I just realized that the calendar on my wall is still turned to September. In a blink of an eye, everything changes, doesn’t it?
Blink. I was ten years old and couldn’t wait to grow up.
Blink. I was twenty years old and couldn’t wait to get married.
Blink. I was thirty years old and couldn’t wait for my four-year-old to be able to tie her own shoes.
Blink. Six years later, I watch and listen as my own nearly-ten-year-old child professes her desire to be all grown up.
Today I find myself wandering around in a depressing funk. I told my birthday-boy-husband (Happy Birthday, sweetheart!) that I felt as if a dark cloud had parked itself right over my head, shadowing my every thought and dampening my mood. The thrill I felt yesterday at the sight of a broad, blue, wind-swept Texas sky was replaced today with gloom at the sight of brown leaves falling to the ground, leaving bare branches stark against the sky.
Most of this gloomy outlook is just that: it is a furrow that my mind chases around and around again. I dislike the winter, and today I feel it coming. I feel it in the very middle of my bones. When I was eleven, I broke my ankle in such a bad way that surgeons had to piece it back together. Now I can tell anyone with about as much accuracy as the National Weather Service when a cold front is approaching the region because there is a distinctive aching sensation radiating from my joints. I can’t claim that this is what getting older feels like because I began experiencing it when I was eleven.
Back to the furrow in my mind. In my Dalmatian’s younger days, he ran and ran incessantly around the back yard. Eventually the grass right around the fence stopped growing due to the trail he made every day. That is what my mind feels like today. I have a dog trail going round and round.
Why? For every reason and for no reason. The election. The condition of my heart. The condition of Amercia’s hearts. A sweet friend of mine just lost a job. Some unmentionables. Depression because we can’t seem to make up our minds about adoption. And for some reason today, especially my sweet Dalmatian…I fear he won’t make it to Christmas this year. The winters are so hard on his old joints. With this marginally cooler weather, I can already tell a difference in him. He will no longer chase after the tennis ball. For those of you who know him, you must know this is a huge sadness. This was a dog who would forgo food (and he LOVES food) for the chance to chase after a tennis ball. Now if I throw it for him he looks at me as if to say, “YOU go get it!”
He barks at nothing. He howls at sirens he must be hearing in his mind. He wanders the house sometimes as if he is confused. He’s looking for something but isn’t quite sure what that something is. So I drag a blanket over to the floor and sit with him. He can’t climb on the couch most days anymore, so he settles down beside me and likes me to cover him with a soft blanket.
There’s another change in him. We used to joke about having to put all our drinks in the center of the coffee table because he wagged his tail so ferociously that it whacked any glass within reach, spilling whatever contents there may have been all over the floor. Now he holds his tail at an odd angle…just between his legs. The only time I see him wag it anymore is if someone comes to visit or right after I put food in his bowl. The old dog is growing more frail every day. It hurts to watch.
But today is hubby’s birthday! And that surely is a reason for praise, and I will dwell on the blessing he is in my life. Always ready with a goofy joke that cracks me up, he is the north to my south. We are as about as opposite as we can be. He’s very tall…I’m very short. He’s great at putting people at ease…I get panic attacks in some social situations. He loves to travel…I hate to travel. He’s very athletic…I’m athletically challenged. But we love each other more than life itself. I know he’s got my back, and I’ve got his, and today of all days I thank God for bringing us together and for being the glue that holds our marriage strong. Yes, time is flying by so fast…but when you get right down to it, that must mean that we’re having fun!
As always when I feel troubled, I look to the Psalms, and I find much comfort there…especially today, as I sit here troubled by the passing of time. Sometimes I wish I could just grab my hubby, my little girl and my old doggy friend and keep them right where they are in this moment of time. Of course that isn’t possible, so I take snapshots with my camera and with my heart. I wonder if God looks at time the same way we do? I found some comforting verses in Psalm 90…I share them with you today.
Lord, through all the generations
you have been our home!
Before the mountains were born,
before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
from beginning to end, you are God.
For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,
as brief as a few night hours.
Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom.
O Lord, come back to us!
How long will you delay?
Take pity on your servants!
Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
Let us, your servants, see you work again;
let our children see your glory.
And may the Lord our God show us his approval
and make our efforts successful.
Yes, make our efforts successful!
That is my prayer this day, Lord…that you will make our nation’s…our church’s…our family’s…our individual…efforts successful, and that they will be pleasing to your sight.