I think I have found myself with nothing to do. I have just spent the past hour staring out into the woods which frame the windows of our upstairs master bedroom; staring and watching the windchimes dance and sing in the wind, and wondering what in the world this life will look like come spring?
I do not remember the last time I did not have something to do next – something pressing.
Perhaps it was sometime last fall before the big push of packing up our Minnesota home happened. Surely after that avalanche began to slide there was no time which did not hold a “next thing” to do!
I know for sure that it wasn’t while we were traveling, inbetween homes. For those 5 weeks of fieldtripping and exploration of the west and southwest United States held a moment by moment demand, the likes of which I had never encountered.
Nor was there a moment to spare upon Dougs counsel to head for Colorado. Those days of immense uncertainty claimed every hour for something that smelled like survival.
And then there was the actual relocation and the hotel stays and the ultimate moving in with a man we did not know, but felt led to love. Still the days remained a series of demands. The girls needed my consistency, Doug my support and kindness. In my family those needs are more physical than mental. There were still school lessons to attend to and library reading lists to reserve, projects and fieldtrips, research for sports and supplemental classes, endless laundry which had to be taken to the laundromat, the visiting of churches and the keeping of meals in front of my family. And there was Joel.
And then the waiting and the Christmas season - which one would think would allow much in the way of open hours. Hardly. In fact, those were some of the most demanding. It seemed every hour was spent preaching to myself or to someone within this house – sometimes while walking on a trail, sometimes while sitting together reading, sometimes while engaged in a game or puzzle. But ever there was someone about to lean off the cliff of unbelief and we each needed the other to remind us to persevere well. Truly those were some of the most demanding days of all.
As a gift from God and sweet friends, the contents of our storage units were finally able to be relocated. That immediately meant a 4 legged cross country trek for Doug. Back and forth, back and forth he went loaded and unloading our belongings. Belongings which we no longer have any ties to, belongings which feel heavy now instead of comforting. But the belongings needed to come, and with that needed to be unpacked and placed. And still the school lessons and outings and discipleship was needed. In the waiting we learned that those, the life learning and discipleship were the things we really didn’t want to live without. How odd that it used to be the possessions.
Now the boxes are empty, broken down and taken by the garbage service. The rooms are filled with places to sit other than the floor. Joel is gone. Doug is at work and school has claimed its “normal” schedule, the schedule we all love yet know by heart. And I find there is not a next thing knocking at my door. My people are back in their rhythms.
Peyton is whistling downstairs as she makes some homemade treats for Atticus. Hes grainfree too, doncha know. Savannah is working on a Native American beadworking project which she will present at her Princess ceremony this summer at Camp Peniel. And I am without a pressing next thing to do? Could it be that finally the avalanche has stilled?
Doug and I talk of whats next almost daily. We don’t want to miss anything the Lord has for us here. It would be very easy after these past 4 years, and especially the past 5 months to begin to get fat and happy and settled. But we know this is the time to stay awake, to watch for the exit from the train and to be ready. We know we are still in waiting and we want to remain with lamp lit. I pray exactly that with the girls each morning - that we will remain with lamp lit and not be lulled by the rhythm’s chant. It is so easy to slip into comfort when rhythms are once again established.
So now as I sit and watch dusk calling for the mountains and seemingly have nothing to do next, I begin a different chapter of the waiting. And as that mountain wind blows through the tops of the pines, I can feel this new chapter blowing in as well.
Will winter continue or have we moved into spring? And what in the world will this life look like come spring?