Last week all four of us traveled to Georgia to attend my beautiful niece’s (Heather’s daughter) high school graduation. It was such a special time together with our entire family and was filled with laughter and memories we will always treasure. And we actually managed to get a photo of ALL of us together which hasn’t happened in…..oh….about 5 years!
On our last day there we were riding high on the fun and the storytelling and the hysterical laughter which accompanied playing the game ‘Speak Out’ (Have you played this yet?? We were crying from laughing so hard!) and all of the little moments that come together to create a truly memorable occasion.
But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. And it REALLY came to an end the day we traveled home. We were up at 5am (which, of course, is 2am Oregon time) and after getting through security and scrounging up some breakfast we made our way to our gate with plenty of time to spare. One glance out the window revealed that our plan was already there which one might think meant that we would leave right on time. Nope. Somehow we still managed to leave 45 minutes late which we knew meant that our already tight connection was going to be even tighter. I won’t go into all of the details about how unhelpful the airline was because it makes me angry all over again but let’s just say that after receiving no assistance at all, sprinting through the Seattle airport (thought I was going to have a heart attack!) to try and make our connection, begging them to open the closed door to let us on the plane and then finally landing in Portland, it quickly dawned on us that there was no way our luggage would have made it too.
We left the airport sans luggage, starving because there had been no time to get any lunch (although I did get mom bonus points for having lots of granola bars in my bag to tide us over!) and in a general state of fatigue and grumpiness.
Upon arriving home we all pretty much crashed down onto whatever soft surface was available and took some time to rest for a bit.
After dozing off for a bit, I forced my weary body to get up but felt so incredibly discombobulated. You know that feeling, right? When you are all out of sorts after traveling and you know you need to catch up on things but you have very limited energy?
So, since I didn’t even have suitcases to unpack and laundry to start, I did the one thing that always helps me come out of the travel fog and reconnect with my home.
Have you ever noticed that there are some words that simply just the sound of them tells you their meaning? Puttering is definitely one of those words. And it is a powerful activity my friends.
I don’t think I even realized just how powerful it is until recently.
You see, lately I find myself feeling a bit restless. A bit out of sorts. I’m finding that my head is full of too many thoughts and an inability to seem to get them all sorted out. I’m overwhelmed by the big projects that need to get done in my home and trying to adjust to having the kids home all day for summer break while also praying to the good Lord that He will help me have the mental (and spiritual) capacity necessary to meet our August book deadline.
I kind of don’t feel like myself but I also don’t even know anymore what feeling ‘myself’ is supposed to look like. I’m not sure if that even makes any sense but it’s the honest truth. I know from past experience though that this is often how I feel right before God begins to do new things in my heart and in my life so I’m trying my best to just embrace it.
And there is something kind of magical that happens when I simply putter around the house.
When I finally put away the remains of the Spring decor and welcome Summer with a bowl full of seashells.
When I clip the first roses and hydrangeas and make an arrangement for our kitchen table that fills the house with the most wonderful fragrance.
When I take a walk around the yard and spy the first blossoms on the daphne and notice that our jasmine is just about to burst forth too.
When I wipe down my kitchen counters and fluff up pillows.
They are all seemingly such simple things and yet, they are so life-giving. My fretful and overwhelmed spirit is calmed as I move from one little task to the next. Nothing is too exhausting or time consuming and there is no pressure to feel like I’ve accomplished something significant.
And yet, this puttering has a very significant impact on my soul. I’m reminded of these words from Laura Ingalls Wilder.
“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
At the end of the day, I think we are all craving more of the sweet, simple things of life. I know I am. So, I putter. Because, as my spirit is calmed and the only thing I’m pondering is which vase to use for the flowers I just cut from the garden, there is room made for me to hear from my Heavenly Father. To be reminded that I don’t just exist to write books and do DIY projects and find Lego pieces and make dinner. It’s in those moments that He whispers words of truth and reassurance to me. And it reminds me of just how grateful I am for this life I get to live.
The power of puttering is a very real thing my friends. Have you experienced it in your own life? I’d love to hear from you!
I’m so glad you met me at the fence today,