"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June Reflections

Oh sweet sweet summertime.  To be honest, I really doubted my ability to make it to this point.  Every Sunday night the past few months, I would cry and tell Jimmy I just didn't know if I would be able to make it to June and how can 30...20...10...
5 days seem like an eternity?  It was so hard for me to just show up each day.  Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is show up, and that was definitely how it was for me.  I'm beyond thankful that The Lord carried me through that.  And I'm so thankful to be officially a "stay at home mom".  Well sort of- The Lord faithfully provided me a part time job which met all of my three requirements.  1- I am working 20 hours a week.  2- I will be able to more or less make enough to cover my mortgage payment.  and 3- I don't have to prepare anything outside of work hours.  I can just show up.  Hallelujah.  The Lord has been truly faithful.  When I look back over the last year, all I know is that I was broken, but God was faithful.  I'm thinking this summer will be a time of great healing, rest, and reflection.  Here's my reflections thus far:

Am I thankful for my life and how I'm living it?  Here's what I've noticed in my one week of summer.  When I am not working, I am a better mom!  A happier mom.  A more patient mom.  A more involved mom.  I cannot express how thankful I am for this time right now.  I get to be the person I so desperately wanted to be all year, but just didn't have the energy to be.  More than anything, I love being a wife and a mom.  I love that I can give these people priority.  And I love the way I feel fulfilled when doing those things.  It's amazing how much easier your personhood flows when you are living within the role you know you were designed to fill.  So I am so very thankful right now.  Thankful to not be stretched so thin.  Thankful that my everyday actions can center on serving God through serving the two people he has entrusted to me.

What have I tried this month?  Over the past month, Jimmy and I went to a concert.  When we were first dating, we did a lot more concerts.  Actually our first real date was to a concert.  We have celebrated anniversaries and birthdays at concerts.  There is just something about concerts that makes me feel like 'us'.  That is a priceless feeling.  Life takes precedence as you grow up, but those moments that allow you to just be yourself without the millions of other roles clouding your vision are wonderful. 
That being said- it's summer and we need adventure!  We had wanted to go camping in Oklahoma during May one weekend, but as you know if you watched the news any day in May, there wasn't a dry day in Texas or Oklahoma it seemed.  I'm not sure what we will do this summer, but I am dreaming of something simple but memorable.

What am I doing to get out of my routine?  Summer is the perfect time to get out of routines, and I love that about it.  I feel like the teacher side of me is fairly 'Type A'.  I am a mostly organized person.  I do better and accomplish more when I have a plan and a checklist.  However, summer is the time I try to let my brain rest.  I don't plan more than a couple days in advance.  I try not to make schedules or to do lists.  Right now Jude has swim lessons, and a part of me dies inside at 4:30 because I have to make a plan to go somewhere :)  That being said, this summer I have joined a bible study, and I am loving it.  I love that it is over the book of John- not a resource book.  Just using only the Bible and answering the same 4 questions over each chapter.  It's only met twice, but both times have been so encouraging.  I'm so thankful to get to spend the time with some old friends as well as get to know new people.  John is such a great book, and being reminded about how Jesus can do what no one else can do in my life has already been so healing.  I'm really looking forward to not being so overwhelmed so I can allow God to work!
Also getting out of my routine is my yearly 'dye my hair a crazy color'.  I've been doing this during the summer for years.  Just a small piece of rebellion against the 'professionalism' of teaching.  I didn't get to do it last summer because I got married.  While I love my pink/purple/blue/green/whatever hair styles, I didn't think that was what I wanted in my wedding pictures :)  Excited to go all over baby coral/pink though today!

What have I learned about God this month?  He is faithful.  I don't know how He did it.  I don't know how I survived this year.  And the surviving I did does not negate the severe bruising and brokenness that came in the midst of survival.  I look back over this year and it is just a blur of tears.  But The Lord got me through to the other side.  I just didn't see how I was going to make.  Even the last week of school I wanted to call in every single day.  But I made it.  Definitely not of my own power, but solely because the Lord is faithful.
He was also faithful to provide exactly what I needed.  If you go back and read my May Reflection, you will notice so much confusion and unanswered questions.  The Lord was faithful to answer so many of those.  I know who I am right now.  I know what I will be doing next year.  He was faithful to provide exactly what I needed job wise- the perfect number of hours, the perfect role, perfectly in the middle of Judes school day, so I can take him to school and pick him up.  And as is so true of God, he provides the lagniappe- or immeasurably more than I imagined.  I will get to be working at the same place as two of the ladies from my community group.  He doesn't have to provide these extra blessings, but He is so loving and good, that He always does.

What brokenness is holding me back?  To be honest, compared to the brokenness that held me back this year, I feel amazing.  That being said, I think there is a lot of healing that needs to be done in my heart.  This year truly broke my heart.  I had people assume the worst of me, pick apart every little thing I did looking for fault, and just question me within a context I absolutely loved.  I felt kind of like Prometheus doomed to wake up each day with birds eating my flesh while I was chained to a mountain.  Gross analogy I know, but I felt continually kicked down.  I would start to pull myself up only be kicked straight down again.  So while I don't feel broken in the same way.  Or maybe just am not afraid of what is seeking my destruction around the corner now that it is summer.  But I know I need time to heal.  I know The Lord will be faithful in that healing.  But I need the time to heal.  Thankful to know that I have that time.

What do I want less of?  STUFF.  We are currently trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible.  We have a great little house, but unfortunately it has little storage.  So we are trying to get rid of as much as possible.  It's amazing how you can get rid of so much, yet you turn around and still have copious amounts of just stuff.  Regardless, we want to learn to live on less, but also learn to live with less.  Americans are so busy and our lives are so full of stuff.  So little of it is necessary.  So little of it enhances are life by any large amount.  I want to learn to live more simply with what I have. 

What do I want more of?  Living.  I don't want to spend my summer wasting the minutes.  I want to live it to the fullest.  Spend the time invested in Jude's life and Jimmy's life.  Spend the time invested in enjoying my mom while she's in town.  Spend the time invested in hanging out with my sister and Camden while we have the time.  Jude is growing up so fast.  Having taught for so many years, I have seen the blur that is childhood once you enter school.  It seems like in no time the kids I saw in kinder are heading off to middle school.  I feel like I need to savor the moments with him this summer because he is at the end of my time with him being 'little'.  This breaks my heart, but as much as I can, I want it to spur me on to invest in him deeply.  So thankful for him.