12-18 months ago, if you had asked, I would have told you I was very content with our life. Tim had a perfect job for himself, that we anticipate him staying in until retirement. We had a beautiful house where we can meet many of our goals of self sufficiency and there is room for our family to live and rest and also to provide hospitality to others. We had five incredible, growing kids. I felt fit, healthy, and strong.
Our family was, quite frankly, in a place of peace.
Tim still loves his job.
We still have a beautiful house that more than meets our needs.
We still have five incredible, growing kids.
I'm working on being fit, healthy, and strong again.....
But I do not feel content.
In between then and now so much has changed. Despite being, at the time, perfectly content if I never had another baby I have now tasted that change. I have imagined our family living here with a new little one (or two or three). I've imagined who will move into what rooms. What we might need for a new baby and what we don't (donating my baby stuff was easier than moving it from Utah). From the time we found out we were expecting again, I was excited to finally have a baby in a more stable circumstance. I joked with Tim that we had grown up and were finally having a baby as adults. My kids have thought about having another brother or sister.
There may come a time in the future when those things happen (Please, God!), but before I can take those steps forward I know I need to take a step backwards.
To find the peace and contentment I had with *only* five again. To reestablish routines of housework and homeschooling that will probably look very similar to the routines we had *before*.
To be not in a place of want, but a place of contentment whatever my circumstances. (See Philippians 4:11)
I know that there is no way it will really be the same ever again, but I know I am called to find the contentment that I had.
I just really have no earthly clue how. I mean, if I want to take a page from my own book I should probably skip forward a couple verse to one of the most memorized and well known verses in all of scriptures (Philippians 4:13).
God provides strengths in many ways. One of the obvious ways, is through the sacraments...particularly the Eucharist and Reconciliation. I am certainly taking advantage of those graces as much as I can these days. Another way God provides strength is through prayer, study of scripture, and spiritual reading. I'm doing a lot of that too.
Another source of strength is face to face fellowship and spiritual support. For me these two things have usually tended to come hand in hand, but that certainly isn't always the case. I have had incredible fellowship and support virtually through this blog and especially through the blog's Facebook page. Support without which I would probably be in much worse shape than I am right now. There is just something to be said for that regular face to face (or even over the phone) connection. Moms I can sit down and chat with the challenges of NFP right now without airing my business for everyone and their mother (and my mother and Tim's) to read. Moms who share my faith and can encourage me when I feel like I want to quit. Moms who can help me with the practical business of loving my kids when they need a little extra and I don't have anything extra to give.
No matter what our online life looks like, we all need that face to face piece.
Yet without a group of local moms that I am truly a part of, I don't feel like I even know where to reach out. When someone doesn't call or email or stop by is it because they are too busy? Too uncomfortable with my situation? Am I too far out of their way? Are they worried they will make something worse (they can't)? When I don't leave the house for days who is noticing that I'm gone?
Moving backward to move forward is not something that I can do alone, yet I'm barely pulled together enough to get through the normal activities of daily living. My kids are a pretty good radar of how I'm doing and right now it's not good.
Tim had a medical procedure that required sedation earlier today and I almost didn't make it through. Don't worry, he is fine...but it almost broke me into a thousand little pieces. Being at the hospital (not the same one), seeing him with an IV in a hospital gown, waiting while he had the procedure.... I had to drive for him and I wasn't sure I was going to be physically capable of doing so. I thought I would be fine once he was back with me safely, but I wasn't...I was worse! I know from my reaction that it is time that something needs to change. That I am kidding myself to think that I am doing ok in any way.
I have to take a step somewhere and not be afraid that it is the wrong step.
Because backwards or forwards I can't stay where I am right now.