"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Change is not a bad thing!

I found this post today from earlier in the month, and I thought it was worth sharing.  I hope you enjoy!

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I've been realizing today how much I miss blogging, since I went on my little "first trimester hiatus."  I enjoy the personal contact and interaction that writing for a blog can give.  It also encourages me to reflect on what I'm learning about and put it into a form that others can converse with.

Today's lesson was that some days just don't go the way you plan.  When I sat down at breakfast this morning, I made an ambitious list of the things I wanted to accomplish today. My list looked like this:

-Make a batch of bread (one loaf cinnamon, one loaf regular whole wheat)
-Roast squash seeds lightly and make Granola
-Write for 4 hours (in two "shifts")
-Take a shower (yes, I have to write this in my to do list)
-Fold laundry
-Wash kitchen and bathroom floors (something that has been on my list for an embarassingly long time)
-Vacuum house
-Go for a walk
-Make baked beans for dinner (takes a while, start at 12:30 or so)

Like I said: ambitious.  In light of my last post about spending less time online, I'm trying to get more exercise while I get more done around the house.  I wasn't going to be disappointed if I didn't get it all done today, it is Monday after all, and there is lots of week ahead.

Things started out great.  After breakfast, I folded the laundry and took a shower (check, check).  But while I was in the shower I started having a little bit of "round ligament pain"--a feeling a little bit like a stitch in my side that is the result of my ligaments stretching to support the baby.  Nothing serious, but when it happens I need to sit down for a while.  So I checked my email.  Then I got going on the bread (mixing and setting to rise) and beans (setting them to boil).  But after 30 minutes, I needed to sit down again.  It hurt a little bit more than usual, so instead of attempting any more work, I sat on my bed with my feet up and read a new book I bought last week, The Attachment Parenting Book.  Then it was time to shape the loaves and get the beans sauced and in the oven.  But once I got the bread shaped, the pain came back.  This was not a day for standing, apparently.  Back to the bed and Attachment Parenting.  At this point, Clint came home and brought me lunch on a tray (yay for husbands!).  The bread and beans did eventually get into and out of the oven (check, check).

Why do I tell you all the tedious details of my day?  Well, I was struck in my reading and in my "lack of productivity" today how little we human beings like change.  The problem of continuity and change is, after all, the basic philosophical conundrum since the Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus first pointed it out five hundred years BCE.  For better or worse, we live in a culture that tends to value continuous, unchanging truths, and hold God's creation, including people to the same standard.

This can cause problems though, in how we perceive ourselves when we go through normal life changes like adolescence, pregnancy & parenthood, aging.  I think we implicitly hold (thanks to media and other influences) that the ideal human being is an 18-21 year old, in their physical prime of life, generally free from attachments, and with a mentally alert and full of adventure.  Anyone else seems a little less human.  We spend a lot of our adult lives trying not to change from that ideal: working crazy hours, avoiding attachments, zapping wrinkles, trying to maintain the perfect body.

I'll admit that pregnancy especially has been a constant reminder of change for me.  I've joked with a few friends that I must have secretly believed in the stork before now.  My body suddenly doesn't do what it used to, but instead it does all these weird new things.  A long walk in the park, or even an hour standing in the kitchen (on the day after a long walk in the park), can be exhausting.  I have a feeling that parenting will involve the same kind of change.  My friends with babies are always telling me, "As soon as you get in a rhythm for sleeping, eating, napping, everything changes!"  And change is tiring.  We can't keep going the way we have for years, we have to adapt.  But change isn't just about the world falling into chaos, even if I might feel that I've lost a little bit of control.  It's a good thing too.  It means new seasons, new lives, new growth.

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And speaking of new growth:

Baby and me - 26 weeks

By the way,  this post describes the only "slow day"so far in my pregnancy, when I realized that I had overdone it the day before (going for a long walk in the park by our house also known as "little mountain") and I needed to just sit and put my feet up.  I've been so blessed with good health!


  1. Be good to yourself! I imagine that finding the balance between keeping productive and giving yourself good care is tricky ... but I affirm your efforts to work with the changes. Your body--your whole person--is shifting to accomodate the intimate care and nurturance of an/other. For giving yourself over to this, I honor you.

  2. Thanks, Cindy! You're right, these changes are definitely teaching me new limits to what I can compromise for productivity. But I'm still plugging ahead. Two weeks until my formal presentation of my writing, eek!