Monday, October 10, 2016

Never Easier, Every Day Better

Monday morning and I'm knee deep. Every day just flows right on into the next. If at one time I felt like I had a bit of time to take a breath each evening, a stop gap between one full day and the next - yeah, those days are behind me.

That's the thing no one tells you about the kids growing older. In a great many ways, the benefits are huge. Yes, I have a child old enough to babysit - something my friends with only littles look to enviously. I know, because I've been there. I know because I remember being awestruck at a friends home when her teen made our kids pb&j with a baby on her hip while we visited and sipped lattes. I thought wow - you've arrived. She assured me, though I doubt I believed her - Ha! No. I haven't. It's still difficult - just a different sort of difficult.

I feel that these days where my kids aren't all tucked in and fast asleep at 8 pm, and I'm not getting that "break" I spent years getting used to. Where the school days are longer and much more intense, where we roll into 5 pm barely done with schoolwork and I still have a 9 person family worth of housework ahead. Where the concerns aren't so much a toddler losing their mind in the middle of the grocery store half as much as how this culture is affecting my kids and what on earth I can do about it. There's a lot less knitting, sewing, baking and writing for me these days. I haven't arrived. Not by a long shot. But I'm beginning to embrace that maybe that was never really the point.

This life, it's never been about "set it and forget it." I can know this intellectually, but in practice it still smarts a bit. It starts in the beginning, where we want a baby to sleep through the night - and maybe they do. For a while. Until they don't. On and on with parenting we go, ironing out this or that issue, thinking - yes! There! Done! Until it's undone. Or something else crops up. On and on and on. Add more kids, and it's that doubly, or triply, or x7 more. We want that because it seems easier. Less work. We want to be done with difficulty so we can just sit back and relax.

But, as He always does, God gives us all these maddening opportunities along with a gift. The gift of growth, of sanctification. Instead of allowing us to stagnate, to atrophy in our lives - He uses life to invite us further. Deeper. Beyond what we could have ever fathomed possible.

It's that hook that I can hang my hat on. How I can look out on a Monday morning, with yesterday's laundry in a pile at the foot of my bed, with last weeks bills on my desk, with tomorrow's unfinished homework looming, next week's lesson planning untouched, today's toddler tantrums ramping up and 7 kids worth of Halloween costumes in the back of my mind - and believe that He is present in this chaos.

It's never going to get easier. But every day is better.

He has a plan here.

Every day. For His glory and our good.

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