My 7-year old has recently discovered a love for Amelia Bedelia books. And I must admit that my love for these classics has been rekindled as I’ve read them aloud each evening before tucking Nadia into bed. Just the other day, a thought struck me…I am fairly certain that I’m a modern-day, real-life Amelia Bedelia. In fact, maybe I could write a series of books entitled Emily Bemily.  Much like the encounters of Amelia Bedelia, my books would narrate the ever-crazy, often upside-down feelings and daily happenings around this household.

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Do you remember these classic stories? Poor Amelia Bedelia can’t seem to do anything correctly. She takes everything extremely literally, and messes up everything. Everything. And yet, while nothing goes exactly as one would hope, she trudges through with a smile and ends each day by baking or cooking something amazing. Her love for cooking and her skills in the kitchen remain a constant in her crazy life, and she always, always shares her love of cooking with those around her.

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I’m feeling a lot like Amelia Bedelia these days. Many things in life over the last few months have gone awry. One would think I’m retelling a fictional story here, but rest assured this is an actual account of life around the Archer household. Non-fiction.

*The south wall of our basement foundation is cracked and bowing. Another wall leaks water badly and needs waterproofed. Our sump-pump is falling apart and needs replaced. This all needs to be fixed before the dead of winter, when freezing temperatures would only exasperate this problem. The total price quoted for this made me cry. Like a baby. In front of the repairman.

*Nadia broke her arm in gymnastics class a month ago.

*Our beautiful hardwood flooring, installed less than three years ago, has a gigantic bubble in one area and is beginning to make the floorboards bow and bend. Numerous phone calls to the flooring company and warranty centers reveal they will do nothing to fix the problem. Fantastic.

*Last week, on a particularly stressful day, I got stung by a bee. Our main sewer line was clogged, and we paid a pretty penny to have it cleared/cleaned. Several hours later I mis-judged the amount of space I had to back out of our garage, and side-swiped my in-laws vehicle, scratching it. Awesome.

*While clearing space for the basement work we need next moth, I discovered another wall that’s cracked and bowing. Unbelievable. Now, the total cost for fixing our basement could have purchased us the new vehicle that we’ve been needing and praying about for a couple of years.

*A visit to a specialist revealed immediate need for surgery on Nadia’s broken arm. The first doctor messed up her arm so badly, and she had surgery yesterday that resulted in pins inserted into the bones. Six weeks in a new cast, and probable weeks of physical therapy to follow.

*My grandmother also broke her arm, and was admitted into a nursing home. Tanner’s grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and likely has only weeks to live. I’ve cried alongside loved ones as they’ve received heartbreaking news of another miscarriage. This is heavy on our hearts. Life is short.

*Several weeks ago, I blogged about our dining room/living room swap. We started this entire thing so that we could be more hospitable to our friends, family, and anyone else who was needing some love and hospitality. I’ve had a savings account for a while, saving any money I make from selling bread or swap site items. The money was set aside to purchase a large dining table that would seat those we open our home to. This money will now be spent on a basement that’s apparently falling apart. This.makes.me.cry.

 

I tell you all this not to whine like a baby about it. Quite the opposite, in fact. Tanner and I have realized that in an attempt to live a life that counts for eternity and is honoring to God, there will be hurdles to overcome. The aforementioned happenings are difficult, yes. But they are distractions. It’s our choice whether we let these distractions take us away from the bigger picture, the most important things. And we have decided that we will not give into the distractions. While it’s maybe temping to close the door to our home and to our hearts, and sulk in our overwhelmedness (is that even a word!?), we will not. Much like Amelia Bedelia, I’ll break out my kitchen gear and cook/bake for anyone who wants to enter our front door. Maybe that’s one thing I can count on to turn out well?! It might not be fancy, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s my heart, and I want to share it with others. As our Pastor said in his sermon on hospitality last week…hospitality begins in the heart. And I’d add to that a thought that’s been on my heart for years…hospitality has nothing to do with the size of your home, but everything to do with the size of your heart. All of these distractions lately…I’m praying that they’ll only enlarge my heart for this important ministry of hospitality.

I’m fairly sure that Amelia Bedelia would feel the same way.

In this edition of Emily Bemily, I picture our family playing Red-Rover. In this childhood game there are often teammates that you’d like on your team, and teammates you’d rather have on the other team. Right now, I’d rather not have some of our life’s teammates that have broken our family’s grip as we’ve held onto each other tightly. But those teammates are now playing along with us, and we’ll just grip tighter. We’ll play the game as best as we can, and pray that in the end the Ultimate Coach of our team will be glorified.

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Maybe I could encourage you, as well? What distractions in your life are trying to take you away from what you’re called to do? Let’s band together and refuse to let life’s distractions steal our joy and our purpose. God has big things planned…let’s watch Him work! Blessings today, dear friends!!

Emily

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