Friday, January 21, 2011

What's That Growing on My Coffee Table?

Don't misunderstand the title of this post. I haven't totally given up on trying to keep a somewhat halfway sanitary house.

Nope, I'm talking about the coffee table outside. You may remember that because of my doofus dog and his intense desire to dig up the entire back yard and transport it between his doggy toes to my white bedspread, Todd and I are not able to garden like normal people. We grow our tomatoes and peppers and herbs on top of an old coffee table out our back door.
As you can see from the photo above, it's not tomato season.

So what's that growing on my coffee table?

Just a couple months ago, the coffee table box was vacant, except for the dirt.
Then Todd worked in a box of bone meal, which was supposed to make our tomatoes even more juicy and delicious, and (of course) Tanner sniffed out the scent of bones, hopped on top of the coffee table and did the backstroke through the soil. Then he ate up half its contents.
He felt a little sickish after that.

So anyway, after his dirt binge, the box sat empty.
And then I started noticing bits of green freckling the soil. I hadn't planted anything. Was the wind transporting tiny seeds to my garden? Or did the birds do it? Maybe there were already seeds in the soil that we didn't know about.

This morning it's a mass of green, as you can see, growing up and out of the box, trying its best to tickle the cement pig keeping watch. And whispering a word to me.
And then it recited The Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Or maybe that was the former chemistry teacher in me talking.

(Science Nerd Police, close your ears. I'm about to get a little loosey goosey here.)

The garden full of mystery weeds reminded me that unless you've got an outside organizing force at work, everything tends toward chaos.

Like a twelve year old boy's room. If left alone, a room previously straightened by a loving mother will slowly transform into a pig sty.
If left alone, no one can find the remote in the den and dirty glasses pile up. And microwave popcorn bags are left on the coffee table.

It takes INTENTION to change things. (Or a mom who threatens to take phones away or computer time.)

If we don't plan anything for the garden and weed the soil and plant what we want, chaos takes over.
If Todd and I don't take time to think about what we want our family life to be like and we let the kids sign up for whatever they want, soon we'll be sucked into the craziness of running all over the county every night of the week, just like so many other people.

This leads me back to my faith life too. What am I missing? How do I need to change?
I need to set aside time to imagine what kind of faith I want, and then time to think about how to get there. Do I need to set aside a set time for prayer? Or a plan to turn the radio off after I drop Sam off from school, to think on God? To listen for God's voice. Where do I want to be in my service to others?
If I don't take time to think about what I want my life to be like and what I have to do to get there, it just won't happen. Chaos - or just busyness, American style - takes over.

Do you struggle with this too?
Do you make time for thinking and planning the most important areas of your life? Or are you like I am sometimes, remembering the need for intention as the river of busyness and noise tries its best to sweep me downstream? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have an awesome day and weekend, y'all!
Love, Becky


Kat said...

What a great analogy!

I am a planner. I have to have everything planned out or I would be lost in the chaos. I am scheduled and regimented. Which is funny because I never used to be. But with four little ones we are all about schedules. Someday I may go back to a bit more of a fly by the seat of my pants attitude. But not now. ;)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I have begun stripping away "noise" in my life for the same reason. Although I think change happens in me during chaos, too.

Karen said...

Oh, my, I have LOTS of good intentions. Sometimes I even weed them,:P

Laura said...

Sadly, I'm too often grasping and clutching for intention as the river rolls over me, Becky. Then I swing the other direction and plan for awhile...till the river catches me up again.

I'm more into English than Science, but I'm with you on things tending toward chaos. Couldn't be truer!

Terri said...

I have to be intentional about my faith life....and I have to strive for a disciplined practice of prayer. But the thing is when I do I feel it sort of reinforces itself as a means to order some of the chaos...

Dawn said...

I was sewing this week for the first time in a while and realized that it was the first time in a long time I had been alone with my thoughts--the rhythm of the sewing machine inspires prayers, praise songs and deep thinking. Thanks for reminding me of this!

Heidi Mann said...

I can totally relate to the reality of a 12-year-old boy's room turning fast into a pig sty!!! :)

And I have a kitchen counter (& stove) full of dirty dishes right now -- a pile that has grown and grown because Mom hasn't had time to wash them. :(

Often it does feel like we're just being tossed about from one thing to another -- and we're not even one of those families that lets their kids (or themselves) join everything. Even with just one job per parent, the household, & the two kids, it gets CRAZY! Then you throw in something unexpected, like a computer break-down -- and usually when one unexpected thing hits, 2 or 3 others do on the very same day -- and one can get what one of my sisters as a little girl once called "overflooded."

I definitely need to plan more... but I'm not sure I can find the time! LOL (only somewhat tongue-in-cheek!)