Why in the world can’t I get this right?


We all know when we are strong willed. No one needs to tell us how to want our own way, it comes wired (or hot wired) into the general system.

Lately I’ve been thinking about free will, stubborn will, our own will. In fact, everywhere I turn I see examples of just stubborn cussedness. Sadly, most of the time I’m finding those examples in my own self. Sometimes I wish God would stop holding up a mirror to me. It’s uncomfortable.

Today was a good example. David and I are at Mom’s new house unpacking all her worldly goods. Mainly antique teacups and plates. And pie plates. Ten at last count. We’ve been at this job a good long time, now, and developed a system. I stay in the garage. I open boxes, unpack the items and put them on a table for David to shuttle into the house and put away. Decorative items get put on the dining room table, and Mom finds them and begins arranging. We call this process “Mimi-fication.” By the time she is done, every surface will be flowered and filled with trinkets. But the process works well. I fold up the packing paper for my Auntie Marilyn (whose dog apparently needs this paper to line her litter tray). stuff the piles of folded paper into a big trash bag and keep unpacking the box. It is  a good system.

Until you go for lunch.

Mom didn’t stop for lunch. When we got back, she’d been unpacking in the garage. Fluffy mounds of white paper everywhere. And the kitchen was suspiciously neat. Clutter free. Later I found the punch bowl cups in the cabinet with the lightbulbs, the sugar bowl at the back of the spatualas and utensils drawers. Fine china mixed in with plastic dishware.

I was frustrated. I mean, we had places for these things. Perfectly logical places. And Mom had promised to take a lunch break, too. It was all wrong!

That’s when God hammered me in my quiet garage. Whose house was this, anyway? And did it matter where the punch cups were? Why did I have a pony in this race, anyway? Somehow I thought my will mattered, here in this place where my will is irrelevant. This is her house, not mine. And yet even here it is hard — so very hard — to tell myself to lay down my life (and my logic) and run with the punch cups in a glorious jumble with the lightbulbs.

Not my will, but yours.

It’s just so hard!

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.