It’s January! Which means it’s time for our very first A Mother’s Feast link-up here at Stronghaven. In case you missed it, here’s the original “What is this all about?” post.
I’ve been humbled and encouraged by the outpouring of interest in this endeavour. Most of my ideas start out quite impulsively and never come to fruition, and it’s mostly due to all of you that history did not repeat itself this time.
This post has been difficult to write. Not because I lacked ideas, but because I had so many! Should I tell of my personal plans for learning in 2015? Should I write a heart wrenching essay on why this issue matters so much? Should I chatter away about seasons of life and making time? I hope to write all of those posts eventually, but for today I’ve decided to share a story. It’s the story behind a picture, the picture that has become the image representing A Mother’s Feast.
What a rich morning it was! I’d woken to a quiet house, I had quietly brewed my tea, and sat down at my desk with my Bible, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional, my handy bullet journal and a cup of colored pens. The house was warm with the bone-soaking, toe-heating warmth that only wood heat brings, and I wrapped my hands around my mug of tea and felt content.
As I read through the morning’s devotional selection I was struck by how the words of Spurgeon echoed words that my brother had spoken to me only the day before. I quietly contemplated the words I had read before choosing an elegant blue shade of ink with which to capture the concepts I was contemplating. I read a chapter from Proverbs and one from Philippians, choosing a verse to copy into my journal as a rich thought for the day.
My devotions over, I texted briefly with My Man, who had already been at work for hours. As I spoke with him, I looked at the scene before me and briefly basked in the love it portrayed. My mother-in-law’s sewing box, filled with all our art supplies. The patriotic mug my own mother sent to me. The pens my husband purchased for me just so I wouldn’t have to choose. The Spurgeon devotional, a gift from my sister-in-law when I was spiritually struggling. My hard-cover Thompson Chain Reference Bible, a birthday gift from My Man.
In the crib behind my back the baby stirs, wakens and fusses. On the couch beside me a sleeping boy stretches, and sits up. The quiet is over. Lightly bouncing the baby on my hip, I balance the camera in one hand and attempt to capture my morning moment. Toddling feet cross the kitchen, and a sleepy Boo greets me with “I’m so hungry, Mom!” It’s 5 AM.
This was a real morning in my home. I really did sit and bask in the richness of it, and I found my soul refreshed and filled, able to face the day ahead with increased equilibrium. But there was more to that morning than idyllic moments.
The reason I was up so early was a massive toothache that had been stretching on for days. The house was so cozily warm because I had risen every few hours throughout the night to feed the stove. The bitter cold outside had made the pick-up engine refuse to start, which meant My Man hadn’t been able to take the propane tanks to town to get filled. I was unable to sip on the tea I brewed: the warm liquid aggravates my tooth. My Man would be coming home early today, but only because I have been unable to head out into the biting cold to feed the critters. When I sat down at my desk I had to clear a place on the floor for my feet: I had not been able to vacuum for a few days, and had not even insisted on tidying the living room the night before. Less than an hour after I snapped that photo I was curled up on the couch, holding a heat-pack to my face and moaning while the children stared in horror.
I want everyone who looks at the restful photo of my morning to remember that it occurred as one moment of peace in a very chaotic day. This is how our feasting will generally occur. Only rarely do we have grand moments that come together when everything lines up properly. No, the majority of our time for nourishment will come when we step away from the necessarily busy pace of the day to quietly feed our souls a few words.
Much of my reading will occur due to insomnia. My commonplace book will always contain those baby scribbles from when I failed to shelve it properly and my little ones decided to imitate mother. Many early mornings will be missed because the baby nursed three times that night and I was semi-comatose. Many devotionals will be read under my covers as I try to keep the light from waking the children just yet. Many book discussion thoughts will be scribbled on the backs of envelopes and grocery lists, and many of those scribbles will never reach another mind. But they will happen, and they will be my feast.
Any posts on this topic are welcome. From practical to philosophical, from grand plans to nitty-gritty implementation, there is much need for this issue to be discussed.
This link-up will be open for a month: please feel free to add more than one link during that time.
Remember to link to a specific post and not your whole site