It’s Sunday night…the evening before I head back to school after a two-week Christmas vacation.
I spent the first week throwing off the remaining crud I’d been fighting since Thanksgiving.
The second week, once we’d returned home from visiting family, was, quite simply, divine.
When you’re a teacher, it takes a couple of weeks out of the classroom to begin feeling like a normal human being again…one who can put more than one thought together…one who can actually grocery shop, cook, and keep the house clean.
I feel refreshed.
Do I want to go back?
Not really. I treasure my time at home in the company of my family. I like being a stay-at-home mom and wife. I’m pretty good at it too and do not ever find myself suffering from boredom.
With that said, I am going back because no, I did not win the lottery.
At the moment, I feel un-rushed…calm even.
I think part of the reason is a renewed sense of who I am in relation to my Creator. I’ve been reading the book Wrestling with Wonder, by Marlo Schalesky.
I began this book on December 16…ordering it after I’d finished a devotion series that contained excerpts from the book.
This book is not really a feel-good kind of book. It’s one that makes you rethink what the word “blessing” means. Mary was blessed, but she endured the most unimaginable pain a woman can face despite God’s promises to her.
All of the things that God allows in our lives can be considered blessings because He is working His perfect purpose through those things.
News flash…blessings aren’t for us. They exist to further His kingdom.
This book is partially told first person…from Mary’s perspective…as she might have thought about things as they happened…the angel appearing to her to tell her she was carrying the Savior of the world…her journey to her cousin Elizabeth’s house…her trip to Bethlehem…the birth of Jesus…and more.
The book’s purpose isn’t to glorify Mary. It’s to reveal the wonders of some of the most confusing and life-altering moments in Mary’s life and then relate them to our own lives.
This book has reminded me that God allows the good and bad things into this world because He does have a grand plan, and it isn’t always to have me feel all happy-go-lucky. That’s comforting given relationships I still struggle with…inner turmoil that eats away at me as I fight my own dark thoughts and feelings.
There’s been a release of sorts…a lifting of some of the weight that I had allowed to reside on my shoulders for awhile.
This morning, one of the songs we sang at church was “Redeemed,” by Big Daddy Weave.
The lyrics, as always, spoke to my heart…especially the following words:
All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet
So, despite feeling a little like this right now…
I’m actually feeling more like this…
I hope that my calm demeanor lasts and actually rubs off on my students…kiddos who will be returning for a week and a half of teaching before first semester exams.
If my calm doesn’t last, I may be indulging in the following…
And this…Chocolate Peanut Butter Tartlets (from the book Vegan Pie in the Sky or here)…