Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Rent That Wasn't Due

Ever since Ian and I paid our first month's rent and deposit for our new apartment (which was, to say, 2/3 of our cash in the bank) I have been thinking about the hit our bank account will take every first of the month when rent is due.  I've never had to pay for lodging in my life, so the thought has been daunting.  In an effort to keep adding to our checking account, January has been a long month of me hardly seeing my husband and son. It's always Ian working another 17 hour day or I'm sleeping off my 12 hour nights...

It's been taxing.

After a nice rare morning with my family Sunday, I begrudgingly went into work that night.  I came home Monday morning to sleep until my shift later that day.  Very routine stuff.

Imagine my surprise when I wake up to a text from my husband saying, "We got an invoice on our door and our rent for next month was paid anonymously".  That woke me up quicker than my alarm clock does, I'll tell you what.  "Is this real?" I texted back. "What?"

the invoice
I ran to the door and picked up the invoice.  After seeing it for myself, I broke down into tears.  Tears of relief, tears of joy, tears overwhelmed by the generosity of our anonymous donor.  We hadn't asked for this.  (If you're asking for someone to pay your rent you should probably live at home, by the way.) We hadn't asked for it, but we are very grateful and indebted to whoever did this for us.

On behalf of the family in apartment 6, I want to thank our anonymous donor.  It means more to us than you know, and we will be putting that money away in a "rainy day" fund, as rainy days are as sure to find us as this sunny day was.  And whether you meant to or not, you have impressed upon me that God provides the daily bread.  As hard as we work for our money, we're not the ones taking care of ourselves (although we try).

When we have the means, I would like to do this for someone else one day.  In the meantime, we'll pay it forward in some other way. What I'm trying to say is thank you, thank you, thank you.  I truly wish I could thank you personally.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
 Are you not much more valuable than they? 
Matthew 6:26 NIV

Friday, January 17, 2014

Slicing the Apple

Anybody who has been around me or any of my social media within the past 24 hours knows that my son turned eleven months today.  I flood my Facebook and Twitter with pictures recounting this day, along with reflective anecdotes posing the question: HOW HAS THIS MUCH TIME PASSED BY?!

Let's face it.  This time a year ago, I was an unhappy, lost, broken, and very selfish, little pregnant girl.  They say pregnancy'll make you grow up quick -- they're wrong.  Motherhood makes you grow up quick.  Being someone's lifeline makes you grow up quick.

Before I had my baby, my naïveté led me to believe that carrying him around in my belly was difficult.  I kind of thought that part would spurt the whole "coming-of-age" chapter in my life. However, if I'm really honest here, my only act of selflessness throughout the 36 weeks of pregnancy was trying to eat right (ha ha) and avoid anything that could physically harm the life inside of me.


For years, it's been a running joke in my family about my inability to slice and peel an apple.  At sixteen, my mom told me that before I could get my license, I had to be able to slice and peel an apple on my own.  Admittedly, it's a pretty basic skill.  I tried a couple times (okay, once) and did it clumsily enough that my mom was just like, forget it.  The new standard was to be able to do it before I got married.

With this new deadline and my yearning to someday find a husband, I practiced slicing an apple once at my grandmommy's house.  After observing my abhorrent attempt, she took the apple and the knife away from me and said, "Maybe you aren't ready for this."  It then came up a few times during my pregnancy that I still couldn't slice an apple, which is a little deplorable for a mother-to-be.

Grandmommy was right.  I wasn't ready.  I could have given it the ol' college try and actually worked on it.  But I never followed up because a) I didn't really care to, and b) I could really always get someone else to do it for me. 

Back to the present.  Ian and I recently moved into our very first apartment, and with it all my crap came out of storage and into our new home.  Going through my boxes, I found an old apple slicer/peeler contraption that my mom got a hundred years ago (maybe fifteen years ago).  It did all the work for you!  Hooray! I thought.  I can finally feed my child real apples!!!! I quickly ordered my husband to get a bunch of apples from the grocery store.  

the "Back to Basics: Peel Away"
This evening I decided to whip out the apple slicer for my baby's 11-month-old big boy dinner.  It was time for a change from the routine banana.  I stick the apple on the contraption and started turning the...(turning the what? Is that a knob? a handle?  I'm not sure, but surely you can tell what I'm talking about from the picture).  Just as the first of the peeling begins, the apple breaks off.  I didn't screw it on quite well enough.  This led me to what was truly an epiphany for me:  I am a mother.  I need to get a knife and slice this baby up. Without supervision, without aid, without a kitchen tool as a cheat. 

And I did it.  I sliced that Fuji apple. I sliced it realllllll good. I peeled it.  And, if you can believe it, I diced it.  It was a cathartic moment for me.  I felt like supermom.  Oh, bless her, my readers are disdainfully thinking.  The poor girl is celebrating something very pathetic.  

Pathetic as it might be, slicing the apple was symbolic to me.  It showed me just how much I've grown up in the eleven months that my baby has been around.  That 24 pound smiley little chunk has been the driving force I always needed to transform my life and become the woman I need to be.  And for that, I feel indebted to him.

So, thank you, sweet baby boy, for spurring change in Momma's life!  I love you and in one month I fully expect you to dunk your head in your cake!!!
When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: 
but when I became a [wo]man, I put away childish things.
1 Cor. 13:11 KJV
Yay! He's reaching for the apple!!