here we go round the mulberry bush

“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”
 – Eeyore, Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

last year i tried out having no resolutions, just one-word to dwell on: Wait.

(i still had Goals, but that is a different matter, to me, than a Resolution; a resolution is a “firm decision to do or not do something”, while goals are more about the target, the aim, the results.)

God gave me and my family plenty of opportunity to practice that this year–waiting to move, waiting for jobs, waiting for community, waiting for wendy to make her appearance.  it was hard to wait–it hurts to wait–for God’s timing and not my own. it required a lot of letting go and reliance on the Lord.

my word for 2016 came to me in november but i thought it was dumb so i dismissed it and determined to come up with something better in december. but it kept popping up–in an off-hand comment from my mother, in a devotional book i’m reading, here and there.

my word for 2016 is Fun.

in both of the instances where Fun came up, it was in reference to motherhood. i had to think about that–motherhood is hard work, joyful, certainly, and worthwhile and a holy pursuit, but FUN? Song-and-Dance? Here we go round the mulberry bush??

as a person of melancholy temperament, i struggle to find the Fun in life, sometimes. i do not struggle in getting what needs to be done done or in seeing the value of the work, but i sometimes struggle in enjoying the work.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, The Voice translation
Then it dawned on me that this is good and proper: to eat and drink and find the good in all the toil that we undertake under the sun during the few days God has given, for this is our lot in life.

Also, God gives wealth, possessions, and power to enjoy those things, and He allows them to accept their lot in life and to enjoy hard work. this is God’s gift.

For people like this have no time to despair over life because God keeps them so busy with a deep-seated joy.

last night, after resolving to accept Fun as my 2016 word, our heat went out around 1 a.m. the baby was sleeping in our room because she has this congestion that makes me nervous–very chokey, can’t-breathe sounding, so i keep her close–and i put out the space heaters just in time for my oldest daughter to throw up all over her bed. i moved her and the middle child to our room on an air-mattress and changed sheets, outfits, pillows, the works (and sometimes shampooed vomit out of Z’s hair) every hour til morning.

at one point, lying in bed holding the baby, i looked around the room at all of them and thought, “FUN? seriously??”. but it is fun when i find the good; though cleaning up vomit all night is not Exactly my first description of fun, i can find joy in watching all three of my girls sleeping together, of the warm weight of the baby’s head resting on my chest, in my two year old singing to her sisters in the darkness.


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