Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Complete Person

My mother-in-law called today from Omaha, NE.  There, she and her Carl are serving a mission in historic Winter Quarters for our church.  They've been there forever and they have forever still to be there (so it seems to me).  She was calling to check on Avery's upcoming 3rd birthday and whether she would like Tinker Bell or Minnie Mouse pajamas.  We decided Tinker Bell would be most well received!

Then we chatted about "things".  How she feels like she is being stretched in the inner city of Omaha with the challenges that come up as she serves the people there and how, right now, everything is going well for us.  No major bedtime issues (remember Seth's?), no one is sick, no bills are overdue, no tornados tearing through Cicada Cottage, no drought, I still love Dr. Gooch, he is crazy about me, our children are turning out to be obedient and respectful human beings, and we find time to do the things we want to do.  I think, maybe the bed is unmade---yes, that's my only complaint.  Even the laundry is folded!!

There is a time to stretch and there is a time to just stretch out and enjoy the place you're in.  This is as obvious a statement as they come.  Hearing it in my head, I wondered to myself, is it really true?  Is time thus delineated, really?  Or is every time a time to stretch and every time a time to enjoy?

If someone does this--finds a way to at once grow and graze, as it were, in life's pasture, they must be a complete person.  This person uses those stretching moments to pause and find the positive.  This person stands on the plateaus of complacency and searches out the next mountain to master.

My mother-in-law is this person.  She is a non-complainer.  She knows when she's being pushed and she readily accepts the shove all the while smiling and enjoying the sun sets and rises.  And if the bunnies aren't eating her berries and Carl finds his way home from his run---well, she doesn't rest on her laurels, she shuttles the blind couple in her neighborhood to where they need to be and offers up her home free of charge while she is away in Omaha!!

What a stinkin' extra bonus (for me) that she passed this trait right on down to the man I found to marry! We speak of "taking it in stride", well, he takes it, wads it up in a huge ball then leaps over the thing and slaps my bum on his way to the other side.  Ni-eeece.

*photo, the view from where I blog: I blog in the trees, basically.


Kurt Knudsen said...

Thank you Paula for such a good son-in-law!

Rebekah V. said...

Just today I was wondering about what you do when everything settles down (this was theoretical, mind you, because we have a ways to go before we are settled). But I wondered, "Will I have it in me to keep stretching myself or will I just sit down on the couch and watch reruns on Hulu?" The second feels like a very real possibility. So it was very nice to get a glimpse of what a meaningful and settled life can look like. Thanks for sharing.

Rebecca said...

Beautiful thoughts.

The Original Mangums said...

Thank you for the many kind words - we sure love you! Nine months left as of today - time is flying, it will be over before we know it!
But another WINTER - Oh My!!!

Tasha said...

What a blessing, her, the space of time in our lives, your cheeky Dr. Gooch....all of it.