Thursday, September 8, 2016

For the Days When Nothing Goes as Planned.....

We started something new on Monday morning ~ our first meeting of our little homeschool group.
It is nothing fancy, and isn't going to grow any bigger.
It's just the little circle of missionary families that are working with us right now meeting together from time to time to learn something.

We had a very long weekend we'd just finished {having a day of special studies at church most of the day Saturday}, so I was looking forward to a productive week.
In my mind everything was planned out nice and orderly.
On Monday, a dear friend was coming to teach our group how to make traditional tie-and-dye cloth.
She was to arrive at ten o'clock; we'd learn a bit; our group would be finished by two o'clock, and then some of our friends would come for a cook out.

On Tuesday the carpenter would come to install the cabinets in our slowly-being-renovated kitchen.
We'd jump back into school Tuesday while he was doing so.
He'd be done with installation by the end of school, and then as a family we'd clean up the construction mess and have a bright and shiny new kitchen {something we've been working towards for five months!}.

We'd have a lovely week of school following the excitement of Monday and get lots accomplished.
Hopefully we'd even get the last box of school things we were waiting on! week hasn't gone like any of that at all.
My friend got delayed on Monday.
She didn't arrive at my house until ten minutes after one.
We still had a great time learning from her, and our cloth turned out beautifully {if I do say so myself!}, but it didn't go according to plan.

I ended up not getting to cook supper until later than I'd planned.
Our sausages didn't get buns made to match.
We had a wonderful, refreshing time with our friends.
But, it wasn't how I'd thought it would go.

When we started clearing out our kitchen Tuesday morning for the carpenter, we realized that we better deep clean everything before he arrived.
Dad called a "lifeschool day" and everybody jumped in to help.
We did a good dose of spring cleaning, but the carpenter never showed up, which meant that the entire contents of my kitchen were now piled in our front living/dining room.

The carpenter called Wednesday morning and said he was on his way, so I started a load of laundry {which after several off-schedule days I was woefully behind on!} and headed into the school room with the girls.
He finally arrived to drop off the cabinets and inform us he couldn't install them right then.
At that point my washer started making strange noises.

As I looked at the cabinets, I realized the carpenter had added a bit of artistic flair to one of the pieces.
I didn't like it at all.
The repair man said he could only come to our house if my husband came to pick him up.
John had a list a million miles long of things to be done, and a repair man from the same place had just been at our house on Monday to fix something else that had broken, so he asked the repair man to take public transportation to the house.
He never showed up.

The carpenter finally arrived this morning with all his tools and his apprentice in tow.
What should have taken three hours was still not done at six o'clock this evening.
Apparently the mason who poured the concrete frames for the cabinets did not ever use a level.....
enough about that.
The repair man for the washing machine called to say he was on his way to our house twice.
He never managed to arrive.

By the time school was out today I was feeling absolutely spent, wrung out, exhausted.
I shooed the kiddos outside and tried to gather my wildly scattered thoughts.
Why did I feel so frustrated?
Why was I on edge?
I knew my mind needed renewing, but where had my thinking gone wrong in the first place?

As I thought back over my week, I started to puzzle out a bit of a design.
It was vague at first, but the longer I analyzed my week, the clearer it became.
My week looked a bit like the beginning stages of our tie-and-dye.
As we were preparing our cloth for dying, our teacher showed us the ways to fold or tie the cloth to gain a specific pattern when we were finished.
I couldn't see how see how it was going to turn out, but if I followed the proper procedure it would produce something lovely.

I started my week with an extensive list of plans.
They weren't bad or sinful.
They were MINE, though, and I wanted them to go exactly my way.
When something arose that I didn't foresee happening, instead of dying to self and letting go of what I thought should happen, I got irritated.
My rights were being trampled on.
Why weren't people respecting my time? plans? needs? way of doing things?

The Master Artist knew what He wanted my week to look like.
He knew where the folds and bends should be, where the dye should pool deeply, and where it should simply wash the fabric with a light color.
He could see what I couldn't.
He understood that I was valuing having my way above all else, and that this week wasn't about my plans at all.
It was about reminding me that His will for my life is far more important than anything I can plan out, and that if I yield myself a living sacrifice,
He can make my life something intricate, beautiful, and glorifying to Him.


  1. Oh yes, just yes. Thank you, Patty. I LOVE the fabrics! Such lovely patterns and colors. There's something about tie dye . . . .

  2. Lovely. Thank you for this. We're in the process of renovating and adding a homeschool room. It's been months in the making. I'm about over plaster dust, contractor supplies, and just stuff everywhere. If I hear "two more weeks" one more time, I will lose my ever-loving mind! Isaiah 55:8-9