Dawn is slowly breaking and while my body longs for my bed, my heart is content to type. For about two weeks now, I’ve been thinking and writing the forthcoming content in my head. It is both a privilege and a relief to begin to download and process some of the thoughts that have been rolling around in my head and heart.
Week One was busy, yet full of procrastination and contained one major theme – the mundane. Week Two was brutal and unexpected – the word migraine encapsulated this time, both in reality and metaphor. Moonbeams? Well, that’s every week for me.
I’m a dreamer with loads of determination, usually. This is usually a good thing. However, my main directives can be crowded out by distraction and discouragement. Week One was a primary example. Get it, primary? I knew you were waiting for my seemingly limitless wit to shine like the sun that is slowly beaming into my office.
Mundane, humdrum, ordinary, boring – those are the tasks that kept me busy. I lamented this with one of my dear friends. I wanted to get on with the next, the now, the neverending. I felt trapped by the “to dos” and allowed discouragement to step right on my toes. Procrastination became oh so seductive. So did unfruitful dreaming.
Dreaming is great but there is something to be said about not walking around with your head in the clouds. For many years, my husband has waited for me to say this. Thankfully, he doesn’t read my blog. There is also something to be said about walking around with your head in the clouds. Don’t worry, be assured that I will share that part with him sans blog.
Unfruitful dreaming is not really dreaming, it is standing in a patch of fog. Wishing your way out of the ordinary is a sure way to avoid life. The only way out of this particular fog is to step forward one step at a time. This is the treasure of the mundane. Want to know what my mundane was? My office (not too far off this picture on the left).
After having a great chat with my dear friend, we both realized that we had to get past the tedious to get to the tremendous. Avoiding the tedious was really to avoid the tremendous. Even more revelatory, the tremendous may be a hidden treasure within the tedious. That is the heart of Week One. Being obedient in the small things is so much more important than ever before. I have come to think of it as making room for the blessings to come with a view to the boons already surrounding me. Dogging it creates a boondoggle so start digging it(literally and figuratively) to see the boon. Ya, dig? Hot diggity dog, this is getting fun! With a heart focused on seeing the mundane as part of the moonbeam, my office is now clean and I have a list of tedious items that I am making it through slowly but surely.
Slowly? Yes, but not because I plan to be meticulous. Enter Week Two.
Being a healthy, strong woman is something I’ve taken for granted. I’ve had friends that have struggled with health issues and shone through them. The only thing that really shone in Week Two was the sun, but I didn’t see much of it. Singing and talking. That’s what I do but not in Week Two. This was that and that was this, more ish than wish, if you know what I mean. Consider this blog officially Seussified.
Hacking, coughing, whispering – these are the things you do when you are faced with an unexpected bout of respiratory infection. Add to that an unexpected migraine and you have a frustrated artist/entrepreneur. I cancelled my scheduled life and went day by day, hoping for the best. Some of the highlights of this included:
- sitting waiting in the doctor’s office, facing an audio assault by an inane cartoon show until mercifully finding the remote and, after gaining the permission of all six of the senior citizens around me, muting the insanity. Although I did have the thought that I would actually love to write a children’s album or do a children’s tv show– always on my list.
- Enduring a throat that stung continually and that was racked by constant coughing fits.
- An eight hour migraine that lingered like the smell of hockey bags in a locker room. Which is not attractive to a soccer mom, let’s be clear.
Yes, being sick reeked, of weakness and wanting. It provided great amusement to my household as the constant communication from me became a distant whisper. Literally. At times, it dwindled right down to the mere point of a frantic finger or a wave of a pad of paper. I felt weak and I didn’t want to. Insert pouty emoticon here.
For those of you with chronic illness, I beg of you to not judge. I know that these are minor complaints. My biggest issue with this second week was that I couldn’t even tackle the mundane. I was not allowed to sing or talk and couldn’t even if I wanted to. Exhaustion set in. Sitting upright and walking to the kitchen and back to the couch was tiring.
Forced rest forced me to tackle a list of internal issues that weren’t medical. I rested. In new ways. I asked a few questions that I hadn’t asked before. I faced a few deep fears that I hadn’t kicked out of my life as yet.
The migraine was a gift. It was not wrapped in a beautiful bow, with a decadent card and a bring-you-to-tears gift. It was definitely a bring-you-to-tears gift. But not in the way anyone would want or hope for. It is a gift to be faced with one’s own weakness. To realize that I am not independent is to acknowledge my need.
To quote Robin Jones Gunn from her amazing book ‘Victim of Grace’,
Why does this keep happening to me?
It’s not fair. I never asked to be treated this way.
I did nothing to deserve this.
Every moment of every day, completely unprovoked,
God pours out His love on me
He blesses me in unexpected ways
His mercies are new every morning.
No matter what I do, I am powerless to stop Him.
Even in the worst situations His goodness prevails. He is relentless.
I am a victim of grace.
She’s absolutely right. When I look deeper and less selfishly, I see clearly that the migraine was a beautiful gift. A bow that tied me up tight and forced me to look deeper. A decadent card that said “my grace is sufficient for you”. An extravagant gift that came with reminders that there is indeed more.
So what about the moonbeams? What self respecting artist waits spends the majority of the time waxing about the mundane and the migraine? I think every artist does. The heart of the dreaming is not the avoidance of the trials, temptations and tests of life, it is the celebration of life in, through and beyond all of these. That is the true moonbeam. I gladly thrust my head in those clouds! I dare to suggest that neither idealist, pessimist nor realist, Eeyore, Pooh nor Piglet, would argue with the practicality of the perspective of expectant perseverance.
And as I type, with a tired body craving sleep, I am wide awake and joyfully proclaiming this beautiful sunny day, that I am thankful for the mundane and the migraine. I don’t wish for it or look for it, but if it comes my way, I am determined to see it as a blessing.
There is nothing ‘Jackie O’ about cleaning toilets, making lunches or doing taxes but I can approach this with the knowledge that the mundane is not the whole picture. Being faithful in the small things is vital.
There is nothing ‘Amelia Earhart’ about flying low with little to no airspeed, feeling less than dynamic as one grabs for Kleenex or meds or suffers through illness or hardship. However, there is hope. There is always hope! When I feel hopeless, I am learning to dig deep, ask God for more, be thankful for every part of it, confess my unbelief and continue to walk forward no matter how slow the pace is.
I’m not going to stew because I am happening, too.
No one is guaranteed a certain type of life. How boring would that be? If there were no ups or downs, how predictable and mundane would that be? I think enough to give you a life long migraine. Reality is an adventure full of joy and miracles, suffering and pain, connection and loss. The portion and proportion of these is different for each person and when you add injustice to the picture, it can be difficult to process.
Let’s be clear – I did whine during my migraine but the moaning was temporary. I did stall during the mundane but the procrastination was fleeting. Will I ever whine or stall again? Of course I will and so will you. Let’s be honest.
This is it. My weakness is part of my story. “In Him, I live and move and have my being.” Nothing about that verse says that I will gradually become self sufficient and fully independent, glorious and remarkable, as if I could wean myself from needing God. That’s one of the oldest tricks, but it’s not in The Book.
I wanted an adventure and I have one. It is exciting because I know that God is good and that He plans good for me. Do I want to know the nitty gritty? Usually, yes. Do I have to? Not usually. Would it make a difference if I knew ahead of time? Probably only to add stress and take away the fun of it all. Does the unknown build suspense? Of course it does! Hopeful suspense is part of every great and highly intricate story!
On a side note, my son just informed me that he learned that if you pull the ejection seat on a plane, you lose two inches in height and only regain one inch. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he walked into my office and told me that. Do you want to be shorter? I don’t. Keep flying, it’s part of the adventure.
Today, on this beautiful shiny day regardless of the clime, will you embrace the climb? Do you dare to tackle the mundane, rest through the migraine and still dream of moonbeams? I sure hope so because your adventure is important – somewhere in your community, there may be someone who longs to hear about or share in your adventure. Guaranteed, there is more than one that will bravely cheer alongside you in the moonbeams, mundane and migraines!
(c) May, 2014 Sandra Foster, Ranenpur