Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today my body and mind wage war against my best intentions. Best intentions and godly ambition sit sleepily in the back of my fogged brain, hastily shoved there by exhaustion. It’s not just droopy eyelids and sore muscles. I cannot rise out of this muck and mire. The sweet February air and clean sunshine register lightly in my consciousness. The melodic and often contagious laughter of my children is barred from my barricaded awareness.

Where am I? I wonder. How may I numbly move from this room to the next with intention? There it is again… that stirred feeling, unsettling thoughts. I can’t seem to focus very long on any one thing without this silent plow moving through my brain. What is that?

I am sure I will ponder in future days of my survival, my very existence residing this way. How did I manage? I will muse.

Right now, I know I have to just “get through” today and all that entails. Dishes, meals, keeping kids out of trouble and well engaged, teaching Caleb… checking off the boxes of today. Will I accomplish what is mildly put before me? It seems innocent enough, not threatening in print. But here it looms before me, a grand shadow darkening my day, an obstacle that leads me to believe it is in fact much too large for my meager provisions.

My meager provisions… Is this how I perceive my life? Today I do. I resolve (which is strong word for today) to determine what these meager provisions are. Are they indeed meager? Don’t I often feel like something has been taken away rather than given in slight servings? I feel robbed of something for sure…

Who robbed me? Did I rob myself which yesterday’s activities? Have I found a way to rob tomorrow? If so, I highly recommend that no one try it. The inevitable question (either issued by me or my husband) is offered: “Was it worth it?” *groan*

Was it worth it? To rob tomorrow I plainly see I’ve punished myself for not disciplining myself against those “best” intentions. Look where intention got me… stirred, foggy, in pain, mush.

I can’t even fully appreciate the lessons of life today. I can’t fully do anything. I’m a half wit with half energy and half a mind to quit myself altogether. But as it remains, I will just have to “get through.”

I will not look for exceptional things today. I will not reach out for something that cannot be grasped or understood today. I won’t lament anymore. I will not mourn the robbing of tomorrow. I will not begrudge myself over stealing this today. I will not despair that a brighter light yet remains for another day. I will “get through” and may God give me a spirit (that I cannot fathom) of patience, contentment, and peace.

Afterall, do the things God gives freely to me everyday depend on even my state of mind? Do they depend on my physical abilities? Has His gifts ever depended on anything but His unchanging (oh what that would be like?) love and full acceptance of me, His dearly loved and cherished (yet wildly irresponsible) child?

Goodbye heavy weight of yesterday’s guilt. Getting through may yet be a gentle breeze over my consciousness. Like a deep sigh of relief, a full release of pent up air… giving up what is left of me today and letting Him fill me up.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I pause.

I hesitate.

This is my thought process: Are my words worth hearing? Is there some kind of arrogance in believing that my thoughts should be read? Aren’t the only truly meaningful phrases, thoughts, and proses found already written in Yahweh’s book? What can I say besides that which would echo truth therein? And lastly, what is the point of that?

Do I benefit from reading what others say? Do I at least enjoy what is produced from a thoughtful mind? Of course!

So why do I hesitate?

I thought silence would humble me. I believed the quieting of my mind, the outward focus of my thoughts would bring me into a better perspective. I nearly assumed I would guarantee a success in selflessness.

I have not seen that to be true.

The less inward I’ve become, the less outward I’ve also become. As though an internal balance made this outcome necessary… like a law of physics.

What has occupied my mind hence? I find myself constantly questioning things. I have lost a bit of innocence in the process… My investigation into the Torah has left me dumb at times, yet inwardly spinning. My feet have been uprooted in new knowledge and I can’t find where to set them down again. This is disturbing, but I belief also purposeful. Does anyone who finds a new piece of truth wish they were yet ignorant? I suppose sometimes so in the midst of grief and mourning over a life lost.

But at the same speed, life changes anyway. Without new truth, the ground is still moving. Without increasing knowledge, decay still sets in. What do we save if we keep our mind from this painful growth?

America is sedated, I’m afraid. No, not just sleeping, for sleeping indicates a complete lack of awareness. The song of each day is sung upon each sunrise like a melody you can’t resist. The serene and predictable nature of our lives lulls us into a rhythm we breath like air. Even with the strongest gale of opposing truth, we walk on to the heartbeat of America. Is there any escape?

Each house a tepid, stagnant pool. Filth within, new odious growth on top. The smell gets to me. Can I stir it and keep on? Am I the pollution here? Or is it in the air of this landscape? Is it breathed on our country with each morning song?

I fight this fight. I resist resisting but my heart cannot settle faithfully here. I am convicted through and through and I loathe to admit that fear holds me back.

I feel this in my heart day in and day out.. yet I am ever susceptible to this world’s quicksand. Some time on facebook. A few hours watching a meaningless and often offensive movie. Books of fiction that fill my mind with another reality. Obsessing over what to eat, are my kids getting enough physical activity, aspiring towards accomplishments, money, achievements, accolades… etc. Quicksand.

This is the obsession of my life.

I can forget it for a few hours, a day, but it comes back in a rushing wave and pounds my heart over and over. I feel as though I’m in chains, and my instinct is to get up, move, leave, GO. I feel my impatience physically. I feel sick from each morning song, like a sweet saccharin spoon dipped in my coffee. “Ready for another great American day, Mrs. Tinsman?”

I don’t want these gods. But here they are so subtly displayed at every turn.

Stability. What is stability? A physical temple to yourself? Look here! I’ve got enough money for this and that and emergencies, of course. Look here! I’ve got a house and yard that is all mine (or will be in 30 some years). Look here! I’ve got a great job with room for promotion. Look here! My kids are in top schools with solid friendships with kids just like them. Look here! I even give 10% to charitable causes. Look here! Picture perfect picture and nothing to distress us…

Health. What is health? Waging a battle against inevitable decay? I refuse to age (though time argues the point). I will not put this or that into my body (because we CAN afford to be picky). I will be in top shape for my own pleasure. I will readily engage in a skewed and corrupt medical world because of my vanity and lack of discernment – and, oh yeah! Threat to my stability, my normal life as I wish to always know it.

Doing. What is doing? (A painful memory for me… a painful reality for me.) If I do this much, I have earned myself some worth. My service to others will mask my own purposeless and misdirected heart. My doing will fill voids in my life that seem bottomless… Doing for the sake of doing.

In all of these open judgments, I sit. Am I condescending? Can I cry out that this is all around me permeating my life? I can hear nothing but Godlessness and emptiness. Am I wrong to hate this sing-song life, pretty picturesque scene complete with frills and daytime drama? I am filled to the brim with this insipid way. May I speak against this?

What are my words here? Is this anything new? I don’t believe it is. How can I feel so strongly opposed to the operation of life all around me? How can I so vehemently deny abdicating my life to this pattern? What’s more, what can I even do in response?

We are slaves to our desires here. And slaves we will remain.