Sister in-law Megen, Me, My sister Katie, Niece Maryn and sister Megan

Okay, I cannot lie. Monday, January 4th, 2010 was a huge downer for me… Since there was actually no catastrophe I should should probably back that up a bit-I was a bit bummed. I found it surprisingly difficult to get back into the swing of things, mostly because I had the most amazing time off. Lots of relaxing days with dear friends, family, great food, a lot of snow, too much shopping and football watching, lingering time with God, deep conversations, much needed rest – just an overall amazing break. Strange how this past Monday loomed over me simply because of one small word. Work.

Me and my niece Maryn freezing

So I was testy on Monday, right on the verge of snappy really. Just not ready to get back to the grind. And when I say grind, I am grateful for the grind I have, but it’s work nonetheless. So for anyone who might be feeling just a bit the same way – whether it’s back to the office, the airport, the house, the computer, the phone, here’s what I saw this morning in Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

My friend April, Me, Absolutely the REAL Santa, my sister Megan and friend Mary Katharine

I love the phrase “take care of”, “keep”, even “dress” in some versions. I was reminded of this last night when I helped a friend move her 92 year-old aunt from PA to Nashville. I picked her up from the airport and got to help her into an assisted living apartment just hours after she had said goodbye to her home of 40 years. When I hung up her Pennsylvania London Fog coat and helped her find the “Republican Station” on television (I think she meant FOX News), I got the feeling that this might be the most important hour of my year so far. The wisdom and longevity of this woman and the opportunity to tend to her in some small measure were timely blessings. I will get to know her more in days to come but I’ve already discovered that she has handwritten most of the Bible and stores the pages in shoeboxes. When I asked her how she has stayed so healthy, she thought about it a while and then looked up and smiled, “It’s the Lord.” She also told me that Nancy Pelosi had great posture and that she just loved to watch her walk… I am making no political statements here, just loved the irony and sentiment of these comments while the Republican station bellowed from the background. It was a privilege to serve her.

As a woman, I feel that I have this innate desire to dress and keep and tend and take care of, even when this feels exhausting. Yes, you can drop your kids off at my house 🙂 This “tending” excites me, despite how much I’d love to stay frozen in Christmas vacation for another month. I hated to leave the East Coast snow and the scent of my Christmas Tree and wrap up the lights and put away the ten tons of sweets (because my Dad likes to say, ‘it’s not what you eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas that’s the problem, it’s what you eat between Christmas and Thanksgiving’), but there are things to be dressed, people to be tended, hearts to be nursed, souls to be invited in 2010…After last night, I’m just about ready to get back at it. Thank you Lord for the gift of dressing and keeping. Give us the strength.