Confessions: Mismatching Socks and My Deepest Longing

She doesn’t look for her keys before leaving the house. When you meet her as planned, she’s on time. Out of the car bounds an active kid, shirt ironed, as his mother materializes with a rock of a baby in an easy arm. Of course Mom’s groomed. When did she have time to paint those nails? She greets you with eyes and a smile that say she pulled off a restful night and she’s good to go.

And then there’s me.

Last month on the way out to the park, I realized my socks didn’t match. I had grabbed the white one and the checkered brown from separate piles off the tired path out of bed. I didn’t want to go back upstairs so I shrugged and drove off. The disinterest in the impression I make in public is an offshoot of my young, willful self. I was known for the different-colored socks in junior high – usually one red, the other purple. didn’t see why they had to match. So the asymmetry this time wasn’t so crazy of me, only I am thirty years older. I plainly looked more off than like a trendsetter. The women I know match – even purse to outfit.

And here I am, one of those days. My plans, my body, my emotions don’t seem to…work. I’m a Hyundai from the 70s. Dang ignition’s sluggish and the car gets temperamental when she’s finally on the road. Why the overcast view of the week ahead, the brooding storm clouds in my spirit? My son’s laughter makes its way to me through a thick wall of emotional static. I want to really see him but need to clear my circuits. I pry loose the helpless confession. Discontent and fear. Not sure which wins out but there they are, wreaking havoc. I wish this were different, wish that came easier – and I fear they won’t. I redesign my life in my head.

The nerve. How many people wouldn’t jump for this life? But hold on. Can we say this? Can we compare lives like we do houses? We don’t know all the stuff that goes on in a home, in human hearts. We all have closets we keep shut, some locked. Apparently Superman wasn’t so special – some of us have x-ray vision too. Last week someone who had been very kind and friendly to my family decided I was too imperfect for her and her circle. The ax fell from nowhere. I’d had no inkling I had been under scrutiny, especially because I had not seen her at all this year until a week before she wielded her hatchet. I had never uttered a bad word about her or anyone we knew. In any case, I somehow wasn’t good enough for her. Well Super Woman, here’s some more ammunition for you. Days like this, I in fact do remember my textbook Christian answers. I’ve taught the Bible. I know who I am and Whose I am. And I still feel like a failure, precisely because I know better. It’s not low self-esteem. I believe we are all full of ego. Why is compassion something we have to work on? “Love your neighbor as yourself” is one commandment, not two. We are told to love others as seriously as we take our own needs. If only I were more grateful, really grateful for all I have and for those who love and need me. I could disable the discontent. I am responsible for the perspective I take and how I respond when life seems to move against the grain of my hopes. I ache in my fallenness.

I’ve thought hard, blogging the past year, about what keeps us shuffling forward on the journey. Hope. Without it, tomorrow is nothing and closes in on today. I disagree that love is man’s greatest longing. Unless you’re Daddy Warbucks, all your love for me won’t keep food on my table and put my son through college. Hope is the picture you paint in your head of yourself and those you cherish in a better place. Ironically, hope is what drives you in your plans to kill yourself. Yes, I dare say because I was there as a teen. Bottomed out, you are so miserable you trust that anything will be better than where you are. What gets us through our daily fears is the hope of a good living, a happy family, improved health. You keep on through another round of chemo, holding on to the brighter picture ahead. But it’s a deeper kind of hope we nurse. Assurance of redemption, that our sighs and disappointments will not merely lead out to fresh air that makes the vault of our past feel like a bad dream. But that we will one day see – whether in this life or the next – the storyline to our suffering. We want to see the writing on the walls of our despair, know that we haven’t lived senseless years. We pray God or whatever we trust in will make right the wrongs, show mercy for our transgressions and vindicate us where we suffer. I hate waste, of time especially, and remind myself of the truth that’s found its way as a popular aphorism. I don’t want to waste my sufferings. I listen for the lessons they have for me. Onward and upward? My God makes this possible because He wastes nothing.

Versatile Blogger Award, 500 Follows, Ode to My Readers

I’ve sat on this award over a week, wondering what more to name about myself that could possibly be of interest to anyone. I accept the  thoughtful nomination from Belsbror. I find there’s a lovely spirit to his writing. As much as I really do appreciate it, I will decline the Liebster from Defusing Chaos, which no one has been able to tell me just what exactly it’s for.  I’d rather be working at content than posting awards I’m not sure I deserve.

versatile-blogger-nominations-1RULES:

1 Add the award logo to your blog.

2 Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.

3 State 7 things about yourself.

4 Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and include a link to their site and tell them that you have nominated them.

My nominees:

18 Years Young

Lady in the House

Darsword

Quill and Curio

Secrets of the Piano Keys

Marisa D. Lyon

That’s a Jenn Story

Nia Simone

A Little Bit of Red

NY Wonder Mom

Kartwheels

The Bohemian Blog

Heaven’s Nation

The Pantry Book

Musings in Montage
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About Me ~

I was a Linguistics major and Classics (Latin & Greek) minor in college.

I have allowed myself no time for a movie these six years as a mother. I haven’t been in a theater in seven years.

I freelance for Home School Enrichment magazine. My next article due out in four months is the series exploring the impact of technology on learning from this blog.  Here‘s an installment.

I wanted to marry a saxist or drummer. I did the latter. And my boy debuted in a Brazilian Samba band of 5th graders when he turned five. Got me a 2-for-1.

I taught piano a number of years. My husband would love me to go back to it, but I don’t want to lose time writing.

I have a of CD of devotional songs I wrote and sing.

I adore CS LEWIS. I said adore, right?
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This morning I found 500 followers on my board. I wish words could do justice to the ways you have enriched the journey. All I have is this token of friendship and warm regard for those who have taken the time to look at what I see.

Abbreviated Ode to My Readers

Two voices in the dark,
under the light of their writing