Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Relationship and Time Away

Monday done. Check.

I find myself wide awake tonight, swaddled here in a thick, cozy sweater and alone in a dark room lit only by my laptop screen. I am antsy for something, and I'm not sure what. I often feel this way when I've been thinking of journaling here. Somehow the recording of my days is a sort of outlet for me, a chance to unwind. But my days are too crazy for a simple description now. I'm sure they could be described as dizzying, or maybe even insane, to anyone interested enough to observe. I multi-task to the max, always thinking several steps ahead, keeping in motion with the clock, and attempting to go deep and be thorough when I am spread thin.

I didn't want an easy life, only a purposeful one. I have long desired meaningful work, a life that has eternal significance in the eyes of the Lord. It's not a desire for laying up treasures in heaven so much as it is a desire to impact eternal souls. I think this is why motherhood has been so dear to me; it's a grand opportunity to do a deep and lasting work with the help and blessing of the Lord.

And yet, it doesn't feel so grand most of the time. It doesn't feel like the incessant cleaning and cooking and organizing and, well, non-stop work is so valuable and wonderful at all. It certainly isn't glamorous and it would be a hard sell at a job fair!

But at the end of the day, I am content. I pray my work yields more than a mere feeling of satisfaction, but for now I find joy in the simple fact that I made it to the end of another day. There were talks about God, and there was prayer; instruction was given, forgiveness granted; relationships were tested and nurtured; tears were dried, and happy noise was nearly unbearable. I'd like to believe we are making forward progress, and yet I know that my work is meaningless without God's holy work in the deepest part of each of us.

So I pray expectantly for that deep and eternal work that only God can do. It's not about me, or motherhood, or anything else. Only and always God.


With the addition of two new family members, we are in a major period of adjustment here. It would be an outright lie to say it has been easy for anyone. It  has been a tiring time, but in the midst of it I keep reminding myself that relationship is a top priority. Jon and I are determined not to relate to our kids solely as a group, and we're committed to finding ways to nurture individual relationships that are meaningful and personal. This will not be an easy task, and it will require some creativity and forethought. Over the course of this last month it has been especially important to check in with my kids as individuals. I've wanted to create a safe environment for honesty, and I've looked for ways to impress upon each my love for them as individuals.

It has also been my goal to find different outlets and opportunities for a break, a change of scenery and rest from the pressures they are each enduring. Whether it's an afternoon at the beach with friends, a birthday party, youth event, or a simple bike ride, I've tried my best to enable distraction and rest from our home and situation.

Jon, the sweetest husband ever, planned a little getaway for Olivia and I last Friday. I'm not the type to say, "I need a vacation!" but this was so helpful and refreshing to me! Olivia has been awesome with all the recent change, but losing much sleep, personal space and freedom was beginning to take its toll. It was a wonderful time away, a time to just leave the weightiness behind and enjoy rest and relationship without strain.

Friday had been full. Appointments ran late in the day and I still wasn't packed and ready to go. I had the new kiddos at the doctor's office for yet another appointment that took an incredible amount of time, while Jon tag-teamed with me for drop off and pick up. Olivia waited for me at home, finishing up school and packing her bag. I pulled up to the lumber yard where Jon was and transferred my passengers and their booster seats, kissed him and three kids good-bye, and hopped back in to be on my way. But now the car was dead. What on earth? Jon spent a few moments figuring things out, then showed me how to wiggle the connection at the battery (ocean air caused some corrosion). No matter, I've driven cars with holes so bad you can see the pavement below, other times I've learned to start a car by first lifting the hood and messing below with a screwdriver. By this point, I was determined: I had no fear of a car not starting and no guilt for taking a break. This was a generous gift from Jon, and I wasn't going to waste his effort with half-hearted enjoyment. After speeding home for Olivia, and taking a couple minutes to throw in some over night things, she and I were on our way!

And it was so nice.

It rained and we didn't care. We slept in and took our time. We enjoyed our food, the city, and our freedom. We shopped and enjoyed all types of girl things. We made decisions and plans for the coming months, and we talked about high school. (Yes, she will be in high school next year!) We researched the topic of African-American hair care, and thought of ways to take care of our girl.

There was no agenda except relaxation and relationship, and I'd say both items were covered quite nicely...

Jon managed quite well in my absence: He grilled steaks and served it with mac and cheese for dinner (no one will die for lack of veggies on one night!), the house was relatively clean when we returned, and there was a vase filled with daffodils in the kitchen. More importantly, everyone was safe and happy.

(I have a problem with blinking in sync with the camera! I knew Olivia would get embarrassed if she had to stand on the sidewalk with my obnoxiously big camera for more than a couple seconds, so I kept my back turned. This was our little lunch spot.)

I have so much to be thankful for, but tonight I think of Jon who frees me up to be a mother. 



  1. I love your sweet family. Thank you for sharing. God is good.

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  3. Thinking and praying for you often as you adjust to being a mother of many. A labor of love never complete even after the sun goes down. May our Heavenly Father lay before you a clear path each new day. Blessing you with clarity of thought to efficiently prioritize, and strength to carry through. Gracing each day with bonus moments to joyfully cherish each little person He has placed in your care. So thankful for the time you had with Olivia to stop-and-smell-the-roses!
    Ps. Have you looked into the Deva Curl line of hair products?


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