There have been a few startling revelations throughout this time of frenzy. I was in Hot Springs for three nights for our annual AEHC state meeting. It is always a great time of learning, camaraderie, visiting, and sharing. I have met the most amazing women at this meeting. So much work goes on in Arkansas through this organization of volunteers. Anyway, I was asked to teach a class this year on homemade soap. The class was received well and I had lots of good feedback. One of my "students" was a lady named Margaret. I estimated her to be in her 70's (this isn't an unusual age for the state meeting). It was her very first state meeting and she seemed a little cranky about being there. Not only was it her first state meeting, but I was her very first teacher at her first state meeting. I did not take this lightly. When class was over her friend, a veteran to the AEHC, came to me and told me this, "Margaret left your class with a big smile on her face and said 'I'm going to go home and make homemade soap!!' " I could feel tears well up in my eyes as I thought to myself, "I inspired somebody?!!" That was my only goal in teaching the class. Simply to get people thinking about soap differently and to make them aware of what they are putting on their skin when they buy detergent-filled soap from the store. And, now I know that at least Margaret, God love her, is thinking differently about soap.
When I returned from my trip to Hot Springs, I came home to another revelation. My petunias in the hanging baskets on my deck were a dried-up, burnt mess. The goat pen was a disaster as Kyle had been left in charge of milking and feeding. Sophie and Charlotte had been overlooked and not let out to potty (I'll let you figure out what that meant). The kitchen was a disaster...greasy pots left on the stove and dirty milk bucket sitting on the counter. I can feel my chest restricting just reliving the sight of it. My stainless-steel milk bucket is among one of my most prized possessions and I clean it thoroughly on a daily basis and hang it carefully above the sink where it gleams and shines and waits for the next milking. So, as I started to clean things back up, it occurred to me that I am actually a contribution to the farm. I told Rodney that I had always wondered what my responsibilities were around here and now I know. He replied, "yes, honey, you're in charge of flowers, dogs, goats and milk." That little list was sweetly received. If lists were handed out to name the things we were in charge of in life, I would pick that list every time. Of course, that is only a fraction of what I am actually responsible for but I'll not go into the rest of if for fear I'll sound like I'm complaining.
The Hot Springs trip was just one part of the hecticity. We've been to Huntsville twice, once to see my Peepaw before he passed away and again to attend a memorial service after he left the earth. We traveled to Mount Nebo for the wedding of my sweet cousin Katie and then on Saturday, attended another wedding in DeQueen. I was the photographer for both weddings. If any photographers read my blog, you can appreciate the stress of two weddings in one week. I now have a mountain of pics to edit and am completely out of room on my computer.
All the pandaemonium has caused me to appreciate quietness. Quietness of heart, of spirit, of mind, of soul and of body. I keep reciting Psalm 46:10 "Be STILL and know that I am God". Be still. Simply, be still. Today I am going to quietly hang clothes on the line, neatly fold heavenly-scented t-shirts, dig in the dirt, water my flowers, milk goats, play with the dogs, listen to the birds, feel the wind through my hair, and just... be still.