Whew. Ya’ll, contrary to popular belief, I have not fallen off the face of the planet. I have not blasted into outer space (though my kids HAVE sent me into orbit more than a few times lately). I have not tunneled my way to China (though I have considered digging a hole and sticking my head in it – ostriches don’t pay attention to politics!). Nope. I’m still here. It’s just been crazy around here. The words for it might more likely be busy, insane, freakish, out of the ordinary… And yet, through it all, we have been blessed.
My best friend was in the hospital 25 days. Her sweet daughter who is 13 has been living with us. In that last 25 days, we moved Grayson into his big boy room upstairs, partially set up the guest room back downstairs in what was the nursery (the rest of it is still in my balcony taunting me every time I sit at the bar or on the couch and look up), climbed Mt. Laundry more times than I can count, surfed the waves of dishes in the sink (again, more times than I can count), drove to visit my parents for four days to do a million and one fun things together, and drove across the worlds largest city (ok, I realize this is an exaggeration) practically every day we were in town to make hospital visits (and once, we even did it twice in one day!). I’ve been prepping for back to homeschool, running my organization training on Facebook, I’m attempting to start a new workout routine (Beachbody PiYo with a friend, Kelly, coaching me!), oh, and did I mention I’m guzzling coffee like, well, like a Starbucks addict?
Yeah, it’s been crazy. But wow. We are SO blessed! We have a home where each of our kids (including our adopted niece who is currently living with us) has their own personal space. We have clothes to wear and dishes to eat off. We have pets to snuggle with and parents/grandparents who love us and planned super fun stuff for us to do on our trip. We have a very reliable vehicle who gets us where we need to go safely, and with some pretty great gas mileage. We are blessed.
And in it all, I am blessed with so many amazing friends who have been encouraging every step of the way. Every time I walk into Gray’s room, I am reminded of the sweet friends I have from PWAT who came and spent a few hours with me to make his room simply stunning. He is a very blessed little boy. He has a beautiful mural to look at on his wall every day, and he has these women in his life who care enough about him to go out of their way and give up an entire day to do this for him.
I have friends who have been praying for us multiple times daily. That’s support that I can’t say thank you enough for. I have friends who have simply been there to listen to my crazy stressed out self as I have vented about whatever the day’s stress is at the time. I have friends on social media that I’ve never met in person who have stepped in and accepted the challenge to trust me as I teach them to organize their homes for homeschool. My “adopted niece” is an amazing help with the kids, household chores, and just generally fun to hang out with. I love her as if she was my own daughter, and our bond has gotten so strong through all of this. We. Are. So. Very. Amazingly. Blessed.
The heart of a servant is not one that is easily and readily available. It is one that has to be earned through hard work and tribulation. And yet, it is what I have been praying for. My grandmother was a servant. Through her passing back in February, I was reminded of how I always admired her willingness to put everyone else first. Sometimes she did it so much that it became an issue of her not being able to think or act for herself. I want to be an emotionally independent woman. But I also want to be a woman who is willing to step aside and let God take the glory and do whatever work He has for me. These last 25 days I have grown in ways I never thought possible. I desperately pray daily for my friend to be healed. More than once we have been given her release date only for something to come up and she has to stay in the hospital. Then, yesterday she got to come home. Only to have to go back today due to breathing problems. I want to scream at God and ask Him why on Earth He would put her through this physically, and why He would put us, her family, through this emotionally. WHY?
Why? Because. Sometimes He needs to hedge us in with thorns as He did the children of Israel in the book of Hosea. Because when He hedges us in with thorns, we are reminded of He who is in charge. We are reminded of His power. And we are struck by the awe of Him. We are forced to focus on the blessings because the stress is just too much to look in the eye. So why? Because God. Because He has blessed us. Beyond compare. And it’s taken all of this for me to realize it and fully appreciate it. And because it’s His way of teaching me how to become that servant that I strive to be. It’s not about being a Martha who daily is climbing Mt. Laundry and surfing the waves of dishes. It’s about being a Mary and stopping in the midst of the chaos to sit at His feet and see His glory all around me. It’s about seeing the beauty and not missing the moments of laughter.