This morning, it's raining, hard and fast. I'd miss home if it wasn't so slushy, more like a mixed drink spilled on the ground than the unadulterated floods I'm accustomed to in the South.
I'm intentionally having a quiet week. Recent days have been very crowded, and it definitely shows in the accumulated clutter. But Chris had midterms last week, meaning that a lot of my time was spent trying to keep his chin up. Sometimes I'd get impatient with him, fed up with encouraging a change that I couldn't see right now. Then I'd be sad about how easy it is to get annoyed about little things, and suddenly he'd be the one comforting me. I'm sure grateful for that man.
Last week we also helped some of our friends move to a new apartment. It's in the same complex, but with another bedroom which they will set up as a nursery for the new baby. As we walked box after box across the parking lot, I couldn't help feeling grateful and sad. Ned and Amanda don't know anybody here but us. They would have asked more people to help, but there was no one else to ask.
When Chris and I move in August, to an apartment that will be more affordable and closer to campus, I anticipate we will have more help than we actually need. In part, that's because we're renting all of our furniture, except the bookshelves we assembled and our filing cabinet. (I always said the first items of furniture I would own would be for books and papers, so this makes me tremendously happy. I am such a nerd.) Everything else, like dishes and clothes, will just get tucked away in boxes. I unpacked it all by myself. I could probably move it by myself again.
But I won't have to, even with Chris still putting in a full day's work each day that week. I will be very surprised if we don't get an outpouring of help from the members of our congregation. We're a family, made up of a hundred or so families, each person looking for ways to look after the next. True, we're not always good about that (I'm sure not,) but in a "family" that size, someone is bound to be able to see and fill the need.
That's part of the reason that this week is a quiet week. I could keep giving and giving, while the dishes pile up and the dust bunnies proliferate, and I take less and less pride in my home. I've learned from experience, though, that I more joyfully contribute when I've worked on taming a little of my own chaos first. Not perfect, not pristine, but manageable.
I sense this year will be a very busy one. In a couple of weeks, my in-laws will be visiting us. I'll spend a week and a half of May visiting a dear handful of women that I have known longest and loved most. A week later, we're anticipating a visit from my dad, and I couldn't be more excited. In July, Chris will be in Italy for a conference, where he'll present a paper to basically every expert in his field. Then we'll move in August.
With all of these exciting, wonderful, and demanding things piling up, it's nice to know that it really is okay for me to sit on my couch and write a blog post. It's okay for me to tell the sister missionaries that I won't be available until the end of the week, and spend the time cleaning my house instead. It's nice to know that my worth doesn't depend on how much I get done. And it's amazing to have a husband who knows just what scripture to suggest so the Spirit can remind me of that.