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Apr 19 2016

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And miles to go before I sleep (Why moments of darkness are pivotal)

 

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year

Until recently, I hadn’t read that poem in years..since grade school I think? I actually looked it up today because I frequently have the phrase ‘and miles to go before I sleep’ come into my head. (Poems and song lyrics are mainstays of my humor.) But now that I am older, it is all the more beautiful. I love the woods, snow, and the quiet shadowy places. (Ironically I’m slightly afraid of the dark, and large bodies of water, but that’s another reason why I’m a combination of opposites.)

A newer favorite is the Steven Curtis Chapman song, “Glorious Unfolding”, part of which says:

I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

 

I know that the song is ultimately speaking about the overarching plan from the Creation to the New Creation at the end of days, but….being reminded that my everyday life is part of a work of art I can’t see fully, is very encouraging.

Everyone jokes or reminds that being a mother is the most difficult job in the world. And I’ve been told I’m good at it. I’ve also been told I’m not very good at it, but regardless, my place has primarily been at home with the children for the last 11 years. Yes, I know my oldest is not quite 11 yet, but I stopped working because of pregnancy before she was born, so it counts. And my personality type is not one that is naturally ‘happy at home’. So there’s been a few times, when I just wanted to scream because I needed to get out. These feelings are normal.

What’s not normal is laying around in bed all day, wishing your children would go away, and wanting to scream every few minutes. This is a form of depression that, praise God, has since been treated, but for awhile was very much my reality, and my husband was very patient in the meantime. There are many causes of depression, and it is very rare that one can choose to change and ‘get over it’. Usually the underlying cause needs to be treated, and in my case, the cause was mold. While we were in CA, I was living in a moldy house.

You see, if we hadn’t moved away from our beloved coastal California, it would have been a very long time before I realized that my exhaustion and malaise (perhaps lugubriosity is more accurate) wasn’t normal, and that perhaps there was a medical reason why I could no longer ‘handle’ being a mom. Because if I hadn’t moved back, I wouldn’t have gone to the same doctor my friend had, wondering if I had Lyme disease too, because wow, same symptoms!

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

All part of God’s plan. If we had been able to sell the house in GA, we wouldn’t have been forced (financially) to move back to it, and we would have stayed in the moldy house indefinitely.

Why was living in the moldy house part of the plan at all, you may ask? Well, I don’t have all the answers, but I am certain that I couldn’t have looked at myself very accurately before going through such a dark place. I can’t be a very good help to other people if I don’t know myself…and why would someone come to me for style & sewing help if I don’t look authentically and well dressed?

(Another reason is that I wouldn’t have discovered I had a food sensitivity, either, which means I am at a healthier weight and size than I have been since before my 3rd child, 6 years ago.)

I can look back at lots of other times I’ve seen reasons for trials, after the fact. But the point is, I’ve learned to trust God and where He leads, no matter how frustrating it seems at first, or how little sense it may make to myself and/or those on the outside looking in.

Which brings me to something that I’ve been meaning to address — some of my family members asked what I meant when I said that my whole personality changed. I suppose it wasn’t my whole personality that changed, but aside from the aforementioned change of energy type, I feel like I’ve matured a lot. I’m no longer an ingenue. Maybe the farther I get from my experience & the less dependent my children become, the more youthful I’ll feel again — but for now, I feel like a grown-up.

And in a way, I’m no longer at war with myself. I remember when I was a teenager, being torn between the sexy, cute styles, and the refined, glamorous styles of the B&W movie stars. I wouldn’t say I’m that refined — but I’m not even really going for that look anymore. Now that I know myself better, I’m not trying to be something I’m not. (Note that I’m not saying that I am or that I’m not refined/glamourous/what have you…but that I’m only trying to be the best version of the unique person God has created me to be.)

Which is why, I’m happy that change is a part of life. Usually it’s because God wants to fix a part of me, and unfold the next part of the story. Rarely being what you expect it will be. I started this post thinking it would be just another in the series, but it turned into an intermission of sorts…possible tangential, but here it is.

I wonder how much we’re like the little horse asking, why are we here?

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed

 

Next time…how I finally took my random, mix & match style, & made it more focused.

 

The before..

The before..

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