22 March 2009


Several years ago, when I was still a 24/7 teacher (and just learning to be married to my husband, not my job), I fell off a desk and tore up my ankle.  The injury isn't really the point of the story, but it's where the story starts.  Anyway, we lived in the Heights but I taught in GPISD, and I couldn't drive for almost 2 months.  James was working freelance at the time and we figured he'd have to take me, so we were going to suck it up.  But a couple of girls at school also lived in the Heights, and I can't remember if I asked or they offered, but before I knew it I was included in their carpool.  And that's how Lauren and I became such good friends (Lauren is Kayci's godmother, for those of you that don't know the family tree).  Anyway...I digress, as always.  The point of the story is, and I seem to have left the point out--I needed to learn, at that point in my life, how to depend on others and ask for help.  Apparently I wasn't learning fast enough, so God gave me a little push (literally, I guess) and there it was.  At the time I was very aware of the silver lining, and grateful for the life lesson.  I still struggle with this one at times, but I'm about a thousand times better than I was 10 years ago.  So that's good.  

I'm human, I know, more human than most a lot of days, and I know I still have a lot of things to work on.  I'm a work in progress, as I think we all are.  Our new life (well, not so new anymore, but ever-changing) life here in Brenham has really been good for our family, for me, and for my marriage.  One thing it hasn't been so good for?  My OCD tendencies.  Until I had Noble, I was worse than ever about keeping a freakishly clean & neat & organized house.  I've mellowed a bit since then (a 20-lb. wrecking ball will do that), but I still struggle with wanting things to be EXACTLY RIGHT so I can function comfortably.  And I struggle, and I struggle...

If you've read my posts lately, you know that things are pretty much up in the air here...both in life and in our home.  The home front is a bit more settled (now the kids' room is pretty much the only area of the house that's not "right"...and the shed, and the yard, and the garden I want to plant...) but life is about the same.  Last weekend we all went to Pottsboro and had a great time; Noble got sick on Monday and has been sick since.  Because he was running a fever/had a virus, we couldn't be around Dad at all this week, which put a crimp in our plans to be there this weekend to help them with some things, just spend time with them.  It's important that we spend time with Dad now, because as the pain increases and they up his meds he'll withdraw even more...but that's another story.  The point is, life is up in the air.  The more out of control things feel in my life, the more I crave order and routine...probably a false sense of security, prideful need to feel in control--I know my faults, people.  But here's the thing:  I've quit making plans.  It sucks always having to cancel, either because something's going on with Dad or because Noble's sick (again), and it's easier to just take it one day at a time.  (Bah bah da bah bah...one day at a bah bah da bah...)  There's a big, obvious life lesson in there, I know--Kristi is not in control.  Seriously, God, I get it.  But here's the blessing in this season of my life:  it's not uncomfortable anymore.  I'm sitting here in my bedroom, next to ugly plastic tubs with clothing hanging out of them, next to an unmade bed (because I'm washing sheets after we take a nap, yea to both!!)...and it's okay.  Kayci's been on Spring Break for nine days, Noble missed four days of school, I've gotten NOTHING accomplished in nine days...and it's okay.  The house is exactly as it was when Spring Break started...and it's okay.  2 baskets of clean laundry are waiting to be put away...and it's okay.  Hopefully I'll get to some of this stuff tomorrow, or later this week.  But if not, it's okay.  If you don't know me and you're still reading this, you probably think I'm crazy and you're probably right.  Like I don't have bigger things in my life right now to worry about than laundry, right?  Well, I do, but getting the laundry done is one more way I can keep putting one foot in front of the other and feel like I'm doing something other than waiting, feel like I'm still LIVING my life, one day at a time.  (No theme song here--not as funny the 2nd time, I suspect.)  But the difference now, as opposed to before, is that I understand that I can still LIVE when things are not exactly "my way," or when things aren't comfortable for me.  I can live, not just survive, in the meantime, in the waiting.  Life doesn't stop just because a life is coming to an end, and I guess that's the heart of the matter, isn't it?

So there's the silver lining.  In this season where death is constantly with us, I'm learning how to truly live.  A couple of years ago, before they figured out it was my gall bladder and James and I were a little scared, we made a pact to quit waiting for tomorrow...to say what we need to say when it needs to be said, to love fully, give generously, laugh as much as we want to, and just say screw it when something's not important.  We agreed to keep the first things first:  faith, family, and friends.  And I think we've done pretty well.  Maybe our yard has suffered a bit, and at times my baseboards are a little dusty, but my life is pretty awesome.  It's funny how life happens the way it does, and at times, like now, you can look back at the journey and just see all of the pieces fall together.  I wouldn't be the person I am today without the lessons I've learned in the past--and each lesson builds on the last.  It's pretty cool how God ties it all together, and even more cool at times when I can step back and see His work in my life and how He uses the people around me to be my teachers, and mirrors when I need them.  

I'm grateful for those of you still reading who are my friends, who are always there when we need something, big or small.  I woke up this morning with lots of things on my mind.  I know that some of you are hurting as well, and I know you wonder how I keep smiling every day.  This is how. It's not just for show--I'm happy, and I'm okay with what's coming next for my family.   Dad's cancer has absolutely nothing to do with me, I know that...but it has changed everything, and lots of that needed to be changed.  It is what it is--life.  Hope it helps, if it's what you needed.  And if not, we'll keep looking--I'm here for you, too.  :)  


The Wright's said...

thank you for being my mirror today! That IS what I needed - I love you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that someone else is as crazy as me about being OCD, and that you're learning to live with it as I have... I was incredibly OCD until after my divorce when I realized that my reason for being that way was because I couldn't "control" my husband or his actions, so I would try to have control over the inanimate things in my life: the floors, the beds, etc. I went through a time when I literally couldn't leave the house without making the beds, even if it meant I was late for work. After I married James, and I found out that love can be so wonderful and not controlling, I quit being that way (probably too much; even Rebecca says she wishes I was more attentive to the house sometimes - as long as it's not her room!). I actually think I need to be more attentive to the house, but I know that the cleanliness of the house isn't what makes me happy, my LIFE does, so I let it slide often. Now... off to clean the house! (I really did have that planned for today!)

Kristi said...

Hey, girls--
Thanks for reading! :)