Sunday, August 10, 2014

Library Cards and Contentment

While this is our first summer in Colorado, everyone tells us that this year is wetter and cooler than normal. Last week was especially rainy and most of the state was on flash flood watch. So what does one do when the rains are pouring? Well if you are anything like my hubby or I, you find a good book to curl up with in a comfy sofa or chair. The natural thing for us was to head out to was the nearest library and get a library card in our new community.

I am going to digress a bit to share with you how libraries have been an integral part of my life and an almost sacred refuge. My family moved when I was four years old to a home less than a block from one of those old charming Carnegie local libraries built in the first decade of the twentieth century. In it I could escape to anywhere in the universe and be anything or anyone else besides me. My mother was a bookworm so we went frequently, attended story times and summer reading clubs. When I got into upper elementary I became a library aide at my school and learned how to clean, repair and file the books. I also did that for a couple of my junior high years. I married a man who was a book worm and whose parents had to actually limit his reading because of other things he wasn't doing while he read. We sat in comfortable silence each reading our books and often had one we read aloud to each other. Our children were read to while still in the womb. As a home schooling Mom, we spent large blocks of time there finding books to go with our curriculum, as well as ones for pure reading pleasure. Even up into their teens we would have a family read aloud book we took turns reading in the evenings. Over the years we progressed from nursery rhymes and Dr. Seuss to Charlotte's Web and Red Wall and grew to things like the Narnia Series and biographies of missionaries and historical figures. Libraries and their wonderful bookish aromas have a draw to me that few buildings do on this earth.

Last week we arrived at the library which sets on a bluff with immense windows open to one of the best views in the area of the Colorado Rockies. Due to low clouds and heavy rains we couldn't even catch a glimpse of the foothills. We dashed across the parking lot and entered what should be my welcome sanctuary and instead I was bombarded by a rubber tire odor from the mats in the entry to prevent slipping on the wet tile floors. We walked up to the desk to fill out the forms to get our cards and I noticed smells of new construction or new carpeting. Warning flags went up in my brain but I chose to ignore them because this was the library. By the time our cards were issued my voice was croaky and had a headache but thought while we are here, I might as well take a look around and get a few books. A few minutes and several books later, I was dizzy, experiencing all over joint and muscle pains, foggy brained, wheezing and having facial swelling. My hubby helped me get the books checked out to speed up my getting out of that building.

Deep sadness hit me when I got into the car, realizing that this library is not a sanctuary or relaxing refuge for me. Tears welled up in my eyes as I recognized the impact of that. This was SO much harder than not being able to go to a store because it was newly remodeled or had too many scented candles or potpourri. This tore at the roots of where so much of my life has been spent. A library is the place that has enabled me to expand my horizons and learn so many new skills in the volumes contained within it. I was reeling with the grief of that when Joel reminded me that I can order books online and he can pick them up for me and even download Kindle and Nook books online from them. It did cheer me, but I will definitely miss going to the building.

The next morning in my quiet time, I continued where I had been studying in the book of Philippians which Paul wrote while imprisoned in Rome. The themes of joy and rejoicing that Paul writes of  are both inspiring and convicting. Paul's purpose whether he lives or dies is to honor and glorify Christ Jesus.

"Yes and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:18b-21

After reading this and contemplating Paul's attitude while in prison facing a real probability of death, I am purposing with God's enabling grace, to be content and to rejoice. Whether in my new freedom to be outdoors or my limitations of not being able to go to places like the library or certain shops, to be content, to rejoice and bring glory to God. I with eager expectation and hope with the help of the Holy Spirit and my godly husband, will look for creative options to use instead and find reasons to be grateful and rejoice. I may have moments of sadness and grieve of what once was, but as my dear friend Lynn says, "It's one thing to have a cup of coffee with Mr. Pity but its an entirely different to sit down and drink a whole pot with him."

I am grateful first of all for Jesus Christ and His saving grace! I am grateful for our move to Colorado enabling me to enjoy time outdoors gardening, taking photos and hiking. I am grateful for online shopping and online library reservations for books,as well as Kindle and Nook downloads. I am grateful for a new doctor who really understands MCS and who has prescribed me new medications and supplements that enable me to rebound quicker from my reactions. I am grateful for a comfy home, that I share with my best friend and hubby where I am reaction free. I am grateful for a couple new friends who understand my issues and who previous to our moving to Colorado already had chemical-free homes. Isn't our God good!!!



No comments:

Post a Comment