All sorts, like the liquorice

I am finding that being away in the school holidays, borrowing hubby's work laptop (mine far away being fixed) and not having me-time for days on end is the enemy of blogging. Perhaps I have an unhealthy addiction but the blog and lens-eye of perspective, perhaps like a sanity drug, is sorely missed when I fall off the wagon. It's the getting back on I find hard, how to pick up the threads of images and words and go back to weaving them into a shape that makes sense to me.

My Mondays of Gratitude have been so important to my progress, in some weeks that is the only day I blog because I know the other days I would be tempted to give voice to the negative. I choose to forage for blessings on Mondays and this smoothes out the beginning of my week. I start with a tithe of thankfulness and it trickles down. When I fall asleep at night, sometimes instead of worrying whether I have fed the children enough vegetables and whether this will make them get cancer, or if the cat is so compacted with furballs that he might starve, or whether I will continue to eat chocolate like a pig and not being able to wriggle into my clothes; sometimes I remember just to let the blessings flow in. I lie there, eyes closed and sink into the rich layers of remembrance; life, breath, water, provision, light, softness, joy. I skim each breath past the hitch of worry and into the deeper well, entrusting God to take care of the rest.

I have found keeping my morning pages to be extremely helpful to siphon off the meaningless clutter of sensible thoughts that clog up the creative streams. I write 'must get rid of cats, buy vitamins, return overdue library books, vacuum lounge, make dinner' and before I know it, shopping lists have turned into doodles of trees and swirling words like peacock fish or vanilla lemon. It is very hard to be a creative and a respectable housemaker and parent let me tell you. Throw in the odd dose of pms and iron defiency and my children never know whether I am going to have steam puff out of my ears because I am cross they left chippie crumbs on the carpet, or whether I will be cheerfully vague, allowing them eat chocolate biscuits for breakfast or play outside in their pyjamas in the rain.

The last week we have been staying with family back in the town we moved from nearly one year ago. It is so lovely to be back in Auckland again but sad too. I miss so many aspects of our lives as they were then, however in the moments I get caught in that frame of mind, I hear these song lyrics from Moving Forward by Israel Houghton,

I'm not going back
I'm moving ahead
I'm here to declare
In You old things are made new

I am finding it takes courage and choice not to miss something so hard that it snaps your resolve to nothing. I employ a healthy serving of brain power to avoid sliding down the kitchen cabinets and raging on the tiled floor, storming my heart out because the things I knew and loved are so far from me. My expectations and identity were things I used to take for granted and now are facets of life that I hold up loosely, not mine own. My parent's separation has brought to the fore every insecurity I had tucked away, and the eternal child in me is frequently face to face with the wrench of the new situation.

This coming week I will be packing for my upcoming trip to Tonga, trying to get my head around leaving my three babies for nearly a week while I go off with a little group of girls from our church on a missions trip. And trying to unloop the link between missions trips and disaster, two decade old memories running like they were yesterday. Waving my parents goodbye, off to their mission trip to Mozambique and then the world ending as we were told after three days that they were never coming home.

Somehow I have tangled up going on a mission for God with the certain cost of forever changing your life and damaging those of your children. I have the two words, mission and abandonment, cemented into one concept - loss. Although in my instance, after three long months, I tipped even further when faced with processing the reality that after mourning my parents, they were actually alive and returning. This left me unpicking the new seams that grief had worked into my psyche. I was still actively doing this through my teens, realising that loving them did not mean I would lose them necessarily. But as a parent, new angles of this experience come up, and leaving my children and heading off into a rather earthquake and tsunami prone corner of the world for no other reason than to be obedient to an inner call, is quite scary.

So that will be next week, but for now, on this quiet Sunday, I will put the worry to one side and shake out the dream of being some use to the broken. And eat some more chocolate. And head back to evening church to lean in and learn more.

Hope your weekends have all been good and that the beginning of the new week (and term for some of us) is full of delight.

Photo credit - flickr (due to the sad fact that I have nowhere to download my camera to!)

PaisleyJade  – (October 11, 2009 at 7:27 PM)  

Love your post - I too find my blog makes me try to be thankful when I could so easily be negative.

Gail  – (October 11, 2009 at 8:38 PM)  

Have missed your beautiful, deep, poetic posts Amy! Pray your laptop is fixed soon!

How cool that you are going on this missions trip! I'm sure your children (through you and hubby) will grow up knowing the importance and the value of what you are going to do in Tonga ...... and while miss you, they will appreciate you even more on arrival home!

I hope to be brave enough to go too one day - perhaps Russell's word tonight held a lot of meaning for you and your thoughts..... you are being bold and courageous - and that is in just parting yourself from your little ones for a brief time!

The Pacific Islands need us!

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