Every once in a while, you find yourself in a good place. A smooth place. I know it doesn't last for long, so while it is here, I am lapping it up with gusto.
We are in a time of smooth relationships, little shifts here and there as people grow and change. I notice it in how my oldest and middle boys start doing everything together, despite their 6 year gap. The oldest seems past that big kid need to distance themselves from "babies," and my middle guy is just plain thrilled to be included in everything. It's warming my heart to watch them playing soccer out in the back yard together during the day, or working on projects together in their room. It is a precious time, and it feels like a gift. My oldest will be 13 this summer, and I know that we are in for a lot of big changes. Good things. Growing into a man - things. But this holding space of childhood and brothers bonding is doing my Mama heart good.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing enough, preaching enough, lecturing enough about how we are meant to live. But then my sons bring me a coke they bought with their own little stores of quarters, or my daughters surprise me with picking up one of my chores and completing it beautifully for me, just because - and I see how life is teaching and growing them in a lovely, natural way. I see them reaching out beyond themselves in generosity and I'm so humbled by the people they are becoming.
We are in a time of smooth schooling. Our co op is over for the year, and I'm grateful to be able to just focus on what we do here. We've gradually switched everyone over to Saxon math (formerly we did horizons) and I am absolutely loving it. I was able to skip two of my kids a complete grade up. We are still opening our days with daily bible readings and prayers from my Laudate app, and our read aloud is "Calico Captive" by Elizabeth George. The littles draw, play with blocks or cars or the play kitchen or have older siblings fold paper airplanes for them while I read. It isn't quiet, but it is us, altogether. I'm soaking it in.
As the days get warmer and brighter, I'm trying to ease out of some of the patterns we found ourselves in. I had fallen into the habit of turning on a show for the preschoolers first thing in the morning to give me time and space to caffienate and get my head on straight. Today, I avoided it. And we didn't miss it one bit. We are taking on more projects and slowly adapting our little house to the large family who lives here. This weekend we moved out the boys dressers and replaced them with an ikea shelving unit, which more than doubled the available space in their room. I'm ordering this table to serve as a desk for my oldest. Amazingly, this little home still manages to work for us as our family grows. Not perfectly, of course. But I'm so very thankful.
It seems impossible, but in less than 2 weeks our little Magnolia blossom will be 1 year old. I know we always say "children are blessings!" but never have I felt that to be more true than with our 7th baby, who came to us during a dark desperate time in our family. God did that thing of His - that seemingly backwards way of His that doesn't make a lot of sense to the world - and He gave us the gift of love when we needed it most. Who gets pregnant in the midst of job uncertainty, relationship crisis and and financial instability? God's ways are foolishness to men. During the "worst possible time," God gave us the best possible answer. She is our crowning jewel. I'm knitting her a little birthday dress and getting in as many baby cuddles as I can.
"...God chose the weak things to shame the strong." 1 Cor 1:27
The whole of our lives makes little sense to the outside world. But I'm finding that really is meaningless to me. I'm here, every day. And even through the rough times, we are so abundantly blessed.
So, a good place. A smooth time. Grace, grace, grace and more grace. Thank you, Jesus.
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