I had big plans for today. With Christmas vacation over, the kids would be going back to school--and I intended to put Phil Keaggy's "Beyond Nature" in the CD player, pour myself an extra-large mug of hazelnut-laced coffee and work until noon on my second book.
Plans change. My daughter woke with the flu; she's lying now on the couch with her pillow and the teal and purple fleece blanket I made for her last Christmas. So I've moved from the couch, where I usually write, to the kitchen table, which is crowded with a pile of snowglobes and candles and other waiting-to-be-put-away decorations. This chair is not nearly as comfortable as my spot on the couch.
Instead of Phil Keaggy's guitar licks in the background, I'm listening to Mary and Laura Ingalls. Laura's upset because it seems boys don't automatically like her the way they like Mary. Herein lies my problem: I can't ignore Little House on the Prairie. I'm genuinely interested in hearing Mary's explanation. Why are all the boys in Walnut Grove drawn to her? Why does it all come so easily for her? We brown-haired, brown-eyed girls are quite sure we know the answer: it's that blonde/blue combination she wears.
Pa will help Laura; he always does. I haven't seen this episode yet (we only just got season 4 last week) but I already know the outcome. At some point in the next 40 minutes, Pa's going to take Half-pint in his arms and make her feel beautiful. I love Pa.
I don't think I'll get much writing done today. We also own seasons 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. It's going to be a Walnut Grove day, and there's no way on earth I can tune out the drama long enough to write a chapter. I suppose I have to trust that God will help me finish this book even minus today's work.
Yesterday at church, my husband talked about the difference between a servant and a slave. Servants maintain a measure of independence. If they don't like the work offered, they can move on. Slaves, on the other hand, hold no cards.
When Zac and Tera squabble, we sometimes implement the "15-minute servant." If Tera, for example, is destructive to something that belongs to Zac, or disrespectful to him or just plain mean (and it happens; she's a sinner like all the rest of us), then for 15 minutes she has to serve him. He can ask her to do a chore he doesn't want to do, or straighten his room, or start a load of laundry for him. He can ask anything he wants--within reason. We're the judge of reason.
The term "within reason" doesn't apply to God or to His bondslaves. When we offered our earlobe on the doorpost and accepted the painful thrust of the awl and the gold ring that marked us for all time as His, we gave up the right to ask for reasonable service. He is the Good Master, the One who laid His life down for us, the One who loves us beyond reason. And if He asks us to go left, we can't complain that the road leading right looks mighty appealing.
My day belongs to the One who wooed me. If He wanted me to finish a chapter today, He would have cleared the couch. Instead, He placed another daughter there--and gave me the privilege of wiping her forehead with a cool cloth and bringing her barely-buttered toast and sitting together through another episode of "Pa loves Laura."
I'll write a chapter tomorrow--if He allows me to.