After the rush and excitement of the Christmas season, we take it easy and slow. We stay inside to avoid the cold. We rent movies. Read books. Plan the garden. Knit. Reconnect, and prioritize.
But this year I decided to just to jump right in to new activities. I had Ideas! Plans! Friends who wanted to join us! The boys were eager. We had fun!
Then it was time to go to the dentist for a root canal. No biggie. I gave birth at home to a 10lb 10oz baby. I can open wide even without novacaine.
I can handle pain with a purpose when the end is in sight. What I hate are colds that drain my energy, cancel my plans and seem to go on indefinitely. Then I'm a big baby. Miserable wretch. A tyrant who finds hatchets in her shower.
After the root canal, PMS hit -- just to make life more interesting. And the next day, my annual January head cold arrived. The one I avoided while everyone else was getting sick in December -- the reason I usually start the year with some downtime.
My head pounded, my glands swelled, my ears ached. But the worst part? I got very, very cranky. Instead of going to bed, and letting everyone fend for themselves (read: eat whatever fast food Scott could bring home), I played the martyr. I've been cooking from scratch, but there was nothing put up for a sick day. The toddler nursed. It hurt to eat. My blood sugar dropped.
I was grumpy and unappreciative of the help I was getting. I was unprepared for my minor crisis. I am so easily distracted from the path behind Christ's heels.
I had all these little goals spinning in my head. Good goals. Things that reflect my desire to be a better steward, nurture my family, create community, keep growing and learning.
But I hadn't really discussed them with Jesus -- not to mention my family. I was running around, trying to uphold my standard, my thoughts focused on my want-to-dos. And then I got sick, couldn't keep up, and got frustrated.
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "Eventually, my head started to clear. I realized my focus had been off, and I wasn't going to fully recover until I took some time to set it straight.
So, here I am.
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.Today we drew nearer to each other out in the garden, clearing out the old, overgrown tomato plants, pruning the peach trees, weeding the spot where the peas will be planted.
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Even the most blessedly short, mild winters leave something to be pruned and made new again.