Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Flexibility is a Virtue

Confession: I like order. I like to organize and plan. I get a kind of "high" (or maybe it's just called pride) out of having everything packed and ready to go so that if Chris says "We're leaving at 4 a.m.", we leave at 4 A.M.! Sometimes I get the feeling God likes nothing better than to foil my careful organization! That He enjoys changing the day I thought I would do corn so many times that when the morning actually arrives I'm totally over having food stashed in the fridge for an easy lunch, and the freezer all straightened up, and the girls dressed and combed before we head out at 7:55 a.m. He seems to like seeing my carefully planned days tumble like dominoes and me ending up taking a bushel of green beans the same day we are having company for supper. Oh, and how about a tooth that requires a dentist appointment? And, by the way, this holiday wk end would be a good one for that long talked about trip to VA to visit Chris' aging grandparents! Yes Lord, I hear you. Flexibility is a virtue, right? :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

God of the Ordinary

The floor is cluttered w/ toys and the leftovers of 2 little girls' card making session. Dishes are stacked in the sink and the sewing machine is strewn with dress pieces. The washer is finally silent after churning out it's fourth load of clean clothes, and the lines hang full in the sun and breeze. From the playroom loft comes the chatter of 2 little girls busily at play and the baby is peacefully sleeping. It's just a normal day around here. Granted, it's a bit unusual since my baby only woke up once last night and now he's taking a 3 hour nap, but basically normal. Too often I find myself only taking note of the unusual - The Terrible Day! The Wonderful Day! - and the normal, uneventful days slide by without recognition! Today I'm pausing to savor the "normal" - the mess, the work, the clutter, the happy chatter, the peaceful slumber, the sun dried laundry, the interruptions of little people... And saying, "Thank You. Thank You for being God of the normal and ordinary, too. Thank You for Today!"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to school

Remember that "back to school" feeling: the butterflies-in-the-stomach excitement? All the fresh newness-notebooks full of crisp, blank pages. Long, sleek pencils. Erasers w/o a smudge. Beautiful, sharp crayons. Shiny, unbent folders. And shoes. Oh, the new shoes! Nothing spelled the beginning of a new school year quite like those beautiful, clean shoes. Soles unmarred, laces smooth and neat, and clean. Oh, the shiny cleanness that always seemed to disappear no matter how careful you were! And you were careful! Mud was avoided and smudges carefully wiped, but eventually they went the way of all the shoes before. They were stiff on feet that had run bare all summer, and they may have rubbed a little at first, but they made you feel cool! Important. And ready. Would anyone notice them? They made you feel taller and able to run faster! (come to think of it, i think i need a pair of new
shoes!!) :) happy school year my children! May the newness and excitement linger!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

On Adjusting

I don't get the "how are you adjusting" questions nearly as often as I used to. That suits me fine! I don't know what to say anyway. What does adjusted mean anyhow? If you're talking about whether my children are excited about school and love their friends here, then Yes! Well adjusted. If you're talking about feeling at ease going to events like, oh-church house cleaning for example, then No. Not at all. I get weary of these conflicting "Oh, that was a good evening!"/"Ugh, let's leave right away!" feelings. Then I hear people say "I really felt like 5 years was a turning point for me" or "Oh, it was 10 years at least before I really felt at home!" and I wonder why I even bother?! True, I suppose there are things that can be done to move the adjusting process along. But there is a certain part of "adjusting" that can't be moved along by outward forces. There's a part of it that just happens over the course of time. Maybe it's better to just let yourself be adjusted slowly than to figure out what it means!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fleeting Summer Days

Days fly by - Bright days, grey days, listen to what I say days. Wet days, dry days, make me laugh and cry days. Hot days, cool days, getting ready for school days. Bean days, corn days, almost can't be borne days. Short days, long days, heart is full of song days. Slow days, fast days, what if these are last days? Cleaning days, mopping days, shopping til we're dropping days. Washing days, cooking days, wonder how we're looking days. Good days, sad days, glad I'm not the dad days ... then there are the bad days, wish I WAS the dad days! Quiet days, loud days, lonely in the crowd days. Grumpy days, cheery days, these things make me weary days. Gone days, home days, make me want to roam days. Busy days, lazy days, must be going crazy days. Sick days, well days, I am gonna tell days. Fussy days, happy days, sorry that I'm snappy days. Humble days, proud days, thoughts that make a cloud days. Work days, rest days, put you to the test days, knowing that I'm blessed days, "These years are the best" days!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Two Years

Two years ago we left Arkansas for Ohio. We left part of our hearts, most of our belongings, and quite a few wet kleenx in our wake! We went not knowing exactly what was before us (good thing!) but feeling pretty certain that this was the door God had opened. I struggled a lot with the whole thing mostly because I couldn't understand why God wanted us to move to a big, Beachy-land USA church. Two years later our belongings are here, the kleenx are dry in the box, our hearts are *mostly* here :) and I still don't understand! Several weeks ago we were sitting in church singing and the words suddenly hit me like a punch in the stomach: "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord..." My eyes opened wide and then filled with tears! A big Beachy-land USA church is not what I've taken that song to mean but in all honesty that is what it means for me. It doesn't matter where, it doesn't matter why. It doesn't matter if it makes sense or looks like I think it should. What matters is whether He said Go and I went!

Friday, August 2, 2013

14 Years Ago

14 years ago today a young man in OH gathered his courage, picked up the phone and dialed. Heart beating rapidly, he waited. This was a call that could radically alter the rest of his life. It was a call that could fan the flame in his heart or blow it out cold. It had taken 5 months of careful thought, prayer and counsel to get to this all important phone call. And now there was no turning back, the number was dialed, the phone was ringing. I guess when the voice said "Hello" he could have stammered around and said, " Uh, I must have the wrong number..." But he didn't. And am I ever glad! You see, the young man was a certain Christopher Eicher from Antrim, OH and the call was to an Elmer Gingerich in AR. Twelve anniversaries, 5 children, and many memories later, here we are. And if the call would come again, and Elmer Gingerich would sit his youngest daughter down and say, "Chris Eicher would like to begin a friendship with you", my answer would be quick and sure. "Yes. Yes! I'd do it all over again!!"