I wanted to write this post a week ago, but thought I’d give it some space, some time to sort itself out and see real life for a while. Grumpy days, exhausting days, anxiety & stress, life that sneaks up after bouts of euphoria.
Of course it came – I expected it, welcomed it, even. I may be young but I’ve lived enough to know that life-change cannot be romanticized. It must be felt out, processed, lived.
Bit by bit life has changed since the New Year. Triggered largely by Donald Miller’s newest book, an end to the worst year ever, 7 days with my family housebound in our cottage, and some thoughts that were already swimming around my head, I can honestly say I am living differently (you can read my husband’s thoughts here).
Here are some snapshots:
– Each day presents opportunities to either engage or pacify my daughter. There are times when I really need to pop in a movie (when I’m cranking on some work, for instance, and she’s already napped), but I’ve also learned to manage my time so that we have time set aside for just us. I used to drag my feet and get annoyed at our routine of walking to the church nursery to play on the toys outside. Now I let her guide me. We go on walks where she chooses, sometimes to the heiau close by to look at the fish in the stream, other times we collect rocks and put them in her wagon. Always, we chase birds.
The other day, JD strolled El into town in her little red wagon (about a mile each way) and took her to Chip and Cookie (Wally Amos’ store) and then bought her some little Roxy sandals for a daddy/daughter date. It may be simple, but we’ve chosen to be the parents we want to be rather than the parents we hope to be.
– Date night is much more fun. We had a lovely babysitter a week or so ago, and had planned to see a movie – but after getting caught up in conversation and coffee, we decided mini glow-in-the-dark putt putt would be much better. We had the place to ourselves and laughed our way through 18 holes of mini golf.
– I pray more. We challenged our kids to pray “always” and “about everything,” and I’ve incorporated that into my own walk with Jesus. Life is less stressful when your hope is truly channeled, not just given lip service.
– We are in a small group through Crown Financial Ministries, which is great for at least two reasons: 1) it’s LOVELY to be in a small group without leading it for a change 😉 and 2) Crown is helping us achieve our goal of being debt free in a matter of months (credit card debt at least)
– JD and I are dreaming… and things are happening. Big Picture things.
– We’ve changed our approach to student min. One of my ministry goals this year was to have fun with students in a memorable way – to not get locked inside my own ministry box and forget the parts of ministry I love. For instance, instead of just heading to Starbucks, a student and I grabbed cream sodas and walked on the beach to talk about life. And rather than having a leader meeting in our home, AGAIN, we surprised our leaders by taking them to the beach at night for a S’More roast and prayer night.
– Today I began to feel cooped up in our home, and felt like Ellie and JD and I needed to have some family time before youth group (Wednesdays are busy) so we grabbed a picnic blanket and set it underneath the big tent outside (it was raining) and the three of us ate pb&j’s with apple slices and carrots on kiddie paper plates and enjoyed the rain for twenty minutes. El loved it, and it was so nice to change our lunch routine a bit.
So many of these changes are subtle, but life is abundant again. I’ve thought of a million ways to describe it but truthfully I can’t wrap my mind around it nor pin words to it. But it’s good. And I like it.