One of the things we love most about where we live is the peace and quiet. No neighbors. No dogs barking. No neighborhood lawn mowers or weed trimmers. No kids playing, yelling or fighting in an adjacent backyard. No music blaring from passing cars or nearby homes. Silence. Blissful silence. Of course, we do have birds of all sorts singing away and pounding on trees, but those aren't disturbing noises; and the sound of the wind chime on the front porch is pleasant to our ears. I know I've mentioned that we don't have TV service available to us here, but we do have radios and a stereo system. We keep up on the events of the day through radio and Internet, but for the vast majority of our day, our home is quiet. Very quiet.
Even our marriage is calm and peaceful. We do not enjoy chaos. Hate tension. I'm positive we spend much more time engaged in conversation with each other than the average couple, but we're very much in sync with one another. OK, we talk a lot. Every. Day. About everything. Having a husband who communicates is one of the biggest blessings of my life. After spending time alone with the Lord each morning separately, our routine is to finish emptying the coffee pot with some conversation in the great room. Mr. Cut Off then goes about his day - doing the things he needs to do outside - and I go about my day - doing the things I need to do inside. We don't get bored easily and don't have a need to go searching for adventure every weekend. We love being home. Love.
We're both very routine-oriented and seem to thrive best when there's a sense of order to our lives. We each have a favorite coffee cup. Dinner is at 6:00 p.m. The menu plan for the week and/or next several weeks is always in my head. The pantry is stocked; the freezer is full. Dirty dishes don't sit in the sink. The laundry is folded and put away as it is washed and dried. The house is tidy before we go to bed, and the bedding has to be turned down perfectly before we can crawl in. Sounds pretty dull, huh? Or crazy?
So, what happens when life throws us an unexpected curve ball - when our *non-schedule* schedule is interrupted? When the order in our lives gets totally out of order?
Generally, I think we handle it pretty well. If you stop by our home unexpectedly, it won't destroy our day. We'll probably even enjoy your company. We don't sweat those small interruptions. After all, we've both had massive unexpected curve balls in our lives. A drunk driver took the life of my first husband when I was just 28. You know, back when I thought I had my life plan all figured out. Suddenly, my hopes, dreams and plans had all vanished, and nothing was ever going to be the way I thought it was going to be. Mr. Cut Off suffered the loss of a son - just as suddenly. It was/always will be a terrible, heart-wrenching grief that's impossible to describe. In the grand scheme of things, these back problems aren't even a hiccup. Chronic pain is no fun, but few people get through this life without experiencing a taste of it. The Lord has seen us through much, much worse.
As much as we like to plan things and keep things in our lives nice and relaxed, neat and organized, things happen. Right? Due to our current back issues, our July to-do list has taken a serious hit. Actually, the list had to be completely shredded - then stomped on - then burned. Mr. Cut Off's back went out on a Wednesday. Mine went out exactly one week later. It seemed like really, really, really bad timing. But, was it?
As we were rehearsing the events of these past few weeks, we realized that the timing was actually pretty perfect. I'm not saying that having serious back pain is convenient, but if it has to happen, this is the time for it. It's not winter, so Mr. Cut Off isn't worried about plowing the driveway or filling the wood burner. We weren't away from home on vacation. That could have been a logistical nightmare and surely would have made everything much more complicated. We had no overnight house guests scheduled this month. My mom happened to be here when my back buckled, and I didn't fall forward on my face disrupting the healing of my recent bone graft. We received excellent, compassionate medical care. The weather has been picture perfect - further enhancing the lovely view from our recliners.
Speaking of recliners, the new ones we purchased last year have been a huge blessing this past week due to their great lumbar support. I could go on and on. In retrospect, it was perfect timing.
It's a very common thing for us to have conversations about what the Lord has done for us. We'll often sit here reciting lists of things for which we're thankful. Here are some things we mentioned this last week:
Nothing takes God by surprise.
He cares about our pain.
We can always trust Him.
He is faithful.
His love is unconditional.
He is always good.
He is always right.
He's with us on good days and on bad days.
He uses others to help meet our needs.
His Word gives us guidance.
He answers prayer.
His timing is always perfect.
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:26-33)
All is well in the Keweenaw.