These Are the Days, Spring 2018

It’s been a few years but I hope to start writing here again in a semi-regular way. I will have to hold that hope loosely as our family makes some major transitions but I am going to try. Although Yoda would disagree, in my world there is credit for trying.

These days are busy and chaotic and sacred and full. They are also quiet and spent holding an infant for hours on end. These are the days of…

…watching a baby unfurl and feeling my heart unfold with greater love than I had a month ago. These children. They test my sanity, unveil the darkness and frailties of my soul and convince me I’m more capable of love than I ever knew. I don’t know what mark I will leave on this world but I will leave these four breathtaking human beings. They are my legacy and these days are full of them.

…packing and sorting and purging and giving and selling. It’s time to winnow down our belongings. This pilgrim life brings me back to what’s important every time.

…so many doctor’s appointments. Between having a baby and getting ready to move overseas and also coping with a headache disorder for one family member, we are visiting the doctors in our lives like they are our best friends.

…tulips and daffodils and snow. This spring weather in Kentucky.

…missing church. I haven’t been to church in a few months. A very hard last month of pregnancy and these first few weeks with a newborn have kept me at home. I miss church. I miss my church and my people there but I also miss the Body. I miss being with God’s people.

…blessing. We have seen God bless us in direct, tangible ways. We’ve seen answered prayer. We’ve seen provision. But there is also the literal blessing, bestowed on us through God’s Church. Last night, during Joel’s ordination service, a bishop blessed my newborn son. I don’t know why but having people extend God’s blessing in verbal and physical signs over my children has become a marker for these days. I feel a little like Jacob, saying, I won’t let go unless you bless me. And God through His Church makes the sign of the cross over my children and me and says, “I bless you.”

…grief. We’re moving. We’re moving away from people we love. We’re moving away from our church We’re moving to another continent, even further away from our first families. There are a lot of tears and a lot of tissues. As one child said recently, “I’m feeling ALL the transition, Mom.”

…mess. My house is so messy. Walking away and starting over isn’t an option but some days I’m tempted.

…organized sports. We’ve never signed our kids up for organized sports. We haven’t wanted to make the commitment and they are happy playing tag in our backyard with neighbors. This spring we let them each pick a team sport at our YMCA. I love the sideline of a soccer field.

These are the days of spring 2018 and I love them.

These Are the Days, January 2016

These are the days of…

hot tea to combat cold winter weather.  I’m on my sixth cup as I type.

reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  My husband and I are close to fighting over who gets to read it at the boys’ bedtime.  It’s that good.

a four year old who narrates the world and his entire existence in it.  At times adorable, at time maddening.  He also starts over if he’s interrupted.  At the beginning of his paragraph.  I’m not making this up.  (Please don’t interrupt him.  Please.)

Transition.  My church moved locations, my husband is entering his last semester of grad school, my children are changing every day.  So many new things on the horizon.  I waffle between wanting to throw my arms open in anticipation and wanting to throw up.

basket time.  We have a basket full of the books we need to do memory work and reading for homeschool.  Listening to my son recite poetry and Psalm 23 and the Apostle’s Creed is always a high point.  Why didn’t I memorize these things when I was little?  Instead I know all the words to Billy Joel’s best songs.

epic Monopoly games.  We set it up almost every night, my biggest “versing” (versus) his father/the four year old “versing” me.  We play with intensity, then mark down on the white board where everyone is and put our properties and money in designated envelopes.  When things are really intense, we set it all back up before breakfast for a few rounds too.  I hope my children remember this with fondness.

hard things.  I have some friends and some family members who are facing hard things, and I face these with them in solidarity, although not in the same way as they must.  Illness, children who are ill, loss, the breaking apart of things that were meant to be permanent.  Was life this complicated when I was little?  I pray my children see us live a complicated life depending on God and also that they are protected enough to not see much of the complications, yet.

cold feet.  I wish I could hold my tea cup with my feet.

intention.  I can’t articulate how or why but intention is my word this year.  Each day I choose an intention.  Today it was to live with compassion toward all those I interacted with.  Life is different when I have an intention.