Friday, May 27, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait

Lately I get the feeling that things are changing so quickly that I just can't keep up.  But when I actually sit down to write all the things that are changing I realize that nothing's really changing at all.  It's the stillness that has me dizzy.

I recently applied for a job at my home church.  It seemed like a perfect fit.  The job was Interim Christian Education Coordinator.  It was just for the summer (although they will be hiring for a permanent fill in the fall), part-time, at the church I love, doing the things that I've been doing happily (without pay) for 10 years.  I applied, interviewed, and started mentally making plans for this life change.  It's been a while since I've worked outside the home, but I thought I was ready, considering that this was a just baby step back into the working world (temporary, part-time, and in a familiar location).  I never considered that I wouldn't get the job.  Why wouldn't I?  I have lots of experience doing the very things that they were hiring the new employee to do, and I knew all 4 people on the interview team very well.  One of them even encouraged me to apply for the job prior to my submitting my application. 

Long story short:  I didn't get it.

I was crushed.  I cried for a couple of days and felt cheated and insulted and looked for someone to blame and reasons to pick a fight about it.  And, although I still feel a little cheated and very insulted (and hurt), it's time to move on and get busy with...well...nothing.

This non-change in my job status occurred at the same time as the completion of our second full year of homeschooling.  We're on summer break, folks.  Last week was our last baseball game, cello lessons are spotty all summer with no group classes until fall, our Friday homeschool co-op is on break, Wednesday night church doesn't meet in the summer, and MOPS doesn't meet again until August.  In other words, our schedule is wide open.  Now I know there are some out there who might read this and think dreamily of empty blocks on the family calendar and days when the only thing on the agenda is using up the excess chicken purchased when it was on sale.  But I am not one of those people.  It's my nature to go.  I like a full schedule, a busy week, STRUCTURED TIME.  This's unsettling.

I came across the familiar Psalm (46:10) which reads: "Be still and know that I am God."  And initially I was annoyed.  Be still.  Sit.  Wait.  Meditate, even?  Not what I wanted to hear.  And then, because I am a geek, I researched the Hebrew roots of the verse.  And (happy dance) "be still" doesn't at all mean sit quietly and wait for something to happen.  That's just laziness.  Be still comes from the word raphah that basically means make yourself weak or humble.  Surrender yourself.  We're not talking zen meditation stillness here (which is good since I've never been very good at that kind of stillness).  We're talking pure surrender to the Lord's plan.  And, although that isn't exactly my strong suit (me, submissive? laughable), I can appreciate the need for that kind of stillness. 

So, no, I won't be going to work this week.  I won't be planning a math lesson or proofreading a research paper.  I won't be chauffeuring children to sports or music lessons.  But I will be doing God's work.  My children (now 6, 5, 3, and 18 months) need me here, being still, surrendering to God.  They need to see me in prayer, reading scripture, modeling a Christian lifestyle.  During these, the most impressionable years of their lives, they need Mama at home bringing them up by The Book. 

The days are long.  The schedule is light.  It's summer--the season when stillness is on the agenda.  Hurry up and wait for it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

She's Baaaack

Oh, golly.  I know, I know.  I haven't written in an eternity.  I hear it from my husband, best friend, you name it.  But, guys, I've been seriously busy.

To catch you up on the months or so...

We moved!  (Insert chorus of angels here.)  I won't bore you with all the stressful details of finding and buying our new pad, but I'll just tell you that we are now the very happy owners of a lovely new-to-us place.  We got everything (almost) that we wanted in the new home new:  5 bedrooms (essential for a family of 6), a playroom (essential for a mom who doesn't like toys scattered all over the house), a school room (essential for a homeschool family), a HUGE storage room equipped with a sink and bathroom and lots of built-in shelves (this room is next to the school room and doubles as our art/science room since it has easy-to-clean floors!), a music room (for all those cellos and my big piano), a real dining room (although it's still empty because we don't have a dining room table yet).  We are in a good school district, should I ever decide to put my kids in public school, and we are close to the interstate (essential after living in Karns for several years and feeling cut-off from the world!)  We are just really happy here.  The biggest hurdle was that our old house hadn't sold when we put an offer on this one.  So, the idea of two mortgages put us in a panic enough that we decided to rent the old place.  And so we are now landlords.  It actually hasn't been as scary as I thought.

I started homeschooling again this fall--this time registered with the county so it's official.  We're over halfway through the year now and still loving it (most days).  We are participating in the co-op again this year, and I'm teaching a preschool class there while my big boys go to their own classes.  What a joy!

MIKE GRADUATED!  Yes, yes.  Mike went back to school and finished his BS in Organizational Management in December.  No real change in our lives right now, since he's not planning to leave his current job, but it is SO wonderful that he has his degree now so he has so many more options for his future.

I took on leading the middle school youth at our church.  I've only just started, so it's too early for me to say how it's going.  I think it will be a great experience for me (and hopefully the youth too!)

Jackson and Ei played soccer in the fall, and Jackson is playing basketball now.  They will both play baseball in the spring.  They are both taking cello lessons and group classes.  I need a secretary to keep up with their schedules.

Aaron turns 3 next month.  We're potty training with moderate success.  He is hilarious.

Nolan turned one in November.  He's still referred to as "the baby" around here though.  He is still nursing and sleeping in my bed, and I don't plan to make him grow up anytime soon. 

I'm having a niece next month.  I'm sure you'll hear all about her because I am just so excited I could burst. 

Okay, so sorry about the "Christmas card letter" post.  I will do better about posting...maybe.  For now, I leave you with this picture of my precious family.  Happy 2011, all.