Thursday, November 01, 2007

Retiring The List

So there I was in my parents' living room last week with my sister and my mom's two brothers and their wives who I'd not seen in 30 years. The room was quiet, everybody was staring at me, so my aunt turned and asked me if I worked. I smiled and gave her my standard answer, "I work at home. I'm a happy homemaker."

Wham. The usual panicky silence fell. You know, that's when people start wondering, "Do they even make those anymore? What kinds of questions do you ask a 'happy homemaker,' anyway?," and, "Boy, is this gonna be a long afternoon..."

So my sister (who has a real job and a real life and grandkids and is a newlywed and plays piano at church and teaches piano in her spare time)piped up and said, "Oh, Debra has a blog, too, and lots of people read it." She gave me that 'come on, keep going' signal with her hands and she nodded with her head like, "come on, kid. Stand up for yourself! Don't you want to give them the list of all you do?"

Ah, The List... The List you read off to everyone to prove just how busy you are and how vital to the world's ability to keep spinning.

I remember The List. I used to have mine memorized and could rattle it off to you at any insecure moment... and make you sorry you even asked.

But I gave it up years ago. It doesn't matter now that people know the 'important' things I'm doing. All that matters to me is that I spend time with God each day learning to love Him better. And that I obey Him in the little things He asks me to do and be... and to live simply, as well. And that I learn to love others better, too.

But it's kinda hard to work that into most conversations.

Yet, that's ok. I'd rather hear other peoples' stories, and I think, from what I've read, most people would rather tell their own stories to a good listener, anyway. Besides, I prefer saving my own stories for the times God nudges me to share them. His timing is ever so much better than mine. His words are a zillion times better than mine, too, and what I'm aiming for is to speak those, instead, because, after all--

"...A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."... Proverbs 25:11

... and that sounds so very good to me.


R said...

Yeah, I hate that. It is too bad that people have issues with decisions others make and what they do with their time, especially when it is different from the way they do it.

You are at a good place.

Storybook Woods said...

Akkk the list, I hate the list. I always love it when someone is going on and on, looking at you waiting for you to join in and can not figure out why you are not. I just smile but keep my mouth shut (usally thinking, thank goodness I am a homemaker and can be at home) xoxoxox Clarice

Laurie S. said...

Your post is thought-provoking and sincere. I have been reading your blog for a few weeks (linked via HGTV "Rank My Room" to "My Romantic Home" and possibly another level besides!). It is lovely. I am sorry about the loss of your father and wishing you peaceful days ahead.

Me said...

blessed assurance in more ways than one... ;)

Becky said...

Debra, You are such an honest person and your gift with words just makes pictures come to my mind all the time.
I'm glad you got to reminisce (I'm sure that's spelled incorrectly)...silent sobs are better than no sobs.
....yes, in my opinion also, your dad is just relocated...


Saija said...

people give me their lists ... to show how busy they are ... i listen, smile, nod my head - ? ... you kind of want to say, "it's ok, you have nothing to prove ... " ...

blessings on ya ...

elizabeth said...

Heh...yes, most people would rather tell their own stories anyway...seems listening is mostly what I do too, which is fine. One learns a lot that way!

Blessings on you as you continue the path of adjustments!

smilnsigh said...

People still ask, if one works??!!?? Followed by; "If you don't, how ever do you fill your time?" Yikes, I'd forgotten those questions. They must come at you, when you're around 50, hu? 'Cause no one has dared to ask me those questions, in years.

I'm an even more "rare bird," than happy homemaker. I'm someone who revels in less to do. And revels in being able to do what she wants to do. Which is even less accepted, than being a happy homemaker. ,-)

Btw, that illustration you used is priceless!!! Just look at the faces on those women!!! -chuckle-

But not to worry Debra. All those *terribly busy* mid-life gals, are greeeeeen with envy, at your reply. But it would never do for them to let on, now would it? ,-))))


Debi said...

I'm so glad you posted this, Debra...I've been feeling so wall flower-ish lately....and resenting it! I need to remember that the important thing is fellowship with HIM!