Something about January makes us want to get our lives sorted. We make lists and set goals and start digging through closets. This January in particular things are moving around here, as I need to lighten our load once again and be ready to hone our possessions down to what we will ship overseas this summer. With homeschooling and four little people and housework and all the other logistical details of leaving that keep popping up, I struggle to focus and my efforts are scattered at best.
I try to write long do-lists of all the things that should be done and then I lose them. I find them later and in the meantime I’ve drafted other lists that have completely different things on them. I lay awake at night sometimes over questions like what to do with photo albums and sweaters. My urge towards productive procrastination no longer serves me well, instead of getting things done ahead of time that will help myself later I pick strange times to begin emptying cupboards and making piles, like ten minutes before church or at suppertime on a Wednesday night. Thus half-emptied cupboards, half-finished projects, and piles of Things To Be Dealt With are everywhere. It’s preparation: headless-chicken style.
With all this going on it took me weeks to realize the pain wasn’t going away. Sometimes acute, often debilitating and uncomfortable, I had a persistent abdominal ache. I kept thinking I had a stomach virus. But those aren’t supposed to last eight weeks. I finally went to the doctor and x-rays revealed that I had a great many gallstones. These have been linked to pregnancy, fluctuating weight, and cholestasis, all of which I’ve had. In my case, given the pain and our imminent departure, prompt gallbladder removal was in order.
That’s abdominal surgery (which I had on Thursday). And recovery. And moving slowly amidst the piles of Things To Do and not doing them. What a test for this Martha-type! And that’s not Martha Stewart, people (as much as I enjoy her)! That’s Martha, to whom Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.” (Luke 10:41-42).
It seems Jesus would call me back to “the good portion, which will not be taken away from her”, which Mary chose. It seems he is less concerned with my gallbladder and more with my heart.