Rough around the edges and lingering ideas.
Our life feels a bit rough around the edges lately and full of questions, but also brimming with hope and goodness. How's that for a confusing picture to paint? I'm guessing you can relate though. As I've grown into my 30's I find myself seeking out friendships, podcasts, and advice from people who aren't afraid to share their flaws. The women with guts who love themselves and have confidence pulsing through their veins, but also talk about the big, hard things of life. The ones who don't pretend to have it all figured out.
I guess that's how I'm mostly feeling these days. I can usually pick up the feelings of those around me pretty fast, I can tell if they're expecting me to have it together and have the right answers or not. Here, on this beautiful blog, is my story. I don't have to pretend to have it together, thank goodness. I've never set out to be a blogger with tons of stats and millions of followers. In fact, I despise the numbers. I really wish there was a way to not show them on the blog, the scale, and on IG. The numbers are loud, but they don't tell the whole truth. This piece of the internet feels like the quiet I sometimes savor at my dining room table.
So on this very normal Tuesday, let me tell you what I've been up to and what this season is like in real life. I've certainly been filling up with the passions and joys that balance out the more mundane tasks of life. Painting, podcasts, reading a great book, connecting with friends, and cooking all fill me up. Photography is also a must. I think I sometimes struggle in some of those areas because I haven't figured out the balance of "I'm doing this because I love it" and "I have a head full of ideas for more...more gatherings, more jobs, etc." I certainly start and end each day with my passions and my Savior. But as far as figuring out a master goal list or dream list for these things...well, it's quiet.
It's also quiet on the adoption front. Rarely does anyone ask about our adoption, maybe they've forgotten about it since I've been quiet, or maybe they don't know what to ask. Either way, my answer feels complicated. The short story is, we're waiting. The long story is we're waiting because there doesn't seem to be a need for a home for babies right now, but instead for foster care and older children. We've looked into that and any other avenue you could dream up, with nothing feeling right. I know the cliche' thing as christians is to say forget the feelings and go with faith. But in the conversations between God, Brett, and I we feel that it is wise to adopt a young toddler or baby, not an older child right now. You can't imagine the guilt that comes sometimes with that statement, even though I know for now it's the best choice for our family. Because as a Christian we are certainly called to action for orphans! I think everyone should have a part in this story. But as a "waiting family" and a christian, it opens itself up to lots of questions from outside folks, wondering why we aren't doing more than we are right now.
Trust me, the story doesn't make sense to me either. But for some reason that we will only know about further down the road, God has asked us to wait.
In the midst of waiting for these things, among some other questionable things, God is still gracious and good. He always is. We are finding it more necessary than normal to do simple things together as a family, like racing each other in the yard, or going camping. Even in the rain!
Gatherings like eating supper together or sitting in the bedroom at night, learning how to pray with our girls, mean the world to me. A lot of times I feel the biggest presence from God right outside in nature. I had one of those moments this weekend camping. I was laying in the camper in mid-day, doing nothing. Just letting my mind be free, my phone far away (thank goodness). As I watched the leaves and shadows and sunlight filter through it literally felt like God was laying right there next to me, covering me with the deepest of rest. Shooing all worry or wonder away, just letting me be.
And He keeps doing that. If you asked me today what my dreams were or how our adoption was going or what school Anna will go to or any of "those" questions you would get a blank stare. Maybe even a few tears. But, if you asked me what God is teaching me, you would get a smile. A piercing look with confidence, and tears? Happy, grateful ones, bubbling up from my soul.
There might be so much I don't know and don't have figured out right now. And that bugs me! It's hard for me. I've always been a planner, a gal with her heart focused on creative retreats, art shows, more ideas, more ideas, more ideas. So this season of loving my family and community really, really well, while letting the ideas linger in the air, not knowing if they'll fly or fall....it's hard for me. It's really hard for me. I'm most at home in front of a crowd, or leading a bible study, or dreaming up a photography retreat. The harder thing for my heart and soul and fingers to do is the quiet work at home. To joyfully fold the laundry, hide behind the tree for hide-and-go-seek just one more time, to sweep the granola up for the third time in a row.
Notice I didn't say it's bad for me to do these things. It just doesn't come as naturally for me to do them cheerfully as leading/styling a photo shoot does. Or painting. I used to feel like a bad wife or mom even thinking that. I thought I was broken or something was wrong with me. Surely it couldn't be right that the thing that made energy course through my veins and my eyes light up and my voice get loud and excited could be anything other than parenting? Now I have learned, it's both. Sure parenting does that for me! But so do other things. And right now I don't always know how to plug into the "other things" and sometimes that's hard for me.
But I can feel that as I'm giving my family and circle my best energy, it's not time wasted. As our girls transition from babies to older toddlers, the parenting is different. The questions asked, different. The discipline, love, time spent-different. The prayers-so different!
But the grace and patience and capacity to handle all that?
Enough. More than enough.
On this very normal, very real-life Tuesday at my dining room table, this is where I am.
I'm leaning in close, I'd love to hear.