We're expecting another baby in February!
As a result, things have slowed down around Life in the Valley. I am tired. Sometimes I don't even feel like getting "the basics" done around here (despite the fact that I hate all the messes piling up.) The summer has also been really full so far, with odd schedules each day keeping me from any kind of routine. But alas, most of life is like that, isn't it?
Nevertheless, I am very excited that we will have another member joining our family. Already his or her little arms, legs, and nose bud are forming. Amazing! What will "it" look like? What will those first months be like? How will three change our family dynamic? And, more practically, where will this little one sleep?!
Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. We have many months to work out those details ... I'm only 7 weeks along. Phew!
What I'm finding I need right now, is a lot of grace. From God and my kids. My patience is very thin a lot of the time (with the tiredness) and I'm too frequently quick to harshness rather than gentleness. What God is driving home is that He still loves me. I don't get it, but He does. And He forgives. And my children forgive. And I can rely on the Spirit, in each moment, to give me what I need to chose gentleness over harshness, service over selfishness.
The good Lord meets us when we cry out to Him, when we open our souls to Him and let Him in to touch and to heal. In preparation for next school year, I'm reading through my ancient copy of The Whole Hearted Child Home Education Handbook. (There's a new edition out just this month; I need to get it soon. You might like it too!) This morning, being up way too early, just 'cause I woke up, I had extra time to read one of the chapters I planned to read this week. Here is an excerpt that really lifted my spirits this morning:
The key to your success as a mother is very simple - faithfulness ... learning to see with God's eyes and seize with God's hands the hundreds of small opportunities you have every day to influence your children - to shape their attitudes, build their faith, discipline their disobedience, inspire their genius, nurture their emotions, train their habits.
Being that faithful mother, though, is a daily, hourly challenge. God is asking you to become a servant, willing to sacrifice time, body, energy, emotions, and expectations. That kind of faithfulness comes only from trusting God. Yet as you learn to trust the Lord with the big and the small sacrifices you must make each day, you will discover a new peace in your heart. Out of the fullness of that peace, your heart will overflow to your family. ...
Life will always be unpredictable - your schedule will fall apart, homeschooling will occasionally grind to a halt, and the house will at times seem to explode from within. Yet if you are trusting in the Lord and depending on his grace, you can still accomplish your purposes as a mother. If your heart is in conflict with the Lord, no amount of organization, planning, or scheduling will make you more effective as a mother. If, though, you are nurturing you heart for God, strengthening your faith in him, letting the Spirit control your attitude, and being as faithful as you know how to be, you can be assured you are fulfilling God's purposes for you. Your children will follow your heartbeat.
God does not call us to get everything right as moms, to meet specific educational goals (even with Bible lessons!), to be a savior when He's already provided one. No. He calls us to be faithful to Him, to seek Him, to store up our treasures in heaven.
Truth be told, we won't "do faithfulness" right all the time either. But what's being spoken of is a life that is overall marked by moving toward God in trust and surrender. In fact, even in repentance - admitting to the Lord we've sinned and need His forgiveness - we are being faithful! Did you know that? I bolded that line above, because I tend toward trying to plan and schedule life into submission to me, rather than submitting myself and surrendering my crazy schedule to the Lord. You too?
It really is a blessing that we need to depend on our Father. In our weakness, we see His strength. Perhaps you to are tired with the beginning of a pregnancy or the presence of a newborn in your home, or a young child whose disobedience has you at the end of your rope, or a teen who is emotionally stretching you to your limit. Let us give God thanks that He has us in a place where we MUST depend on Him to work, that He may receive the glory for the good that is worked out in the situation and the fruit of the Spirit that is cultivated in our hearts.
Have a good day, friends!
Grace and peace be yours, through Christ our Lord.