I’m currently staring at an unfolded load of laundry and two plastic sacks of baby boy clothes. This is not normal conditions for my ability to write a blog post, or to think straight at all (clutter makes me semi-non-functional). However, sometimes when a thought stews a long long while in your mind and finally crystallizes itself, even clutter can’t slow it down.
We packed up our Christmas stuffs the day before yesterday, and as usual, it had me all kinds of sappy introspective. Normally I get pretty melancholy over boxing my beloved twinkle lights, but this year I felt ready. Ready for normal to return. Ready for ordinary.
One of the things I love most about the Church is the liturgical calendar – the rhythms of feast and fast and fortitude-in-between are so soothing to me. I can’t say I’ve ever particularly looked forward to Ordinary Time before. Isn’t that just what we do while we wait for the Next Big Thing? Excuse me, Mama Church, but…booooring.
Not this year.
This year I was craving it. Not bored by it. Not dreading it. Craving it.
We got a big year comin’ up here, folks. My little set of people and I, we got a big year.
Most of you know by now about our April baby being a boy. A boy! Good grief. What do you do with a boy? I have a girl, and I always felt like I knew what to do with her. I’m a girl. I know what girls are like. But a BOY…I was a little freaked out about this until I recalled two important facts:
- Easy. I grow him, I give birth to him, I nurse him and cuddle him and sniff his iddy widdy widdle newborn yummy head, and then I plot my next move while inhaling the intoxicating scent of fresh baby. Yum.
- Better yet, I do all the above BUT I leave the plotting of moves to the studly genius I married, who is expert in boys and I will therefore simply follow all his advice. This is after all why I married him. One reason why, anyway. One of many, many, many reasons: to replicate his amazingness as many times as possible. Having a baby boy is therefore a most excellent idea. Good job on that, God.
- This is more than two facts but the first two reminded me – just pray a lot. This has worked for every saint ever and so it is a good plan for me. The end.
Still, after all this, a boy is still a boy and different and exciting as he is, DIFFERENT. New. Not my ordinary.
The end of 2016 felt like revving up to 2017. It felt like a whirlwind and looking back on it, it seems like a whirlwind. For example, we sort-of-last-minute took a week-long road trip to Tennessee.
At the time we mostly said we were just taking advantage of Alex’s work vacation, which was partly true. The rest of true being: it was a scouting expedition.
He got a job offer.
A really lovely one. A looks-like-a-perfect-fit kind of one.
So we went to check it out, up close and personal like.
Also not my ordinary: living anywhere besides Texas.
For reals, you guys, I am fifth-generation hard-core Texan. When I got married and moved to San Antonio it seemed like a major departure from normal to not be on the Gulf Coast.
Tennessee is a lot to wrap my head around.
Because we took the job.
I say “we” because that’s how my sweet, sweet husband constantly viewed the whole process. He didn’t let his eye get caught by the bling of a sparkly new job that seemed custom-made for his (incredibly impressive) skill set. “Do WE want this?” he asked over and over. “Will this be a good fit for US? Is this what WE have in mind for our family? Do WE hear God calling our family to this place?”
Girls, marry yourself one of those.
We did. We did hear God calling us to that place. To a tiny, rural corner of Northwest Tennessee. (I am not even kidding about rural you guys, I have no idea where the closest Target is and we don’t even have a stoplight.)
You know what? I freaked out. I did. I freaked out good. But now with a few months of thinking about it under my belt, a lot of praying, the dearest of husbands, and a good good Father liberally sprinkling Morning Prayer with the most reassuring of Psalms, I’m getting excited. Slowly but surely. All you need is a great family, a God with big ideas, and a spirit of adventure, right?
I just need to work on my spirit of adventure. But we’re getting there.
I’m thinking Ordinary Time is the perfect time to do just that: get there. To the next thing.
Not so boring after all.