Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Learning to Lean
Leaning in. I'm not altogether sure what it means, maybe a combination of "suck it up" and "do the next thing," but it feels about right for this first week back at it in January of a brand new year. My husband has found a temporary job while he looks for something better, so he's gone before we wake up and back after dark. We start school, pathetically, I'm afraid. January has none of the excitement and fanfare of September when it comes to school books. After a few weeks off, we struggle back into old routines. "Who's on kitchen today? I thought I was laundry on Tuesdays..." It's familiar yet we resist it, like the first time tying on boots after a summer of flip flops. Stiff and unnatural feeling, yet so badly needed.
Routine. Responsibility. Rhythm. These are things that I know help every one of us, the large and the small, feel secure. When you know who you are and what you are about, there is a certain comfort in that - even if sometimes you long for a change. We've had a lot of change over the past few years and I'm finding a lot of gratitude in being able to offer my kids consistency when and where we have it. Bible time. Learning hours. Meal times. Chores. Each holds purpose for us in small ways.
I've had my times of saying to myself "This is just a season." And, to be sure, sometimes it is. But the longer I'm at this parenting gig, the longer I'm uncomfortable claiming that. It may just be a season...but a season may last a lifetime. And if we wait our real lives until a season of difficulty ends, we might just find ourselves waiting forever. I've come to understand that perhaps the arrival at family/learning/life perfection is not something I will ever see. We keep learning lessons. We keep living through. We keep pressing on, leaning in, even when arrival at ease isn't a guarantee or even a possibility.
But all is not lost when we view life this way. By contrast, in doing so we might unwrap even more lasting satisfaction, deeper joy.
I may not arrive at perfection or ease, but I can arrive at joy through gratitude.
This may be a season, but it can be a season marked by grace, determination, prayer.
Leaning in, one day at a time.
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