Friday, May 24, 2013

My M.O.

Life lately has been one big mess of apologies from yours truly.

"I'm sorry about what I did four years ago."
"aaaand I'm sorry I kept it from you."
"Sorry about your PS3 controller."
"Sorry I spent money we didn't have."
"Sorry I forgot you spent hours leveling out the dirt in the yard and I let the kids make mud pies out of it."
"Sorry I didn't give recognition to your feelings but expected you to recognize mine."
"Ooops, I'm sorry."

And then my sponsor called.  "How are you?"

I can't stop making mistakes.  Little mistakes, big mistakes, frequent, thoughtless...
And I haven't even mentioned the box of brownies I ate and the fact that I haven't filled the gas tank even though I know my husband hates it when it goes below 1/2 a tank because it costs too much to fill it up.

I called my grandmother today -she's a retired midwife and I had some midwifey questions to ask her because of my body's issues.
AND THEN I asked her something I've been wanting to ask her for YEARS.
"How did you forgive Grandad?  How did you come to forgive him?"
Grandad betrayed Grandma a lot. 
"I came to realize that he wasn't sinning against ME," she said, "He was sinning against himself."
I nodded, she couldn't see me.
"And I had to realize that there was only the one Savior, and I was not that Savior."
My nod became more dramatic, still she couldn't see me.
"And it wasn't the adultery that really hurt.  It was the deceit."
 In that moment, she was my kindred spirit.

And she asked me something... if my mother's accident had traumatized me.
"You were only baby," she said, "No one could reason with you or explain to you what had happened, why your main source of comfort and nourishment and love and security was suddenly gone."
I didn't think it had, but I realized it did -it really did.  As I worked through my inventory, I could see that.  I then went on to tell my sponsor today as we visited that not having a "present" mother wasn't wholly bad.

Mom wasn't available to teach me things like cooking.  It made me sad until I realized that the directions for making Macaroni and Cheese were RIGHT THERE on the box!  I could READ them myself!
And I did.
I went to it.  Filled a pot with 6 cups of water, brought it to a boil, added the macaroni, set the timer...
When it went off, I looked at the directions again.
"Drain," they said, in bold letters.
Drain?  Drain?  What the heck did that mean? (I was probably about 9 when I did this.)  I decided it probably wasn't important and kept going with the process.
The pot of mac n' cheese never thickened... I kept stirring, waiting, stirring, waiting... my oldest brother laughed at me, my second oldest brother grabbed a huge bowl of it and congratulated me on my discovery of "Macaroni Soup."
He was trying so hard to be nice...
I messed up.  Plain and simple.
But the next time, I got it right.

That incident was the first of many... I love to get my hands ON things.  I don't learn by listening, I learn by DOING.  My first batch of Strawberry Jam was so thick you could hardly dig a spoon into it.
Turns out I didn't actually really understand what "rolling boil" meant and I rolling boiled that pot to... well, pot.
But I did not stop.  I went through strawberries and pectin so fast.   I tried again.  I made a mess again.  It took hours.  My kitchen was big enough to turn ONE full circle in.  I had ONE SQUARE FOOT of counter space.  I couldn't turn the swamp cooler on because it messed with the range top, so I sweated in the middle of the Arizona summer over a gas stove and I hot water bathed strawberry jam while my first born screamed her colicky lungs out.
And then?  I nailed it.
The angels sang.
I'm sure of it.

"Mom just always said 'Why not?' when we wanted to do anything.  She was too tired to help me do anything, so I'd just find resources and do things myself.  It's turned out to be really good for me -I'm very hands-on and I just have to make mistake after mistake... oohhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

And THERE it was.

The Lord's very personal way of letting me know I'm simply IN mistake mode.
I'm right back over that hot range-top with sweat beading down my face...

Mistakes are my M.O.

If I'm making them, then I'm doing something right. 
A few months after I finally figured out my water-bath canner, my sister-in-law asked me to help her learn how to can.
"Oh, I dunno," I shrugged, "I just read the book that came with my canner." (A canning kit was my 22nd birthday gift from my husband.  He coddles my secret desire to live like the Amish.)
"But I'll mess up and end up wasting the food," she said.
I was confused.

How was it ever wasted?  Mistakes aren't wastes.  They're catalysts.  They're progressive.
And for me, they're a sign that everything is tickety-boo.
(Okay, so maybe I want to be British AND Amish.  No big deal.)

I hung up the phone, and my mood and mind settled.
Right now, I can't seem to take a right step... and contrary to what I thought,
everything is as it should be.


  1. This is very insightful and amazing. Just what I needed to hear. Thanks :)

  2. this is awesome. a 'mistake' is never a wasted moment. we always learn something.

  3. I love your attitude. I need to be more like you. :)

  4. This is great! Mistakes are teaching tools...if we take the opportunity to learn from them. Thanks!

  5. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this. And how much I CAN RELATE!