Whatever the reason(s), my eyes have been opened. Suddenly things seem clearer. It's not a realization of things I didn't know before as much the rebirth of timeless truth.
We serve a God who is bigger than our circumstances, who can do more than we could ever ask or imagine. And the most beautiful part is that He is nearer than we know. He always was, but I think the whole being thrust into something I dont' know at all, has made me acutely aware of His presence.
I have found that God loves to prove himself faithful in the midst of chaos.
Our last days in Iowa, I stood in my kitchen watching these women pack all of my dishes into boxes. The crinkling of the packing paper, the sound of the tape sealing it all snugly in...it was almost deafening. It was hard to think that one day we would live in Iowa and the next we wouldn't. For three and a half years we lived in a house that had been in our family much longer than that. We brought babies home to that house, we sang them lullabies and prayed over them, and tucked them in under that roof. We laughed and celebrated friends and family, babies and weddings and graduations. We had our share of struggles there, too, of course, but oh the sweet memories that we have in that place.
For the months we spent preparing for the move, I was trying to not let my feelings "get in the way". That day, though, as I walked around the house aimlessly cleaning and answering questions about what to pack, I was overcome with the sorrow of leaving... and at the same time, I began to feel how near God was to me in all of this. I knew without a doubt that His hand was on this situation. I knew that he wouldn't just lead us away from good - that he was intentionally bringing us to something new.
And everyday, he is gracious enough to show me more and more purpose in all of this.
The details have fallen together in an astounding way.
Joe's new job is as amazing as we had hoped.
Our location is a perfect fit for us.
He has led us to all of this.
But He has also led me to this fresh take on motherhood.
I can't remember a time when I didn't have the desire to be Mom. I think it has been written on my heart for all of my life.
But even though my desire is to love my children well, I will certainly always fail. My biggest goals as a parent (so far!) are to be present and purposeful. That has kind of been my mantra over the last few years. Be present and purposeful. But, I think for anyone with goals, it's easy to lose sight of what/who you want to be in the mundane day-to-day. Sometimes amid the diapers and the tantrums and the cooking and cleaning and bathing and bedtime, I just feel overwhelmed...you know like I want to cry and eat chocolate and go shopping, because certainly a trip to target is the same as therapy. (anyone with me here??) Don't get me wrong, everyone needs a break sometimes and you should take one for yourself. It's a very good thing. But, in my case, I mostly have to face the fact that taking a break to refresh and reset is not the same as being selfish. And lots of times, it's just me being selfish.
But (to make a long story longer) here's what I'm realizing (again):
- It's not just the daily tasks of providing for my childrens' physical needs, it's the formation of souls. It is eternally significant.
- I love spending time with my kids. That's not saying that there aren't moments when I want to rip my hair out because for.the.love, how many things can Judah break while I'm trying to unload the dishwasher?? But, I determine my attitude. And I can make or break our day by how I handle a situation.
- Not worrying about hair and make-up, having no schedule and no place to be, leads to all kinds of fun and creative and messy play. Which is my favorite kind. Everyone is happiest that way.
- On that note, we hadn't done a lot of messy play when we were trying to sell our house, it has been a while. Our current favorite is water and sand. I had seriously forgotten that the combination of these two things will provide hours of entertainment.
- There is enough time to get the important things done. I obviously can't do it all. I would love to cook and clean and do crafts and write books and teach gymnastics and help with youth group and volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center and etc, etc, etc. All of those are good things that I love and maybe I'll get to do some of them here. Or maybe I'll get to do other things I don't even know I love yet. But, with what I've been given today, I know what the priorities should be, and making them happen is as easy as knowing the other things can wait for another day.
- I often miss my friends/groups/things we were involved in. But on the other hand, there is freedom in knowing that no one will be stopping by so I have to have the house clean or myself "put together". It's nice that I don't have to look at my calendar before knowing if we'll have time to go to the park tomorrow. I can say "yes" to my kids more often and I'm realizing that that's how it should be. I don't particularly want to go back to saying "we're too busy for me to do that with you today".
All the glory is yours, Lord.