When summer rolls around, my to-do list--especially the Projects I'd Like to Do around the House But Never Have Time during the School Year list--grows to be a mile long.
Not that my to-do list is ever much shorter than that. ;-)
But the fact remains that during the free(r) days of summer, my desire to clean, organize, and beautify my nest peaks; and I get really excited about devoting time to home projects.
The past couple of days, however, have been spent, not on tasks like that, but on people. And it has been GOOD.
Saturday, for example, we had the privilege of spending a good portion of time in the evening with some cherished friends who have blessed us tremendously through the years; and then late that night, after everyone else was in bed, Josiah, David, and I stayed up and talked until TWO IN THE MORNING. I knew my eyes were going to be heavy the next day (and my to-do list wasn't going to get any shorter), but it was so worth it.
This evening gave me another opportunity for special people time. As the sky grew dark, rather than staying inside to clean up the kitchen like my Martha side was tugging at me to do, my Mary heart sent me outdoors to sit around the fire pit with my family, and then--unexpectedly--with one of the neighbor girls Wanita when she wandered over, drawn by the noise of the kids frolicking on the yard.
But before all of that, I got to spend an hour with my mother, and it was an hour that was filled with sweetness.
I had intended to go see my mother before this, but once again, sickness delayed my visit, since passing icky germs along to her and the other residents is the last thing I want to do. But this evening, it worked out for Moriah, Benjamin, my dad, and I to go over to be with my mom; and as it turned out, it was the perfect time for that. For one thing, my mother was awake and alert (sometimes when my dad goes to visit, she's sort of sleepy and groggy). For another thing, there weren't many other people around, so we had the freedom to let Benjamin and Moriah wander around, zooming back and forth across the large common area, and adventuring out onto the screened-in porch. And for yet another thing, since there were no other residents in that area, Dad turned off the TV and I eventually sat down at the piano with a hymnal to play a little.
As I flipped through the pages, the old tunes I've known since childhood with the words that are so ingrained in my soul as to be truly formative in who I became as I grew to adulthood--those were the ones that stood out to me. And so I played them--My Jesus, I Love Thee; I Need Thee Every Hour; Trust and Obey; Come Thou Fount; Be Thou My Vision; Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus; I Am Thine, O Lord; Take My Life and Let It Be; Blest Be the Tie that Binds; and more--while my Dad sometimes sang and sometimes whistled, and my mom sometimes hummed along, and my two youngest children happily played nearby.
For a span of time, I forgot the fact that my mom can't really walk, can't really talk (this evening she would say things like "well, there's..." and "it is..." but then she wouldn't be able to get any more words out, so of course I couldn't understand what she was trying to communicate), can't really feed herself, and can't really do much of anything. All I was thinking about was the music flowing over us--the music that she taught me to love and taught me to play--and the words of those dear old hymns--the words that have sustained her and me through difficult times in the past and will continue to do so in the future. It was a precious time--the best visit I've had with her for a while.
Before I sat down at the piano, I took a few pictures, which I love to do every time we go to visit her.