Monday, July 6, 2009

I Think I'll Just Eat Worms


It is past mid-night and I am hungry.

I was hungry at 11:00 PM too, when I was out searching for a contact lens case and some multipurpose solution because after 1460.968796 straight hours of wearing my one-months'-supply of Day and Nights, my eyes were just screaming for a break.
I figured I could afford to let them off the hook for eight or so hours too -- the baby is sleeping through the night now and my vision in my dreams has yet to be effected by my near-blindness. And since I was already doing my eyes a favor, my stomach wondered, maybe, because I was going out and all, if I would pick it up a Double-Decker from The Bell while I was at it.

Happy to maneuver the Suburban through the drive-thru.

Or at least I was until they told me it would be a twenty-minute wait.

Drat.

Like so many other things in life, getting into a situation can be so much easier than getting out. I'm just thankful there was no one behind me and my still-weighed-down-from-moving rig.

(Did I just say 'rig'?)

Ahhh, well. My stomach did not need fast food anyway.

As I pulled back into our parking lot I noticed my complex manager enjoying the coolness and peace of the Central Oregon air. I figured it could not last for long; that I might as well be the one to interrupt it.

Poor Gal.

What can I say? There was damage control that needed to be done. It turns out the neighbors below our household-of-seven don't really think that we are all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips. Mixed nuts, maybe, but I think they may be allergic to nuts.

Would you believe that there have been four noise complaints (that we know of) against us since we moved in a little over three weeks ago? This is hard on the ego of a former apartment manager.

This particular night, I could have sworn we heard them banging on our floor where our TV sits.

We were celebrating Steve's Birthday and we had the audacity to watch a movie together, which meant we could not use our headphones as we have been doing, because we only have one pair. It appear our subtitles were a bit too loud for them.

We know we can be a boysterous bunch and have intentionally been trying to do things to accommodate them. After the first noise complaint Steve pulled out the headphones and has since been taking in his evening movie or video-game almost intravenously. I try to put a floor between my kids and our neighbors after dinnertime. Every night after we eat I send them upstairs to play, but good golly, every once in a while the noise of daily life is just going to travel. Sometimes children fall off chairs or decide for no-good-reason that NOW (while mommy is mopping up a mess) is a good time to run circles around the living room, ya know? I'll get to them, just let me clean up the spilled milk first, thank you.

It is strange having a strained relationship with someone you don't even know, and it is strange feeling like you can't really *live* in your home.

I am thankful that our manager has been very understanding, even at 11:00 PM, thought I think she may reconsider making herself visible to me during non-office hours.

This has been a hard year.

I have grown very aware that my response to some of life's' punches has been on display for the world to see and even more so for the people who actually live with me. My children and my husband could tell the world the true story. I have been tried and found lacking.

I have been trying to do things in my own strength and we all know where that gets us.

My kids see me grumble. My husband sees me become obsessive over seemingly insignificant things because it is one of the few things I can control right now.
A week or so ago, it finally crept out into my other circles too. I was at work after spending the previous night laboring at our old house until past 4:00 am. One of our students was going to need more care than I could give them. It was going to require that I be up again all night and I was so tired already that the thought of having to push on was too much. I cried and then I went home.

I wish for things to be normal again. I crave routine; Husband to work, mom homeschooling kids. But I know that God is faithful to care for us and I am recommitting to live my life as if I believed He is who He says He is.

He promises me rest during storms, but I have to lean on him.

The thought has occurred to me too, that the season we are going through is not just for my husband and I. It is also for our children -- a strange thought to think of this experience as a gift.

They are watching us. Are we modeling a life of faith? Will we let them see God through this or will we try and manage everything on our own and become frustrated? Will we act humbly when we are wrong?

This is the real lesson. Remembering that makes it easier to deal with a mortgage company who calls repeatedly because we have failed on our end of a contract; when I have to re-tell our story over and over again because people with late payments are robo-called. Can I still be nice even if the person on the other end isn't this time?

Will I teach my children to be respectful of our neighbors even if we think that they are being unreasonable -- even if they don't like us.

God does always know what we need.
Sometimes He gives us manna; sometimes He gives us worms.

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