Saturday, April 5, 2008


My morning started out on the wrong foot. It's hard to know that your child struggles. It's hard to know that there is not one darn thing that you can do about it. Sometimes people will say, "God never gives you more than you can handle." Well, this is more than I can handle and I've been telling God this for some years now. He's apparently preoccupied. I understand. This whole world peace thing must have Him tearing His holy hair out.
I took myself and my black mood to the new house and began to attack the weeds that have grown up around the foundation of the house. I hacked and dug with vigor. It's good to exert yourself when you're pissed. You get a lot done that way. After working up a good sweat, I began to slow down a bit. I noticed something. I noticed that underneath the weeds, there are crocus. That was a nice surprise. I also found narcissus and tulips, I think. I saw lots of new growth underneath the dead stuff.
I saw the neighbors out and about. I walked over to introduce myself. The newest property is an eyesore between two neat-as-pin houses. The neighbors are glad to see the sad looking house getting a second chance. When I go back to work, I hear some bicyclists talking about the changes as they go by. They are pleased too.
It was a beautiful day. The sun bright and warm after our long winter. Why is it that I always start to believe that winter will never end? After 50 winters, I know that spring has never failed to come. It sometimes takes longer than I would like, but it happens, without fail,
every single year.
My spirits start to raise, like the tiny green plants I'm discovering under the decay. The black mood is being erased by the return of my optimism, just as spring follows winter. Like the sun warming this earth, my gratitude begins to warm and thaw my heart. I remember Camas: 'In the depths of winter, I learned that within me lies an invincible summer'. I remember Jesus Christ: 'Whatever you ask for in My Father's name, it will be given.' I remember Anne Lemott: 'Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work. You don't give up.'
I know these things to be true. I just sometimes lose sight of the big picture. It occurs to me again that I really, really suck when it comes to faith. I am ashamed of my whining (whinging, if you're my Australian pals) and weeping of the last couple days.
I drop my head and begin a session of earnest praying for my child
right there in the garden.
And like this old house we've bought, I get a second chance.
Thanks be to God.


Anonymous said...

Your struggles and how you've written and dealt with them have been a blessing to me the past few days.

I am struggling with one of my children in a different manner, but am having to deal with it similarly.

Thanks for sharing. Your writing brightens my day. Portia

Bush Babe (of Granite Glen) said...

Beautifully penned - as always. We ride the rollercoaster with you Debby - don't worry 'bout the whinging, it's therapeutic!!! Pleased to hear there were the promise of blooms in your day...

Pencil Writer said...

Debby, my heart continues to go out to you and your daughter, and extended family. Bi-polar and other disorders are monumental challenges. And though medications can help, they don't cure--as far as I know.

"Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

In the face of monumental challenges, faith can lag because we CAN'T see what God sees, but He is ever faithful. And what a beautiful gift He gave you, that you described so beautifully--finding the beauty of new life under the dark debris of the past in your gardening efforts.

Easter coincides with the new life of Spring, I rather think by divine design. How renewing for each of us to remember, again and again, that after the dark comes the morning.

You and your daughter are in my daily, personal prayers.

Mary Paddock said...

Debby, I think you're overdue some venting. You wouldn't be a normal parent if you didn't hurt for your child and grow angry with those who want to make it about someone's sin.

You're in my prayers.