Saturday, August 8, 2015

The End


Summer is almost over, and what's weird is...it went a little too fast this year.

I did not feel like this when I was grocery shopping with 3 monkeys hanging off of me and the grocery cart a couple days ago.

But during those moments when we are putting stones in a jar for good behavior, and remembering the house rules that are now posted on the wall, or actually doing the chores that are listed on the chore chart, and actually doing them well....during those moments I wish there were just a few more weeks of summer.
Not so much when the 1 year old escapes into the bathroom and starts shredding the toilet paper and stuffing it in the potty while the 6 year old laughs hysterically and breaks the house rule about indoor voices.
But definitely when we're all hanging out at the playground, and especially when Aquaman is reading one of Greystoke's favorite stories to him.
This week has been extra crazy, getting ready for school again, and it has made me wary of the busyness of school days. Yes, there are a few quiet moments in there...but with a 1 year old and all that driving around dropping them off, I never feel like I have time to accomplish anything during that time, whether getting the house cleaned or really even just having 2 minutes to think.
And there are so many forms to fill out and supplies to collect, and bills to pay.
In the past 2 weeks both older boys have completed swim lessons. The Dude, who didn't pass the beginner class last year because he was so shy, passed the advanced class with flying colors. Aquaman passed too, though he still sinks like a rock doing the back float, mostly because his anxious personality makes him a little like a cockroach when he is on his back.
Aquaman completed rock climbing camp. He loved it even more than I thought he would. He loved being with older kids and doing something new and exciting. He walked a 30 foot tightrope and climbed a wall that was inclined backward. He was so proud of himself.
I overheard him telling The Dude on his way home from camp one day: "It's good to be a little cautious, but if you are too cautious you will miss out on a lot in life."
I marveled as I listened to him say that. This is the boy who took 3 hours to get out of my lap at playdates when he was Greystoke's age. Caution was his middle name. He personifies bravery to me. He is scared of many many things, but every day he stares them in the face and moves forward anyway.
He also told me today on his way to the beach...."actually my favorite thing about rock climbing camp was just the camp atmosphere with all those kids to hang out with" (he was the youngest, up to age 13). This was the kid who sat by his teacher every day of kindergarten recess because he was intimidated by the other kids.
It is mesmerizing to watch your children mature.
We had a lemonade stand to raise money for Aunt K's infertility treatments. A lemonade stand wasn't on our summer bucket list, but we put it on and crossed it off. Because we wanted Aunt K to know that we believe that she was meant to be a mother. I don't know why it has been so hard for her. I doubt I will ever understand.
But there are a lot of things I don't understand. At one point, a long time ago in my early 20s when I was struggling with depression from the many many questions in my head, I realized that part of growing up is you know when to stop asking questions and just trust that you're not as big and smart as you think you are. That you actually know nothing.
And that doesn't mean I don't sometimes still ask why. But there have been many many moments I can look back on and feel the peace of giving God even the questions.
And the one time I, while in the midst of a sea of tears about a situation with JT's career....that I heard God's voice very clearly: "if you could only see. If you could just see what I see."
I have repeated those words to myself over and over again since that day because they embody everything that God is. He is a God who sees all, and who sees that it is Good. It is Good for Him, and it is Good for us even when it doesn't look that way at all.
But not just that.
In those words I also heard His tears for me. Because He knew that I couldn't see, and He hurt for me in my hurt, because He knew how hard it was to not see sometimes.
But faith is hoping without seeing. And that day I got up and dried my tears and I haven't cried about that situation again because I know that it is Good, even when the days are hard, or it doesn't seem like enough, and it doesn't always look like it's Good after all.
We haven't been as consistent with summer reading and writing as we should have been. And some days even our Bible studies and prayers don't feel as thorough as they should have been.
Sometimes life just feels....really fast, and out of control and....dirty.
This week has been the craziest of all....getting ready for school, signing The Dude up for soccer.
I have felt so tired the past couple of days. Moments of anxiety and just not feeling like enough. I don't have enough to give my children, I can't keep up with all the crazy details....and the 24 hour requirement of consistent parenting...it's just feeling a little impossible.

This week I had the sudden realization that I am just not....all in.

I am so surrounded by distractions and the regular chaos of life that I can't seem to concentrate on the One that matters most to me, and I am struggling a little with that. I just don't know how to fit it in. I try to wake up early...after falling into bed late from comforting a 6.5 year old who is gasping and sobbing and terrified of something he saw on some very child friendly show he saw in the gym daycare. Then waking up 3 times with a 4 year old who is absolutely certain that there are bugs in his bed....child-eating crickets to be exact...and nursing a teething 15 month old most of the night. But the minute my weight shifts off the bed, Greystoke is grinning at me. And the minute I sit down with my cup of coffee feet are pounding on the wood floor, starting the morning out at a full tilt run. And there went any semblance of quiet time or concentration.
I absorb bits and snippets of God's word and try to cling to them in the seasickness of constant background noise. I feel sudden conviction, and pray for wisdom on seemingly inane decisions and the perception of His small voice in response is reassuring, though it makes me all the thirstier.
"Jesus's life was an absolute failure from every standpoint except God's. But what seemed to be a failure from man's standpoint was a triumph from God's standpoint, because God's purpose is never the same as man's purposes." -Oswald Chambers
I struggle with the monotony of my tendency to live as if this world is all there is. But sometimes just keeping everyone clean and fed takes every ounce that is left of my physical and mental energy, and I am left with empty hands...and I am struggling with the strength to raise them and ask for more.
Not more of Him, because I am not empty enough yet....asking for more of this empty feeling. More of the reminder that I am nothing. Nothing. Dying to those moments when I think I have things together, that I'm smart, that I'm good at something. Dying to my beautiful family and the husband who loves me because they are not mine. They are His. And I don't want some empty purposes. I don't want the anxiety of striving or of living for pleasure. I want only His glory.
"The call of God is like the call of the sea- no one hears it except the person who has the nature of the sea in him." -Oswald Chambers
I want His nature in me. I want to step out in the water and feel the spray that makes me alive, and not be so cautious, and not miss out on a lot....not on a lot of things in life but on the utter joy of just being. 
"If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity of and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God," -Oswald Chambers
Man, that sounds good to me. I want to be a little scared. I want to step out onto the water. And what makes it the most amazing is that with Him, somehow He promises you can just relax when you're doing that stepping out. That's the paradox. He calls us out into the danger. And He commands us to chill.

I don't exactly know what that is going to look like right now. Right now, I've got to go help a 4 year old get cleaned up after using the bathroom, and Aquaman is talking in my ear about how the Lego vehicle he made is a car, plane, and boat all in one. He is missing 5 teeth in the front now, so he pretty much always spits when he talks.
I love him, and I'd go to the moon for him even when he is spitting in my ear while I try to type as fast as I can before Greystoke wakes up and starts shredding the toilet paper.
But I know how to love him better...by loving Him more. By seeking Him more instead of all the many plans that crowd the day and my planner. Letting go in the midst of all the things that need to be held together.







No joke, this was the pose Aquaman assumed when I asked to take his picture....long week with preteens I guess....

There's my little boy back :)

No clue....

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