I didn’t send out Christmas cards this year and now every afternoon I cringe when opening the mailbox, where large green and red envelopes elegantly inscribed with the words Sabourin Family seem to be chastising me for my holiday negligence. “We took the time to bless you and your loved ones,” they taunt …but not really, because the people who sent them are so kind and generous and considerate. I over think these things, and those things, and all things when it comes right down to it.
If there were a contest (involving prize money) for the person who could contain the largest amount of ideas, irrational concerns, analyzations, theories and reflections inside their head at any one given moment, I would totally become a contestant because I think I’d have an amazing shot at cleaning up and clearing out my competition. Just this week our oldest son, Elijah, who had recently caught an itchy case of pink eye from his brother, yelled out to me in the middle of the night that his vision was blurry. I ran into his room, flipping on the light to investigate, but he was talking all gibberish and refused to open his eyelids so I could get a better look. After sleeping not one lousy wink, racking my brain for a fool-proof plan that would get him to the doctor and his sister Priscilla to school while five-year-old Ben and two-year-old Mary tagged along, I nauseously pulled myself out of bed only to be greeted by a clear-eyed, happy-go-lucky Elijah who had no memory whatsoever of awaking me. “
I have read several books on the Holocaust and now feel guilty every time it is freezing cold outside and I am shivering in my down coat and long underwear, knowing that those who spent time in the concentration camps had to labor in much harsher and more agonizing weather conditions, without socks, Isotoner gloves, or fur lined boots. I question vigorously my intentions regarding everything. I wonder curiously about the lives of the family members in the car ahead us on the highway – Where do they live? Where are they going? Are they happy?
Within people who smile genuinely, unselfconsciously, at everyone they come into contact with, I find breathtaking and inspiring beauty - like our children’s librarian with the sun shiny voice and mild mannered demeanor. I think about how much effort it must take to treat all of us so warmly, even when she’s tired, distracted, or cranky. I think if I could be like anyone, it would be her. It’s both a blessing and a curse – having a mind that runs on cruise control, never stopping, pulling over, or slowing down. How would it be, I often wonder, to let things go like my husband, sleeping peacefully all curled up with his “wait and see” attitude? How would it sound without the steady hum of an ongoing internal dialogue to serenade me? I wish I had the key to shut down this thought-guzzling contraption every now and then…but not really, because sometimes in the labyrinth of my psyche Christ reveals Himself. God is good; God is attentive; God is merciful to grant me clarity through the chaos.