The Real Mother’s Day

Up until this weekend, the weather has been gorgeous.  Gorgeous weather means that planting runs smoothly.  Planting that is running smoothly means that I don’t get to see my husband much.  He’s been working at least 18 hour days this last week, and though we do talk on the phone and bring food out to him,  our conversations are short an to the point, with several interruptions.  I do what I always do and stay up at night just to see him, and also because I have a tough time going to sleep when he’s not home.  I’ll stay up until 11:30 or whenever he walks through the doors.  I want to give him a kiss, and then go to bed.  He however, the social one of the two of us, has not had many conversations all day.  He’s eager for conversation and listens to too much talk radio in the tractor and loves to tell me all the ways the world is ending.  He is starting to listen to sermons podcasts, and that has been better.  He doesn’t come home angry at the world then.

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Sigh.  I need to do my taxes…at least my portion of the family taxes.  I need to get together my knitting pattern receipts and homeschooling curriculum receipts to Knut.  I need to enter them all into the spreadsheet and get him the exact numbers.  It’s just so… so…

I should make some scones.

I need to call customer service of some company for a particular issue.  I hate calling customer service and getting something straightened out.  It stresses me out.  I hate arguing with people.  I have to prep myself with herbal tea.  And what goes better with a cup of tea but some knitting?

Of course, not knitting that should be getting done.  By the way, how many patterns do I need to finish writing up?  4 was it?  Maybe 5?  Hey look!  Another sock pattern I should knit.  I think I might have yarn for that too.  If the yarn is from my stash that makes it feel much more responsible.

I also have to find some suitcases.  Also, I need to find a better cage for Silje’s pet rabbit before our new chicks come and kick the rabbit out of the brooder where we’ve been keeping her.  I’m sure there was something else I’m supposed to be doing.

I’m sure if I sit here knitting long enough I’ll think of it…

I’m Blessed

This weekend I have been so stuck.  Knut has been around, so there has been an extra adult around which has allowed me to slide a bit.  I may have watched a few seasons of “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix.  I have been a bit paralyzed, out of sheer expectation.

I have such a full week this week.  Looking at my calendar is stressing me out.  Every rule I have for household management and keeping collective sanity is getting broken this week.  There is nothing to cut.  Should we just not go to the kids’ choir concert?  Or maybe it should be Solveig and Ingrid’s birthday party we should skip.  Not to mention not one, not two, but three Christmas “parties/banquets/year end parties” on the schedule this week, each promising to be lots of fun.  Fun, but another piece of busy-ness this week.

I’m told I should be working on some sort of Christmas baking too, soon, which hasn’t started yet.  I may have to delegate some of that to the kids.

I’m so frustrated with myself because I worked so hard last year to make room for advent.  This season is actually about the birth of Christ.  I want my family to celebrate that.  I want my focus to be on Him.  I’m failing at that this year.  We are perpetually one day behind in our advent readings this month.  We try to catch up, but then we miss the next day.  Every day has been a 2-reading day, when we actually remember.

I don’t want Advent to be an afterthought.  I want it to be the main event.

I was working last night on a devotional to give to the Women’s Ministries Christmas banquet at church tonight.  It won’t be long, and it’s not a big deal.  I actually like doing that.  Anyway, it actually made me stop and reflect a bit on Advent, without the hurried “catch up” feeling in my stomach.

I was thinking out the idea of the birth of Jesus.  The incarnation certainly boggles the mind, but I was actually thinking about birth.  Every woman who has been pregnant can relate to the stress of the last few weeks of pregnancy.  There’s the discomfort, the constant moving within, the skin pulled tight, and most of all, the constant wondering if it was “time.”  I don’t know about you, but I always wonder if it was “time” for each of my births right up until about an hour before the baby came.  My kids liked to keep me guessing.

As I was thinking about the rush of the season, and the tendency for the moms in families to take the bulk of the present buying and wrapping, and food preparing, and wondering “why is that?” that we women put so much pressure on ourselves during this season…

it dawned on me that Christmas holds a special spot in my heart, not only because of the beauty of the season and the love of the music, and the joy of the lights.

God chose to enter this world through a woman.

Christmas was delivered through a woman.

I don’t mean to get into a battle of the sexes, or dare say that males or females hold more weight or significance in God’s eyes.  That’s not my intent at all.  I just find it ironic that women often hold the weight of Christmas duties…which is what it was like in the beginning.  I doubt any woman has ever felt Christmas weigh on her like it did for Mary.

What an honor.  What a privilege.

Please don’t establish doctrine of duties through my words, but pause and reflect what an honor it is to share the message of Christmas with your children.  You get to set the stage for the message.

And just like birth: Christmas is going to come whether or not we are ready.

We can scurry about our house, nesting for this birth, crossing off to-do lists and driving our spouses crazy as our stress hits the roof.

Sounds like the 3rd trimester, days before birth.  Right?

It’s easy to forget how hard those last few weeks before birth are.  When the stress hits, and we start tearing up, “It’s not all going to get done” and you’re not sure which ball will get dropped, just remember what you are doing, and what this is all for.

It’s about a baby.

A baby that’s coming whether or not we’re ready.  A baby that we know will change everything about our lives.  Life cannot possibly be the same after this birth.  It’s about anticipation and expectation.

When you are feeling overwhelmed this season, and hit that point where you think you just can’t do it all, remember God picked you to deliver this message to your family.  He picked you.  It’s one of the biggest honors he can bestow.  It may feel like the only way to survive this season is to have a very organized calendar and to-do list, and remove all toddlers from the house.  The truth is, Christmas will come, like it or not.  We can’t hold it back with our disorganization and over-scheduling.  The way to survive it is to fix our spiritual eyes on what is actually happening.  Breathe.  Visualize.  We must keep our eyes fixed on that baby.  We must pause and take delight in the sheer thought of this baby.  Oh my goodness, a baby was born, and came to turn this world upside-down…or maybe it was to turn it right-side-up.

Either way, this baby changed everything.

Let the scurrying stop now.  Let the distractions and stress fall away.  We all know that “when mama’s not happy, nobody is happy.” Let me add to that, when mama stands in awe, they all stand in awe… or at least look to see what stopped this busy, crazy woman in her tracks.

I get to deliver this message.  What an honor.  What a privilege.

I’m blessed.

Yarn Along

I’m creeping along snail-paced in both of these projects.  The sleeve on this cardigan is going about 2 inches per week, at the rate I’m going.  There is just so little knitting time this time of year.  Yet I refuse to put the project away and say “after the garden’s done.”  This has been in my purse, and I get a few rows done waiting in the car here and there.  That’s how knitting is often done–those stolen seconds here and there.

I’m nearly done with The Egg and I.  I’ve been reading a chapter a night, a few nights a week.  I think I have 3 chapters left, so I should be done soon.  I have loved this book so much.  It’s hilarious, and as a farmer’s wife, it makes me laugh out loud.  I have read reviews about the racism in the book towards the native “indians” that the narrator has.  I saw little traces of it, and then this last week I saw a whole big chapter of it.  In our politically correct world, I don’t often hear people say the things that she said, and it really got me thinking.

In my area of the country, I don’t really notice racism.  There’s not the clash of races here that there is other places in our country.  There were times of my youth that I truly believed it had disappeared, and it was all in people’s head.  I hated when people played “the race card.”  Now that I’m in my 30s, not only do I see racism everywhere, but I see prejudgment everywhere…even in myself.  Goodness, we all prejudge people to some extent.  Racism is a prejudgement that can be done without even speaking to someone.  I’m not justifying it by any means, most especially in myself.  I’m just stating that when I look at myself, I have really strong opinions about things, and those opinions are not always correct.  To say I was never wrong would be a greater hypocrisy.

And yet…though this narrator has blatant ideas in her head, before she even meets her native neighbors, what solidifies her disgust is the total acceptance in that community of beating and degrading women, of encouraging and allowing blatant alcoholism, with even 10 year olds getting drunk consistently.  She ends up making friends with a small handful of them, but overall, she just can’t stand it.

Which brings the other issues to the discussion, if I dare.  It is a delicate balance to not prejudge a people, and to love them as the human beings God created them, and yet not ignoring the very real dangers or issues within that subculture.  It is not acceptable to speak badly of a minority, but what if there are major issues needing addressing within that minority?  Not every Native American she met was a drunk, and some became close family friends, but drunkenness, drunk driving, and wife beating was a very common problem among the families she met.

Or was it?  Maybe she just saw what she wanted to see, and wrote it down.  Is she a reliable narrator in this instance?  I don’t know.  In some instances she is not speaking from an attitude of love.  One phrase  she used about how she was glad that land was taken from these people sent chills down my spine.

But it has gotten me thinking.  I know this book has fallen out of favor with many literary people because of these passages, but I think that these passages only got me thinking, and mulling over the issue of racism.  Isn’t that the point?  Shouldn’t we read things that challenge our thinking, and make us analyze what we believe to be true?

The hard part in this culture, I think, is that people get so scared to talk about it.  It’s so easy to screw up that kind of conversation and look like a fool.  There are terms to use, and terms that offend.  To be honest I’m not always current with the proper terms.  I have met indians who prefer the term “Native American” and ones that prefer “Indian.”  I’m a bumbling idiot when it comes to being properly politically correct.  While some element of the politically correct crowd annoys me, the side that offends without care or compassion to people’s feelings annoy me too.  So it feels as though I have no camp that I belong in.  I’m in the camp that desires to love people, but does so imperfectly.

Linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along.