I've entered the time of pregnancy that I like to call "third trimester sleep training." It's that period of time where you start getting conditioned to frequent wakings, uncomfortable positions in bed, and the eerie/almost-reverent feeling of those wee hours as you climb out of bed again for a bathroom break.
Farewell, Bedtime Cup Of Tea, you are not my friend anymore.
So my mornings drag into a slow, sleepy rhythm and again I feel like I'm walking that familiar line between peaceful and lazy. As much as I love being an early riser - I wonder if I will ever get the hang of it? I roll out of bed just in time to fry eggs and pour coffee before Josh leaves for work, and if Annika stays asleep then I sneak outside to feed chickens and inspect lettuce leaves for slug-bites.
I've invested too much money into a little crop of Seascape Strawberries and the slugs are my greatest enemy. Annika has found a few of them and they are immediately peeled off the under-side of rocks and tossed before five ravenous chickens. The chickens don't seem to love the taste of slugs but they just can't help themselves - they'll eat anything that moves.
Next door Miss C's house is being sold again. They've renovated it and hired a staging company to furnish and decorate the inside. When I peek over our fence and into the windows I can see water glasses arranged just-so, sparkling and inviting, perfectly placed pillows, fresh flowers on a table.
I feel the urge to clean my house immediately.
But instead I kick dirty boots off at the back door and re-enter my quiet, very lived-in little house.
The butter is softening on a little plate by the stove, more eggs waiting to be fried. Counters to be wiped. Floors to be swept. At least there's actual coffee to be drank.
Life seems like a constant repeat of these same familiar things. But I realize lately how thankful I am for them. For the familiar, simple little things that have begun to define life here.... feed the chickens, walk the dog, share a meal, share a laugh, bedtime stories, goodnight kiss. And then it all starts over again the next day.
Sometimes it feels like a whole lot of nothing too important. And yet, it all fills my day and my time completely. Whats that thing they say - how we spend our days is how we spend our lives?
I read the quote and feel the urge to clean up my life immediately.
I want it to be radiant. Attractive. Inviting. I want it to be be purposeful. I want to have powerful, meaning-filled words to share here.
But instead I kick off dirty boots and take a look at my quiet, very lived-in little life.
The truth is, I feel guilty for being too busy and I feel guilty for not being busy enough. I sometimes rejoice in the way God weaves my days into the days of others and seeds are sown and miracles unfold. And then I sometimes doubt that I'm doing enough - loving enough, engaging enough, sacrificing enough.
But if I feel the Holy Spirit whispering anything, it's to stop striving so hard. Stop concerning myself so often with who I am and what I'm doing with my life. Because maybe, in a realer and more spiritual sense, how I spend my days isn't necessarily the best representation of my life and what it means.
Maybe the daily spending of myself will be the thing that, in the end, shapes my character - and my story.
Whats hiding inside these little, familiar things... these incredibly average-looking, normal things? Serving my family, serving my friends, serving my neighbors. Being served by them. Learning to soften my heart and open my life to others - to friends here and to flesh-and-blood people all around me. Many of us so average-looking and normal on the surface. Maybe that's more than a whole lot of nothing.
Maybe that's something. Maybe that's powerful.
So I rest. I put my phone on do-not-disturb (I don't turn it off completely because I need it for taking pictures obviously) and I keeping do my thing. I just try to be present and open-eyed and rested while I do it.
And God help me, because all of those things are hard.
So often I feel distracted, unfocused, and tired. But God help me to be rested, thankful and simply ready to spend these days.