Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mountain Ash, Creaky Stairs and Thankfulness

 Our house is old, it was built in the 1920s. One time we peeled some wallpaper off of my brother's room ceiling ( yes ceiling) and wall and found that someone wrote a date ( I think it was 1960) . I don't know why they wrote it, but it was a long time ago. My house has all original glass doorknobs, and windows. The glass doorknobs are all held with those metal plates, but they have key holes- and we don't know where the keys went. Some of the windows are bubbled or warped a little and are not insulated like new windows, so we have to put extra windows called storm windows over them in the winter. When we took the 60- 70's wall paper off, there was more wallpaper underneath, and then when we took that off, there was more. There's probably more underneath that, but we just painted over the last layer we saw. The banister at the bottom of the stairs is chipped a little and you can see layer upon layer of paint that has been used on it. We have a laundry chute that we kind of used to use as an intercom system, but more often use it for our laundry. Our vents are not very well insulated so you can hear conversations pretty well in other rooms, which you may use to your advantage or disadvantage. The back yard has lots of trees- not puny ones- huge maples and catalpas that shed every season. We figured out why our grass doesn't grow very well, Mount Saint Helens covered our street in ash and if you dig deep enough- it's still there. One time my dad pulled up a tree for our neighbor lady and inside the bush was like winter, sprinkled with ash. My room is connected to my sister's room because my sister's room was added on later. My sister's room and the office and downstairs bathroom below were all added on with not so good a foundation so if you drop some marbles they'll all roll east, or you'll sleep slanted downwards. Off of my sister's room is a veranda, it's most useful for tanning, and starwatching.  The attic is old and some birds made a home up there once, and you could hear the baby birds in the morning calling for breakfast. The street is worn down, and parts of our driveway have big cracks from the tree roots.

 Sometimes I think it'd be nice to have a brand new house with brand new plumbing, brand new foundation, a brand new roof, brand new driveway. But then I remember- I live in a big huge antique, a sort of museum, and a piece of history. Where I stand there were once orchards, then they built streets where old automobiles chugged down, and then they built this house and someone wrote dates on that wall in my brother's room. They added trees, and lovely wooden flooring, and glass doorknobs. They probably had an okay time with the grass until Mount Saint Helens blew up, and then covered up the ash. There are so many stories on this street, so many secrets, and so many memories. ( I have nothing against new houses, by the way... I just like mine better.)

 I was at our friend's house the other day and their house is super new, it smells like fresh paint and new wood. I was playing with the kids and was trying to let the kids know that I was walking up the stairs ( playing tickle monster) and no matter how hard I stepped- those stairs didn't let out one squeak. There are no mysteries, no secrets in that house. The windows are flat and shiny, the floors are reinforced with some new product. The grass outside is new and green, and the trees are small and brand new. I realized then how much I have in my old house, even though it is sometimes an extra hassle. I realized how important it is to be thankful for what I do have, because later on I might regret trying to have everything bigger, and better, nicer, greener, more, or less. I could have missed out on all the discoveries in my life that could not have happened if I got what I wanted then. God knew what he was doing when he gave me everything I have, even if I didn't understand it then. I didn't understand why our yard wasn't bigger- but now I'd take memories, history, and wonderful neighbors over any bigger yard. I didn't understand why I didn't know what I wanted to do for college like everyone else when I graduated- but I'm starting college this year and it could not have been a better time of my life.
 I'm not saying that people who strive for better are bad or not as blessed, because the same things can happen for people who even have as much as they could ever have. The main theme is just to be thankful where you are at. If God gives you a Ferrari- sweet! But use your blessings to bless others... I don't know what you could do with a Ferrari, but if you've got it ask God to give you the wisdom to use it the best for His glory. Mary Oliver said " Sometimes, I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed." And I think her words ring true.

A couple of weeks ago we were finishing my grandparents move ( some more), they moved a couple months ago but they had some stuff in a storage unit that they needed help getting out before a yard sale. Sadly, the first thing I did was complain to myself, I thought "why do they ever need our help again?! Had we not done enough already?!" Then I cringed with guilt at the sound of my thoughts in my head. How could I be so selfish? God quietly reminded me of a servant's heart and said " well, do it for me?" That evening I was on Pinterest ( as silly as that may seem) and I came across this quote that said " What ever the present moment contains, embrace it as if you had chosen it" (quote Eckhardt Tolle.) So the next day, trying to still have a joyful heart, I quoted that quote over and over again and reminded myself of what I was doing for Jesus even if I didn't see any progress. I said to myself with every box and every frustrated remark from family members that " this is my idea, I chose to spend my day this way, I dragged everyone into this" even though it wasn't true. I treated it as if I had called everyone up and said " Hey everyone I have a great idea and it's a lot of fun- let move boxes and get a little flustered." My "pretending" helped me see the other side of things, and opened up my eyes to really what a difference I was making because I had decided to ignore my selfish thoughts, and live in the moment God had blessed me with to bless others.

 We were all put on this earth at this time for a reason, no matter how hard it may seem right now. Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is a time for everything. All over the bible it says to be thankful and to thank the Lord. These past few years I have been learning that I simply need to follow directions and then watch God put all the pieces together, because His timing is perfect and a doubting heart won't help anything. I have been in that place of doubt and I still struggle with it, but I encourage you to see what you do have now and live now where you are. Even when we don't think we are making much of a difference- we really are blessing others by living now to glorify God. We were not made to construct our own lives, but to follow the constructor.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Between the 4th and the 5th of June

It is 12am.
You are hungry.
You know it's not going to go away.
                                           grumble. sigh.
grumble, grumble.
You give in, feeling your way down the dark flight of stairs- don't miss the last step!

Turn on the kitchen light, look around- no ones there.
Think of everything you could make at this time of the day.

First idea- hotdog. You could totally turn on your new electric grill and stand in the dark waiting for a barbeque at midnight...bad idea.

You peer into the fridge- chocolate fudge- the kind you heat up on the stove, caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, milk.... there's protein powder in the cupboard.


First three scoops of the powder.
A couple dollops of the fudge.
A drizzle of syrups.

Mix, mix, mix.
Clink, fizzle, clink, clink.


You are kinda sleepy... then suddenly- did I drink a cup of coffee?


Why did I do this?!!!!

You're awake, but at least you aren't hungry anymore.
How about writing about it?
The End.