Things I've always wanted, but never gotten; Amy Jo Dunsmore

Things I’ve always wanted, but never gotten; Amy Jo Dunsmore

I’ve asked for dirt for Christmas,
several times in fact. I really love good, rich soil and I’d love to
have a huge pile of it. My grandmother was a florist and avid
gardener. My parents have one of the most beautiful backyards in town
so I believe it’s in my genetic makeup. I may not be actually good at
growing things, but I do love soil. I think it’s the potential of it
all. The possibilities. By the way, no matter how much I ask for it,
Rod has never given me dirt for Christmas. He envisions an office
conversation around the water cooler, “So what did you get your
wife for Christmas?” A necklace, an ipod, a new sweater, even a
tackle box. All acceptable answers. But dirt? He’d instantly
become the office pariah.

Being a woman, I want more than dirt.
I wish I were captivating and brainy. I’d love to know Latin. I once
tried to teach myself Swahili. I was very concerned about the state
of Namibia and thought by learning Swahili I could somehow bond with
the people there. It turns out all my pronunciations were dead wrong
and I was nowhere near the correct language. I feel I do that sort of
thing to myself a lot. I work hard at something lofty and ethereal
only to miss the mark entirely. I tend to have big goals but rarely
meet them.

Sometimes I think of inefficiency as the albatross I have
to wear around my neck. I once took a personality test as a part of
pre-marital counseling. On the test I ranked <1% in  staying
focused and finishing things. I thought my poor score on the test was
due to the fact that I was teaching kindergarten at the time and I
wasn’t finishing things because of the 22 kids around me. It turns
out that that wasn’t the case after all. The 22 kids are gone now,
but I’m still unorganized and miring in piles of unfinished things. I
can most often get to the have-to’s on the list, but what about the
non-urgent, soul-enriching things? What about caring for the poor?
The widow? The orphan? What about the simple things within our own
home? We have become so busy that we have failed to teach our 8-year
old to tie her shoes. I partially blame Crocs and flip-flops for
removing the learning experience.

There are other things I’d love. For
starters I’d love to go to bed on time. I wish I had a switch that
would turn off at 9:30 kinda like those timers you can get for your
lamps when you’re away on vacation. I would love to remove the word
“like” from my vocabulary. I’m going to turn 40 soon and
sometimes I still talk like I’m in Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent
. I want to have a better memory and be a grammar
expert. I’d like to always know where the comma should go. I’d love
to be 100 percent at ease with people. Free and content. I wish I had
a witty story for every occasion. Wouldn’t it be great to be the
person at the party who always had an engaging story to tell? I also
want to be a better wife, mother and friend. I’d love to be on
people’s short list to call when a major life event happened. The
want list goes on and on.

But for now I am a regular ol’ gal who
struggles to keep up with everyday life. I wish I were a topshelf
wife and mother. I’d love to never miss a deadline and never let
anyone down. I dream of having crisp, clean baseboards and stain-free
carpets. I’d also love to have a soundtrack to accompany my life. I
think it would make it loads more interesting. I want to love God
with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. To be known as His child
and have the Christ in me be recognizable to the world. To be called
“good and faithful servant.” I think that’s what gets me. Not
that I’m disorganized and can’t seem to get to the far reaches of my
to-do list. Who can? But that I am not faithful with little, and
cannot be trusted with much.

I once heard someone say she had spent
years wanting to be known as one who loved God, but then realized it
was much more about God loving her. The disciple John didn’t refer to
himself as the one who loved God, but as the Beloved., the one loved
by God. There’s something about allowing God to love me faults and
all. Not trying to clean myself up for Him or impress Him, because
really what chance do I have of that? So I suppose what I’ve always
really wanted, I’ve always had. The God of the universe loves me. I’m
reminded of a verse I learned set to a beautiful little tune:

He has shown thee, O man, what is
good; and what  the LORD requires of thee, but to do justly, and to
love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8

Amy Jo Dunsmore