Sunday, 7 July 2013

Annal 200: Tale from the Scare

I sleep in a basement.
I know.  Awesome way to start a blog post, right?

One of the perks of being not just an Auntie, but an Auntie who lives with her niece and nephew is the fact that I am privy to cuddles.  I used to sleep on the couch and every morning my niece would make her way downstairs and we would get about 10-15 minutes of quiet cuddles in before she would want me to get up.  On rare occasions my nephew would also show up by my bed on the couch.  The really interesting mornings were the ones when both of them wanted to cuddle with me on the couch!
The reason I tell you all this is that I am now in the basement.  Which means my niece and nephew don’t make it downstairs to cuddle with me all that often (okay, I have yet to get morning cuddles since I moved).  A few weeks ago I actually scared my poor niece.

It was the morning and I was making my way up the stairs.  Now, you need to keep in mind that I’m somewhat of a horror when I wake up.  My hair is sticking out of its knot, the shadows under my eyes that I usually conceal with make-up are now visual, and I’m wearing pajamas.  As I slowly and rather ungracefully ascend the stairs I reach for the doorknob at the top.  Before I can grasp it, it turns, the door opens, and my poor niece is standing there.
She screams.

And jumps back.
And stares at me with huge, terror-stricken eyes.

It isn’t that she wasn’t expecting to see me, it’s that this wasn’t the context she was expecting.  She had planned on coming down, seeing me asleep in my bed, and crawling under her.  This was the image in her six year old mind, and I ruined that.
Just fifteen minute ago something similar happened.  My youngest sister is spending the rest of the summer here until I’m done school (did I mention I have less than four weeks left before I am OFFICIALLY DONE?).  Now my little sister is pretty well the coolest Auntie ever.  She plays with the kids, she’s fun, she gives great cuddles (I still try to tell myself mine are better, but I think I’m only lying to myself), and so as a result the kids are pretty excited to have her around.  Last night she was bunking with me in the basement (or was supposed to.  I had a nightmare, woke up, turned to just see if she was there so I could draw comfort from her presence, and discovered she had moved up to the couch).

My internal clock is slowly getting back to its slightly earlier hours, so by six-thirty I was out of bed and getting ready to head for a short run.  I came home, sat in the living room (tossing the occasional dirty look at my sound-asleep sister on the couch), and read my Bible.  As I was reaching for my computer, intent on writing a blog post today but not really sure what I was going to write about, I heard footsteps coming from the second floor.  Rather than come into the living room once said steps reached the main floor, they went to the basement door, opened it, and went downstairs.  I tried to call for my niece, to tell her the Aunties were in here, but she didn’t hear me.  She was intent on her mission—find her cool Auntie and cuddle with her.  I could hear her looking around the basement and then making her way back up here.  I called to her again.  This time she heard me. 
“Where’s Auntie?” she asked me (is this where I add that my name has always been “Auntie” but that I have been usurped?  But I’m not bitter :P)

I directed her to the couch where she joined my sleeping sister and the two of them cuddled.
Why am I telling you all of this?

On my run this morning I was listening to some older David Crowder music (I don’t own any of his new stuff... something to add to my list of things to buy when I have money!).  His song “O Praise Him” really caught my attention, specifically the second verse. 
Turn your gaze
To heaven and raise
A joyous sound

This probably doesn’t strike all of you as being all that awe-inspiring, but you don’t know where I’m living right now.  Chilliwack is in a valley and is completely surrounded by mountains.  The views is breath-takingly stunning.  The morning sun casts a glow over the world as it peeks over the tips of the peaks.  I love it.  As I heard these lines, I couldn’t help but turn my gaze to the heavens.  Yes, I even let out a joyous noise (good thing no one else was out running this morning).
But being surrounded by the beauty of my Creator did more than turn my eyes upward.  They turned them toward God Himself.  I didn’t come home with anything to share, I simply came home with an awareness that God is present.  That He is holy.  That He is God.

Sometimes (actually, let’s be honest, a lot of the time), we are like my niece.  We come looking for God and we want Him the way we want Him.  We have a plan in our heads of how life is going to work out.  And often times God surprises us.  Sometimes it’s like my niece coming downstairs with her intention to cuddle with me, only to open a door and discover I’m coming up toward her.  And this can scare us.
You can ask any of my friends—I’m the queen of making plans.  I have everything figured out in my head and have a plan in place to carry it out.  And then God changes things.  Sometimes He throws a Charming into the mix.  Other times he throws a job in BC into the mix.  These are not bad changes, not by any stretch of the imagination (I have already started planning for teaching next year and am so excited to have my own classes, and I definitely wouldn’t trade my Charming in for anyone/anything).  But they are changes.  And they are unexpected.

Other times I think we are so intent on doing things our way that we ignore it when God does try to get our attention.  My niece wanted to cuddle with my sister.  She knew me sister was supposed to be sleeping in the basement.  So she went to the basement.  She was so focused that she didn’t hear me calling her back, trying to tell her that we were all in the living room.  My niece didn’t get into trouble or get hurt or have anything bad happen as a result of her trip to the basement.  But she was a little confused when things didn’t turn out the way she had intended them to.  It took her going back up the stairs to hear me and to come.
So those are my thoughts this Sunday morning. 

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