Kitchen on Wheels

One especially crazy weekend I made fruit salad in the car.  I had overextended our family with too many commitments.  At this point in the weekend we were on our way to a family function.  My contribution was fruit salad.  With barely enough time to go to the store for the ingredients, I was going to be hard pressed to assemble the side dish before arriving at the party.  We were running late…as usual.  I knew everyone would be eating by the time we arrived.  It was bad enough that we would be late; I didn’t also want to be unprepared.

 

Fortunately, we had a 45 minute drive and I just happened to have a paring knife in the car.

 

(I’ll let that sink in for a moment.)

 

So, I proceeded to chop strawberries, kiwi and grapes while my husband drove.  (You may be saying,  “You didn’t make the fruit salad AND drive?”)  I am a multi-tasking, overachiever.  But I left the driving to my husband.

 

As he drove and I cut I had time to think.  I knew there must be some life lesson that needed to be realized. (I did tell you I’m an over-achiever, right?  I can’t just leave it alone without looking for the moral to the story.)  And, I’ve been a follower of Jesus long enough to know that He will use the silly, little stuff of life to make us more like Him.  I also knew that others who passed us on the highway must have either pitied me (fellow-mothers), thought I was losing it (women yet to be mothers), or didn’t even notice (men).  My husband was part of the last group. He barely made a comment about my traveling kitchen.  (This was one time when ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ was an unfortunate thing. It really would have come in handy.)  Maybe my wise husband was choosing to be discerning and not row into unpredictable waters.  I’m not always kind and patient when questioned while under pressure.

 

So, anyway…a lesson.  Somewhere.  I guess on the surface it’s obvious, right?  Don’t try to do too much.  Use some wisdom in scheduling.  We really don’t have to do everything.  Why do we make that our goal?  Our ridiculous, totally impractical goal.  Some days I just can’t get it through my brain that I am not a super-mom.  And, uh, you’re probably not either. (Hugs.) With all the love I can muster…you don’t have it all together.  Can we be honest with each other?  Live real?  It’s so hard.  I know.  We want to appear put-together,our lives in order.

 

We are not, have never been and will not ever be super-moms.  It’s a lie and only creates anxiety.  You may be able to keep all your plates spinning for a time, but not forever.  I’ve tried.  So let’s choose wisely.   Set priorities.  When given a choice let’s decide if it’s in line with our priorities.  Learn to say no.   We’re on the same page, right?  We agree that we don’t have it all together?  I do know someone who does.  God.

 

It’s very simple.  Well, simply said, but harder to do.  Choose real, vulnerable weakness, so God’s strength will be obvious.  And this is when the lesson gets below the surface.  And, as with any other area of our lives, this isn’t something we’ll do once and it will stick.  It will take work.  Day by day.  Moment by moment.  But what freedom and joy there can be if we just grab onto this idea!  To shed the idea that we need to have it all together.  A little closer to that abundant life.  Not only will we make our lives more bearable, but those around us will breath a little easier.  Let’s chose what has eternal value, not over-commit and allow ourselves some vulnerability.

 

Oh, and, remember…it’s not safe to use a knife in a moving vehicle.

 

 

Laundry

Why does laundry take me into the deepest of despairs?  I’ve shed more tears while doing laundry than while doing any of the other hundreds of tasks that consume my days.

Many aspects of laundry could make anyone cry.  How about its endlessness?  Or, when a towering pile of neatly folded clothes topples to the ground?  Ever shrink your favorite sweater to a size smaller than your adult body has ever seen, but not small enough for your toddler?  And, bleach.  It is not my friend.   Add to that the fact that I usually wait to do laundry until it’s late.  Way past my bedtime, late.

Those feelings of never making progress with laundry seem to transfer easily to all other areas of my life.  For example, will I ever get to go to the bathroom with the door closed?  Will I ever again shave my legs on a daily basis?  Will there come a time when I can shower long enough to wash my hair and my body on the same day?  Will I ever again eat a hot meal without getting up from the table even once?  It’s true…the simplest, mundane tasks are great at bringing out those ‘ugly cry’ urges when they don’t go as planned.

So, if you are a fellow, teary-eyed, late night launderer…listen up.  Take heart.  You can be sure that everyone in your family changes their underwear every day.  Besides, I think we may be on to something here.  Our well-placed tears could save money on the water bill, and, who knows, they may have some secret, stain-fighting power!  So, enjoy a good cry.  Keep pressing on.  Bloom where you are planted.  And, remember: bleach happens.

why ilene…why i lean

to lean:

1 a : to incline, deviate, or bend from a vertical position
   b : to cast one’s weight to one side for support
2    : to rely for support or inspiration
3    : to incline in opinion, taste, or desire
Why I lean.  I lean.  I can’t do this life alone.  Sometimes dealing with the day to day of relationships does me in.  Relationships are tough!  I lean on Him.  He is my strength.  He is my hope.  Who is He?  He is God, Jesus, Creator, Sustainer, Father…I could go on and on.  He goes by many names and  He remains the same.  I lean on Him.  I talk to Him.  (Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  I Peter 5:7, NLT).  I tell Him all my woes and worries.  He hears.  He has kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book (Psalm 56:8, MSG).   In this I hope.  I lean.
Why Ilene?  I am writing this blog anonymously.  I needed a psuedo-name.  Really I just decided to choose a name that starts with the letter ‘I’.  Ilene means ‘light’.
Why anonymous?  I want to write without reserve.  Be honest.  Share my heart.  Share my life.  And in doing so I hope to shed light on the reality of life’s difficulties while pointing others to my source of strength and hope.  Call me shy or maybe even insecure.  Relationships are tough!  Did I say that already?  I am mom to several and wife to one, sister to 3, daughter to more than originally intended.  I love my loved ones but how they push me to my limits.  Just today I told Him, “I can’t do this!  Not today.”  Feelings of wanting to escape.  Days are many my husband is careless with words and tone that wound.  It’s dealing with these relationships that pushed me to seek an outlet…I love to write.  Oh, but I love them!  Protecting them proves me fierce.  It’s sheltering them from judgement by others that  caused me to decide on staying anonymous.  It’s being honest and open with others (because you’re facing tough relationships too, right?) that made me decide on a public outlet.  A safe place to vent and focus on Him.
Will you journey with me as I lean?
Love,
Ilene