April 15, 2010

Real Life with a Real God

If you're new to the blog, here's the story on my life right now:

My husband, Colin, is a PhD candidate in Cambridge, MA, (where we have lived for the last 7.5 years.) He will defend and hand in his thesis before May 21. Graduation is June 4. We need to move out by June 12; we are headed to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is where our families live. Colin will be working where we attended undergrad and we will live with his parents for at least a short while.

We have two children, ages 5 and 1 (will be 6 and 2 when we move). The younger prefers getting up by 5:30. every. single. day. We started homeschooling this year; a decision we're very happy with, but that demands certain attention from me, as you might imagine. And Colin is in full-blown writing mode. We see him for meals, but he's had to devote most of his time to writing. Meanwhile, I've begun to think about packing, throwing away, organizing, etc., and about the people I want to see and things I want to do before we go.

In the midst of all of this there is so much to be thankful for:
  • Colin's going to graduate; this is a beautiful testimony to God's tender care for him and our family. (Contact me if you want the whole story.)
  • We get to go be near family.
  • Colin's worked at home, so we do see him more than if he stayed on campus. (Thanks, dear, I'm really thankful for this.)
  • I'm sad to leave - this has been a sometimes trying, but WONDERFUL chapter of our lives.
  • Many friends and family have offered to help us with the move and childcare to prepare.
  • We can look back and know God was with us; we can look at today and know He is with us; and we can look forward and know He will be with us.
But folks, there are times - like this morning - when I find it very hard to be thankful. I want to wallow, complain, get people to extend me sympathy and tell me what a champion I am, and so on, and so on. Real focused on my belly button, if you know what I mean.

Seriously, Brian?! 4:45?!?! Doesn't that give me the right to be angry?

Well, once I got Elmo on for Brian, the coffee poured for me, and sat down with my Bible and notebook, I knew I had to give it up. I had to ask God to forgive me. I had to say thank you for so many things. And I emerge from some quiet time with a new perspective. I'm still tired, but not angry. There's still a lot to do, but I know I'm not alone.

I was thinking about how I long for some specific thing to fulfill me. It goes like this. "If I only had, like, 3 hours to myself - no kids, no interruptions - that would really make a difference." And yes, it likely would. for a time. But I know I'd be ready for another 3 hours pretty soon! Or "If I were only able to sleep until 6 every day." That would be nice; I might feel more rested. But, how soon would I be longing for 7?

Can you relate to this?

So this morning the Spirit brought to mind the Psalm that starts As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (I didn't know the reference, so I did a little concordance surfing to find that it's Psalm 42.) Verse 8 says this:

By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me -
a prayer to the God of my life.

Here's what that means to me today. God has me right where He wants me to be, and He's present in every single moment of it, day and night. He is my closest companion as I support my husband, teach, train, & play with my children, plan for and begin packing, keep up on daily housework, etc, etc. This is what my life looks like right now. It is full, but with the Lord it is beautiful, not burdensome. I will be tired, but need not be weary. He is the God of my LIFE. The whole thing.

How are you today? Did you wake up in a tizzy like me? Do you feel your need for the Lord? Will you rest in His arms and be comforted by His constant and abiding presence? There's no better place to begin your day. I guarantee it!



  1. what a great post! thank you.

    it is always easy to long for what you don't have and to think you deserve more. thanks for reminding me about being grateful for what we have. that's something we need to remind ourselves of daily, and even then, i still feel like i want more.

  2. Did you write this just for me, Heather? Yes, I can relate. And thank you for the reminder.

  3. isn't it good to go to God and find a changed heart and a changed perspective. we often ask for changed circumstances, but what God wants for us is a changed heart. praise God for blessing you, and in turn blessing me for writing such an honest post!

    i know those thesis writing months, and i know those early mornings and the moving demands...hang in there, and one day at a time you will get it done.

    and for homeschooling, maybe you can take a break now and do a little extra in summer break...it would be like year round school :)