Before the years are gone and I've lost my nerve...

'Cause this is what I've waited for..

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When dreaming of teak pergolas...

The smell of this crisp northern Minnesota air is changing as the summer is progressing.  Today it's raining and I can smell the promise of Fall.  Big changes might be coming for us in the next few months, the biggest one obviously being a possible pregnancy.  We also might begin the transfer process to another part of the state. 

Though we don't even know if we'll be moving, I've already begun the list in my head of all the things I'll do differently in my life, my house, my garden.  The list actually began shortly after we moved into this house when we realized how much space around us we actually NEED.  I'm not talking, "Oh, we've got so much stuff that we need a bigger house."  It's more like I-can't-look-out-any-window-of-my-house-without-looking-directly-into-my-neighbor's-living-room, kind of need for space.  I can't stand it, and the idea of living on 30 wooded acres with a possible river running through the property just sends me into an ethereal daydream I don't want to leave. 

It's hard to look at my life, my surroundings, and not think about all the ways that it could be better.  No 100+ year-old paint chipping off of doorframes and floors that have needed to be resurfaced since 1995, but maybe a back deck framed in a Teak pergola woven with wisteria and paper lanterns.  No more, "My back lawn isn't grass at all, it's just a dense ground-cover WEED," but maybe a rolling grassy lawn with a big maple tree in the middle where there's a swing and a treehouse with a collapsable ladder and a mounted telescope for late-night, mid-summer star gazing.
Doesn't that sound fantastic?  I can get caught up in it so easily, we all can.  "Keeping up with the Jones'", comparing our lives to others and what they have that we want, or even being motivated to work out harder because you'd like to have the abs of the girl on the Zumba video (guilty here of all counts, by the way).

But I was challenged many years ago, when we first started our journey of 'why-isn't-what-I-want-happening-yet', by my mother who asked me what pain I'd like to have instead.  Instead of complaining about the difficulites in my life, studying my discontent and basically telling God that He's not quite handling my life very well, that perhaps I should see my struggle in a different light.

Would I switch with someone else who was trudging through a different kind of pain?  Like perhaps the family on the news who's son disappeared from school.  His mom just hasn't been able to straighten the covers on her little boy's bed because he left it messy the last time she saw him- would I like to trade places with her?

So maybe the next time that my grief wants to swallow me whole, or when my relationships seem to be just a bit disappointing, or that roll of fat just WON'T go away, I'll remember that it's not about me- not about what I want and what's not happening for me- and I'll pull up my boostraps once again and gratefully walk forward.  Even if it is just out into my weed infested, uneven, clay-packed backyard.

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