"It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desires which he creates." ~Amy Carmichael

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Not On Our Own

I have been reading a Kindle book called, “Trees Tall As Mountains”. The book is a compilation of excerpts from the author’s blog. Initially I downloaded it because it was free and I was fairly skeptical about it holding my interest. However, the author? I get her. Her writing style is familiar and she seems to process life similarly to the way I tend to process. I do not write very much anymore, yet every time I read her book I end up with my life floating around my head in blog style. That has hardly happened for many years! Reading her simple writing makes me want to write. So here I am, writing. This is mostly for my own purpose of processing and practicing putting things into words again, but perhaps some of it will speak to someone else as we go.

This has been a week. 

Sunday, I woke up fried from the birthday tea party we hosted for Addy and all the preceding birthday activity. It was fun and went well, but I was tired. I debated going to both church and life group. Then I went anyway. I met new attendees at life group, had a delicious breakfast-for-dinner and was encouraged through our discussion and prayer time. 

Monday, I crashed. I yelled at my (whiny and also crashing) kids, struggled to keep everyone fed and we generally dragged through our day. Then a nap happened and we woke up ready to face our day – even if it was 3:00 in the afternoon. I read aloud while the kids played outside, we cleaned up from the birthday party and then ended the day with a relaxed date with Nathan. Naps are amazing things.

Tuesday, I woke up in pain after only four hours of sleep. At 6:30 I was certain I could hardly get out of bed for the day, never mind get the kids and me all out of the house so I could go work at the office with a probable migraine heading my way on top of it. Then I did. And my headache never made it to migraine status. After all, sitting at an office desk requires less energy than caring for children anyway, right?

Wednesday, I had my first good night’s sleep in a week and a half. My plan was to rest and be with the kids and catch up on some laundry. I began thinking about when would be a good time to invite my Russian neighbor over for tea and God asked, “Why not today?” Well. Why not today, indeed? So I did. The day was spent putting dinner in the crockpot so I could not worry about it later (total flop, no one liked it), baking zucchini bread and catching up the house from being gone Tuesday. Knowing that I would never get everything done to have a perfect company setting, I simply prayed that God would make her feel welcomed and comfortable here in our home in spite of all that I lacked. You know, the little things like a perfectly cleaned house and the ability to speak Russian. And he did. It turned out to be a lovely afternoon. I don’t know for sure if God made her feel welcomed and comfortable, but I think he did…and, as God tends to do, he went beyond my prayer for her and put me at ease myself. We managed the language barrier just fine and now I have a new friend. Funny how sometimes we think that we hear God calling us to bless others when really he is as much calling us to step into a blessing for ourselves.

Thursday, began on the heels of a sleepless night. We had various appointments scheduled at 9:00, 2:30 and 7:00 and somewhere in there I needed to get groceries. As my morning began, I was sure that was an impossible schedule with next to no sleep and there was no way I could do it. Then I did. The kids were amazing at each of our stops, even when we stayed at one appointment for three hours! Well, unless you count Elijah’s whining, “Mommy, I still tired. Mommy, up me?” on repeat through. the. entire. grocery. store. All things considered, that seemed a reasonable allowance for a child who had been awake from 1:30-5:15am and then was repeatedly dragged out of bed to leave the house that day. We made all our appointments, got a brief nap slipped in the middle, met some sweet people, and were able to pick up the groceries needed as we began a restricted diet for the whole family; a diet that we are unexpectedly doing all the way through mid-December instead of the 4-6 weeks we had anticipated. As an added bonus, God recalled to my memory that a certain supplement had previously kept Elijah awake for hours during the night when I took too much of it while breastfeeding…right before I gave it to him at bed time. I HAD given it to him at bed time the night before. No wonder he was awake half the night! He slept much better that night.

Friday, started with Elijah getting up at 5am and I wondered why in the world I do crazy things like decide to have company three times within one week, on little sleep, when I am overwhelmed with adjusting to working a bit each week and struggling to keep up with the basics. I started to let myself get stressed by all the things on my plate and the house not being ready for company yet again. Until I reminded myself that this is a friend I have not seen in nine years, coming to visit me and meet my family – not coming to see my house or the clothes my kids were wearing. So I let the dishes go, dressed the kids in whatever was clean already and focused on the paperwork I needed to finish before they arrived. Then we proceeded to have a wonderful visit with wonderful people. It is a pity they happen to live on the other side of the world.

Sometimes you have weeks where grace is seen more tangibly than others and this was one of those weeks. Timely conversations, resolutions for problems brought to mind at vital moments, circumstances lined up just so, a specific sense of purpose for each day…and most of all the grace and strength needed to keep doing the next right thing. It is encouraging to see the blessings and favor that comes from walking in step with the Spirit. We are not on our own. 

It was an exhausting week. It was a blessed week. And I probably ought to finally go get that laundry clean.