Veteran’s Day found me at home, with all three kids home from school, doing loads of laundry, grocery shopping, baking for a baby shower, cooking dinner and the endless dish washing that ensues. If I haven’t ever said it plainly here, let it be known this day: THESE ARE NOT MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO!! I’ve been known to say to my friends that cooking and domesticity “makes me grumpy”. It’s more than that even: it feels futile, unimportant, insignificant. I’m often in this place of feeling like most of what I do really does not matter or “count” for anything. Here, here, and here, you’ll read the same droan (shall we call it whining?) of wishing I could be doing SOMETHING ELSE! And not just anything else, but something of value, like painting or drawing. Yet, even in my art, I can spiral into a place where even that feels unimportant and insignificant. Perhaps you have these places in your life too, where you just don’t see the purpose for it, the reason behind it all, or anything fruitful that comes from your efforts.
I’ve been reading a most lovely book in anticipation of advent. Watching for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas is where I found the Sylvia Plath poem. The day after Veteran’s Day I read a piece by Henri Nouwen titled, Waiting for God. I’ve been so encouraged by his writing. The above is an image from my written journal (albeit peppered with drawings). The next few blog posts will be other snippets from this article. You really should read the entire piece! The way Nouwen speaks of what it means to wait, makes me realize that it is precisely in those mundane, insignificant moments where real life is happening…something is growing, God is at work. Yes, and yes~I WILL rest in this.
In case it is difficult to read my scribble on the image above, here’s the snippet from Henri Nouwen’s article:
“…People who wait have received a promise that allows them to wait. They have received something that is at work in them, like a seed that has started to grow…Those who are waiting are waiting very actively. They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing. That’s the secret. The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted, that something has begun.” -Henri Nouwen
0 thoughts on “Waiting: Where Real Life Happens”
Jennifer…i am always sooo encouaged by your posts. Thanks for being so real and for sharing lovely passages from books, etc. i will surely look for this one today. Love to all!
Just this Sunday at lunch I was telling Larry that I feel like what I do has no meaning and wonder what else should I be doing. I know there’s no magic activity that would make me feel useful but it seems like a question I ask often. I too am waiting and praying that God will show me how beautiful it is where I am. Thanks for sharing.
Huh, and i thought I was going mad thinking that a day spent doing house work and no painting is a day forever wasted!
Again, wonderful insight.
I just love the last 2 posts on your blog. This sketch particularly draws me, as I stand washing dishes endlessly it seems. And lately I’ve been in the place of wondering why I make art, what is the drive in me, and what is the purpose of it? Why didn’t I just buy Christmas cards like everyone else? and who really cares anyway that I spent days working on these cards I hope to send out…and that they will like toss in the garbage…vanity and vexation of spirit. Now I’m not depressed or anything, just wondering… So I can so relate to this post. And I think that this sketch in your lined, writing journal is what’s drawing more than the finished art lately. Recording the moments, pondering, writing…anyway – thought provoking posts and sorry for my ramblings on and on and on 🙂
I wish I knew how to edit my comment, because I made several errors and now it doesn’t make very much sense…oh well.
I feel the same way about housework. I don’t like it, but 20 years ago I made the decision to stay home and play June Cleaver for my family because it was important for all of us. I still think I made the right decision, but I am not a domestic goddess. I’m no Martha Stewart. I’d rather be out playing with the kids (which I did A LOT) than doing laundry or dishes. When I am in the zone working on a drawing, all those things are forgotten. This is a great sketch and your post gives me something to think about today.