when wonder’s wedged

Written by Sandra Heska King

PRAY EDITOR "Once a nurse, always a nurse," they say. But now I spend my days with laptop and camera in tow as I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I'm a Michigan gal, mom to two, grandmom to two, and wife to one. My husband and I live on 50 acres in the same 150-plus-year-old farmhouse he grew up in. I love this quote by Mary Oliver, "Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." That's how I want to live. And I'm still learning how to be. Still.

September 25, 2012

Some days are way weary. This is one of them. Its wonder’s wedged in the dusty gap between the cupboard and the fridge. And stuck in pancake syrup still puddled in the morning’s plates.

Tupperware towers topple on the work tables, containers that once held unrecognizable food rescued from the depths of the ancient gargantuan chest. “Clean it,” they said, “and plug it in so we know it works.” (The first thing they did was chop the plug off before they hand-trucked it up the stairs and off to freezer recycling heaven.)

The Hoosier cabinet’s blanketed with colorful papers, a small bag of baked Lay’s potato chips, and a Ziplock filled with blue mineral “sand” that we bought for the new little bunny. We’ve never used  any, and there’s enough for a whole herd of rabbits. There’s also a small measuring cup and mini funnel to fill the steamer I’m using to remove the kitchen wallpaper. I’ve been working on that for over a year. The steamer’s gathering dust on the floor next to the Hoosier.

The kitchen table’s also littered with papers, a couple books, a cup of cold coffee, my keys, my cell phone, this computer, my wallet, and the littlest grandgirl’s play phone.

On the counter behind me is a bowl of bananas, my pill case (so I remember to take them, but I don’t), two boxes of tea (green and black), an empty Subway bag, a canister of black licorice bits, my mother-in-law’s amber candlewicked chicken candy dish, and my camera.

My husband’s been battling a kidney stone, the big grandgirl’s still healing, I’m heading to Laity Lodge on Thursday, and my to-do list stretches from my unmade bed on the upper floor to the toothpaste-spattered bathroom sink on the main floor to the discombobulated, cobweb-draped laundry room downstairs.

If Martha surveyed my house right now, she’d have a stroke. This place is a mess.

And to think my word for the year is “order.”

But sometimes the proper order of things is to pull a Mary in the midst of the mess. To choose the best part. To sit at the feet of the One who orders disorder, who births wonder out of messes.

So I stop. I turn away where I can’t see–in order to see.

I go outside and find the air is apple crisp, the day is bright, and colors are starting to pop. The order of seasons is right on time. I breathe deep, suck Him right in all the way down to my toes. And with every breath I wonder if I’d ever see wonder apart from messes. If I’d take wonder for granted. I’m reminded this mess I’m in right now, it’s a marvelous mess–a mess of plenty, a mess of love, a mess of grace.

I marvel at the wingspan of a soaring hawk, the whir of a hummingbird’s wings (why are they still here?), and the wispy whiteness of the clouds. I wonder at the wonder of it all.

And when I go in, I rinse off syrup and wipe down the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32 Comments

  1. Donna Schultz

    This was so beautiful! May we always choose the best part.

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      Thanks so much, Donna. You made my morning. And yes. The best part. Always.

      Reply
  2. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    A mess of grace. Yes. Beautiful, Sandy.

    See you day after tomorrow!

    Reply
  3. Jean Wise

    Just love this : you did choose the better part! This line will linger with me: I turn away where I can’t see–in order to see. Have fun at the Laity Lodge and be renewed!

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      Thank you, Jean. I hope to meet you in the canyon some day. Or somewhere else. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Carol J. Garvin

    Wonderful, Sandy! You’ve identified the only things that are important: “To sit at the feet of the One who orders disorder, who births wonder out of messes.” And this: remembering it’s “a mess of plenty, a mess of love, a mess of grace.” I need to remember these when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      I keep reminding myself that my messes often flow out of my excess–and His excessive grace. Thank you, Carol.

      Reply
  5. S.Etole

    Feeling a little overwhelmed myself with the trail of disarray one little kitty can create. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      Ah yes. We have this with our one little indoor bunny now, too. An inexpensive pet until you add on the larger cage and the toys. Then the bags of bedding, dishpan full of food and snacks, and stray hay–not to mention little brown pellets…

      Reply
  6. lindalouise

    You choose well Sandy. The Martha things are more easily handled when we’ve been Mary for a while. Praying for your husband. I want you to go to the retreat with a heart filled with His peace.

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      So, so true. And maybe Martha would have been less hassled if her doing had flowed more from being. It’s possible the stone passed now…I’m so going to miss you tomorrow, my friend. You are the bestest roomie.

      Reply
  7. Laura Boggess

    Yes! I pulled a Mary tonight too! The only rub? When I do, it’s always the writing that gets sacrificed. But you know what? These moments of marveling at the wingspan…they feed the writing, don’t they?

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      Yes. I’ve sacrifice some writing–and lately so behind on my reading. Trying not to feel guilty about that–but more so, I feel deprived because of what I gain from that. But first things first, right? I’m sensing a blog post–Writing and Wingspans? 😉

      Reply
  8. Diane Bailey

    Looking at the wingspan makes all things pass away, if only for a few moments, and look straight at the marvelous ways of the Lord.

    Reply
  9. Patricia W Hunter

    The thing about messes is that they aren’t going anywhere. You can tackle them anytime. So grateful for the wonder moments that help us put the messes in perspective. Have a wonderful weekend, Sandra. May it overflow with wonders anew. xox

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      That’s true. They only grow. And in some ways that’s easier–it’s when I grab a big garbage bag. 🙂

      Anxious to leave the mess behind for a few days.

      Reply
  10. pastordt

    Lovin’ this post a lot, Sandy. Good choices today – to walk out into the apple crispness and wonder at it all. And then, to tackle a little syrup. See you soon, sweet friend.

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      Apple crisp and syrup. Now I’m hungry. Can’t wait to see and taste what He and Tim have prepared for us.

      Reply
  11. Kimberly Sullivan

    Been there…I’m sitting in a house less than orderly ready to leave my family for a business trip. I’m wondering why I didn’t prepare them food for when I’m gone, and then I remember….they are all grown up and can make food themselves…It’s foggy today…and I remember He is in the fog if I dare look.

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      That’s a good reminder, Kim. I “should” have all the laundry done. I “should” have the fridge well stocked. I “should,” I “should.” Because they make sacrifices so I can go. Hopefully, it turns into more of an investment. 😉

      And yes, He’s there in the fog. We might have to squint, but He’s there.

      Reply
  12. David Rupert

    “A Marvelous Mess” — that’s a catch phrase that has legs!

    Reply
  13. Shelly Miller

    We do sacrifice something in taking those moments to breathe it all in, don’t we? But really, in comparison to Christ’s sacrifice for us, it all seems very small. You opted to take the road less traveled, the road that leads to peace. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      And we gain so much more in the sacrifice, yes? Get your hug ready.

      Reply
  14. Martha Orlando

    Oh, what beauty He creates out of the messes we are! Beautiful reflection, Sandy!

    Reply
    • Sandra Heska King

      And that’s the beauty of it. There’s nothing so messy, nothing so shattered, that He can’t create something exquisite. Oh, to remember that.

      Reply

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when wonder’s wedged

by Sandra Heska King time to read: 3 min
33