Sunday, July 31, 2011

Solo Time

Once in awhile I get them. Strokes of genius. Of course other times I worryI might get another kind of stroke, but this was a good 'un.

For the last week or so I've been spending a half hour of solo time with Isaac after the two little ladies were in bed. We've played Monopoly (he trounced me) and watched Disney channel and in general reminded each other how cool we are and how fun it is to hang out. Then, I had the idea to spread the joy. So, we've begun the rotation. Two go to bed, one stays up with me for a half hour for whatever they want to do. Last night, Lucy and I played Fancy Nancy. Tonight, Emma and I had ice cream and she put stickers on my legs. Fabulous.

As I was spending time tonight with Emma, a thought ran across my brain, that perhaps this is what the Lord wants when He asks us to "draw near unto Him." Maybe He just wants some solo time. In all His omnipotence, He is available for personal time whenever we want. I have no idea how that works, but I do feel confident that when I pray, I have His attention, no matter how many other millions of worthy souls are clamoring for comfort and communication as well. In that moment, I am truly important to Him. And that is how We will come to know each other. That is how I can be reminded how wonderful He is, and He can hear, from me, all about my day, my fears, my joys, and the deep thoughts in my heart that only He can understand. That is a pretty precious solo time for this daughter and her Father. I think I can make more of it.

I am so grateful to be a mother. It teaches me about God every day. I have three hilarious, creative, loud, energetic, bright, happy kids. And I really love being their mother, especially every night between 8 and 8:30 over a bowl of ice cream and a game of Monopoly.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Therewith To Be Content*

I am really grateful for the last 3 months of my life.

Here is what I am grateful for:

-My children are healthy, bright, creative, and relatively well-adjusted
-I have abandoned the habit of wasting time searching for houses in areas that I think we might one day be interested in living
-I have learned that beating yourself up about past decisions is a complete and utter waste of mortality. We do the best we can and then we move on. I have wondered if we made ill-informed decisions that have thrust us into less than ideal circumstances, but then I remember that every step of the way we have searched, pondered, prayed, and done our very best. And I believe God would have stopped us if our direction had been bad. In these last few months, perhaps learning has been more important than success.
-My marriage is stronger. We appreciate each other more. We love each other more deeply. We laugh and enjoy and have become prolific texters. I have a fabulous, caring, sensitive, funny, and super hot husband. And I think I know that more today than I did three months ago.
-I have a profoundly generous mother who lets us live with her, reacts gracefully when my children break her things, and is trying hard to be positive as she watches her daughter grapple with some very difficult things. In some ways we look at life in far different ways, but I have learned how blessed I am to have such a generous mother.

In short, I have become a better person in the last few months, and I don't know that this growth would have been possible in any other way. I don't anticipate that we are moving out of this phase anytime soon. And that is okay. I think that perhaps what I am most grateful for is that I am living in the present more now than I every have before. I am truly taking each day for what it is. Perhaps it will go well, perhaps it will not. Perhaps my kids will be calm, quiet, and love all my ideas. . . but most likely they will not. And still, life goes on. Still, I can glorify God. I can be content. He has brought me a long way in learning how to do that. I feel a new tranquility settling into my soul. That is a miracle. God is a God of miracles. Even the ones we thought we didn't want.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hidden Treasures

I've learned something important lately.

It isn't all about me.
It isn't even all about my kids, my family, or my body.

Really, it is all about God.

I've been straining and striving to get it all right, to pull it all together, to somehow valiantly rise above this dark time in our lives. I've been consumed by what I am becoming, doing, being. These are not bad focuses, but the motivation is a bit off. Maybe I've wanted to do good things so that on the other end of this I can look back with pride and say "Now look how awesomely I handled that." (I guess I can create my own adverbs when speaking with hindsight) But, that really isn't the point. The point is to say, look how beautifully the Lord carried me through this. Look how patient He was. And look what He created.

If I keep my eye single to HIS glory, and not mine, I am certain that I will be happy. I will be filled with light. That sounds so nice. I believe in God. I cherish His words in the scriptures. And while I have striven to be obedient amidst strains and struggles, I have not truly submitted. I have not sought to glorify Him. I have not consistently turned my life to Him. I have prayed when I haven't felt like it. I have read my scriptures, aching to believe the promises within. I have tried, succeeded, failed, and tried again. And still I rise again. . .

God lives. He loves. And He knows. He knows that if we live a life that glorifies Him, that will be a life filled with love, light, and hope. So, I am going to try to do that more, stripping my life of anything that blocks that view, and begin to live again. . . not just survive.*

*I learned that from WALL-E