Making bundt cake with the Lord

So, our internet connection comes from a satellite, as we are too far away from anything to have DSL, and every once in a while, the two of us, the satellite and we, have problems communicating. It's like Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, except that it is more like We're on Earth, Satellite's just Roaming, and then we have no internet. Like this weekend. So, it's a pleasure to sit down and be back in touch.

What a wonderful way to ring in the New Year, sick as soggy toast, not fulfilling a single one of the almost resolutions I had in my mind this year. Not a single one. It's a great start, can I have a startover? A reset? No? I didn't really write them down or anything, but they were a jumbled mess of jogging, getting up early, reading and meditating on the Bible, focusing more clearly on Kid A's early homeschooling, working on my novel, and taking vitamins. I didn't do any of them. Not a single one.

It's actually good for me to start the year this way. It's like God saying to me, "Let's just put away any newly formed ideas about that whole Supermom thing to rest right away, shall we? Now that we have that out of the way, what do you want to do this year? I have some ideas."

I'm excited, when I stop standing over my own shoulder with a whip, to think of God's ideas for me this year. When I was younger, I used to think that those ideas would be mostly exciting things that included travel and people telling me that they didn't know what they'd do without me. I'm ashamed to admit it. Now, well, I don't know, but I think that His ideas are more about formation. More about tossing me ingredients and seeing what I'll make. Sometimes His hands work with mine, and what comes out is mostly His own creation, and sometimes I feel like I'm struggling along, messing it up. If it's clay, it comes out cracked and dry, and if it's food, the rice is overcooked and the beans are burnt and tasteless. But while I'm working on what I'm making, He's really forming me, which is the important thing. Am I making any sense?

Like yesterday, I felt like I was thrown a pretty big mess. We left to go to church and spend the day up in the college town north of us. When we woke up, though, my Superstar Husband looked at me with bleary, pleading eyes. He's been burning the candle at every end lately, and fighting the flu that I fell prey too, so I said, "I'll just go!" After some minor issues and a little fun stress-filled tearing around to get everything together, I was on my way with the three kids, and some friends; one visiting, and two friends who live here. About halfway through the day there was a crisis with a girl who came with us, someone I have really come to love in the last few months. At first it felt like something I couldn't handle, like too many ingredients to make anything that wouldn't be a huge mess, that wouldn't take hours to scrape off the ceiling. But then, I heard God's gentle voice urging me to jump in and try, and I did. And I found that a crisis like this brought total honesty, that maybe now I'll be able to help more than before, and then somehow we muddled through the day without anyone getting hurt or lost or too far gone. And so, what emerged was a day of love and honesty, a day of softness with my kids, a day of working through hard things with friends.

The point is that I haven't been able to follow any routines this past week. My house has been rather messy, no matter my slow-witted attempts to clean it, and I haven't exercised. But I think I'm starting to see that this year is not going to be the year that I become the majorly sculpted and disciplined housewife, but more like the year that I learn a little more about how to listen. I've been tossed a family, and not only that, but a community, and sometimes I feel like I have nothing to offer, I haven't come out with enough arms to make something of this. I think God is still here, though, waiting to see what happens, offering a hand here and there. He's the one telling me that Yes, I can be kind to my children even when the house is messy and I woke up later than I wanted to. And most of all, He smiles at my efforts, gently taking that whip out of my hands, offering me a shoulder when I flop on the couch at night, exhausted. He urges me that I can be like a child, that this can be fun, even if it's not all travel, even if I'm not seamlessly saving the world. What a Guy. I guess that's mostly what I want this year, anyways.