Last night Kevin and I had a “date in” which really just means we made actual time to sit and talk and work through all the random issues of life right now. There’s no question that raising six children and being a senior pastor/pastor’s wife has ripped us to shreds. Not a day goes by that we both don’t feel “overwhelmed”- though I’m trying to take that word out of my vocabulary 🙂 And I think he and I both have been running on empty for a while but alas, trying to find time to sit and discuss has proven easier said than done!
But my mind and heart have been swirling and for weeks, I have heard the gentle whisper beckoning me to a more simplistic life, one that holds peace amidst a world of chaos, one that provides shelter and refuge for the six babes sleeping under our roof and one that ultimately pleases my Master. Two weeks ago, I pulled a plug and deactivated my Facebook account. I might as well have deleted it because I’m fairly certain that I’m never going back. For months, maybe even years, I’ve entertained the idea. I hate the feeling of having to keep up with a thousand people when just keeping up with the seven that live in this home, plus my precious neighbors, plus my dear church family plus my mom, dad and sister is more than I can even do apart from gallons of God’s grace. So I finally gathered the courage and I hit that button and I’ve never felt more liberated, save when Jesus saved me. But where am I going with all of this?
I realized last night that I’ve never been one content to sit in circumstances that are within my realm to change. Yes, certainly there are trials and tribulations that God orders for each of us that are entirely outside our control and His main concern is our surrender to His sovereign will and plan for our sanctification and His glory. But, as He has given us free wills to think and act and do, there are also plenty of times when what we are doing or how we are living isn’t quite what we know it should be and so we have the beautiful freedom to do something about it! Halellujah! So, as I explained to my handsome man last night…when my life isn’t quite what I think it should be or something needs to be different, I change things. When my sophomore year at Ole Miss got the best of me and I took on one too many responsibilities and I couldn’t come up for air anymore and I realized that I was choosing sin more than I was choosing obedience, I changed things…I transfered to Mississippi College for a semester, found rest for my weary soul and then saw the Lord provide a way back to Ole Miss but according to His will, not my own. When my children weren’t responding to a certain philosophy of education and I noticed that we seemed to be on a sinking ship in terms of schooling, I changed things…I reached out to a dear sister in Christ whose model of homeschool I’ve always admired and begged for her wisdom. And the Lord led us to the wonderful truths of Charlotte Mason and my kids are flourishing and our family is happy. I’ve never been afraid to break the mold, go against the grain or upset expectations if if means in the end, I’m following God’s call on my life. But, as of late, I’ve found myself in this odd monotony of life that has left me most unhappy, unfulfilled and really just ready for Jesus to come back and put an end to it all!
So, back to Friday night…I sat down with Kevin and finally had “time” to convey all of these thoughts to him and this is exactly what I said. “Kevin, when I don’t like the way my life is going or I don’t feel like I’m doing what God has called me to, I change things.” But as a married person, we can only change to the degree that our spouse is on board and ready to support that change. Thankfully, it seems God is showing Kevin many of the same things (He’s pretty amazing like that!) and we ended up talking for hours and even pulling out the old pen and paper to jot down some immediate goals. Nothing super religious or super enlightening…just a few things that we both know we need to not only survive but to actual thrive and be useful to the kingdom. Things like exercise and Scripture memory and game nights with our family. Things like prayer as a couple and music that lifts the soul playing throughout the day. Sometimes we just need to take the paper and write it down and let God work as He wills.
Monday morning came and went…actually it went downhill fairly quickly as Molly Kate woke with a fever, Miles had wet the bed, Maggie and Mallory were both fussy and tired from Sunday and Madden’s toe (that got horribly slammed in a door over the weekend) was throbbing. Kevin woke with his back thrown out and it would have been fairly easy to throw my hands up and crawl back into bed and let the kids just watch Netflix all day. But the little bit of the heavens that opened up over the weekend in this home was enough to calm my heart, still my soul and allow me to just laugh. I mean, “seriously Lord?” The only happy people in that mid-morning moment were Mikias and our dog Annie, who thankfully just keeps loving me in my craziness. But if I can’t laugh about it and trust God’s grace in these made-for-television moments that are my actual life, then I’m just going to end up a miserable mess of a woman and I just don’t want that. So, I’m changing things…I’m removing the distractions, the non-essentials that just eat up space in my heart and I’m turning back to the things that ground me. God’s Word, prayer, nutrition, nurturing a family, time alone with my husband and lots of time outdoors playing with the people that make me, well, me.