Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I need something to grow me


Yesterday afternoon I lifted Bennett onto the counter for a late afternoon snack.

"Would you like just jam on your bread?" I asked him as I opened the fridge.

He was squatting on the edge of the counter, peering into the depths of the fridge.

"No!" he exclaimed. Then he slowly stood up from his crouched position and pointed his finger in the air, "I need something to grow me!"

I laughed. "Yes, you do. I'll put sunflower butter on as well."

Apparantly all of my lectures on eating lots of good food because it will help him grow are making an impact! 

I too need "something to grow me."

We haven't been going to church. The kids have been sick, and on the Saturday evenings they are well we are exhausted and/or working.

I haven't been reading my devotions. I was doing really well with the She Read Truth plans, and then I tried the "Bible in a Year" plan. It was too much too fast, and instead of going back to the easier (for me) plans I gave up. I gave in to reading other things, or doing household tasks during the kids quiet time instead of reading the Bible. I know I need to go back to spending time in the Word daily, but carving that time out is difficult to do because there is always something else that needs to be done - or let's be honest - that I want to do

And I can tell. I see it in my attitude. I see it in my interactions with my family. I see it in my feelings of inadequacy, and the sense that I'm not doing anything meaningful with my days. All of the cooking, cleaning, and picking up after children can easily make life feel like the movie Groundhog Day.

It's hard to find glory in the everyday work of raising children, but trust me friends, it is there. My pastor once said that there will be consequences - that we may even be facing them now - of aborting so many infants, of ending so many lives by choice because God has a plan for every. single. life. It may feel like we are not contributing to this world because we stay home with our children, but we don't know who God has given us to raise. We do not know who they will become or what they will do with their lives. We must grow so they can grow. I must grow so they can grow.

What I need from the Bible is the following reminders:

You are enough.

Do not be afraid.

Both truths are there over and over again, but I have to seek them out every single day so I don't forget. I've been so overwhelmed by life details lately, and I feel a little guilty about that because my hard is so much easier than others, but no matter what feels like too much the Bible promises carrying the burden without help isn't necessary.

It's time to get back in the Word. It's time to go back to the cross. Easter is coming. I need to prepare my heart. And after Easter, Charlotte's season. I want to enter spring with my heart full of reminders that God has a plan, and that He is in control of my life. Starting today I'm going to go back to the Word, back to the cross and put my hands on something that grows me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

tell me again why I married you


If you want to remember why you married a person, fix up an old house. J and I are working non-stop to renovate the kitchen so we can (hopefully) sell the house. The kids and I are really sick, which is making a tough project more difficult, but we're making progress.

While I was priming this morning I thought about how well J and I are getting along right now. (There's nothing to do but think while painting.) Projects are STRESSFUL. Having the contents of my kitchen in the dining room is STRESSFUL. Eating three meals a day in the living room is STRESSFUL (my area rug will never recover). Keeping the kids occupied while we work is STRESSFUL.

Usually all of this stress would make us snip at each other, but we're keeping the sniping at a minimum and I've been reminded that we work well together. We complement each other.

J can do a lot of things I can't - like most of this project - but he is very, very disorganized. I can't do as much as I would like to help, but I can round up the tools every morning and put them in one place so he can find them, and I can chase him around the house every time he comes back from the hardware store until he hands over his receipts. I can keep track of funds, and give him updates on how much we've spent, and remind him twelve times that, "all purchases - even online ones - need to be recorded in the house book!" And I can paint!

Last night J said I'm doing better than expected, or something along those lines. Which means I haven't had a complete meltdown and made everyone question why they were chosen to be my people. I'm staying calm, and I didn't cry on the dining room floor yesterday even though I wanted to, and when the kids don't keep every last bit of food on the sheet I put on the living room floor I clean up without snapping.

Chaos and uncertainty don't sit well with me, but this project is all about both:

When will we finish? When should we list? Will it sell? Will we find a house we like? How long will I be without a dining room? When can I have a fully functional kitchen again ... and on and on. We are moving faster than I thought we would. J works really hard every night, and I do my best to keep other things on track so he can walk in the door and start working.

J says, "good job, team!" often enough that B now refers to us as a team. When we get to the grocery store he says, "let's go team!" and when we do well at a task he says, "good job, team!" And this project has made me see us as a cohesive whole in a way that I haven't in a long while.

Everything was so hard after Charlotte died, and then we had two kids in quick succession after that, and I haven't really stopped to think about how we're in this and we have to work together to keep a strong foundation. It's so easy to just exist, but it's been good to work really hard at a project together and remember how much we can accomplish when we support one another.

And J lets me wear his work jacket when we paint really late at night even though he's the one who has to run down to the freezing cold basement every few minutes to glue trim on cabinets. Now that's love.

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