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Sunday, December 20, 2009

in the meantime

They grow so fast, "while you're not looking" the old folks say.  I think I've finally figured out while it is so surprising to behold the maturing of a child, even your own. 

It happens on the sly, between the layers of life, on the ho-hum days when you're so stacked with things to do that it seems this week will stretch into forever.  But it doesn't.  This week turns into next and soon four weeks make a month, and then there is another birthday or a lost tooth or a larger shoe size and I shake my head to dispel the dizziness at how fast my toddlers are turning into teens. 

Children grow in the meantime, in the middle, in between the big things.  If life changes only happened during the gala events, we could all prepare for their coming.  But life doesn't wait for me to get the schedule fixed or have this project completed or that major task checked off.  Life just keeps ticking by, tiny seconds, irretrievable, fragile.

I do want my children to grow up, to experience adulthood, love, family.  I anticipate those days when our minds will be equal in depth and we can talk more about the abstract issues of life (though I may miss the talks about dinosaurs and hurt tummies and princesses).  I am already to that level with some of my children; the others are lingering in the shadowy places between childhood and adolescence, their minds reaching out to understand, their hearts on the cusp of comprehension.

Yes, I want them to be there, to be whole, so that I can step back from the cocoon and marvel at what God created from the little seed of life He let me carry for Him those nine months.  But I don't want it to slip up on me.  Maybe all mothers fumble through this passage.  Is it possible for a busy wife and mother to be ever aware of the wonderful changes happening under our noses?  Probably not.

But maybe I will be more observant as the days bring ever more rapid transformations in the children who are really God's, not mine.  He only blesses me with the privilege of nurturing them for a time.  So it is only right that He controls the growth chart; I just record the changes. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

where is solitude

At the present, solitude is a luxury to which I am not accustomed.  This season of life is compacted into the frame of homeschool and child-rearing.  It's what God wants of me just now.  I see His imprint. 

Yet, my fingers crave the slick edges of the keyboard and my brain wants to sort out the tangle of experiences and musings that lay just below the surface of daily life, as vital as the circulatory system in the body but unseen beneath the roughened exterior of the routine.

I can no more process life without writing (internally if not on paper) than I can live a day without breathing.  But my children are more important, and if God has directed this path than He will help me discover the ledges of solitude along the way.

Maybe for you, it's not writing, but time to bake or sew or scrapbook or shop or read.  Each of us has a special luxury that, while not required for basic bodily existence, is vital to defining who we are.  As Elisabeth Elliot says, anything can become a sacrifice to Him.  And if we offer it out of surrender to His will for the day, surely it is not insignificant nor wasted in our journey of faith.
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