the assiduous life

Saying the word “busy”  didn’t seem like enough to describe how much our life has changed this last year.

Assiduous.

Taxing.

Overwhelming.

In the midst of a life swirling around us, we are forced compelled to turn our trust and hope and faith in God.

There are times in this life that feel heavy and troublesome.  There are seasons that feel that way.  There are years that have that oppressing cloud over them.  This is one of those years for our family.  The light is at the end of the tunnel, though.  That little flicker of hope is shining through.  There are days I’m convinced that I’ve imagined it.  Others, I know it’s there.

What am I talking about?

Relief.

Over the past eight months I’ve gone from Stay At Home Mom to Career Mom.  Nick has gone from Sole Provider to Mr. Mom.  We are about to embark on Homeschool to Public School…again.

We’re in that awkward phase.  The one where you know it’s rough waters ahead, but you can see that sparkle at the end.  The one where if you just push a bit harder, you’ll find rest, but you know you can barely take more.

I realize there are plenty of you out there that work full-time and have children.  This is new to our family.  The change in pace and rhythm has been a challenge from the beginning.  I fully understand the strain on family ties when there are two working parents!  It just takes so much work to work.

::I’m going to insert a confession here.  This is a bit of a therapeutic post for me.  I have hardly the time or brain mass to write nowadays.  I’m putting forth the effort now because I feel I need to write.  There’s only so much my poor husband can take.  Continue on if being my Whipping Boy is fine with you.::

Here we are.  Nick on the brink of advancing at work (UPS…finally), and I in the crossroads of Can’t Quit and Worn Out.  You see, my income is drastically more than Nick’s.  In fact, if I hadn’t had the Favor of God in my workplace, I’m not sure what we would’ve done.  For some reason we simply can’t understand or see yet, Nick had a very difficult time finding a job.  Very difficult.  So, here we are.

Forced Compelled patience.

I never thought we would be here…ever.  I’m a career mom, Nick’s the main caregiver of the kids.  He makes bread (seriously) and I make work schedules.  He runs the schooling.  I run a restaurant.

Things are changing soon.  Soon, the kids will be in school, the husband will put in more time at work, I will be on the hunt for an after-school caregiver.

Never thought we’d be here.

Here we are.

Humbled by the circumstances of life.

Open to the leading of the Lord.

Re-evaluating our past convictions.

Entering into the life of an average American family.

I must say, though we never dreamed or planned or wanted this life, we are walking though it with faith.  Hope that the light that we see or imagine, flickering at the end of a dark and trying year, is really getting closer.

Just a bit more to push through.  A wee more time.  Much more work.  A true path that has been laid knowingly and intentionally by a God that has a plan.

Forward we will march on in our assiduous life.

Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

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all you need is a little patience

Sickness struck our house a couple of weeks ago.  Nothing too bad, just some long-lasting colds. Sickness usually means very irritable kids, which in turn leads to much quarrelling and a general unhappy atmosphere.  To avoid all the arguments I go against my belief that they shouldn’t watch much TV.  When they’re sick they basically watch TV all day.  It’s bad, I know, that why I try to pick shows for them to watch that are actually good for them to see.  Veggie Tales, Leave it to Beaver and Dora the Explorer are the go-to picks.

Recently, they have discovered that they love to watch the Duggars.  What?   You don’t know the Duggars?  They’re a family of twenty.  A reality show into they’re lives.  Yeah, and you thought you had your hands full.  18 Kids and Counting has been playing episode after episode in our house.  We’ve gone through two seasons already.

Why am I talking about this?  Well, for one thing they are a Christian family (Baptist I believe), and they home school.  I think it’s good for the kids to see we’re not the only ones.  While they are a bit more legalistic then we are in they’re convictions, I really appreciate them showing the world what it is to live for and love God.

What strikes me about this family is that the mom (Michelle) is so patient and kind in everything she does.  Not only does she always praise her husband when the interviewer tries to subtly imply he’s a goof, but I have never once heard her raise her voice or make an angry or disapproving face to her children.  In turn, the children do not act that way to each other or their parents.  All 18 of them are well-behaved, kind, and practice self-control.  They show spiritual maturity to boot.

Amazing right?  Some days I feel like me and the five I have are holding on by a thread.  I have heard– and believe– that the women sets the tone of the household.  I was o encouraged and stirred up by this TV mom’s example of a Proverbs 31 women.   I realized the need for this change in our home. After all, I never hear the voice of my Lord yelling at me, scolding me, making me feel like he doesn’t approve of me.  I don’t see in my mind an image of Jesus crossing his arms and giving me the stink-eye every time I say or do something unpleasing.  Or every time I talk when I should listen, interrupt, leave the house messy…you get the picture.

Rather, I hear a gentle whisper of correction, I feel a loving embrace.  I see– through scripture– a picture of a gentle presence.  I love him because he loves me.  No matter what I do or say or think, I know that I am safe in his arms.  I am not afraid to come to Him.  I know there is correction to come, but I know I’m forgiven before I’m embraced.

I have been dwelling on these thoughts for days.  As a parent, I think we all want what is best for our children.  I know that as for me, I do the things which I ought not, and don’t do the things I should, all too often.  Lord change me from the inside, out.  I want my kids to know by my actions and words and body language, and expressions just how much I love them.  No matter what they do or say, children should always feel safe in a motherly embrace.

We imitate those we love most.  Let us be imitators of Christ.