind the words, "It is well, it is well, it is well with my soul." I looked up the hymn and found it was written at an incredibly difficult time in the life of the composer's life.
He must have been much like you, Cindy, a person who saw and felt and knew the incredible preciousness and gift that life and love is.

Josh was right. Now your home looks as happy on the outside as it is on the inside, but he is wrong also. The minute one of you opens the door, it looks as happy on the outside as it looks on the inside. Your home always says "Welcome home!".


Anonymous said...

Prayers for in at this difficult juncture in you road, Cindy!
Perhaps I've shared this with you before. I think it's a song from Iona ......
God to enfold you;
Christ to uphold you;
Spirit to keep you in heaven's sight.
So may God grace you;
heal and embrace you;
Lead you through darkness
into the light.

Blessing and shalom, Cindy!