sitting on the bus

this is supposed to be a post about why north dakota doesn’t suck.  we were there a couple weeks ago, in that place i grew up, on that farm.  we had just a few days to drive up a trailer of wares to store with my folks who graciously didn’t balk at our offerings but instead fed us steak & took the kids in the tractor.  ’tis planting season, ya know.
i would tell you about running out of gas because the gas gauge in the van broke the week before, & i’d tell you about finding a gigantic wad of gum in leif’s hair & andy’s emergency, rest stop haircut.  because he is that man.
then i’d tell you about the Lake, capital “L”.  that place is a balm to my toddler-weary soul.
but instead, i have to tell you that right now, i’m a little bit at a loss.  i mean, the road ahead is foggy, the noise inside the proverbial car is loud.

i am officially in the place i detest.  waiting.

as dr. seuss would say, “i’m in that most dreadful place, the waiting place.”  

the house is listed, shown, decluttered, repainted, touched-up.  we are mostly organized (we still have children, you’ll remember.).  we are ready.

& what do we have? a big ol’ white space of quiet.  God is completely & utterly quiet.  no whisper.  no inkling.  people ask me all the time what we’ll do when the house sells.

we really have no idea.

it’s easy to talk about a bus, or renting, or building, or buying land.  but really, we’re just sitting around waiting.  as in, 39 weeks kind of waiting.  something’s on the horizon, certainly.  but right now, the Lord is asking us to sit down & wait.  we’re sitting on the bus idea.

meanwhile, i’m busy spinning my wheels.  

you see, when i stop spinning, i have to take a good hard look at uncertainty.  when i stop busying myself with answering the great looming “what if’s,” there is nothing left to do but to sit & wait with my harried self.  (that, & clean up whatever the toddler just spilled on my shoe.)  & frankly, i’d rather keep sorting keepsakes or mounting piles of clothes to donate than to be still.

stillness makes me feel unworthy.

stillness is like unproductivity, in my mind.  at least when i’m spinning my wheels, i can see dirt being kicked up.  that’s something.  & unproductivity is that big horrible tattle-tale that says, “you. are. not. good. enough.”

which, i’m realizing, is just another half-sister to shame.

& we all know how i feel about shame.  (hate, hate, hatey hate hate.)

BUT.  all the spinning, all the producing & churning is starting to wear me out.  & with a toddler-boy in the house, i need to conserve all the energy i have.

{you’re welcome.}

in my kitchen, andy has painted the walls around the sink & over the countertops with chalkboard paint.  on one of them i have this:

“smile.  breathe.  go slowly.”  –thach nhat hanh.

when i go slowly, as opposed to when i spin, i can see.
i can feel the tiny hand that holds my index finger & pulls me down the driveway.
i can smile at the little fists that bring me “american” paint brushes.  (as opposed to the “indian” ones, common in these parts.
i can take naps instead of fret over ———–  (choose one:  the unweeded garden.  the heap of dishes.  the 34 projects i’ve started & left unfinished in various stages & places in the house.)

when i go slowly, i am living, not just shooting up dust.
i have this little gem on a necklace above my kitchen sink:

“may you live all the days of your life.”  –j. swift.

& living, more than anything, is what this is all about, yes?

slow down, breathe, live.  yes.


{p.s. — i’m giving “just a minute” fridays a break:  it’s been a lesser read post, so instead of keeping it on, which just feels like another form of spinning my wheels, i’m going to bench it just now.  if i gather a dam of music, i’ll keep you informed, though.  no worries!}





6 thoughts on “sitting on the bus

  1. beautiful! i’ve been in that waiting place many times, I can’t stand it either. Please come to the UP and we can brainstorm the rest of our lives in tandem!

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