How is it the second day of fall already? I cannot even wrap my mind around that. The kids have been in school for over a month already, all three girls! I can’t believe that either.
I have had such great plans for this space but have also been finding myself in a season of external busyness. Life changes and circumstances slightly beyond my grasp of control, all creating opportunity for deep personal growth (as hard as that can be). Varying routines, appointments, etc. all filling up my calendar faster than I can keep up.
Perhaps it wouldn’t’ feel nearly as overwhelming if I would have been healthy the past few months. It started off with stomach flu, followed by non-stop congestion, including a bad case of laryngitis, ultimately circling back around to another stomach flu. Maybe that’s TMI, but I will say that combined with the busyness of life it feels like too much. And none of this to say “poor is me” but rather to say, “Mama, if you too, find yourself sandwiched in this kind of season, I see you and I feel for you!”
Oh the amount of times I have cried out to the Lord asking when this season will pass! The answer is always the same, “Trust me!” While I find it difficult more often than not, I know that in the midst of the chaos there is a sense of calm, a sense of peace knowing that I am exactly where God has me. Not further ahead or further behind, but in the sweet spot of learning. The tension between difficulties and the innate desire for comfortable. All the while knowing it’s often in the hard moments of life I find there to be the most growth that produces a depth that was previously unknown. A richness in following Christ like I haven’t known before. And a shift in my own perspective permitting me to see things differently. It’s in those instances where my own physical body has nothing left to give, my soul is weary from long days work, I know the only way I can carry on is by the grace of God, strengthening me to take the next step.
I know that so many of you can probably relate to these feelings. Life in general these days just continues to move at such a breakneck speed. I know it’s not just me and my family.
I had a friend ask me the other day how I do it? How do I keep all the appointments straight and get everyone to where they need to be etc. while keeping sane. Honestly, I don’t know. Except I rely on strength that isn’t my own, I have a MASSIVE planner that I write everything down in, and pray for the best.
In full disclosure, I hate having such a restrictive schedule. It feels suffocating at times and more often than not it feels like it controls me more than me controlling it. While I like to keep busy, I also don’t like having every last second of the day planned for me. I am learning that within the structure, it’s important to plan time that is not scheduled. For instance, I have one day a week where all the kiddos are taken care of without me. I hash out the hours so I purposely don’t schedule over it and use it to take time out for me with whatever idea sounds the best that moment. The gym, breakfast with myself, coffee date with myself. I paint my nails and drink coffee while watching Hawaii life reruns. Sometimes I actually sit down and write. I don’t clean (even though if you see my house right now you would probably tell me that’s the time I should be cleaning it). I also recognize that not everybody has the luxury of having a couple of hours all to themselves. I know that self-care is such a hot button topic and I also know that my soul needs care the most. I’ll leave that for another day.
All this to say, it’s a season. Yep, I said it. I used to remember when we were in the thick of Bernadette’s newborn days, hospital stays, and surgeries, people would say that to me and I would literally cringe. Sorry if you were one of those people I made a face to when you said it to me. It’s not that I didn’t believe you, life felt so hard I almost couldn’t imagine it any differently. And in all honestly, there is a lot about my life that isn’t a season. It is simply our new normal. It takes adjusting expectations and regrouping and sure enough, eventually begins to feel at times less overwhelming and more, dare I say, routine.
This particular season won’t last forever. It will come and go as quickly as the seasons outside change. It’s blazing hot outside today but next weekend brings the promise of rain and cooler temperatures. It happens so fast.
And while in some moments I am ready for this season to be over, at the same time I’m not ready. I want to learn what I can in this season. How to be a better mother, wife and Jesus follower. To continue to see that even when I am physically and mentally at the end of myself, God’s got me. He’s got my family and His love far supersedes that of my human love.
I have to trust that even when I feel like I am failing, which I often do, I have to give those feelings up rather than sit in them and sulk and get mad at myself for not doing a better job. And at the same time, recognize those feelings of inadequacy give room for Jesus to fill me up in ways I have not yet experienced.
For now, I am hopeful I will soon get my own health under control and that the rest of the family will continue to stay healthy. I will continue to drink lots of coffee and keep a few hours a week to myself. My bible is becoming my lifeline more than ever before. And the gym is my happy place.