Ways

This morning the boys and I cleaned the dining room windows. While they were working on school, I spent time cleaning up the kitchen and wiping down the counters and cabinets. It’s a satisfying chore that I try to do weekly. Earlier this year we went to Target so I could resupply the house with cleaning supplies. For years I have used essential oils mixed with water and spray bottles. There’s nothing wrong with that, and the scents are still better than any store-bought cleaning products. But I wanted something that was ready-made to make the cleaning supplies more available for kids to use.

So I use my sprays on the counters and the floors. For a short while the house looks as though part of it was cleaned. I didn’t clean the floors this morning and it was good I didn’t. With the boys and I coming in and out the back door, in and out of the kitchen to refill the buckets with clean water, there was quite the trail of dirt and mud. While we were outside I had them rake and dig out leaves from the side of our fence. They wiped down and sprayed off the screens while I wiped down the window sills and the siding that surrounds the windows. They definitely look cleaner and better than they did, but since the windows are older, the glass parts still have a fogged up shine.

It felt good to work. I didn’t get any kind of outside spring cleaning done last year. The potato gardens we planted the year before grew completely back over with grass. Each year I look out at my back yard area and think about how much potential this space has if only I knew what it is I’m supposed to do with it. In addition to having new windows, with new siding if I was really dreaming, the outside landscaping seems like something it would be nice to pay somebody to think up and do. This is one of those things about living in a house we don’t own, but is owned by a not for profit ministry. Money is something you don’t spent loosely, so you can’t get too ambitious about making any kind of major or solely aesthetically based changes to the house that you’re living in.

I finished my paper over the weekend. I ended up having to take my computer up to my mom and dad’s over the weekend. It was my grandma’s 90th birthday, so we had a party for her, which was a wonderful time. All I had left was to write a conclusion and then finish proofreading, and that took me three hours. I don’t know if that’s normal or if somehow writing papers will get faster with practice. Anyhow, the paper got done. I turned it in on Saturday night.

I’ve had some deeper thoughts about life that I haven’t been able to sit down and write about. I come to these places sometimes where I start to wonder what the point of everything is. Like, if I were to die tomorrow, is this what I want to be doing with my life? I have lived a lot of my life this way, basing my choices on who and what is most important in life in light of dying tomorrow. On the other hand, I’ve also recently thought, “Let’s say I’m still alive in 20, 30, or 40 years. What do I want to have done or be doing with my life?”

There’s this saying out there in inspirational Instagram land that says something like, “If God puts a dream in your heart, it’s because he’s going to bring it to fruition.” Well, that’s not exactly true I’m realizing. Not that I haven’t realized this before. But every so often things happen that bring that reality back into the forefront. There are plenty of people who had dreams that did not come true. Let’s take Jane Marczewski, the singer who became famous last summer after her memorable appearance on America’s Got Talent. Well, her story was supposed to go like this: Jane wins the Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent. She gets to compete with the rest of the amazing singers and wins. Throughout this time she continues to get stronger and beats the cancer odds.

That’s not how things went. She won the Golden Buzzer, and then had to drop out of the competition because her health was declining. She continued to get weaker and weaker for months, until she died. It didn’t matter what her dreams were. It didn’t matter how strongly she believed or how rebellious her hope was or how hard she fought to live for her dreams. I know death for the Christian is not the worst thing, and from what her family says, Jane died with the hope of knowing Christ as her deliverer. This doesn’t stop me from wondering why God heals sometimes but then doesn’t heal always.

The friend I mentioned several posts ago is doing better as of late. She’s started doing high dose Vitamin C IV’s. Her family also arranged for friends and relatives to be able to call or facetime on a regular basis because she is so uplifted by fellowship. I have different thoughts about health these days. While there are a lot of things we can do to promote health and well-being, there really is only so much we can do. I used to want to believe that every situation, problem, and perplexing question is figure-out-able. I want to believe the answer is in the tree sap, a juice fast, or in some kind of life hack that can be figured out by human beings, and yet, I can’t think of anything farther from the truth than this. God is the keeper of all of our days. Ultimately our lives are in his hands.

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