The next piece of mail was also from the vet--the bill to euthanize our cat. The cost: $48. I wasn't sure how much to expect. I didn't call and ask how much it cost to put down a cat. Forty-eight dollars really didn't seem like much, and whether it would have been more or not, seeing a price attached to life was unsettling.
"I thought I was done crying," I said to Shane. He is so patient with my tears.
"A sympathy card and a bill in the same delivery," I told a friend. She'd been through that before. She'd cried the same tears.
The cost of things.
I had hoped for a few more hours of sleep today, but laid in bed wide awake after Shane left. I got up finally, made a fire and some coffee. Did some work for next week's classes. Resumed reflection on the motherhood study.
Chapter 3--a divided heart.
January feels like an arctic slap with this, that, and the other. One plate keeps spinning while the others wobble, and January sounded like the icy crash of one plate after another falling. Once again, priorities shuffle and I read this chapter on motherhood--the guilt of mothers who put other things ahead of family. I understand it.
A wise woman builds her home,
but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1 NLT
I made a list of words, the difference between the wise woman and the foolish one.
To build, the words: intentional, nurturing, gentle, joyful, wholehearted, obedient, prayerful, unhurried, patient, godly (godly, by the way, doesn't mean perfect at all. It means someone who is God focused.), available, attentive.
To tear down, the words: careless, disorganized, abrasive, selfish, hurried, divided, worldly, checked out, worried.
And the difference between the two? My heart. When it is divided, I am prone and predisposed to be the grouchy mom. I heard it taking charge of my tone, just yesterday. These seeds I sow, I reap for generations.
I bought these motherhood books when my kids were so little. I think I read one when Lanie was in kindergarten, but that feels so long ago. It's good to reassess--a heart check for where I am and where I'm heading. We don't get places by accident. The choices we make come with a cost.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12, NIV
I knew last spring that this splintered schooling would have been foolish to attempt, and while I thought I had steered clear of it, through a series of choices, I find myself here anyway. Now standing in the middle, the only way to go is forward. And right now, I'm watching the tally of costs.
I study the list of words. I study the questions that prompt and guide. I pick up the fallen plates.
My kids have been outside for hours, and when they ring the doorbell for a fourth serving of water, I answer and serve. Life is a vapor. Hours of sledding. Their rosy cheeks. Chatter from chilly lips.
27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’The cost of things.
31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
34 “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Luke 14:27-34, NLT.