Just Around the Corner: An Update
I pretty much stink at blogging, as anyone who follows this blog (anyone?!) can attest. My rather modest goal for 2013 of blogging twice a month hasn’t happened here lately. I actually wrote a post for Warrior Wives, and I meant to post here on my blog the same day, copying the first few paragraphs and then saying “read the rest over here …” like all the cool bloggers do … but that day we had a play date in the morning and were away from home again in the evening, and busy with kids in the in-between, and nothing happened.
Then I sat down to write another blog post and titled it “February Days.” I typed the title and then something interrupted me. Now it’s March 7th.
I feel as if I was stepping gingerly down a mountain trail, and then sometime in the middle of January I got stuck in the middle of an avalanche. Speed increases. The amount of control I feel is about nil. There are plenty of bumps and bruises on the way. I have a mental vision of myself right now, bracing myself and sliding rapidly downward, David kicking in one arm and Elanor screeching in the other, with Ben behind me, arms wrapped around my waist, helping to hold the kiddos up as we start to go even faster … yep, that’s about what life has felt like lately.
Up too late at night between Elanor and insomnia … up in the middle of the night with Elanor (why is she waking up more as she gets older?) … never mind getting that great start and sticking to a morning schedule; I’ll sleep in as much as I can … morning finds the house messy and me scattered and busy … afternoon Elanor naps when David is awake, and David may or may not nap, but usually only when Elanor is awake … evening any project I meant to do during the day is waiting for me and it becomes late at night before I know it ….
I know we’re just going over a bump and we’ll be over before we know it, but for now there are some truths I’m trying to cling to:
The Lord’s grace is sufficient for me. Everything He calls me to, He will give enough strength to handle. Keep breathing, keep calm, and remember there is grace enough for this moment. It doesn’t have to feel like there’s enough for tomorrow yet, because I’m not supposed to worry about tomorrow—grace will be there when tomorrow comes.
Stop comparing myself with other people and thinking their lives are better or wishing I had what they did—i.e. coveting. In my women’s book study we’re reading The Envy of Eve and I’ve been so convicted. It’s an excellent book. I’m remembering to trust that God is good and has given me what is good—the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places and I have a delightful inheritance.
Stop complaining about my kids and instead treasure them, look for the good, be thankful for them, and draw close to them when I’m most tempted to pull away. There are a lot of moments when I think I will either laugh or cry and I just need to laugh.
This morning I turned around to find David had spilled whipped cream on the floor and was facedown trying to lick it up. I think once this may have disturbed me, but now I just gave him a damp paper towel to wipe up whatever he had missed
Most of David’s winter pants now have holes in them, and he spends most of time wearing an oversized pair of bright red sweat pants, which he likes to wear what he calls “the hopping way”—both feet stuffed through one leg, and the other pantleg waves behind him like a kangaroo tail. He will hop around the house like this for hours on end, and then start fussing when he gets stuck somewhere.
I love David to pieces … these days he loves to color and play Duplos and legos and puzzles, he’s starting to read, and then just when I think the 3’s are getting easy with his longer attention span and independent play—bam. The tantrum happens. I definitely had unrealistic expectations that if I just parented the right way, my children would not tantrum—well, it’s not so. And the moments when I am most crying out for wisdom and grace and patience and calmness, are when David is yelling and kicking on the floor. In those moments, I am freshly reminded that parenting is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I don’t have any foolproof answers for what to do when a tantrum happens, but I do have a deeper sense of my need for grace and how I can show grace to help my son adapt to a world where he’s not always in control and things don’t always go his way. After a few tough weeks I think we’re coming out the other side.
Elanor … this sweet girl soiled three cloth diapers in the space of about two hours during lunchtime today. In fact, lunchtime took about two hours and this is one reason why. I am finally getting a little bit of a handle on this cloth diapering thing (after a steep learning curve where I repeatedly envisioned vengefully throwing the cloth diapers over the side of our deck. Not sure how this would have helped, but I felt better imagining it). I’m a little hesitant to describe my cloth diapering routine, since I am trying to do it the cheap and easy way and am pretty sure I’m breaking all the rules, but it’s working for us.
Elanor has inherited a huge appetite and love of eating from both sides of the family, and the amount of food she can put away is pretty appalling. I think her happiest moments are spent with a tray of fingerfood. Her favorites are shredded cheese and pieces of biscuit. I don’t think we allowed David white flour until he was about 18 months, but Elanor is the second born, so what can you do?
One of our recent projects has been our family room wall … 1) green chalkboard paint, 2) book display, 3) picture canvases to depict the four seasons (pictures taken by my friend Emily). Ben has done all of this while I’ve admired. I love the finished look and how it fits our family and is the first thing you see walking in the door.
And a huge recent project: we are considering doing foster care. A lot of what has made the past couple months seem like an avalanche is that we’re in the middle of the foster care training and approval process. We figured that now that we have all the answers regarding parenting and have everything together we can help someone else … no, scratch that. This is a process that has involved a lot of prayer and a lot of learning. I don’t have the answers and I don’t feel ready. It’s like we took that first tentative step in obedience to the Lord’s calling, only to find out we’d stepped onto a skateboard hurtling ahead—or, you could use that avalanche analogy again. That works, too.
Sometime I hope to blog more about our thought process behind foster care, but for now, Elanor is waking up. I may teach writing, but for the life of me I cannot write a good conclusion paragraph when my baby is starting to wail. Or maybe at all—those who can’t do teach, right?
Except I will say (yay—she is quiet again!) that I titled this blog post thinking of the Frog and Toad story “The Corner.” Spring is just around the corner … new life, new growth, flowers, gardens, warmer days, walks to the park, turning the heater off, getting Elanor out of sleeper pajamas and finally banishing David’s red sweat pants! And I am looking around the corner not just for spring … but for the new grace and strength and love and mercy that I need to meet me every day.