Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stepping Back

This last week was a HARD week. 

It was one that left us frazzled, discouraged, and grasping at anything and everything to stay in a frame of mind that kept us connected as a couple and with our eyes where it matters most. 

Friends going through some HARD battles.
Significant problems at work.
Being trapped inside with snow that had drifted shoulder high.
Being spread way too thin.
Little things that added up to create bigger problems.
Trouble balancing responsibilities.
Difficulty in keeping first things first.

In essence, real life hit. No fairy tales.

Life seemed out of hand.

But there were two constants that made the end of the day worth it.

A husband that is truly seeking God deeper than he has ever before. A husband that went out of his way every day, despite significant weight on his shoulders and battling issues that would have broken many men down, to make sure that I kept my head in the right direction and kept my eyes focused on Him.  A husband that is proving more and more each day that he is fulfilling his role as spiritual leader in our home. A man that is about to move some major mountains with God working in Him.

The other constant:  the Holy Spirit.

Drawing us close.
Soothing rawness.
Providing sanity.
Some days required "shouting" in our ears over the noises of life around.
Promises of comfort.
Promises of rest.
Promises of never leaving us alone.

The Holy Spirit also confirmed in our hearts of some changes that had to be made.  Some tough decisions became necessary.  Ones that hurt to make. Revived in my heart some directions and priorities.  Opened my eyes to some things I didn't necessarily want to see.

We've fully committed to our word focus of "move" and one of those aspects was that we are praying is for Him to "move" us closer to Him, even if that means changing paths we are on or even if it means requiring hard things.  We are specifically praying together and inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives daily as we make decisions.  To make His presence more known to us.

This week ended with a big change for me.  Sometimes we can have a calling/ministry that is worthwhile and important, but we can let it become to high of a priority.  My love of children, especially babies and toddlers is a HUGE part of me.  It is such a part of me as breathing. However, even good things in excess can become the wrong thing.  I had to do some deep soul searching and examine my motives, my priorities, and seek Him deeper and transparently. 

The results of that seeking is that I am backing away and reprioritizing.  Though "littles" are such a HUGE passion for me, my original and greatest ministry is to my husband and children FIRST. They are my first fruits. They are my top calling.  I can't sacrifice them to anything or anyone.  I am guilty of having done that.  Therefore, I'm transitioning.  Backing away from the level of childcare that I provide.  Since I don't feel comfortable with doing "less" for those in my care because that's not who I am, I'm stepping back.  It's hard.  Though I will still have "littles" in my life and in and out of our home to some degree, I am no longer providing full time care. Some days are being blocked off as family only. Going back to taking those days to do fun things or nothing.  Taking those days to drive down and meet Kevin for lunch.  Most other days we are going back to no outside care in the mornings.  My heart hurts to make the decision because I find TRUE JOY in my passion.

Yet, my true passion of faith and family is suffering. My eyes were opened to the fact that we are weeks away from our daughter's senior year.  We are hopefully spending our last year in the USA if God continues to lead us in the direction of the foreign mission field and begins to open His doors of financing. My boys are quickly growing and changing.  We HAVE maintained our home education goals "on paper" and have amazingly kept on track, BUT...

We rush. Let me rephrase that....I rush.  On to the next task to get it checked off.

In the process....

We are losing ourselves to the task master of the clock. To the schedule. To the check-lists.

Instead we are going back to what was placed in our hearts all those years ago.

The JOY and LOVE of learning. The slowing down to see life around us and learn about it.  Regardless of what the schedule says.

So much happened this week.
I won't lie.  It left me broken and questioning.

Yet, it has come out as a week that is beneficial for us in such great ways.  My hands were forced to make decisions.

The Holy Spirit gave us the wisdom to make those decisions.

2014---"move"---the focus continues.  I'm continuing to buckle in and listen because I know the One doing the speaking is well worth listening to and obeying.  Even when it's hard.

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