Joy

It has taken me living in a hotel with two kids for nearly 6 weeks to grasp the fact that at any given moment I have about 39 people I can let down. With my life so full of chaos there’s been nothing even close to resembling a normal routine, much less one where I can make plans for even several hours ahead. This blows my mind. As a planner (and a control freak) I need to know everything that’s going to happen. My travel plans are laid out months in advance, dinner plans the week before, and birthday celebration ideas are constantly circulating. Being in this season of essentially being flaky and not being able to let my yes be yes has been tremendously difficult, yet freeing.

I’ve extended myself grace. I’ve allowed myself the flexibility to be present with my family and prioritize them over being social and filling the calendar. We’ve just floated along together and tried to make sense of the madness. My inability to plan my life has created room for resentment by fearing others won’t be gracious. By fearing that I’m somehow no longer a woman of integrity who can be taken at her word. The upheaval from my friends, my church, my home has been a process that oscillates between my heart being encouraged about a new adventure for our family and one with deep, deep pain, anger, and loneliness.

My hopes were high for this season. I had plans to teach K to read and write more words. I had plans to wake early and become this Biblical scholar. Chris and I were going to be rock solid. For the most part none of this has been so. I’ve felt largely alone and put on the game face for my family. It’s so difficult to be on the side of things where you feel the pressure to keep up appearances for your children in an effort to smooth the transition from having multiple play dates a week to suddenly being stuck in a hotel room with just your stressed out mama. The Lord has been gracious to me in helping me control the anger that so frequently rears its head when I’m overwhelmed but it has not been easy. I’ve internalized my sadness and have grasped for straws to attempt to bring some sort of predictability to our daily life. My desire to pursue oneness with my husband has been overshadowed with my attempts to do 27 different things, giving each about 9% attention.

My desire for comfort, routine, and my perception that I’m in control has me living in the realms of some theology that’s not sound. As if Christ wants me to have an exuberant amount of material wealth and happiness. I’ve finally concluded being happy is not synonymous with having joy. The amount of excitement within me when I think of our new home (and kitchen) is overwhelming. My frame of reference of leaving a two room hotel into a two story house has been sobering. My standards are low. And the house isn’t going to fix anything. Sure, more space will allow us to breathe a bit, but ultimately regardless of living in a box or a house my security should not not fluctuate.

This place is not yet home, in fact, nowhere we live this side of Heaven will be. The longing for socialization and stability is intense and my prayer is for the Lord to continue to sustain me as I pour out my heart’s desires for this life we will lead here. It’s so very evident of Christ’s hand in all of this-making the process a seamless one with abundant blessings and provision we could have never imagined. It’s clear to me that this is where God has us and for reasons I don’t yet understand.

So I’ll be a bit out of character for awhile. Texts, phone calls, and planned get togethers will not happen. I will play an exuberant amount of Candy Land. I will stare at a refrigerator full of food and declare we have nothing to eat and send Chris to pick up some pho. I’ll probably have great intentions and wake up early to finish this week’s Bible Study but will get distracted with furniture shopping and planning ways to decorate the upstairs game room. I’m letting this all be alright for a season because I just have to. Things will not go as planned, I will live without structure, but I will not live without joy.

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