God in a hurry

Why is God never in a hurry, especially when I need Him to be?

IMG_3382

My house is full of boxes, piles and piles of boxes. They are everywhere and in the way.

 

We trip over them. We scoot around them. We squeeze through them. And we run into them.

 

My to do list is long. I wonder if there is enough time to get everything all squared away.

 

I don’t think there is. I don’t think there is enough time to get it all done before the movers arrive.

 

I begin to worry and fret. I feel the weight of responsibility. I start to feel overwhelmed and get myself worked up.

 

About my tiredness. About the late nights. About the early mornings. About the coming lack of sleep.

 

About the stress. About the chaos. About Jay’s bad back. And about any and every what if?

 

I try to work harder and faster with more purpose and more efficiency.

 

I hurry, hurry, hurry. Not only with my hands, but with my heart and mind too. As if somehow, my worry will help things along.

IMG_3369

And yet, if we look at Jesus, it is quite plain to see that in His life and ministry, He was never in a hurry.

 

Despite being given the most important task and the greatest responsibility of any man who ever lived, His life was marked by poise and grace and quietness of spirit.

 

He did not fret over what He needed to accomplish. He was not impressed by numbers. He did not count his followers. And He was not a slave to the clock.

 

He didn’t do too much, or take on too much, or say yes too much, or make himself crazy.

 

He simply went about his father’s business, never in a hurry, doing His will, and He let everything else go.

IMG_3255

In this, Jesus emulated His own Father, our heavenly Father, who is also never in a hurry. Instead, He is a God of slow growth and long preparation. He is a God of careful planning and sweet care.

 

In all things, He has His ways. In our lives and the lives of our family, He acts according to His purposes. In all things big and small, He is at work. And He is never in a hurry.

 

So this week I am praying, as my house is turned upside down and everything I own disappears into boxes, as I drive carpool and shuttle kids around, as I manage school and schedules and speech therapy, that God would help me to not be hurried or harried, in my heart and in my mind and in my soul.

 

That despite the busyness of my hands and the aches in my body or the chaos around me, He grows within me. He grants me His sweet spirit of peace, poise and quiet, and makes me a little bit more like Jesus – the Jesus who was never in a hurry.

 

 

*If you liked this, we would be so honored if you shared it! 

 

Forever

Hello friends! It has been forever, hasn’t it?

I once attended a blogging seminar where the lecturer said it was the most annoying thing in the world to start off a blog post by talking about how long it has been since you have published a blog post. So I try to avoid doing that. But it really has been awhile, so I might as well acknowledge that fact. And I mean really, who cares?

Our school year has gotten off to a really good start. I didn’t start homeschool until September, because I think the school year should go from Labor Day to Memorial Day and that’s it. Who want’s to do more school than that? No one. So I put off starting and Lilla and I immensely enjoyed the last few weeks of summer together while everyone else was in school. My only insistence was that she read for a chunk of time every single day until school started, which she was amenable to since it didn’t include grammar, spelling, and all those other sleep inducing subjects.

IMG_3238

Her school books arrived and as is our annual custom, we opened the big box and went through every single item. Grammar, spelling, math, science, handwriting, language arts, history. It was all in there. And a ton of new reading books. Because we are nerds, and that is what we do. Read.

I bought the Boxcar Children books for Lilla to read this year. There are about a million of them, so I just stuck with 1-10. She read a couple last year and they are wonderful, sweet books that are great for young readers. I also splurged and bought The Little House on the Prairie hardback set. I never read them as a child, but I want to read them with both my girls. And if we each read them together, and then they read them later on their own, hardback books will hold up much better than paperback through multiple readings. We have already charged through the first one, and they are delightful.

IMG_3243

Bette is having a great year so far. She is talking and articulating so much more as a result of being in full day school. She has a tough teacher, who doesn’t let her or her classmates get away with anything. And Bette needs some tough love.

When she is home, our job is to push her to put sentences together and use the words she tends to leave out when she is speaking, like verbs and pronouns. But our job is also create a safe environment for her that is a refuge from all the therapy, speaking and listening that goes on during the school day.

IMG_3261

I am learning that listening for Bette, just the simple act of listening, is hard work for her. Every day, her “listening book” comes home in her backpack with a report on how she did that day at school. And it usually says, “Bette worked really hard today,” which just kills me sometimes because she is only three years old, and three year olds aren’t known for working hard. Because you know, they are three.

But every day, she works hard to hear and speak, so home needs to also be a place of calm and solitude and rest from the hard work of listening. Which we are all happy to accommodate, because if listening is hard for her, the never ending speaking and narrating that we often do to help her learn new language is exhausting for us.

IMG_3252

In other news, we put our house on the market. We have been debating it for awhile, back and forth, should we or shouldn’t we? Because while we need more room, moving is such pain.

But after weeks of discussion, we decided it was finally time, and set about getting the house ready. We cleaned, painted, and scrubbed for weeks. Lilla was an amazing helper. She cleaned all the windows in the house, as far as up as she could reach, and tackled any and all organization projects I sent her way. I never could have gotten it all done without her.

Fortunately, someone offered to buy our house pretty quickly, and we are scheduled to move in a few short weeks. It has all happened so fast, but we are thrilled. Packing begins pretty soon, but I am putting it off as long as possible. Lilla has been pestering me to get started, so I said, “Fine. Once school is finished for the day, you can work on packing the books.” Because like I said, we are nerds. And we have a lot of books. And she can pack those in her organized little way to her heart’s content.

IMG_3255

With all the changes happening around here, I haven’t figured out where blogging and writing fits into my life these days. It is something I love doing, but I am struggling to carve out consistent writing time. So I am praying about it and letting the Lord lead me about where this puzzle piece fits in right now.

But I have all these thoughts rolling around in my head about growing in Christ, and what that looks like, and how that happens when so many of us are in survival mode because of the little people at our feet. So I will to be back here soon! Love you friends!

 

Finding out what God wants done

IMG_2942

 

“What we call prayer is deliberately putting ourselves in touch with the One who made us, and who is in charge of’ the whole universe. Quite apart from our private requests, we need this contract to keep us spiritually clean, to gain strength and inspiration, and last but by no means least, to listen to his orders.

How few of all the millions in the world are even trying to cooperate with the One who designed the whole scheme of things. 

We who are longing for a better world should take the time and trouble to get in touch with God and find out the sort of things that he wants done.”

J.B. Phillips

 

IMG_2946

 

 

Getting to be normal

 

IMG_3901

Bette started school a few weeks ago. My sweet girl, who can’t hear, is now gone all day, every day.

It was hard to let her go. It was hard to send her off and walk away and entrust her into the hands of other women. Because she is only three and she is my baby. And a part of me feels she should be at home. I am at home. And I want my babies to be there with me too.

But I was also relieved; relieved to hand her off to other people for half the day. Because we were home a lot this summer. Day in and day out, we were there. All three of us. Together. And there was a lot of this:

IMG_3250

Screaming, crying, fussing, and fighting. And she spent a whole lot of time in time-out.

But now she is gone. And the days of her being home more than she is away are over. So are the days of her long naps, sleepy eyes, messy hair, and flushed cheeks. And the days of her waking up late, sucking her thumb and dragging her blankie behind her as she comes downstairs to find me. Along with the days of slow rhythm, making our own schedule, and late bedtimes.

All those things, the things that make the baby years so simple and sweet, are behind us now. And it has come upon me much quicker than I expected.

And yet, we are also entering into a new sort of sweet spot. Even though she will be away from us, Bette will spend her days in a classroom with children just like her; children with the same issues, the same disability, and all working toward the same goal – to learn to hear and speak.

She is not yet the one who is different. She won’t be the child with the disability. She will never feel embarrassed or self-conscious that she can’t hear something, say something, or understand something. And she will not have to face anyone who might try to make her feel as though she is less than whole.

I dread those days; the days when she is out of her warm cocoon of love and help and will begin to know some of the ugliness in the world.

But thankfully, for now, that is far in the future. And for now, Bette is happy and thriving. She is talking and listening. She is normal and unaware.

And each day she leaves us and goes on her way down the path God has set for her. And right now, she gets to be just Bette. Not hearing impaired Bette. Not deaf Bette. Not cochlear implant Bette.

She is just Bette. And that is a very sweet spot to be in.

IMG_3246

Struggling Through Summer

I have not blogged much this summer. Because I have been struggling. Struggling through summer. And I did not know what to say. Or how to write about it. Because for weeks and weeks I could not figure out how to deal with my life or come to terms with it.

Looking back, my struggling began long before summer. It started back in the spring as the end of the school year approached. I was overwhelmed and burnout. And I sobbed to Jay quite a few times about how sick I was of everything.

I chalked my emotional state up to the chaos of the end of the year – all the recitals and parties and programs. And I thought if I could just hold on until summer vacation, more specifically until our departure for the beach, then I would be okay.

Except our time at the beach, and the five wonderful weeks we were away, did not fix things. It did not magically rebalance my emotional state. The sand and sun did not heal my heart. The ocean and waves did not restore and refill me. Which I realized about five minutes after we returned home. I came home in almost the exact same shape I left in – except with a really good tan.

IMG_3816

I came home cranky and quickly became this moody, unpleasant mother. I snapped at my children. I yelled and fussed about stupid things.

None of it was my children’s fault, because they are just children. Though Bette does somehow manage to say my name about 250 times a day at a decibel level associated with national emergencies. And Lilla seems to think that every thought that pops into her head is so interesting it must be articulated, specifically and directly to me, because of course I am going to find everything she thinks and says as interesting as she does.

Sometimes, by the end of the day, say around 6:30pm or so, I just stare at my children as they speak and watch their mouths move in imaginary silence. Because how they can possibly have anything else to tell me? They have not stopped talking all day. It isn’t mentally or physically possible for a three and seven year old to have this much to say. Out loud. To me. All day long. And yet they do. Every. Single. Day.

IMG_3889

I felt suffocated. And I felt lost and confused. Because after so much time together, twenty four hours a day for five weeks (plus or minus two years because that is how long this little homeschooling project has been going on), I could no longer see where I ended and my children began. The line was getting too blurry. There wasn’t enough distinction between them and me. And I wasn’t quite sure who I was anymore.

Which bothered me. Because not too long ago, I really enjoyed motherhood, just like I enjoyed painting, cooking, and entertaining. I loved hanging out with my little ankle biters and moving through the day with them. I liked seeing what they were learning and the people they were becoming. And it was just plain fun to pick out new recipes and tackle new projects.

Except now, I wasn’t enjoying any of it. And all I really wanted was to be left alone.

IMG_3888

I did not have one quiet time while we were away at the beach. I hardly prayed. I never once cracked open my bible. And I know my struggling is directly related to all of that. It is why I feel so parched and dry. It is why I am tired and cranky and impatient. And it is why I am so confused about who I am.

So now is the time to begin again. To sit at my Savior’s feet. To read His word. To offer up to Him in prayer my thoughts, feelings, and fractured heart.

And it is time for me to listen again to His still small voice, that is powerful enough to calm a storm, but gentle enough to soothe a bewildered little lamb like me.

And it is time to trust again, because even if I don’t know who I am right now, during these little years, Jesus knows who I am. And He will show me again. He will help me. All I must do is put myself in the palm of His hand.

IMG_3887

 (Most of the pictures are from the Wise Family Reunion in Texas. The girls wore their cowgirl boots on the plane, ran wild with their cousins, and developed a fascination with grasshoppers, which were everywhere. It was a great trip, and one I was absolutely dreading because of the amount of travel required, but I am glad we went. And the trampoline… well, that is just some summer fun in our yard.)