After a long who-knows-how-many weeks of busyness, me and the kids are staying with my parents for a week of ‘vacation’ while Jordan heads to Nationals to coach. Of course, the 4 hour road trip turned into a 9 hour one, due to a broken vehicle and all the ensuing disaster that brings. Sometimes, life feels like childbirth. Frequent, long spells of challenging times followed by little breathers, a roller coaster that requires courage, focus, faith and learning how to just breathe. Don’t get me wrong. I have a wonderful life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It is fully everything I could have wished for. Is it crazy to say that I am so immersed in this thing called life, so caught up in the intensity that I feel a little lost sometimes, like I don’t even know who I am anymore. Like when I was in labor with Michael, I keep thinking, “If I could just get a break, I could get on top of this.” But every time I get a break, all I want to do is sleep!
The truth is, this life is hard. It is rewarding, but it is hard. Relationships are hard. Parenting is hard. Being an adult and making your own day to day decisions is hard. Being responsible is hard. Housework…that’s not so bad. Seriously. Like the next workbook in grade school math, each new phase seems overwhelming and impossible, but I can feel the growth, I can feel the struggle, the change, like a butterfly busting out of the cocoon and stretching it’s shriveled wings. I know I and my precious family are learning and growing and adapting to each new challenge. It’s amazing but, well, hard. New layers of selfishness and pride are peeled back with each step and new skills built and in the midst of it all I forget who in the world I was. I wonder if it’s even important to remember that. I wonder….who am I now and who am I becoming? Where is this ride taking me?!!
My heart is full. My life is full. I have a husband whose love and understanding and constant effort to make me and the kids happy wins my heart over and over again, who makes me feel like his best friend, who draws out the good in me and ignores all the ugliness. I have a two year old who wants to tell me everything that peaks his interest in life and wants to help me every moment of the day. I have a one year old who would rather by my side, even when there are more exciting things going on elsewhere. I have a sweet squishy baby. I have a mom and dad who love the Lord and love me to the moon and back, showing it by their acts of kindness, their encouraging words, their availability to help me in every struggle. I have several sisters who are my best friends. I have a beautiful little house and the skills to maintain it, and actually enjoy maintaining it. I have hobbies and responsibilities. (I have a new fence! Ahem. Anyway…) I have a Heavenly Father who hasn’t given up on me yet, in spite of my wanderings and self importance. I want to embrace all this amazingness with every fiber of my being, but to do so means to lose who I was, who I am. It is a little frightening. I don’t want to be the person I was or the person I am, but to let go of that and jump into the unknown…?!
I miss the carefree girl that Jordan married. I want to take life seriously, but I don’t want to turn in to a solemn old woman, or a harried mom who can’t seem to find her way back to a good mood. I want to laugh and be funny. I also want to be serious about raising my kids for Christ. I want to dress up, and look cute, and keep a good body just like the single girls my age (and like the girl who got married 3 1/2 years ago). I also want to have babies, and nurse them, and deal with the spit up and food spills and hair pulling and belly stretching. I want to be the fun wife, but at 10:00 at night, when everyone is in the middle of a fun game except me, who has been watching four sugar-infused, sleep-deprived children fuss and fight for two hours, I also just want to go home and go to bed.
And in the midst of all that, I want to do something meaningful for the Kingdom of God. Maybe in 20 years I’ll have it all figured out. For now, I just have to keep going, pressing on with the laundry, the discipline, the missing my husband, the loving my kids, the frustration of another toddler spat and the glorious feeling of loving and being loved by my people and my God.