Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thinking on Target

Tonight was so blissfully warm, and I hopped in my car, rolled down the windows, and started flipping through the radio stations for some good driving tunes. Where was I going? Nowhere special, just on a short warm-evening pleasure cruise, and I ended up at Target. Now, I had nothing to get there, just lots of things to look at, but there is just something about an upbeat, warm night-time Target trip that makes me feel like I am on vacation. As I meandered through the various sections I inevitably always check out (Issac Mizrahi clothes, sale endcaps in housewares, the trail mix section, seasonal), I sifted through a mountain of Target-related memories that were as warm as the weather is now.

And those memories began to make my mood droop a bit. I felt twinges of melancholy. And even though I was delighted to discover that there was a sale on all varieties of trail mix, that was not quite enough to perk me up entirely. Here's why:

My memories of "Target runs" usually involve getting ready for something. Like the time Emily and I filled 2 shopping carts with slip and slides, pools, pillows and sunscreen for Camp OUTT, and then pulled the carts over to the Ladies' clothes to look for shorts and t-shirts for ourselves. Or the time Christen Taylor and I raided the little boy's section, trying on camo-shorts and bright t-shirts so we could be cool like Mandy at Camp OUTT. Or when Josh and I made a Target run to get what we needed for the CEF trip.

I love getting ready for things.

It is not exciting to live day to day, sharing a few laughs, smiling, greeting, greeting, greeting and shuffling a few papers, with hardly any end in sight. I do so love to be getting ready for something, even if it is nothing big, like a party for my 1st and 2nd graders. I used to constantly be getting ready for stuff, almost to the point where I didn't really know how to do normal life. Special events, clubs, classes, teen activities, etc., kept me on the go, and always picking up some stuff that I needed.

So now, with the weather warming up, I am dealing with the fact that it looks like I will be doing exactly what I am doing now, all summer. Maybe grown-ups are supposed to be okay with that. I'm not. My heart was becoming so heavy, that when I sat down to pray tonight, I just had to discuss that burden with the Lord. I wanted Him to know how much I wished I was preparing to run Camp OUTT again, or go with the teens to camp in New York. As I was sharing these feelings with Him, it seemed quite clear to me that He wished for me to simply let my days alone, to release those precious summer days to Him, and trust that He would have me spend them exactly as He wished. The summer drifted from my mind like grains of sand through open hands. I then began to think about this weekend, and the plans I had for that, but He urged me gently, to let that go, too. Unknowingly, my mind moved to tomorrow, and how I hoped it might be spent, but "take no thought for the morrow" came steadily to mind, erasing that last hope for self-fulfillment.

Are my days mine? No indeed.


amy said...

Oh, Gretchen, the Lord has been dealing with my frame of mind, as well. It is so easy for me to get wrapped up in what I want or what I want to do. But, God wants me to be satisfied in Him, and find my fulfillment and joy in Him. It isn't unitl I am fully surrendered in Him (including my thinking)that God usually gives me soemthing better than I could ever hope for.
Thanks for the post! AMY

julie said...

I love your post and how true it is. I always seem to be getting ready for something and sometimes that weighs me down too. We have another birthday party Sat and I've been putting off planning it. Don't forget the big H.P. July 20th. I really could use your help. I went to a downtown planning meeting monday and they are going to need your help with suggestions of things they can do too. See, your summer isn't going to be to boring.

Amy M. said...

Ok first, I too am a Target fan. The stores just seems so fresh and clean.

I am also concerned about this summer. After Matt and I get back from the honeymoon I won't start working until September and I don't know anyone in Lebanon. Would you pray for me that I would quickly make some friends in the area?

Gretchen said...

Amy #1-- thanks for the comment! I appreciate it that you hear where I'm coming from! I know that it is going to be OVER AND OVER that I'll need to lay this down before the Lord, but I can do that.

Jules -- Okay, right after I got home from seeing you, I made a MASSIVE list of ideas and things we did last time to e-mail to you, and I am so shocked that I didn't do that yet! YIKES! I think I am getting forgetful! I'm totally sorry! Don't think that I haven't given it another thought, because I have. Actually, the 20th is the only big thing I have going. I'll try to drop you an e-mail and then maybe call you on my lunch hour either tomorrow or Friday. Then we can talk about plans a little. Sound good?

Amy M #2 -- oh, my friend, I will pray for you! That is hard, I know! But I am sure that the Lord will have some good friends that He wants you to meet just waiting for you . . . or, maybe He'll just want you and your husband to sort of bond by having only each other for a while! That happened the first summer Josh and I were married. I worked, but we were sort of alone because we didn't really have friends at church or work, but we had each other!

Steph said...

Hey Gret
This is a lesson I am learning daily being a stay at home mom. While I LOVE the fact that I am able to be home with my children and wouldn't want it any other way - it leaves many open days of mommy and kids but not many definite plans to go out and do. I know it is for a season, and I know I shouldn't wish it away - but I can relate to your struggle at Target. I find myself there more than I'd like to admit (the struggle - not Target! :)
I was encouraged by you tonight - Thanks!

GloryandGrace said...

"Take no thought for the morrow." Oh, friend, how I needed to hear this... From reading both your blog and the comments that were left, it sounds like each of us struggles with something similar - maybe just manifested differently.

Isn't it interesting the things that make you homesick, or remembering the things you used to involve yourself in? While mine isn't Target, there are places I go or hobbies I'll have a tiny bit of time to actually do for once that take me back to how things once were. For me especially, it oftentimes goes back to friends and family.

Now that I've rambled on for a few minutes, I'll just say that I MISS YOU!!!!!!!! I'm SO sad that you're thing Saturday is 9-3. Sari-Sari doesn't open until 9 :(

Sandy said...

My friend, I totally understand! When I got home, I ached for something to look forward to. As the girls and I played outside yesterday, rather than finishing our lessons, I thought of it some more. Your post was just what I needed to remind me.

DAD said...

Hi Gret, This is Dad....I too spent some time in Target last week buying Easter candy for the gang. It brought back memories of spring and March madness and our special trip to St. Louis for the sweet sixteen. I love your writings they are filled with descriptive feelings....DAD

Anonymous said...

oh geez...dadleaves good comments....and I'm glad to read that he bought candy...heehee...sometimes I am so overwhelmed with my never-quiet life, but then I think how I would hate it if it were any different!
I went to Target yesturday and bought thank you notes for my England supportors..sadly Abby was in a hurry to get to Best Buy so I didn't get to stay long, but it was long enough for me to get a good look at everything I love Target for. Oh I love the memory of shopping for Camp OUTT...I love camp OUTT....I'm sad we're not doing it this year...but perhaps someday..
I love you and I miss you! I'm counting down untill Easter!
PS..Did you know my myspace layout is target?...lol

Gretchen said...

Steph, thanks for the comment. When you feel a bit trapped, think of all the women out there who would LOVE to be in your shoes. I do that when I am hating on being at work, I think "so and so would LOVE to have my very blessed position". I understand though, that it is pretty much a daily thing!

Grace -- no joke, I miss you, too! What the world, we live in the same area of the same town! How on earth is it that our paths don't cross more! :) Well, I hope you have a yummy morning at Sari Sari! Tell the "brecky" guy hi for me! Just kidding.

San, Yes, I think you have got it EXACTLY! Having something to look forward to, to get ready for is SUCH a desire! The worst time you feel like that is when you just get back from doing something big (like a trip) because it feels like all the good stuff is over! Well, I am praying for you, friend. Thanks for putting up that pic of us on your blog. I look a bit scary! :)

Dad -- YESSsssssss! I hope you got some Reese's Eggs!! WOO-HOO! I was just thinking about the St. Louis trip, as well. Remember, I fived Calbert Cheney? Good times!

Emma -- I know, I am totally with you. Pray about next year. You have so much going on anyway! Do you still need a lot of support for your trip?

Sarah said...

Gretchen, thanks for the very good reminder. I fall into this frame of mind so often!
And I am jealous of you strolling around Target....as you recall, the closest one is 35 minutes from here. :-( If they ever build one in H2Otown, I will feel complete.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, I hope you get a Target soon. :) The one we go to is being renovated, so it's kind of a pain to go to right now.

I also love Target and to plan things. I find it's more fun to plan the new school year than the daily grind of the current school year. However, the boys and I look forward to each day and what the Lord has for us.

GloryandGrace said...

It looks like I'm not the only one who hasn't had a chance to post in awhile!! PandaMom has left me SEVERAL comments...

We actually didn't end up going to Sari-Sari after all. We slept in a little too late for breakfast, but we DID have some excellent Greek gyros for lunch!