today is my last day of 36.
this last week has been a nesting flurry - despite not being pregnant. i came home from my month away and went a little crazy with paintbrush and nails and debit card. i think i have this feeling of impending imprisonment in my home during the long winter ahead, and i want to make it as beautiful as possible for the coming siege. tonight i'm sitting back, taking it all in with a sigh of satisfaction. i'm currently on my couch with the sun shining in through the tree in our front yard, covering me with dappled light. scott and the kids are out for a walk and i stayed in, warm and cozy, to finish a novel and write to you all. it's been a lovely day. i wish all of my "last days" could land on a sabbath.
tomorrow my youngest registers for kindergarten. i washed his hair today but got sidetracked with dinner and forgot to comb it so it's sticking up every which way around his little head. perfect. he told his sister and i the other day, over lunch, that he was a little nervous for school. big sister piped right up with "but you're going to love it! and you get to be in a play at the end of the year! and go to assemblies and the library and gym and even dance class!!" he turned his big eyes to me - "i don't want to be in a play!" strike one for big sister. but a big A for effort.
i picked up my paintings from rosthern a week ago - it was like reuniting with old friends. we're still arranging and re-arranging them around the house, but oh! how i missed them. and what a sense of worth i feel when i experience how they turn a room into a beautiful space. i think that this gallery show has propelled me forward into seeing myself as an artist, not just someone who enjoys painting. not that it was a financial success, but the whole journey of creation and display and offering my work to both friends and strangers....something has clicked inside. and i'm thankful.
last week i arrived home to 3 foot weeds (did i tell you?). what is it about weeds that are so irksome? scott and i walked with the kids down by the river last night - gorgeous gorgeous evening with the setting sun and wildflowers and tall grass. surrounded by weeds and loving every minute, and yet, in my own yard...is it because i can't control them? is it because i work so hard to get something i have paid for to grow and these just shoot up willy-nilly, seemingly without the need for water or fertilizer or attention? infuriating!! my mom calls weeds 'God's flowers', but in my mind i think the opposite.
a while ago, while i was uprooting these intruders, i had the thought that weeds are like sin. (stick with me here, i think i have a point.) it's so easy to lie, to envy, to covet, to gossip, to lust; and so hard to sacrifice, and honour, and submit, and have compassion. you don't have to cultivate sin, it just springs up when and where you least expect it. and kills the Spirit alive within you, trying to grow and flourish and beautify. i did not have to plant anger in myself or my children, or tend to jealousy. but love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, kindness, goodness...these need to be nurtured and practiced and protected. not that they're more fragile, just harder to grow. maybe this is why God reveals himself first as a gardener in Eden. where weeds need no help to flourish, the garden needs a Gardener. and so do i.
and then today scott and i had fries from mcdonalds and decided they're like sin. they taste so good in the moment, and then 10 minutes later you pay for it.
and wetting the bed is like sin. momentary pleasure that quickly brings discomfort.
do the metaphors never end? okay, i'm stopping. but here's to my 37th year ahead - may it be filled with artistry, a garden of God's character, healthy food and a dry bed. cheers.