We finally have an afternoon where the sun is peeking out behind wispy clouds, through the colorful leaves on the trees, and making its' way onto the sofa where I am curled up next to a paisley pillow. The aroma of a MacIntosh candle reminds me I can still enjoy autumn... even if I am only taking a break from laundry and dishes to watch Jacques & Julia on PBS. :)
Being a pondering kind of person, I found it interesting that getting away for awhile was just what I needed to refresh the spirit. I know part of it was spending time with the kids, grandchildren, and our friends (the Clarksons). I expect getting together with a few thousand likeminded (ie: Christian) women helped a lot.
But I think that which helped wake the senses was pulling books off the shelf and eating from the literary bread offered between their pages many evenings. How fortunate we are to live in an age where the experience and wisdom of men and women who have walked with God are available for the cost of a paperback book. (Not to mention the delicious fiction once in awhile.) :)
As I look back at other rather dry seasons of life, I find a few different reasons. First... fatigue has set in from illness, lack of rest and healthy food, or an extended time of trial. Second... I have let the technological things of this world take over my peace... TV, News, Radio, Internet (yikes!), mp3 players, etc. Third (and most likely what has happened now)... the change of seasons in my life.
I have had a child at home since I was twenty-three years old and either informally educating one at home or formally involved in homeschooling. With Christopher beginning University this year, the realization came that the child raising years are behind me. Don't get me wrong, the role of Mom as Counselor, Confessor, and Listener will always continue. But the clay has been formed into two amazing young adults and that season of life is behind me.
The post-homeschooling years are not what I planned. I had not anticipated at this time of life living on a very fixed income and dealing with a chronic illness. Let's face it, becoming a pastry chef as I'd desired would not be walking in wisdom for a Type 1 diabetic. :)
However, we all have such unexpected turns in life. I didn't plan to leave the corporate world in my early 30s, or to have another child later in life, or to become a homeschooling mom in my 40s. Such is life.
Change has never come easy for me. I could have been quite happy if born in another place and another time when the only change to take place was the usual cycles of life and death, springtime and harvest, and the occasional new family moving into the village every decade or two.
So... how am I embracing these changes? Well, I am definitely continuing the reading as I dusted off the amazing little book by John Piper titled Don't Waste Your Life. Yes, I did read this earlier in the year but as I'm going through the book again... everything seems new as I'm looking at it from a different perspective. I'm also reading the book my son-in-law loaned me by Gary Thomas called Seeking the Face of God. Thomas has put together an excellent book which makes it easy to absorb the wisdom of those who walked the path centuries ago.
Not all my reading has been quite so deep. Just before drifting off to sleep recently, I pulled out The Wind in the Willows to read a favorite section which I had discussed with Sarah last week. That part where Rat and Mole visit Mole's home is among the best literature has to offer (whether one is a child or a grandmother). How warm and cozy I felt as I sat with pillows propped behind my head and a quilt keeping me warm, imagining what it would be like listening to field mice singing Christmas carols.
I must now return to the tasks before me as sweaters are very carefully drying in a gentle heat and dishes must be put away behind cabinet doors. Ground beef is waiting to be turned into "something for dinner" while the butter and eggs have come to room temperature to make blond brownies (Stephanie called for the recipe this morning which brought about a craving). All coming together at a slow but steady pace with the usual pattern of work and rest and work and rest.
I must admit the sunshine helps all to be done with a good attitude.
Picture: Blue Stove; allposters.com