“You must not mistake passing local cloud cover for general darkness.”
– Neal A. Maxwell
Living without the internet for a month is an interesting fast. Try it sometime. It was enough for me to go batty. We also didn’t have television for that month. And then my phone broke. And then Alan took the car for the weekend. Talk about isolation! I’m actually grateful for the chance to find other things to do with my time… like borrow my parents’ car.
Living in the Cottage also affords us an opportunity to appreciate the little things. This fireplace is a good example. With the Autumn in full force, shedding rain and cool air, what is a cottage without a fireplace?
I know what a cottage is without a wall to box in a kitchen; it’s open. Here’s a little glimpse of Alan’s demolition handwork.
(A support arch for the entire opening is quite the task when you have a sagging ceiling.)
Also during this past month, I’ve had a very familiar, intense wrestle with my soul.
I’ll spare you the ugly details of the thing that picked the fight and summarize it this way: The battle ended with a visit to a Dr., putting a check mark in 8 out of 10 boxes, and then being told by said Dr. that I’m a “prime candidate” for a hysterectomy.
In times of chronic discomfort, I have to work harder at noticing and appreciating the little things. I usually take inventory of what led me here and what I’m supposed to be learning. Faith is the #1 gospel principle I have had internal debates over. I don’t know how many times I have asked my Heavenly Father, “Isn’t my faith strong enough to be healed? The woman who had an issue of blood and knew by touching Jesus’ robe that she would be healed… What am I not doing that she did?” I often wonder if I even know what faith is.
This is how I work it out with my Heavenly Father and although I am not healed, I find peace and enough understanding to see me through to the next challenge. It’s my workout routine. Whether or not it’s a workout that leaves me spiritually fit is between me and the Lord. Maybe that fact is more of a reminder for myself, but nonetheless, it’s comfort from the Comforter.
I’ve learned a lot over the past month, thanks to this wrestle and conversations with My Al who asks me, “So what do you think you’re supposed to learn from this?” when I need to hear it the most. I’ve learned that I’m okay with it–I’m finally okay with not being able to become pregnant and give birth. I’m working through the thoughts of all that unnecessary churning in my mind-trying to make it happen, the emotional frustration, putting those around me through it–in a way. I haven’t been the easiest person to live with. I know this. But I know that many things had to happen the way they did in order to be in this place of acceptance.
The internet, my phone, television, a car, a fireplace, an open kitchen, years being free from pain, walking cobble stone streets of Amsterdam, the pursuit of writing, forgiving and loving again–these are some of the many luxuries I don’t want to take for granted.
I had an experience within this recent quest that leads me in a new direction with my blogging.
I will still be writing about my Small Choices influencing the big picture of life, but I am going to start a new series that will go back in time. It covers the span of time walking those cobble stone streets and daily writing deadlines, the forgiving and the healing. It’s a journey that may or may not interest my small audience, but it’s a journey that I have felt driven for some time now to put out there. It helps too, that My Al is encouraging me in this.
Here’s a preview in the form of a collage and another quote by Neal A. Maxwell:
“The harrowing of the soul can be like the harrowing of the soil; to increase the yield, things are turned upside down.”