Saturday, January 05, 2008

Laundry List

I actually like doing laundry. Call me sicko. I guess there is something about getting the sorting right or being able to complete a whole project. Or calling it 'a wrap' and knowing it's really done—for this week. Laundry list—is that the list that keeps on giving? Living? Being? Is it the list no one wants to do? Is it the everything list?
I haven't blogged in a while—except the last short one...yes, I've journaled and I'd love to show you my journal but sometimes I just have to tuck it away. Lots of good things, eh, regular? You know, the regular loads...white, lights, darks, extra dirty...
I don't want my entries always to be about hard days. It's been over 2 ½ years now—at some point we do embrace that a new memory has to be made without our loved one. That's hard. Most often it goes unspoken, too.
The other day I was squeezing in a load of laundry before work—knowing I just came off of a '1,000 hr power weekend' (exag) with a women's event held 4 x. I knew I had a little grace time about when to go in.

When I was a little girl I was fascinated by watching front-load washing machines...okay, even as an adult I could get hooked at the laundry mat watching the washers or dryers. The washers are more fun with the suds. I digress.

Back to the other day...”I'll just fold a load and be off to work,” I thought. I was pulling the warm jeans and slacks out of the dryer. I was a little chilly so I planted my face in the laundry as I pulled it close to me in order to carry it to the living room. As I did, I caught sight of a pair of khakis as I pulled the rest of the clothes out. "Were those Michael's? Are the boys already that tall?" I don't ever have to/get to do Michael's laundry again. I liked doing his laundry. He appreciated that I learned to fold his clothes the certain way he grew up folding them. The khakis—my son has his own he bears wearing to church. They're almost M's size. All my kids are now taller than moi'. (The bricks didn't work.)
I carried the warm pile to the living room and buried my face in it. I burst into tears and found myself 2 hours later in a pile of damp jeans.

(a few days later)
The night sky has been breathtaking, albeit one of those early winter cold breezy nights. One can't help stopping and staring. God's amazing placement of the stars...and He knows them all by us. Hmmm...We said, “see you later” to a young navy man tonight...just 21..called Home to join his grandma. The chill in the air resembles the 'edge' of emotional damns that are present in many hearts at memorials. I passed by rooms where large Christmas parties were happening simultaneous to the memorial. My mind was whirling like the wind outside as I braced to walk across the plaza once more. The brisk wind was blowing the last of the fall leaves into the breezeway of the building. I contemplated the road of my healing...the cold winds that can't always be fixed; the kind that find their way right to the bones..pondering little children in other places in the world who are shivering from the wind and cold; without a building to enter; struggling to sleep and only drifting there due to exhaustion.

I've felt pretty exhausted of late—though not so much from my trial but one of just keeping up with the 'laundry list.' It still gets overwhelming if I read the whole list at once, but we're tackling the list one by one. (And learning to not look at the list all at once!) Healing doesn't mean forgetting. Healing is about hope—healing means it's (my grief) not all-consuming any more. The reality just is. The laundry keeps needing to be done. There's still the occasional load of 'hand wash' or brand new reds that bleed.

Bleeding. The thought usually sends me to communion. Remembering. Blood is about sacrifice. Christ's sacrifice is about our sin. Funny, we wouldn't even need clothes if it wasn't for sin. What a tie in! I didn't even see that one coming. And now we have clothes...all kinds. It's become about the kind now; not that we have to cover our miserable souls because of sin.
We're staying home for Christmas this year. We need to. Praying for bonding and moving ahead together. Praying for you and enjoying the pictures, cards, and letters. Hoping to get a family letter out fairly soon. Just consider it your first Christmas letter for 2008. Had a neat opportunity to go to a Christmas concert by Natalie Grant, Daniel Kirkley (check out his website, my space and music), and Mandisa from American Idol. I got to sit front row, center. It was so encouraging to my soul. Daniel's song, “My New Dawn,” came out 5 months ago and moved my heart through a low point. I'm grateful for God's Word and songs through His people.

Natalie, Daniel (, and Mandisa
FYI--Sylvia Lange has a new Christmas CD out...along with her singing partner, Billye Sleuter. "Crimson Bridge", their group, has also put out a new one. Anyone with a new baby needs to check out Billye's! Sylvia's has a beautiful Celtic fav. sound. I'm sorry I didn't share this earlier....but order those Christmas CDs for this December and you can be that much ahead. I heard a great idea from a church: get all your Christmas shopping done before December 1 and Sabbath through the month. Be radical.

If you would like copies of any of Michael's Children's Ministry workshops, I could list them and you could request them. Just let me know.

Happy New Year,

p.s. Shelly--you always make me smile. Thanks for the feedback. Should we develop a support group for 'closet introverts?' Maybe we could advertise it to feel better, but be glad no one goes because 'us people :)' wouldn't want another group to go to anyways. Does that make sense? Guess it's late. Time to sit by the fireplace to watch the last few a giant maltball and thank the Lord for the day...even amidst the storm, rain, and wind. He's pretty creative.