Monday, April 23, 2012

Too easy.

Caleb is three going on thirty, Ben is walking around the house like a big boy, and I'm becoming very aware that we no longer have a baby.  Just a preschooler and a toddler.  For those of you who think I'm getting empty arms syndrome, I'm not sure I agree.

This is the longest stretch of time in my marriage that I have not been pregnant or nursing.  I can leave the boys with a friend for hours, and they can eat whatever is offered to them. (Ben will eat it even if you don't offer.)  Often, these little guys are spoiling me rotten and letting me sleep in later than I have in three and a half years.  It's heavenly.  

I get to play my new piano after they go to bed, blog and read my favorite bloggers, pore over all the books that I have been longing to read, and actually talk to my husband rather than just seeing him as I throw the baby at him so I can go to sleep.  I get to start projects... and finish them.  My house is clean.  Seriously.  I don't think it's been this clean in, oh, let's say, eighteen months.  

Today I loaded both kids in the car, and in two hours we had returned the library books and done all the grocery shopping for two weeks.  When I got home, I had helpers unpacking the groceries and helping me put them away; and I actually thought to myself, "Hey, look at me.  I can do this mom thing all by myself."  

This was the point where I felt God pricking my heart and saying, "It's too easy."

"What?!?!  Easy?" I protest. Mentally, I then listed for God all the monumental obstacles I had overcome to get to this point of mothering.  All the nights of screaming children, all the mornings of cleaning up dirty sheets, all the meals where more food was worn than eaten.  I made mental note of all the mountains we are still climbing.  One son in physical (and soon to be speech) therapy, another with OCD tendencies that make me want to tear my hair out, Teacher Man in the midst of an incredibly challenging school year, a summer of ministry that will take our family's focus soon.

And I sensed the Lord saying, "If you can do it all by yourself, it's too easy.  There's something missing."  

He right.  He always is.  It's those trials, those challenges, that bring me closer to Him.  It's those days of craving His Word that make our moments together so much sweeter.  It's the struggle that makes me reach out to the Body of Christ for strength and encouragement.  It's the failures that humble me and remind me that I'm still in such great need of my Savior.

"This is for a season," He reminds me.  It's a season of rest right now, interspersed with days that my strong-willed three year old chooses to make nerve-wracking.  This is the first summer that Teacher Man's job hasn't been in question, that we haven't been adjusting to a new baby or pregnancy, that there hasn't been a major crisis in our family.  I'm not fearing the future, but I know that this too shall pass.  Rather than dread the inevitable fact that our life in this fallen world is going to have a good share of mishaps and change, I'm choosing to delight and dwell in this moment.

I'm working on finishing the apron I started because goodness knows I need something to keep the flying food away from my church clothes.  I'm playing the piano often with my children.  Whether it's Chopin or "The Alphabet Song," we are having a blast just savoring the sounds of the moment.  I'm reading about grace, about learning, about art, about organizing, about loving well.  I'm feeding my mind now so I can remember these lessons when there is no time to sit with a book.  I'm playing endless games of Memory and Go Fish with my three year old because I can tell how loved he feels when we spend time just us.  I'm reading countless books to my little toddler who hauls giant volumes across the room, throws them on my lap, and demands, "Book. Up." before plopping his little bottom in my lap.  I'm savoring the friendships and family relationships that I have right now because this is the day that I've been given. I will rejoice and be glad in it.  I'm resting because I know that this is just a season.  A deep breath before another long climb, and I'm okay with that.

Someone told me last week that no where in Scripture does it say that God only gives us what we can handle.  We are not tempted beyond what we are able, but we are given tasks that are far beyond our strength and wisdom to remind us that we are finite, in need of an infinite God to work in and through us so the glory will go to Him... and only to Him.  

So tonight, I'm grateful for the deep breath before the next climb.  Grateful that the dishes are done.  Grateful for the men in my life.  And oh so grateful that my God is not going to let me rest here forever.  He's going to mold me, heal me, change me for His glory.  There will be mountains ahead, but I rest knowing I won't be climbing alone.

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