It was more fun to have that nesting instinct when I knew I was going to come home from the hospital with a little, precious baby. I cherish those memories of washing and folding all the tiny sleepers and onesies, in awe at the fact that there soon would be soft, baby flesh inside and stinky yellow and white gook on the outside. I remember scrubbing the house as if every fleck of dust was a mortal enemy.
Now I am nesting, but I won’t be coming home with a bundle of joy, I’ll be coming home with a cool bracelet with my name on it, a longer scar and a little less tissue; Lord-willing, a little less cancerous tissue. I might have a little plastic bedpan and a nasty smelling bottle of hospital lotion if I am really lucky.
I am trying to sort through that stack of mail that ALWAYS seems to grow on the counter. I am catching up on ironing. I am finding all of my mending projects and putting them in a nice looking basket for my Mommy to do when she is here. My Mom loves having something To Do, it might as well be my mending! She’s better at it, anyway, or so I keep telling myself as the basket gets fuller and fuller. By building up her ability I am trying to decrease my guilt. How did I end up with so many missing buttons, anyway? Are they eloping with socks?
Look, Mom, no crumbs!
Today I even vacuumed under the dining room table, almost wishing I still had a toddler around because then this job would be obsolete. I vacuumed under a bookshelf in the dining room and wondered if any food actually makes it into my children’s mouths.
I ordered something off the Internet. I signed up for the kids’ SAT testing. I unsubscribed from four different email newsletters. I answered some very old emails. My closet has been re-arranged, things were moved up into the attic. I filed some medical papers. I bought thank-you notes and new soothing music for the hospital stay. (I am hoping to block out the sound of all those busy people poking and pulling on the tubes and owies.) I planted some more flowers in the front of the house.
The To Do List is a diversion. It is my new enemy, so I don’t think about the real enemy. It gives me a reason to keep going each day, to keep working, to keep preparing, to keep planning, above all, to keep praying.
Because if I stop too long, and think too hard, it is like waking up from the same nightmare over and over.
So, I keep busy, I keep praying and I keep thanking the Lord for what He is doing in my life. Because I know He has a To Do List He is working on in my life. It’s OK. I asked Him to – I asked Him to help me be more like His Son. I long to be more holy, more thankful, more loving, more gracious, more kind and more faithful. I want to be less selfish, less proud, less self-sufficient. The athletes know that “without pain there is no gain.” Why should it be any different for character-building in a Christian?