From where I sit I can look out one window. There are lots of other windows here in the house, several others in this very room, but unless I change my position, I can only see out of one. What I see is my mom’s home and a big flowering azalea bush. I see bamboo chimes hanging there on the porch, they hang still this morning. There is no soft breeze to make them dance and sing. It is quiet, even here in the house with the hum of a rotary fan and the soft clicking sounds as I type this post. Inside this room, which we call our great room are random representations of who we are, our family and how we live. Acrylic paintings of owls hang in a haphazard manner near the door where someone brushed against them and didn’t straighten after doing so. The entire hearth is covered with boxes and bags of yarn and fiber art projects for the upcoming booth at a local craft festival and trade day. From where I sit I can see a Quaker Parrot, a giant breed dog and an outside cat that slipped in for a nap. An old piano stands music less against one wall, but, only because the child that plays it countless times a day still slumbers. There are azalea blooms from the bush outside the window sitting in a vase on the table. My youngest son brought those in with wide eyes of wonder. Two mostly empty (now) Easter baskets are also on the table near the flowers. School books, electronics, a stray blanket, a vacuum that wasn’t put away after it was used, a stack of Bibles, a collection of wicker baskets, several pairs of shoes. Too much stuff for too little space. That pretty much sums my life up if all you see is what you can see from where I sit at the moment.
The thing is, I won’t stay seated in this position, I will move (eventually) and when I do my perspective will change. If I would but stand and take just one or two steps closer to the window I could see the little goldfish pond that my husband and boys lovingly hand dug one Mother’s day many years ago. I could likely also see a chicken or a rooster scratching around looking for a breakfast bug. I could look down our beautiful driveway and consider the comings and goings of the day and week ahead. I could see a beautiful hanging basket that one of my oldest sons brought me for an Easter present yesterday. I could see a bike thrown carelessly in the yard and likely a basketball near by. There on the porch I’d see the pile of ‘outside’ shoes that are kicked off from busy little feet as they come and go. I could see the sun trying to peek through the overcast skies. I could see an upturned chair and the remains of sidewalk chalk art. Less than perfection and lack of order. That pretty much sums up my life if all you see is what I could see if I stood up and made a few steps.
But, then, if I turned away from that window and wandered through this cluttered house and peeked in at a whole slew of sleeping kids, I’d see things differently or perhaps I should say I would see different things. I’d see two ten year old boys, who are not twins, sleeping in bunk beds in the room that is supposed to be the dining room. I’d see a teen girl who is feeling lonesome for her sister who is off on a visit to Mimi’s house. I’d see another teen boy who is the one who will make the piano do extraordinary things as his fingers caress it’s keys. I’d see our oldest teen who will no longer be a teen at the conclusion of this year, sleeping in on his one day off. I’d see an empty bed where my son who graduates this year, next month, as he has been at work several hours at one of his two jobs he holds. Too many teens and tweens, seven to be exact. That pretty much sums up my life if all you see is what I could see wandering through this cluttered house.
On the other hand, if I’d just go back to where I sat in the first place and kneel in prayer, or maybe bow my head if bending my knees onto the hard wood floor would be too much of a distraction, I’d surely change my view and vantage point. Likely for a moment I’d remember the days gone by, the prayers prayed and answered. I might take a brief trip down memory lane and revisit days of miracles and rejoicing. A tear might slip down my cheek as I consider where I’ve been and where I am now. I might just catch my breath as I recalled days of a tidier house and yard with less clutter and stuff and children and remind myself that I’d rather have this mess of a life and house than the empty arms of yesterday. Then, I’d talk with my God, who truly listens and cares and is able to do what I can’t about what concerns me and troubles me. And if I were to be very still for a while in HIs presence, then I might catch a glimpse of the hope of tomorrow, the dreams and plans of the future. It might be almost overwhelming to think of all that could be and all that might be required to achieve such wonderful things. After all, if we are to catch a glimpse of such things, we may have to change our position, relocate our vantage point, refocus our view, and look at things differently.
So, today, when I step on a lego, sweep the floor for the millionth time, drill on the multiplication tables once again, make myself get on the treadmill and walk my miles, make those calls, pick up those prescriptions, and cook yet another meal, I’m going to be sure to pause and consider that in a short time, just a few steps in another direction, I will see things differently. There’s no need to feel stuck or frustrated or impatient with the limited view from this very spot. If I will be brave enough to go where I haven’t been before, I will see what I haven’t seen before and experience the same wide eyed wonder when my youngest brought in the azalea blooms. Hope, potential, promise, adventures, and lots of it. That pretty much sums up my life, if you could only see what I see, from where I sit.