Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Be in it

I have noticed lately that I have several friends going through transition.  While none of them are in a transition like mine the fact is that a transition is a transition and we are sharing similar quirks.

Like most people, when I see friends struggling I want to do or say something to make it all better.  To move them past the pain, the transition and out of the funk, back to being my regular happy, healthy friend.

But, having been in the position of being the sad, struggling friend a few times I know there isn't anything anyone can say to make it go away.  When I was trying to get pregnant there was nothing anyone could say that would change the fact that I wasn't pregnant.  I had to go through the process, let God work in my heart and my life and find my way through.  It wasn't fun but I cherish that time in my life and the personal growth I experienced through it.  Now I am transitioning from homemaker to working mom.  A year into this transition I am starting to feel more comfortable and accepting of my new working life but I am also still making changes and still trying to find my place in the workforce while John is in school.  I am becoming something different and that process isn't always fun.

What I have learned from the times of struggle in my life is that the best thing to do is just be in it.  Be in your life, be in the transition.  Don't fight it, don't deny it, don't rush through it, just be in it.  Experience it.  And the friends who are willing to let me do that are the ones who offer the greatest encouragement.

Ps 46:1a “Be still, and know that I am God.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Change and Ramble

Before I went back to work I put all my creative thoughts into this blog.  And I really liked it.  I have tried to continue to be creative, share deep thoughts and keep up my witty banter but I just realized today that it has been nearly 3 weeks since I wrote anything here and as I sit down I don't have a deep thought to share.

When I started this blog 4 years ago it was more of an experiment I wasn't even sure I wanted to share with anyone.  I was reading one very popular mommy blog and found myself trying to re-create that blog with details from my own life.  It was the only example I had and I rolled with it.  I took lots of pictures to illustrate the stories.  Every time we did something new I would whip out my camera to capture it, writing the post in my head as I was snapping the pictures.  It was fun and I have lots of pictures of family activities from that time as a result of those posts.  But as I became more comfortable with this medium and had positive responses I really wanted to share more of my heart.  I love my life but wasn't really clear that I needed to share every detail with the world.  What I really wanted to share was how God was shaping me and changing me.  What I was learning and how those lessons were impacting  my life.  I think I was in a season of lessons and learning and was blessed with time at home to really reflect on and incorporate those lessons into who I am and the choices we have made.  During the last few years I have posted fewer and fewer pictures of the dailiness of our life and more and more deep thoughts about the lessons I was learning. The transition was subtle.  I just realized one day it had been weeks since I posted a picture but had been energized by the opportunity to really share my heart somewhere.  I didn't care if 5 people or 50 people read it, I still don't, I just loved having a place to express those thoughts.

Now I feel like this blog is changing again.  I love this blog and I love being able to share my life and my thoughts here.  But I find that my world is changing.  This has been my year of action.  This is the year I am trying new things and making things happen.  And I think it has been reflected in the number of posts on my deep thoughts.  I am too busy acting on the lessons and ideas God has given me to sit down and dwell on any one thought.

But it is good.  Change is good.  Change can be hard but it can be good.  So I feel a change coming to this blog.  I don't know what it is but just as I am constantly growing and evolving this blog has to change with me.  I hope you stick around as I attempt to find my new voice for this new season of my life.

In the mean time I am great at the ramble so here are a few random thoughts currently going through my mind.

I am in the beginning stages of planning Jake's Eagle Court of Honor and have discovered that despite the fact that he has been in scouting since he was in 2nd grade I only have about 10 pictures of him, maybe less. I can't find any pictures of him with a pinewood derby car, can't find pictures of him at the arrow of light ceremony bridging from cub scouts to boy scouts, no pictures of him getting any of his badges over the years.  Of course he would never take a camera to camp so no pictures of him at camp.  I have 1 picture of him at the end of the 3 or 4 Grey Wolf camps he did because by then I had this blog and was sharing my life with all of you.

I haven't just been neglecting this blog, I have also been neglecting my new home to work blog.  I am trying to use a less personal writing style for that site than I do here but I am not sure I am quite as good at that as I am at this blogging style and I am frozen when I sit down to write.  Why don't you all just pay me to share personal stories and witty banter over here all day?...  But, just as this blog has developed over time I will eventually find my voice over at that one.  If you are reading over there please be patient with me.

I keep thinking about homeschooling Isabelle.  I have finally given myself permission to at least consider it as an option for next school year.  I have 10 months to figure out how I could do it and what I would do.  I tend to prefer to make last minute impulse decisions so thinking ahead to 3rd grade and being prepared for the possibility is a whole new thing for me.  It is also relaxing me quite a bit about this year.  Mostly I want to spend time praying about it.  There is no way it could happen right now but there is a lot that can happen between now and next fall and I will be prepared should God provide the way.

I am lazy.  I have always known that.  As I child I was lazy.  A few years ago I told some friends I  had the sin of sloth in my life and they laughed at me!  I know I am active and I keep myself entertained with activities but seriously, I am lazy.  I don't like to work hard.  I don't really like to work at all.  I keep wondering how my husband has done it all these years.  What motivates him to get up and work and provide for us while I sit around being lazy?  If I could just sit back and tell other people what to do my life would be perfect.  How do I get that job?  I keep thinking about service, servant hood, slavery, etc.  A few years ago John and I went to visit the James J Hill house in St. Paul.  At the time the house was built Hill was the wealthiest man in Minnesota.  The tour ended in the downstairs servants quarters which while still intact do not have any furnishings to give it an authentic feel.  As we chatted after with our tour guide she was telling us that the family never took pictures of that area when preparing the house because they didn't consider it to be important so they don't know how it was furnished or the answers to some of the architectural questions of that area.  I was telling her it was too bad because to me that is the most interesting part of the house.  While the upstairs was beautiful and is fun to imagine living in, my ancestors were definitely downstairs people not upstairs people.  Now that I am working I think about that.  Who am I?  Like most people I would really prefer to be an upstairs person but the reality is that I will likely always be a downstairs person.  So the question is do I have the mental fortitude, self discipline, humility and strength of character to do the work necessary to help provide for my family while my husband is in school?  I am seriously having to become a different person through this journey.  It is good but it is terrifying.  I like the person I have been for the past several years.  What if I don't like the life and the person I am turning into?

I am super excited to see my son next weekend!  Yes I am a little concerned that he will be a pill.  He is a teenage boy after all.  But, I don't even care, I love him and just want to give him a hug and be in his presence.  I really want to say that I just want to give him a hug and hear all about his life but that second part is the sketchy part.  Will he tell us all about his life there or will he just mumble and stare at us?  Who cares!  I will just enjoy the part I know will happen.  I will see my boy!  My parents are coming along too and Grandma's can say things that mom's can't.  So if he is a pill I will just sic Grandma on him.  Be afraid my boy, be very afraid.
I bought a Christmas present this week.

I am reading through Genesis.  It is my favorite book of the bible.  I love the stories.  Life is a story.  My story, your story.  Genesis is the stories of the first people and God's work in their lives.

Isabelle is waiting in my bed for me to come cuddle up with her.  John studies late several nights a week and so she starts in bed with me and then John moves her when he comes to bed.  I know she won't want to snuggle with me forever and I cherish this stage.  Jake would snuggle with me when John was gone at this age too.  I am so blessed to have this experience again with Isabelle.  Love snuggling with my kids.

Life is crazy busy, sometimes I want to run away.  But life is also good.  We are happy, God is providing and our needs are being met.  Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Walk Around My House

(I would like to apologize for using a picture with snow but I was too lazy to take a fresh one.)

7 times around my house.

My house is more than a building.  I don't necessarily care about my physical house.  I love it but would give it to God in a moment.  My house represents something.

It represents my life, the life of my family.

It represents our financial status--It needs a paint job, some landscaping, my kitchen faucet leaks. Yet we care for it with the resources we have when we can, welcome friends and share it with anyone in need.  It isn't perfect but it is warm and full of love.

It represents our family life--memories of holidays, birthdays, celebrations.  Times of learning together, praying together, playing games together, snuggling up with a big bowl of popcorn for a movie marathon.  Memories of good news and bad news, supporting, encouraging and loving one another.  Our family exists in this house.

It represents our future.  Dreams have been made here, ideas shared, a child sent off to try his wings.  New businesses started here, new seasons of life experienced.  The possibilities that lie before us are represented in this house.

All that we are, all that I have, all I desire, it is all represented in this house.

So today I circled my house 7 times.  7 times around the house while I prayed big prayers for our family, our finances and our future.

The Israelites walked around Jericho 7 times.  They believed that there was a purpose and that God would deliver the city into their hands because He told them He would.  So they walked and believed.  And God acted and they were ready.

So today I walked and I prayed and I believed.  This is where we are all supposed to be at this moment.  Jake at Wheaton, John at Normandale, Isabelle at the public school and me working from home.  And I believe God will provide for us in this place of obedience.  I will grow a business and provide for our family finances in this place, Jake will discover his calling, John will build his academic foundation and go on to further education and a new career, Isabelle will learn, grow and become. She is safe for now where she is and I trust God to take care of her.

7 times I circled the house and I prayed and I believe.  And now I wait and watch and prepare for what the Lord will do and how He will answer.

I am reading "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson.  It is wonderful and I am drawing circles and praying big bold prayers for my life and believing that God will answer, provide and fulfill his promises to me.

I am dedicating this month to prayer and seeking God's direction as I begin to take some new action steps in my life.  It is easy to run ahead of God and end up discovering you have actually fallen behind Him.  I want to walk the path God has cleared for me and so I am stopping to look for where he is at and join Him.  That is where I know I will find the most success.  (And that is a little lesson from an Experiencing God study I did almost 20 years ago.)