Thursday, September 04, 2008

Groggy and Soggy, but trying to be Bloggy

Why is it that I have dozens of blog posts swimming around in my brain until I sit down at the computer? I really have no good excuse for posting less lately. I could easily have written about going out into the yard every few days with Amabel and August and walking around the perimeter, then up and down and up and down looking for turkey feathers. We found quite a few. Our big flock of twenty or so turkeys came through at least once a week, it seems. We found bluebird feathers, cardinal feathers, and blue jay feathers as well. All of them are gathered up and waiting for a Thanksgiving craft (we figure by then we'll have enough to make a couple of pine cone turkeys for the table).

Or I could have written about the various other birds I saw. Some of my favorite people, including my Nannie and my friend Annie, have been bird watchers; but I never could get interested. But, as I said, my parents' house offered quite a bit of wildlife and not much else, so we started to notice the birds. I don't know, maybe there's something depressing about someone like me starting to notice the birds! I don't have that quiet, gentle, observant, and appreciative spirit you know. I am wrestless to the core! But I know what a Goldfinch is now, and that's something. It was sort of sweet because I had my Nannie's old bird book, and I could look up the birds and see which ones she had observed herself. To me, birds have always all looked the same, unless they had some striking color characterization; but now I can see the differences in beaks and tails and even notice their relative size. Okay, so most of you might do this naturally, but I tell ya, it is all new to me.

I could also have written about my runs, which were good times to observe the birds and see if I could remember their features when I got back to look them up. Bird watching really only made up about 10% of my running multitasking. Most of my time was taken up praying for the stamina to take one more step! I had this great run in highschool, a real "easy" run, which was to run the mile from school to the park, run the two mile loop at the park, and then run the mile back to the school; if my coach assigned this run, it was a joyous day. Knowing that I certainly could not do the mile from the school, nor the mile back, I tried myself for the two mile loop, two miles of many inclines and (I was determined) no stops. The first day I went out, I remembered that there is a curious thing about the loop. If you go counter clockwise, as I usually did, the loop is almost entirely uphill. If you go clockwise, it is almost entirely downhill. I ran the loop for years without ever running it clockwise! Anyway, my problem was that a) I couldn't remember which way was the downhill and which way was the uphill, and b) I wasn't sure if I wanted to boost my confidence with a strong two mile run (which would likely backfire because I would have guilt over the downhill "cheating") or possibly suffer major personal defeat in not being able to do two miles, half of my former easy run. I set out in the middle of a gradual downward slope, seeing that it would soon turn into an uphill slope, an uphill slope that would continue, without even the slightest plateau, for 1.2 miles, after which, there is a nice down hill for about 100 yards, and then it went right back to uphill until I reach the last downward slope that I had started out on. Then, of course, I knew that I had gone the hard way. But I finished! Okay, so two miles is not much, and I already knew I could do two miles, but I was pretty proud of the whole uphill thing. But the run itself, the run was glorious. I was back at the park, you know the Warner Parks I love so dearly. I saw deer just steps away from my path, turtles actually in my path, horseback riders on beautiful horses walking paths that intersected with mine, and the charming old moss-covered stone walls, which were said to have been built in the 30s as public labor projects for unemployed workers during the Depression. I felt like surely I recognized every little pebble, every fallen leaf and every blade of grass. Of course, that's impossible, but even the new leaves and the new grass felt like home. And at least the trees were there before and surely they recognized me! I had the chance to go back a couple of times before I left, and I stayed with the hard route. Now I just have to find me a route around here and work on up to a good three mile run.

I could also have written about a coincidental encounter I had with an old sorority sister (hooty hoot!). A family in my parents' neighborhood had a new baby sign out in their yard and I asked my mom if she knew them. My mom, like all too many suburban home owners, is shamefully unaquainted with most of her neighbors. I mean, after twenty years, it's time to meet the folks down the street! Anyway, she didn't know them and thought they were fairly new to the neighborhood. So the kids and I decided to make cookies and ride bikes down the street to greet them. I met the dad and the little boy, but the mom and the new baby were busy. We were fixing to leave, saying maybe we would see each other outside soon, when the mom came to the door. I recognized her instantly as a girl from my pledge class at Auburn. We never really did get the chance to play outside, but it is fun to know she'll be just down the street next time we visit. I have actually told most of you this story, because I thought it was such a hoot (pun intended), but here it is for the rest of you.

And I suppose I even could have told you all the yuck of everything, how I am shaken to the core with God's apparent plan that seems so clearly anything but good to me. And yet, I know that he is so very good, and that this is His plan. I have been sent a link to this blog twice, and to this particular post as well, and while I am still working to get past the cheesy music (there is a pause button) and unusual blogging style (is this an excerpt from something you read or are you just writing like you are Laura Ingalls Wilder?), I really appreciate what I have read so far, both for wisdom and for perspective. And yet, here I am stressed to the max and feeling on the inside like this awful hurricane weather on the outside. I hesitate to post about it because I am in the middle of it. It is one thing to say how horribly you felt and how panicky and doubtful you were at one point in the past, but that God graciously guided you to courage and trust. It is another thing to say "I'm doubtful. I'm furious. I'm miserable. I'm exhausted. I'm terrified. And I'm sick of this crap!" But what am I if not honest? I have certainly been mad, sad, and afraid before. And this I know; God is faithful. Although, currently his faithfulness looks a little something like a futon matress on my mother-in-law's basement floor.

As my sweet friend Courtney used to tell me, "there is always sunshine after the rain." It is such a simple thing, and yet, it has always been an encouragement to me. St. Louis is a soggy mess right now, but I know it will be hot and sunny someday. (Has it been rainy here all week? I just got here, but it has been raining all week in Arkansas, and we drove all day in the rain yesterday.) Just as surely, we will not be homesick forever. There is a home for the Edema family. Surely. In the meantime, I will try to be more faithful to blog about the little interesting thises and thats. We are thrilled to be back at The Freedom School, and Sunday will be a wonderful thing back at Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church. Have I ever said where we send our kids to school or where we go to church? Well, I have now. I highly recommend both. If one has to be in St. Louis, those are the best places to be! (Insert wink and smile here).


Renae said...

It made my day to see you today, Abby, and to see that pink bow on your big girl.

My schedule consists of feed baby, change baby's diaper, repeat, which is to say, Stop By Anytime!

I'm sorry you're in the midst of a valley right now, and you have many friends to walk with you through it. I'm looking forward to the day when we can all say, "what a cool thing God has done for you and your family... we couldn't have planned out this path better ourselves!" ;)

Wright Family said...

I am so glad that y'all have the school and church right now. You need that during this really hard time. We are still praying for you. I know God has a great home for y'all but I know it is SO HARD to be waiting like you are. I miss y'all!
p.s. I am impressed with your bird watching! I always wish I knew the names of birds and trees and flowers to tell my girls:)

Jessie said...

I love you, Abby.

Jennifer said...

We just got home from a long day of work, school, errands, etc. Mark told me that he heard from George that you were back in town. Welcome back!

Abby said...

thanks, girls!

lauren said...

i'm so glad y'all went home. i bet st.louis never felt so good to my southern friend! i bet it's great for the kids too to have some familiarity back in a time of transition.

i'm praying for the job of george's dreams and the home of yours.

i went to call you this week-i don't have your cell. call me if you want to talk!

RHB said...

are you still using the same cell? happy late bday to Aug! love you! praying for you!

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

Still praying for you all. Your comment about Ann's writing style being like Laura Ingalls made me laugh. Look at her blog entry today...her house even looks like Laura's! :) I have always enjoyed her blog so much, though. Hope you are doing well today.

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