One reason I like a few quick takes on a Friday is that it buys me 20 minutes to think of food for the children for breakfast. And at the end of writing, I always discover that they'll just be eating toast because that's the way it is.
Arguing with Fatty Lumpkin this very minute about who this is. She believes strongly that it must be Marigold and cannot possibly be "my E", her words not mine. It occurred to me yesterday that all I do is talk about Fatty Lumpkin and take pictures of her but we spend So Much Time Together. You know, you write about what there is, and that's what there is, almost every second of the day.
Solomon, in my bible reading just now, consecrated his new and majestic temple, and as you know, he prayed that when the people sin and are expelled out of the land, God should have mercy on them for the sake of his name. From which passage I flipped over to Romans 7 and the cycle of sin and death and frustration that is at least some part of the Christian life. As usual, I would never have read these two back to back except that that's the way they came up and I'm surprised, as I am every morning because I'm stupid, by how much it's always the same thing. I think, in the course of praying of working or whatever, that maybe I'm advancing into a wonderment of glorious spiritual depth and enlightenment, but then I beat my way through the day and discover that I sinned all the same sins I did before and that a lot of the Christian Life is trying to get rid of the same sin over and over and over again. For example, I quickly, almost every day in fact, spiral down in a cycle of fake guilt that I create for myself by comparing my house to the houses of other people. I read some beautiful blogs where the house and homeschool room looks gorgeous and clean and pristine and clearly the blogger is going from strength to strength and beauty to beauty, and then I go read good sensible blogs where the rooms and the writing are comfortable and real. And then I look around at my life and feel Guilty for not cleaning the house AND Guilty for cleaning it.
"That's definitely the Holy Spirit," said Matt yesterday when I described my cycle of death to him.
"Really?" I said woefully and gullibly.
"No, you fool," he said, "what kind of God are you trying to serve."
Well, clearly the god who will congratulate me on all my doings. But that god really hates me and so I should stop doing that and serve the God who gives a way out of the cycle of death, as Paul so helpfully articulated in his letter.
Please don't worry about my mental health based on take number two and send me emails about what I ought to do to make it better. If you're worried about my sanity start a blog where you take pictures of how awful your house looks at the end of a real day and then I'll link you on the side.
Gladys finished her big book of letters and gets to start reading Little Bear today. So Exciting!
Also, for the first time in her life, Elphine found a book that she couldn't put down, read it all the way through, has to go back to the library This Second for the next one. PRAISE THE LORD. All this time she's been reading books like I clean the house--dutifully, happy for the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, but not for love. Color me relieved.
My mom and dad get back this evening from their Visit to the West. I'm so happy the mum in the back bloomed yesterday so they can have flowers all over their room. May all their flights be safe and swift. May that be the case for anyone traveling today for any reason.
The children have decided they're all going to be ninjas for Halloween. I managed to find six ninja-like costumes for about 40$ which I count as an extraordinary triumph. The two little girls look really funny dressed up all in black with their heads and mouths all tied up in the mask part. Elphine fussed with hers for what seemed like hours trying to make herself truly into a ninja. Now I want them to practice ninja like moves so I can play that Adele song with the ninja in it. I long to fill a room with glasses of water and then throw bits of flaming paper around. Srsly, rather than cleaning the house again today it sounds like a dream and a joy. But impractical, I totally get that it's impractical, so I guess we won't do it. Sob.