Monday, March 15, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

I was sitting in a hard chair in the middle of my kitchen, staring stupidly at a jar of relish in my hand. I stumbled there when a glance at the hand-written date scribbled atop the canning jar left me dumbfounded. What could I possibly have been thinking? The Sharpie marker's lines did not lie. The date on the jar revealed that I had made Watermelon Rind Relish (of all things) just a couple of weeks before I delivered the twins. Not believing my eyes, I simply sat there, trying to remember what had possessed me at the time.

I remember a friend had given us some watermelons. Maybe as a gesture of thankfulness I wanted to show that we didn't take the gift for granted and wanted to use up every bit. Maybe I was panicking about how we would feed all these children and wanting to put at least something aside for later. More likely I was prideful and wanted to either show off how frugal I was (this kind of relish or pickle is made with the rinds- the part that we would normally throw away) or that I could still manage to do things like that while pregnant with twins. I cannot know now, I no longer remember. What I do remember is that I was on bedrest, almost nine months pregnant with twins. I was allowed two hours up to manage life in between every other two hours being horizontal. The fact that making and canning this ridiculous relish was how I chose to spend my precious two hours up makes me sick.

How I wish this was a random act of idiocy on my part. Sadly, it is all too often the way I in particular, and we women in general walk through life. Making foolish choices that have no value in eternity while neglecting the better things that will be investments in the Time to Come has been my modus opperandi . Father, could you save me from myself, please?

I love one-subject notebooks and use them daily for lists and those thousand things I write down to clear brain space. As I was spiffying my desk the other day, I was purging old lists from my notebooks, ripping and discarding page after page of To-Do Lists. Glancing over the lists was humbling as I saw time and time again how they each had far too much unnecessary activity.  Evaluating item after item on the lists I found myself again wondering incredulously, 'What was I thinking?' Why did I think I needed to do X and Y with a husband, home and nine children to care for? Who's big fat idea was it to add this to my list?

The reason for each thing may have been the same or I could have had some different excuse reason each time. Who knows? I have an educated guess based on my past performances that there was sin involved in each decision to add excess stuff-to-do on my lists. Pride, Fear of Man and Unbelief by not trusting my Father to take care of my needs have all been major players in the past. Whatever the reasons have been, I have to choose to walk differently these days. The fruit of this lifestyle is stress and bitterness because life does not work out the way I plan it and the things on the list never get done. I remember that the children helped me make the relish, but knowing that we only had a two hour window to pull it off explains how I know it could not have been fun. The relish turned out to be really yucky, too.

May our Father give us the grace to know when to just have a picnic and feed the watermelon rinds to the cows... figuratively for you, but literally for me.


  1. Watermelon Rind Relish? I actually had to google it to see if there was such a thing. Don't think I'll be trying it anytime soon....but I'm sure you meant well at the time.

  2. Thank you for the very insightful post! Will think of this the next time I write my to-do list.

  3. I appreciated your entry today. It's good to hear from you. I can really relate to what you're saying.

  4. Hey there-
    We use lots of single subject notebooks around here too. I love finding things my children have written, very funny and sentimental sometimes.
    Hey, we'll be at FW in KY. Looking forward to meeting you and your family :)


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