Tom wanted to fasten one of our bluebird houses to a more stable post. Last Saturday was moving day. Presuming the nest inside was an old nest –no activity, no eggs, no birds, he dumped the nest. Within an hour you should have seen the frenetic activity of massive reconstruction. We watched all afternoon at Mama and Papa Bird’s relay of carrying materials for the rebuilding. I wonder at their frustration and anxiety at having to “build again.” Now there is a beautiful nest there; we will not remove this one anytime soon.
These birds most likely took this calamity in stride; they simply did what was natural and began again. I love the verse in Psalm 119:32: “I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”
Their many trips bringing twigs, grasses, feathers and strings reminded me of my feverish years balancing marriage, home, family, church ministry. At times, I must have looked and acted like Superman.
You may have read the book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. Currently I am considering leaving the Martha world altogether. I much prefer moving dirt in the flower beds than moving it from the furniture. Dust art is certainly more creative than polished finishes on aging wood.
I hinted to a daughter that I would like to balance my sanitized, sterilized, spotless self with a more relaxed freer me. I said, “If I had learned this earlier, you would have missed cleaning the woodwork once a month.” She laughed and said, “Once a month, Mom? We wiped down woodwork every week.” Then we both concluded that it really was once a month or when guests were coming for dinner. (and sometimes that was every week.)
These days I choose the music of the birds to the hum of the vacuum. I find myself dreaming of walks in the woods, picnics in the park. I told someone this week, I would join a convent if they would allow Tom to share my room. :-). I long for quieter places, for still waters. . .”My soul finds rest in God alone . . .” (Ps 62:1)
I refuse to use growing older as a reason for this– though, perhaps, it is a growing up. And if being free means letting go of expectations, traditions and routines, then why didn’t I grow up a long time ago? How much energy was spent becoming a ‘wonder woman’?
Now, I only want to wonder . . .and sit . . . and hear His whisper.
Perhaps I am too tired to make sure the dust doesn’t cling to white woodwork. I rather hope it is because there are more delightful places to find satisfaction and fulfillment. Surely prayerfulness defines me now rather than punctiliousness; I desire to be known as merciful— not meticulous.
Before you think I have become shabby or slovenly, you must know of the con- tinual struggle to find this balance. There is still much attention given to physical surroundings. But I am learning . . . trying to let dust lay longer. To allow the vacuum to be silent for days.
“I wish I knew then what I know now.” I would have let go of cleaning cloths and scrub brushes and picked up more moments with the children.
Then, perhaps I would have been a “wonder mother.”