The Quick Takes that Were Not Even Close to Being Quick.
According to my Facebook feed and blog reader, this week has been r-o-u-g-h for a lot of people, including me.
There were moments this week, especially Wednesday, when I wondered if I could take any more emotional upheaval. Lest you think Kevin isn't doing his husbandly job, he is as always, my rock. (And even better, he is a great source of amusement! That man be funny!) But this week, I just felt so... heavy. Every prayer on my lips was something like, "Lord, please just make my heart lighter." (I think the actual sound I made was more like, "uuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh.")
In His typical fashion, my prayers were answered in the most unexpected ways.
~1~Wednesday I woke up feeling sad. I felt burdened by this mood, and by mistakes I had made with people who were important to me. I woke up feeling like a jerk. I don't know about you, but I really like sleep, and I really don't like feeling like a jerk. Bleeeehhhhhh.
Thankfully the first 2 answered prayers: Dwija and Kelly, were right in my email, waiting for me to find them with my morning coffee. I am so grateful for them sharing their struggles this week because I was about ready to throw a pity party, New Orleans Mardi Gras-style. 'Tis the season, after all.
Answered prayer #1: Thank you, Lord for the people you've put in my life, in whatever way they come, including cyber-ifically.
~2~The breakfast battle. Gabe wanted cereal. (Sorry, our 1 box per week was gone in one sitting.) Gianna wanted eggs and toast, but the bread I bought last week was "different" and tasted "gross." (It actually did taste off, so I can't blame her for that.) Aliya wanted eggs and sausage, but I am so so so so so so so tired of sausage. Zeke just wanted to cry/nurse/go back to sleep.
UUUUUUUUGH. As mentioned above I am not a morning person in the first place, so breakfast is rarely "fun" for me. But this. This was a new low.
Opening the fridge, a bright light shone forth and choirs of angels began to sing. (Possibly the fridge bulb is on the fritz and Zeke's wailing has been known to take on a supernatural quality. Probably - definitely- you shouldn't ruin my angelic experience with your realism, though.)
Do you know what I found there, hidden in the depths of the cheese drawer? Forgotten since my shopping trip last Friday?
If that didn't just make your heart leap for joy, then I am so so so sorry for you. Because that bacon, that bacon was a SIGN of God's love for me!* I could have eaten that bacon on Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday. And I would have if I had remembered it was there. But I didn't remember and I didn't eat it, and it was there when I needed it.
Answered prayer #2: Thank you, God! Especially thank you for creating bacon!
*This is not a real religious or philosophical argument. Do not attempt to convert anyone with my bacon experience. Unless Bacon is their Love Language. Then, by all means...
~3~Post-bacon, post-breakfast, post-scheduled-morning-meltdowns 1, 2, and 3, Zeke decided to initiate a Hug and Kiss Mommy marathon. He wrapped his little arms so tight around my neck, and then withdrew to kiss one cheek, then the other, and finally the tip of my nose. And then repeated, many times.
This kid wouldn't let me go! I found myself trying to distract him in order to wash the breakfast dishes. And of course I needed space to ruminate in peace about all the ways in which I Am A Bad Person and all the mistakes I've made in my life.
But I couldn't leave! The kid has supernatural strength (along with the supernatural wailing) and I physically could not get away from him. The other kids started giggling and that's when my eyes began smarting. There I was, ready to go about my chores with a heart full of drudgery and self-loathing, when I had the perfect antidote to my whiny weepy ways, wrapped like a vice grip around my very neck.
Answered prayer # 3: Thank you, Lord, for baby kisses and baby hugs and unconditional baby love.
~4~On Tuesday afternoon I had the pleasure of seeing a friend, who gave me a belated birthday gift. She found this book at a dump (!), while on a trip to the U.S. She thought of me and brought it back.
I got chills. I've never seen this book before, never knew JP II was a poet who wrote under a pen name before his papacy. I've yet to delve too much into them, but I found this short one (part of a series about the Samaritan woman at the well) that I enjoyed.
"Song of the Brightness of Water" by Karol Wojtyla
From this depth - I came only to draw water
in a jug - so long ago, this brightness
still clings to my eyes - the perception I found,
and so much empty space, my own,
reflected at the well.
Yet it is good. I can never take all of youAnswered prayer # 4: Thank you God for poetry and popes and friends who know how much I like both.
into me. Stay then as a mirror in the well.
Leaves and flowers remain, and each astonished gaze
brings them down
to my eyes transfixed more by light
than by sorrow.
~5~As the day wore on, I came out of my funk. I started to feel lighter, graced by all the answered prayers. One final lift came in the form of a Family Dance Party.
I don't think one can truly understand how uplifting it is to dance around the living room, twirling small ones until you are out of breath, unless you've done it. The music doesn't matter, as long as it's singable and danceable. My tastes run toward folk rock (think Indigo Girls) and classic rock (like The Eagles) but the kids usually request Kidz Bop. I'll shamelessly admit to singing heartily along to Dynamite, and more than that, to enjoying it. Give it a try with your kids. Your heart will be lighter for it, pinky promise.
So there you go. If your prayers don't feel like they are being answered, start looking at the small stuff. Look for the short reprieves, the unexpected joy that is offered to you. Maybe your prayers are being answered, just not in the way you expected.
~6~Unrelated to Wednesday's bad mood (and all of the above not-so-quick-takes), but still an answer to a prayer: I picked up my sister at the train station tonight. She gave me a bit of a scare by being unreachable for nearly 4 hours (on her trip from Seoul to Daegu), but she's here, and for a good long time. I got 'er, Mom and Dad! Now as long as she doesn't go partying with the nuns at the convent, I think I can manage to keep her out of trouble.
~7~Finally, a fun tidbit: It's Lunar New Year this weekend! 새해 복 많이 받으세요! (Sae hae bok mani badeuseyo) means Happy New Year. Koreans celebrate by playing traditional games: giant swings, standing seesaws, flying kites, playing traditional board games and spinning tops. There is a special bow ceremony that children perform for their parents and grandparents. They also eat tduk guk, a rice cake soup. You are considered one year older on New Years Day! Sorry about that!
Head on over to Jen for Quick Takes that might actually be quick.