We had a very snowy February and March here in North Central Idaho. Snow slid off the roof creating giant banks of snow on the side of my house and barn. We plowed the driveway clear with the tractor this year, and created monstrous sized mountains of plowed snow all over our property.
But now the sun is shining during the day, and the snow is melting off. Thankfully it’s been a slow process so far…but nothing can stop the spring MUD. Mud on the driveway where the sun hits makes for a slimy trip to and from the highway. Mud where we park. And ever so slowly the snow and ice is melting off too. I may not be able to see the grass in my yard for several more weeks, but walk ways that have been plowed are melting quickly – I think we are down from 6 inches of packed snow (and let’s face it…ice) to just an inch or two in front of the house. By the weekend I may see some gravel – or mud more likely. But it’s progress!!!
Now my prayer focus is that the weather continues to cooperate and our spring melt is slow and gradual, with cold overnight temperatures, and minimal rain. You see, my house sits down in a valley along a creek bed. As the snow melts above us, gravity does its thing, and the spring runoff fills our creek to capacity – and often over the banks. We have lived here for almost 15 years now, and nearly every spring is wrought with worry and careful monitoring of the creek’s behavior. Most years it is uneventful, with the water running high for a week, cresting over the banks for a few hours each day, and then receding. But there are times when the runoff runs faster than we would like and the water level rises up to the house for a 6-8 hour nerve wracking stent before it goes back down. As long as we have lived here, we have been lucky enough to avoid any water damage to our home – and we do carry flood insurance – but we know our home has flooded in the past. There are 2 times that the water was high and we went through the house and picked up all the important stuff off the floor, piled things on beds, couches, tables, said a few fervent prayers – and went to bed. We have been blessed to wake up to dry floors and receded water, but it humbles you in those moments. You have to make quick but decisive choices about what really matters, and what will be just part of the mess.
Isn’t that just human nature though, to worry about the things that are out of our control? To spend hours planning for what ifs and then what – thinking that maybe if I have a perfect plan, and do all the right steps in the right order, I can influence the outcome. Right??? No. Really I can’t. I can’t influence the weather. I can’t alter the flow of the creek. I’m not that powerful. But I can have a plan to grab the dogs, a few essentials for myself and them, pick up a few things from the floor, and park my car on the top portion of the driveway – in case we need to leave quickly. And that is in fact our plan – one we hope we don’t have to initiate, but we are prepared for. It’s simple and without a lot of detail – because what will be will be. If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that I can’t control everything, and there is no point to letting worry and fear consume me.
These past few weeks I’ve been working on preparing for my spring craft shows. I’ve been making soap, lotion, lip balms, salves, creams, trying to be diligent about keeping my database up to date. I’ve filled and shipped a few orders, which is always nice, and have made sure those get recorded in the database too. This coming weekend my plan is to spend a few hours back in the soap room and label and pack up what I need for the craft shows. It takes a few focused hours to get that done, and I’m oddly looking forward to doing it and checking that off my list. I need to make another couple batches of lip balm and at least one batch of my Courageous cream, and then the first weekend in April I will package up the last of the soap I need, wash my table coverings, and hopefully be ready for my first craft show of the season.
Spring makes me think of hope, new life, and new opportunities. This past year has been a challenge for me in many ways. Of course, a great physical challenge has been recovering from spinal fusion. And now today, feeling fairly well recovered, I have time to think about what this next year has in store for me. Spring time is also when I feel very connected to my MRKH family. The annual MRKH Day in Ann Arbor is coming up in a couple of weeks, and I will not be attending this year. I was able to attend last year, and to spend a week with my dear friend Chel for a much needed vacation, and it’s a trip I still think about nearly every day. This year there should be an MRKH conference in Seattle, and I will make every effort to attend that one. Obviously, Seattle is much closer for me making the travel expense more reasonable.
I’ve been thinking about my MRKH a lot in the past few weeks. I’m sure it’s because I’m working on Courageous products, and the conference is coming up. But it’s little things too. I was invited to a baby shower for a tiny new blessing at our church. This little one is a rainbow baby after 2 miscarriages, and the new mom is a lovely woman. I bought sweet baby gifts, prepared my contribution for the lunch, but when the day of the shower came up – I just couldn’t make myself go. Babies are beautiful and lovely to hold and squeeze…baby showers are hard. So I took care of myself, and skipped the baby shower. One of my MRKH sisters recently had a birth mom change her mind about giving up her child for adoption, and so I’m grieving alongside her and it’s hard. This was one of my greatest fears when I was at a point in my life where adoption was an option on the table. Could I withstand the heartache if my dream was shattered? To be chosen, and UN-chosen? And yet, another of my MRKH sisters is PREGNANT. She received a uterine transplant, and now after her 3rd attempt of IVF, she is 12 weeks pregnant. My heart sings for joy with her, and she is even posting adorable bump pictures. What a medical miracle and a blessing from God himself. I have 2 MRKH sisters and their families who had embryo transfers to their surrogates last week who are waiting to hear if they are pregnant – and so we wait with baited breath to hear the news. All of these things recently in my life, and while I am gleefully happy and hopeful for the moms to be, the new moms whose dreams have come true – I am also recognizing these triggers and allowing myself to feel the pain of infertility…again.
My peers and classmates are mostly done with creating tiny humans themselves, but now I am seeing them welcoming grandchildren into their lives. A new chapter, a new generation, another layer of legacy they are adding to this world. I look at my life, and while I’m not leaving a genetic legacy, I hope that I am leaving a trail of compassion, love, acceptance, service, and grace. I am content in my role of mentor and not mother. I know that I am making a difference in the lives of the people whose paths I cross. I know I am living the life and love of my Creator for all the world to see.