It's quiet in my house my right now, save the whir of the dishwasher, which always seems to be running. Aquaman is at school, and The Dude is asleep upstairs. I should be cleaning the bathrooms, but I have chosen instead to sit down here and bask in the pleasure of putting my constantly whirling, creating thoughts into an organized pattern.
This is the 1st morning since Aquaman started school that The Dude and I have not spent running around and arriving breathless at 12:30 to pick him back up again. It has been amazing.
On a whim, on the way home, I stopped off at Paradise playground and just followed around my littlest son wherever he wanted to go. He went down the slides yelling "whee!", and climbed the rock wall with a lot of help, and sat in my lap on the big swing and cuddled me without his big brother clamoring for a spot in my lap too. We both smiled a lot.
When he was ready to go, we just left, with a stop off to snuggle and stare at the ocean, and then headed home. Where The Dude immediately climbed up on Aquaman's bike, which he has been pining after for months, and no one screamed about it.
We took a walk, did some laundry, and held onto each other most of the morning, until he drifted off to sleep in his bed.
And it's hard not to imagine what it would be like if this was my everyday. If I could keep up with the daily laundry instead of having to do 6 loads on Thursday just to get even for the rest of the days. If I could spread out my scrubbing of the bathrooms and kitchen and floors to 7 days a week instead of trying to cram it all in to 4. If life could slow down just a tiny little bit and I could soak it all in and put it all on paper and somehow make it really matter.
But I've been thinking and praying and reading a lot lately, and I've been realizing something: this life doesn't really matter. I mean, not really. It doesn't matter if it's not always comfortable, or if I get what I want, or if we have any money. It's this tiny little dot in forever, and the only thing that matters is that I LIVE it...like I'm supposed to, and with joy in my heart because I've got everything I could possibly need: and that doesn't mean nice stuff or down time or a full night's sleep, or even cute kids and loving husband. It means one thing: Jesus.
"The essence of discipleship requires the abandon of self-preservation. To deny yourself is to come to a place where what happens to you as an individual in fulfillment of the will of God becomes an almost irrelevant issue....the goal is that at all times, in all circumstances, and at any cost we become the means by which God is able to do his work and fulfill his purpose, irrespective of personal implications to ourselves."
I've had a lot on my mind lately. Like how incredible it has been to work part-time these few years, and how I really hope I'll be able to keep it up for at least a couple more. JT has applied for 3 firefighter positions so far. 2 never called back. 1 he made it to the written test, in which 1500 people came for about 10 jobs. He didn't pass. He has recently put in his application with another department, but I'm finding it hard to have much hope about it. Especially because his heart does not seem to be in it. It will be hard for him to pass any tests if he is not fully committed to them, and he is just so unsure. He loves his job, but he definitely has trouble picturing himself doing the same thing forever, with no hope of advancement. And certainly a bigger paycheck would help. But his best chance at a job will be with the county when they hire, since he already works for the county. And they require paramedic. So 2 years of working 60 hours a week and going to school full-time. For something he's not convinced he wants to do? It seems a little sketchy.
And so I'm remembering the power of the praying wife, and I'm praying. That he will have the wisdom to make the right decision. Not the easy decision, or the best decision financially, but thedecision that God would have him make, so that he can be exactly who he is supposed to be.. I don't care about money except that we are able to support our family, and I'll admit I do struggle with desperate fear that I will have to return full-time to work before the kids are ready, or that we'll have to forfeit the child that we both believe we want in a few years for lack of being able to support it without full-time daycare. But I know the plans that he has for me. I know the plans He has for us, and I know that they are only good things.
I am reminded with a smile of going through 9 months of pregnancy believing I would have no choice but to work full-time throughout my child's life because JT's job did not have any benefits. And 2 weeks before our due date, the ocean rescue position fell into his lap, and God said "look at all that time you wasted worrying."
We're not supposed to worry about tomorrow. Today has enough trouble of its own after all. But I am needing more faith to help me in my unbelief today. I am filled with joy and uncertainty and fear. But I'm remembering who He is and how much he cares for us, in even the littlest things.
How we needed a new table we could all eat on, but didn't want to use savings money to buy one, and our neighbor asked us to take hers without even knowing. And how the booster seats didn't fit on the chairs that came with the table, and the next day another neighbor left two perfectly sized and colored chairs out on the sidewalk for anyone that wanted them.
That's the kind of love that God has for us. I don't know why it's so easy to forget sometimes.