To Begin to Be

Another week has literally flown by in my world! It’s almost a contradiction of sorts…we are supposed to be in a “stay-at-home”/ lockdown situation and yet I have been busier now than before the pandemic! I’m spending long hours at work, while everyone else is at home dirtying dishes, eating up the food and otherwise creating messes that no one has time to clean up because zoom meetings and stay at home activities are consuming all the rest of the waking hours. It’s tiring, this “not doing anything”. Which makes it seem like there is nothing to write about… everything is vaccines, Covid numbers and infection rates. Is there nothing else to talk about?

Of course, there are always things to muse and ponder over… we just have to be prompted in the right direction, which was my go-to this week… a writing prompt (thanks “The Grace Space” Facebook group!) I chose the word “become”. A verb. An action word. “To begin to be” is how google describes it. I like that. “To begin to be”. It evokes images of emerging from a cocoon, transformed into a new being…changed. Metamorphosis. Transformation from one thing to the next. I suppose it is not necessarily the direct change, but the process of change? Hmmnn. A good word to ponder: become.

image from Godsfort.org

We helped our eldest move in to her first bachelor apartment this weekend. She has “become” an official tenant of her own space. In charge of paying rent, filling out forms, and signing up for her own bills. She’s responsible for her own space and must now manage it unfettered from her parents. She has “become” independent. As mom, I am excited for her. I am curious to see how things play out. She’s been out of the house since starting University, but this is one more step… out of the nest. As parents, we will certainly be available for advice giving, guidance and care packages. You are welcome “home” for a meal and free laundry, but the time has come to venture and learn and grow on your own.

Likewise, the youngest became an official teenager this week. Age thirteen means no more excuses. It also means we can no longer eat off the children’s menu and get the “under 12” discounts. The kids have become adult material. Well, at least teenage material. “Begin to be”. I guess the hubby and I are becoming empty nesters. I know it is only beginning to be because the state of my house indicates there are certainly still fledglings hanging around eating up all the snacks! Yet, we are beginning to see glimpses of the future. Now don’t get all sentimental on me. This is what you trained them up for! (Read more of my thoughts about this here.). It delights my heart to watch my kids take on tasks that challenge and grow them. Perhaps I am a little too eager for their independence. Perhaps I will regret not keeping them young a little longer. So far, I am enjoying the “beginning to be”.

One of the very first verses I had to memorize as a kid was 2Corinthians 5:17:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

ESV

The bible is full of verses similar to this. Thoughts about “becoming”. “Beginning to be”. Changing, not only from our former (sinful) selves, but continuing to grow, mature and develop “in Christ”. Maturing. Much like my children are doing as they go through this earthly life. The scholarly word for this becoming is sanctification. Being set apart as holy, and refining oneself to a life of purity, consecration and Biblical service. Here at mittonmusings, we call it the faith journey… one that I share about each week (even when I don’t feel I have much to write about!). It’s not about the perfection, but about the journey, the process, the “begin to be” action word. Butterflies are one of my favourite symbols of this journey. You will notice them on our logo and blog banner… because they give us a very clear example of how our lives are changed from the touch of Christ: we start out as lumpy, worm like caterpillars and emerge as changed beings… still fragile and delicate but beautiful nonetheless. It’s an image that makes me smile. What will you “begin to be” this week, my beloved?

Photo by Alexander Löwe on Unsplash

Hot Mess

According to the urban dictionary, a “hot mess” is:

“When ones thoughts or appearance are in a state of disarray, but they maintain an undeniable attractiveness or beauty.”

Often our place is just a plain old mess… no hotness to be seen at all. Recently, the dog has “matured” enough to the point where his “killer instincts” have kicked in … and no stuffed animal is safe any longer than 10 minutes under his newly acquired prowess. “Reese” goes in for the jugular (or the crotch?) and brutally pulls poor Teddy apart from the inside out! Fluff and floof fly everywhere… and we have to be on guard duty for missing eyeballs or bits of squeaker or other intestinal hazards… not to mention cleaning up the stuffing. The living room quickly turns into a warzone with destruction strewn across the floor like new fallen snow. Cardboard boxes also end up gathering in bits under the couch or dining room table. Dogs are messy.

Poor, decapitated chicken.

And then there are the teenagers… home alone to fend for themselves in the midst of online learning and a pandemic lockdown. Not only has my grocery bill gone up… so has the pile of dishes in the sink. And the towels in the laundry. Why do they shower so much? They have no where to go. Hot messes, indeed.

I used to think babies were messy… and they are. Ahh… the good old days of projectile vomit. Sorry. Moving on. Just wanted to make the new moms feel included. Anyway, I am discovering you really never grow out of messes. They just change depending on the season you are in. I suspect our retirement years will be filled with bits and bobs from newly taken on projects, or travel, or dare I say, grandkids?

I used to look at the fingerprints on our glass door and ponder. The window reminded me that the kids were happy, and our house was full of love and laughter… and messes. Messes are part of learning and exploring and being confident to try. Getting down and dirty allows us to feel the Earth and experience the sensations of the world around us. None of us “have it all together”, because life is messy. And that’s okay.

Messy can be a good thing!

The Bible tells us in Luke, that Jesus came to save the lost — the messy — if you will. Those of us who doubt, and question, and weave back and forth on our faith journeys instead of making those bee lines to the pearly gates. In fact, I think He made us with a deep desire to explore, discover and test the best things in this world He made for us. Sometimes, that gets messy. Yes, Life is messy, but Jesus has the dust pan and broom. He takes our dismantled, insides out, missing eyeball chaos and transforms us into hot messes. We won’t be perfect until the end of this life, so we must learn to appreciate the fingerprints on the windowpanes. Take the good with the bad, and rejoice that we are still moving forward… even if we weave a little.

Well, my beloveds, I am off to do the dishes (one more time), but tomorrow when I look in the mirror and my see that slightly wrinkled, finger-nail-polish chipped, post Covid homemade haircut reflection, I hope I remember that in God’s eyes… I’m still a pretty hot mess! And you are, too! Be Blessed.

Back (to school). Not.

Today is supposed to be the first day back to school. The first day of the routine that I crave. The first day of stability and predictability. The anticipation of new books, a new adventure and fresh starts. Alas, 2020 has thrown yet another curve, and school isn’t happening today. I must wait for it. It won’t be the same. Masks. Hand sanitizer. No visitors. No workshops for me. Perhaps you are out of the back-to-school routine and today is just another day for you. But no day is ever routine, is it? Each day brings its own challenges, its own opportunities and its own joys and sorrows. Time doesn’t stop until our final breath has been taken. I want things to go back to normal. I want to have things “the way they were”. Maybe I won’t be granted that. Maybe God is teaching us new things. Different things. Things meant to challenge and grow and stretch us. I must learn to be adaptive. To trust in the future and learn from the past.

I had a few ideas about what to post this week, but none of them seemed settled in my heart. (Did you know that I worry, fret and pray over each week’s post and hope that it touches you and my internet audience in a way that God wants?) And so, I thought I would link a few of my previous “back to school” adventures for you. If you’ve read them before, sorry. If not, enjoy. Joining the adventure of mittonmusings.com means following along in our journey of ups and downs, past and present. All the while learning. So — see you next week friends, with new thoughts.

Teacher’s Gifts: A Lesson in Gratitude

Back to School Blues

What Makes a Good Teacher?

Moving On

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