I’d like to think that I know what I need. I have always had grand ideas about what is best for me, what I want, what I should do or where I want to go in life. Ten years ago these were some of my ideals:
- 2 kids, maybe 3
- a meaningful part time job
- a lovely, well appointed home
- the discipline to maintain my high school figure
- a perfectly scheduled daily quiet time
- a perfectly romantic, blissful marriage
Strangely, I have none of these things. The things, the life, the ideals I thought I had figured out were more fluid than I realized then. I have been blessed with 5 children instead of 2. I gave up my very meaningful part time job because I could not keep it and maintain my other priorities. I do not, probably never will, have a knack for home decorating. I don’t even have a knack for home cleaning! I am a long ways from my high school figure, I’m pretty sure it’s gone for good. My times with the Lord come at 3 AM as I rock a crying baby or at 3 PM as I lock the door on the bathroom for 5 minutes to have a moment to myself. Romantic wouldn’t be my first word choice for my marriage, I’ve come to appreciate other things about it that in fact mean a great deal more. It is a beautiful picture of faithfulness, commitment, hard work and redemption.
When we had Audrey three years ago, we were just coming out of a very broken season. A lot of hard things had piled up in life. Her perfectly happy demeanor and girly sweetness was truly just what we needed at that time. She brought pure delight on a daily basis when we were still wondering just how we’d make it through. But we did make it. And then we encountered last years’ heart wrenching losses that forced us to hold on tighter to each other and to the God we loved.
Phineas is the perfect addition to our family for such a time as this. He will shape our life, our parenting and our family just the way each of our sweet children have. We learn this lesson a little more with each child we welcome. They have so much to show us about life and love. It overwhelms me when I think about it. God doesn’t mess up on timing or anything else, He knew we needed a little bit of a challenge. More than that, He knew we needed a reminder that we can’t ‘do it all’. He wants us to need Him…and we sure do.
I’m learning to trust that His plans, His ideals are a whole lot more amazing than my own. Even if they can’t boil down to a nice, predictable, convenient list. While I feel a pretty significant challenge with life as it is at the moment, as my dear friend Kim wrote a few days ago:
It is always dangerous to assume that your life today is the new normal.
As I struggled to click the “purchase” button yesterday while buying my hubby’s plane ticket to Philadelphia in November and got all teary just thinking about him being gone for 4 days (even though its not for SEVEN months AND the trip was MY idea!) – those words of Kim’s rang in my head. How I feel today isn’t how I’ll feel in November, my normal then will be totally different than it is now.
God sees the bigger picture of my day, my week, my year. His plans are good and they are for my good – no matter what. My part is just to hold to that truth in the midst of these days.