Finally back to "real" world after a temporary break. It was unspeakably amazing to get to spend one-on-one time with my husband. The memories are priceless and the additional boost of strength it is providing us is unparalleled. Feeling incredibly thankful that we finally got OUR turn to do something like that. Ridiculous how long we waited, but thankful none the less. Counting down the minutes until God provides another chance!
Now it's back to real world. Real world isn't bad. Real world is just ever so slightly overwhelming at times. Trying to balance all of my roles is the hardest struggle I face and I know MANY of you reading this will agree! I struggle with trying to be the BEST wife, BEST mom, BEST home educator, BEST church volunteer, BEST friend, BEST encourager, BEST... the list goes on and on. I admit that if I focus on ONE role, I always end up dropping the ball in more than one category. Thankfully, God has been finding ways to show me how to slowly prioritize and put HIS plans first and let others go. He knows I have BIG ideas, HUGE plans and He knows how I feel when I bomb. In our home, we refer to those things as epic failures. Usually I find myself in the middle of one most days!
This time of year usually finds me spinning in circles and not gaining ground. This year is NOT different in that regards. I can reach out and touch a growing to do list that is now spilling over onto the 3rd page of a full size notebook. I get caught up in trying to find ways to get the ideas in my head into ACTUAL actions. Most of the time that doesn't happen often enough. This approaching school year is different. God has shown me that I am EXACTLY where he wants me and that HE is going to reward our faithfulness. THIS is the year that thoughts are going to become action. He isn't showing me that it is going to be perfect or easy, but He has given me the peace and encouragement that I needed. I normally would have started school with the kids this week, but I felt Him leading me to spend more time focusing on Him and HIS plans for us and to give myself a little more time to prepare. As a family, we need more time to focus on JUST being together without the pressures of adding in specific educational goals. Relationships FIRST and everything else will fall into place. Kevin and I needed a little more time to deepen our relationship and let some changes REALLY root before adding back in the pressure of balancing school, running 3 kids in 3 directions and EVERYTHING that goes along with it. I needed more time to accomplish some "domestic" plans to make our home run more smoothly through the year (meal planning, freezer cooking, organizing, scheduling and planning).
Perhaps most importantly, I need more time to let God really continue to speak to me and help me grow in areas that He has been working with me on. Let's face it: CHANGE takes EFFORT. Spiritual growth and emotional growth are hard to accomplish when you are pulled in more directions than you can physically go! These extra few weeks are giving me the chance to let things really take hold and grow. I can only imagine what kind of year we are going to have, both educationally and personally. I know that THIS year is going to be one that blesses our socks off. We have so much more to learn and so many more mountains to climb, but everything finally seems to be falling into place to allow it to happen.
This past week was amazing in regards to getting to spend time with some of our family and friends (even though I missed getting to see some VERY important people in my life!), but it was hard emotionally at times. A few of you know that I had to deal with some rather difficult situations, some of which in the past would have broken me. Because of the growth over the past year or so, amazing friendships and a husband that is PRICELESS...I was able to handle those things MUCH easier. God KNOWS what He is doing, even when we don't. He knows why we go through things that rip our hearts out and He has a MUCH bigger picture. I still have more questions than answers about many things EVERY single day, but He does not fail and His timing is never off. People may break us down, but HE builds us up. I may fail, even on a HUGE scale, but He never gives up on me and NEVER walks away. Finally having that peace and contentment, despite ALL circumstances, changes EVERYTHING!
Today I read a blog that could not have been more perfectly timed. It described the difference between a perfect mother and a balanced mother. Because I listened to God and followed His advice to "slow" down my thinking and planning right now, I was able to REALLY hear what the mom had to say and I heard God using her words to speak directly to my heart in a deep spot that few people can reach. That has been happening so often over the last two weeks. God has been preparing my heart to receive such messages. For those of you that are "just" moms or that are going against what society tells us is normal, DON'T ever let the world tell you that you don't matter. WE matter to each other and WE matter to God. For those that say motherhood isn't a mission field and that we are wasting God's calling or not doing "enough...WRONG!!! Don't let those people's words or actions get root in your heart!! Even if some days you feel like all you have done is cooked, cleaned, picked up the same mess you picked up five minutes ago, or your husband comes home and you look like death nibbling on crackers....YOU do matter and YOU are EFFECTIVELY reaching a world for Christ. Don't seek approval from the world. Find it only in God. Easier said than done at times, but at least work towards letting that root in your heart.