And after all the stressing and complaining I have done while waiting for the package, I don't think Andy would have even minded. Heavens, he might have even kissed the guy for bringing it, just so I would shush!
And what was causing all that fuss? What could possibly be in a box that would make a grown woman jump up and down and her children know that it needed to be opened immediately?
Yes, a pillow.
But not just any pillow. Not a $5 picked it up at Walmart pillow. Not a $100 bought it from a special "will make all your neck and back problems go away" store.
This is an old feather pillow. Older then me. Just the right amount of soft, right amount of firm. Molds up against me when I sleep. Has seen me through several deployments, taking the spot of Andy in the bed - something to lean up against and pretend it was him. And a long time ago, this pillow, this very special pillow, was something that my grandma slept on.
I know, I know, it's not like she left her spirit in a pillow. But when I change the sheets and see the old pattern on the pillow itself I am reminded of her.
It was my own fault: When we went to St. Louis for the 4th I took it with me. Foolish, I know, but I sleep so much better with it around. When we packed up that morning I left it laying at the end of the bed. Abandoned and neglected. I noticed by that night, of course, and called the next morning - they had found it! It took a couple days to figure out the logistics of who in the chain for command was responsible for mailing it, but by the 7 it was supposed to be on the road. I waited. When it still hadn't arrived by the 14th, I called again. They said they would call UPS. More waiting. When it still hadn't arrived by the 19, I was just about to call again, when suddenly, the doorbell rang!
It was the neighbor, bringing over some fruit salad.
The fruit salad distracted me, then we were working on school, when suddenly, the doorbell rang again. Twice in one day? No one ever comes to see us.
Lo and behold, a beautiful package sitting at the front door, just for ME!
Andy says I need to write a "lesson learned" blog about this. About how earthly possessions really aren't important, and that our family is what really matters. Truthfully, anyone who knows me, or reads this blog know that I already think that. If the pillow had never shown up I wouldn't have had a fit. I wouldn't have even been mad, at myself or the people at Drury Inn. I would have been slightly worried about telling my Mom... but I would have given her the whole speech that Andy gave me and all would have been well with the world. Stuff is stuff. Some stuff makes me really happy, like chocolate, bracelets that clink and clank when I am walking and my fabulous old pillow.
But that is stuff.
People - All people. That is a totally different love. My love for my family is in a completely different realm. Although I have been reading Oswald Chambers lately and his words about letting them go too.... well, we won't get into that right now.
I think what God is impressing on me through this experience is how dependent I am on habits.
Wake up, pour coffee, shake the Truvia packet 3 times, cream, cinnamon, ginger, readdiwhip. (I do not want to hear any comments about my extremely "un-green" routine. It is my guilty pleasure)
The whole point of shaking the Truvia packet is to make sure it is all at the bottom, so that when you tear off the top you don't spill it all. The other day I did my triple shake, then had to walk away for something. When I came back, I picked it up and automatically, shake, shake, shake. Had the sugar moved back to the top while sitting on the counter? No. Did I have any reason to shake it again? No. It was just habit. And habits happen, whether you want them to our not.
I have a habit I am working very hard to try to create. I need to take my anti-seizure medicine as close as possible to the same time every day. I have set an alarm on my phone reminding me. I have them in a convenient pill dispenser, displayed prominently on the bathroom counter. And still, many days I ignore the alarm for one reason or another. (I am in the middle of loading the dishwasher, Zion is practicing his letters, I am writing a blog!) Then, two hours later I gasp and realize that I never took my pills.
A habit that needs to be created
Why is it so much harder to break a bad habit then to create a good one?
1Timothy 5:24-25 says "The sins of some men are obvious, reading the place of judgement ahead of them; the sins of others train behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden."
The Message says it this way- "The sins of some people are blatant and march them right into court. The sins of others don't show up until much later. The same with good deeds. Some you see right off, but none are hidden forever."
Habits and sins and even good deeds are a lot alike. Sometimes they are hidden. Sometimes they are obvious. Sometimes we ourselves are not even aware of them.
I am on a mission to seek out my habits, discover if they are pleasing to my God, and use them as He would ask.
Definitely something I can't do on my own!
1 Thessalonians 5:23 says "May God Himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together - spirit, soul, and body- and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ."
I am clinging to this one. Pillows may distract me. Coffee may be an occasional obsession. Who knows what I do and am not even aware of! But I trust that I am being "put together". I love puzzles - and it is encouraging that as much as my life feels like a puzzle sometimes, my Savior can see the completed picture, and is putting me together.