It’s been a while. I don’t kid myself that we have anything special to say around here. This is just my outlet – a record of pixels devoted to me seeing clearly. There’s just been less time for recording than there has been for seeing. Most days I think we all see as clearly as we want to see. I am aiming for more – a continuous recognition of the things the Holy is doing in me, around me, for me, with me.
It’s been a full season. I have an aversion to “busy” because our culture takes that as glory. Our family is only as busy as I let it be. So no, we are not busy, just really really “full”.
The day after our Street Party in June, for the first time since we have had kids, I dropped all my balls and let Tim and the kids try the juggling without me while I went to love-up my Mum and Dad in Australia. Thirty hours on a plane – silence! A friend gave me a “buddy pass” for a flight on Delta; Tim’s parents dropped their life and came and lived in ours. To be so freed to go – ahhh, hand of the Lord. I am so grateful for all my family – of blood and of choice.
Even the loooong flight was a gift – I meandered in three books. I watched entire movies- Plural! I didn’t talk to a soul. All these wonders atop of being with my parents as they recovered together from Mum’s traumatic back surgery. I recognized the hurt in Dad that Tim and I felt watching Jesse. When someone you love is hurting, it matters how you respond. It was a bigger gift than I can express being able to be there in the family huddle, for once. I am always with them in heart, I know, though my body is here in Canada, but to physically hug when comfort was required – what a blessing to ME.
A few days after I returned (not to chaos, for the record!), we had a young Mum, Liz, and her baby move in with us.
Then summer had to start and I had to get my head into hanging-out mode. We had a camping trip to attend to.
Birthday parties to plan.
Car trips way up north to Joy family camp to arrange.
It’s been both tricky and great. I have felt so very small and so very schooled. You can kid yourself that you are doing some kind thing for someone else, and yet the one who really needed the lesson was you. R. G. LeTourneau says this: “By accepting God as your partner, no limit can be placed on what can be achieved. but God is no remote partner …. He isn’t overwhelmed if you read the Bible once in a while and obey the Golden Rule…… When you go into partnership with God, you’ve got a Partner closer and more active than any human partner you can ever get. He participates fully in everything you let Him do.”
God is fully participating with me in this new family dynamic. Thankfully, He’s available constantly. Because I need Him. Constantly. Mothering is fabulous. But not for those of us who really like to be liked. In all honesty, when I am mad with our kids, my madness is actually in large part not so much at the action or attitude requiring discipline, but more a case of me resenting them for making me be the Mean Mum.
I want to be the Fun Mum.
Yet as a parent, being one of the right-living standard-keepers is sometimes a pretty depressing role. (Note: what I am NOT is the “standard-setter”. That is a role God owns.) And although we have agreed to take in another into our family and be a parent and mentor to her, the standard-insisting is hard for me. I do it, but I get resentful. Why are you making me be mean?!
I love the dancing on the beach. I love the Monopoly around the table. I love the hugs. I love the laughter a new baby ‘sister’ brings us all. What I do not like being a Mean Mum. I get it so wrong so often. I am on my knees all the time and the small meanness of my own heart often makes me weep with frustration. How can I have come so far, Lord, and yet still be so unlike you? It’s a struggle. It’s only love I am compelled to give. Woe to me if I do not love! Some days I ration it out like a miser.
And yet our newest family member is gracious, teachable, forgiving, helpful and open.
So it’s full, this time. And yet amidst the learning bursting my seams, I sense this special wall of blessing within our home. I know all God’s children have that umbrella of peace and protection when they are willingly submitted to Him, but we have known seasons where we were full conspirators in the workings, but lost for clear direction. This is different. We have a special peace inside the closed doors. Tim and I are together. In my mind’s eye, I picture a wall of angels around our house, making this a sanctuary for what needs to go on within it. I need this protected time to learn. So do our kids.
All of them.