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.

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These Are the Days

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I’ve been enjoying the writing and thinking of Emily P. Freeman lately.  Her thoughts on smallness and the kingdom of God resonate deeply with me.  One way she practices a mindful awareness of her life and the presence of Christ with her in the life she actually has (not the one she should have, or wishes to have) is to make a list that she calls “these are the days” lists.  She jots down what her days are full of, slowing just enough to experience the presence of Christ in the moments that are passing quickly.

For me, these are the days of…

Burning candles to remember that Christ is with me.

Staying in pajamas and mopping with tea tree oil instead of being productive on a rare day without children.

Fly infestations in Kalas Village.

Learning spiritual formation in the joyful crucible of young motherhood.

Being disillusioned and disappointed in the expression of my faith community (Anglicanism, for me) while knowing that “the tree that is not taller than you does not shade you” (African proverb).

Meditating in motion, not stillness.

Teaching from a place of rest, not hustle.

Beginning new things (spiritual direction training for me, a Th.M. for Joel (we think!)).

Buying my firstborn Hobnobs at ridiculous cost so he can taste his favorite cookies from his life overseas.

Telling the truth, even when it is very, very hard.

Believing and trying to live into this: that God’s sovereignty does not excuse my (or others’) unwillingness to become mature and lead from a place of emotional wellness.

Resurrecting my blog, apparently.  Two posts in one week.

Laughing at myself because I can’t help but thinking that “these are the days of” should be completed by “Elijah”!

Elijah.  🙂