Friday, December 08, 2023

I had to accomplish something

I had to accomplish something. 

In a week of what feels like a lot of defeat, there always seems to lurk this drive that comes from somewhere deeper than the sleepless nights and that fights its way past the distractions of my restless heart. So, I painted the pantry doors, painted the front door, painted underneath the counter top where paint had started to fleck away from too many years of use and abuse. I planted gardens inside the house using grow lights, and other experimental tools. I built shelves so that I could find a new home for my cast iron pots, I decorated for Christmas, I put together a display for a new art project I'm working on and I even tried my hand at my first-ever water color picture (so, admittedly, it looks like children's play, but it was the DOING of it that mattered :-). And, probably most impressively and importantly, I organized the freezer. 

We also wandered a bit, hunting for artifacts and relics of ages and people gone by. Last week, several of my most beloved finds from the past several years of wandering were stolen by some reckless and careless human from the little place in the forest where I had kept them safe underneath a little pine tree, near to where I had found them. My sadness over that loss was compounded by the ruthless butcher of that little pine tree which has held them safe all this time. Someone chopped it illegally, and carelessly, leaving a large portion of the tree behind. It was kind of incredible to me how deeply this event has hurt my heart. I like to believe I hold things with an open palm, always with the recognition that anything can be taken from me and that everything I "behold" at any point is on loan - a gift. Yet, I felt robbed, and it honestly felt a bit like a violation of sorts. I am going to go remove what remains of that beloved little tree; it feels like the right thing to do, out of respect for not only that tree, but out of respect for the beautiful forest that has given me so much life. 

So much I am discovering in this wretched, beautiful life cannot be found through my own willpower or self-discipline. The things I am learning about the Creator, the peace that is gradually growing within me, the light that spreads itself upon the darkest path before me... it is because of this path where I am being led. I am constantly being led to the places where my strengths are irrelevant and my weaknesses are abhorrently evident. Through the barrenness of these desert marches I am coming to see more clearly what has been painted for me to see, I am learning to trust what I do not understand, and I am given the responsibility to see myself in the image that is reflected back to me through the One that has created it all. The pain of this path I will embrace and in some small way I am finding gratitude for it. 

Friday, December 01, 2023

We're out of paper towels

We're out of paper towels. There's dog diarrhea on the floor and I'm just staring at it because I don't want to pick it up and I don't have any more paper towels. I guess it'll just have to stay there, for now. 

Lochlan screamed and cried for several hours yesterday afternoon. He struggled through school, worked incredibly hard through speech therapy, then fell apart. We spent a lot of time cuddling most of the evening yesterday, but between cuddles he was just angry. It's impossible to console him, or distract him when he's completely unwound like that. I think he hurts, and it makes him angry. 

Why can't I find THE answer to help him? He has been doing so well for months, after a 90 day gut cleanse that we put him on. I was giving him restorative probiotics following the cleanse and he hasn't had any noticeable fixations for weeks. Then, he got COVID and developed a UTI, bronchial infection and sinus infection simultaneously, so we had to resort to antibiotics. Now, we're back to square one. And he's still fighting a UTI. 

He slept part of the night, but he's restless and active for much of the night. When I awoke for the fourth time this morning a 5:00, I just decided to stay awake because it's easier than being woken up again and again from needed sleep. I wanted to go hike my hill but it was still too dark. When the tension of what I cannot change mounts and is coupled with the lack of sleep, it feels like it could tear me apart inside. If I'm able to go my hill, I pray, cry, and somehow I'm able to let it go and find peace that passes understanding.

It's my burden to carry, and I cannot change it. Facing that reality time and again is what I struggle with the most. The daily grind is not what I find impossible... it's what I cannot change that I find impossible. It's not being able to take away Lochlan's pain. It's not being able to see him thrive. It's knowing there is so much locked inside of him that I don't have the key to unlock. I must keep fighting for answers, even if there are a million answers and even more ways to find them. 

I don't know what today will hold or what tomorrow will allow, but I know that the strength I need to face it will be given to me. 

Someone sent me this sweatshirt anonymously...'s time to deal with that diarrhea. 


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

6 Yeti cups

I watched the patterns of that steam rise off our tea cups this cold morning with the sun as the backdrop; quite beautiful! I love getting up early each morning, making tea in 6 Yeti cups, setting out biscotti and then waking the boys to start their day. This morning, though, the miracle of those 6 cups lined up next to one another stood out to me. 

I've been given these 5 people to live alongside. Everyday I am changed by that fact and I am thankful. Because we spend life together, we annoy, disappoint, and pester one another and we know exactly how to be the worst part of each other's day. Yet, we also know how to love, encourage, build up and build into each other because we know deeply about one another.  

There's a little bit of crazy in this household - the chaos that isn't mastered by any kind of order. The granola bar nailed to a tree by the front door. The legos in the disposal. The constant stream of fixations that Lochlan brings to the table and our responses to them. The raft sitting in the living room "just because". The horse that periodically comes into the house. The laundry basket that is never not full. The driveway gate that refuses to stay on it's hinges. The kid who shows up for an outing with one foot fully shod and the other fully socked. The wild hair of a 9 year old who has crawled out of bed fully dressed for the day - includes morning breath! The tools scattered around the yard as the 13 year old completes another creative wooden masterpiece. The horse reins used as a belt. The kitchen sink always full of dishes. The dirt - so much dirt everywhere. The dog hair on the carpet. The disgusting "boy bathroom". "Dr. Frankenraffe" the stuffed giraffe that lives in our house and owns one of my children. 

Please note that my stove has eyes and a tongue. 

The adventure is real. I will live in it fully, as I am able. These days will not last forever and I will not always be filling 6 cups of tea. I love those 6 cups of tea and what they represent to me.