2006-01-28

An Epiphany: Gathering Myself In

It's tomorrow already. Today (or yesterday) was a long day, although not an unpleasant one. I did not plan ahead well and this morning I was not prepared to do the morning school run and be on the train into the city by 9:36. The kids were delivered safely to school, and I was on the train. But two things I needed to drop at the school were still sitting on the kitchen counter, as was the cereal bar intended for warding off hunger pangs until I got to eat breakfast at 10:15.

Breakfast was great, the service planning meeting efficient and fun, lunch at La Finca de Susana was cheap and wonderful as always. And of course the company of Kelly and Amy was heart-ful and comfortably warm.

After lunch as we walked briskly back towards an international store where I could probably buy a cake mix (we are having Nic's birthday party tomorrow; it snuck up on me and I had no energy for making a cake, especially since Nic requested another pirate cake and I had to decorate it too) the cold and tiredness won. My body is in a low cycle right now and I suspect I am fighting a sinus infection. Anyway, I wanted badly to go home, get warm and take a nap.

So I parted from my cheerful company and caught an express train home that came early and stopped little. I crawled into bed under two duvets and dozed for awhile, but real sleep eluded me. It is eluding me still!

All of us went out to buy firewood (arriving just before half of Madrid in their shiny SUV's) and the second half of the monthly grocery shopping at a new Mercadona where we had not gone before. We won't go there again; the store was cramped and swamped (never mind that we went at 6:30 on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend) and the parking garage a logistical nightmare. I generally prefer to grocery shop alone, or just with Troy, so having the whole family along in a crowded store a patient mother did not make!

We survived the experience, and blessing of blessings, found a small cake with cartoon characters that caught Nic's fancy, along with Tom & Jerry paper plates. My boy was thrilled to pick out his plates, napkins, yellow cups and the cake with Tweety on it. And I let my "I always make and decorate their birthday cakes" self off the hook.

We came home, put groceries away, fed the kids, lit a fire and had a peaceful evening. After Troy and I watched Drumline, we went to bed at a decent hour. But I couldn't sleep, and as I tried to quiet my mind, the epiphany came.

For the past many years, I have often tried to be the woman I thought I should be. And the woman I thought others thought I should be. Often, I think, this woman was not necessarily what God made me to be, and often not who He wanted me to be. I realized that I have spread myself thin in some ways; donning new hats in an effort to please others, or maybe even make myself look/feel good. Especially if I have "failed" in other areas. Unfortunately, I am a fairly capable person. I am pretty good at keeping things going and I can handle a lot at a time.

But lately, I have begun to feel more and more scattered, as God has been showing me more of simplicity. I have said that I want to become, over the next months, the woman that God means for me to be. And I know that as I become that woman, things in my life will fit me much better. There are many things I CAN do, but I am beginning to see that there are not so many that I SHOULD do.

So, I realize that I need to "gather myself in," or as Kelly puts it "spread in." I need to find the pieces of myself that I have lent out, and given away, and shoved in a corner, and buried under guilt and stress, or ignored or criticized or dismissed. I need to find all the parts of myself and take the whole heap of it, and sit down with Jesus. With Him, I need to fit each piece together into the picture that He has of me. There are things that I'm doing that I am probably doing for the wrong motives. There are things I am doing that I can probably stop doing without causing even a tiny ripple in the universe. And I know there are other things that I should start doing. But they are joyful, hopeful, building things.

I'm not sure yet what all this will look like. I feel a bit like the magazine composite that Truman (The Truman Show) creates of different parts of a woman's face. It's time to find out what I really, truly am supposed to look like.

3 comments:

kelly_w said...

amen!!!

Sophie said...

You bless me Heather... I relate. Thanks for your honesty.
Sophie

devoted said...

You're on the right track, my friend! Our Father is smiling.
Elizabeth