I haven't done a lot of *meaty* posting this summer...more like extra side dishes I guess. I've reached this point in life and in grief where I finally feel like my head is above water. I have some projects floating around that will be coming down the pipeline before too long and I've been focusing on enjoying my family this summer. In some ways it feels a bit like getting to know my family all over again this summer because I have changed and so have they. I blinked and my kids grew up.
I mean, really, how silly of me to be surprised. Kids grow up in the best of situations and in the last year...well, my kids grew up a lot.
It's not like they had much of another option.
It's not just the kids. It's me too.
Now that life is a little better in control, there has been a temptation to return to worrying about things that are out of my control. After living 150% on faith for so many months, it seems like I should get a little control back, right???
Except I'm not entirely sure that's what God was (and is) looking for from me.
I'm not saying God wants me to simply sit and watch what happens in my life, with my kids, and in the world and just trust that it will all be ok without any action on my part like some mumbo jumbo, hocus pokus. I am saying, however, that I have a new appreciation for the fact that God is probably not calling me to even half of the things that I usually think He is. And when He IS calling me to something, He isn't asking me to micromanage and worry about the outcome.
He's calling me to do my best. Gather facts, make good decisions.
And then leave the rest up to Him.
In the last couple months as I have emerged from my grief stricken isolation, I have had the opportunity to meet many of my readers that I did not know. This has been a humbling experience for me. From friends of friends, to long time readers, to those who started reading when Siena's story was shared through another blog.... I've met some of all of you. So many of you have stories of your own that are so powerful and moving!
In my emergence I find myself wanting to DO something about all of this. I want to meet all of you and hear your stories. I want to give you a place to share like the one that I have...because this place has been so comforting to me.
Yet, as I pray about that, I'm not sure that God wants me to do anything different than I already am. Just sharing the honest realities of our daily life in and through the lens of grief. To keep talking about homeschooling and gardening and taekwondo. To keep posting on Facebook about this, that, or the other thing.
Because in the middle of all grief is still real life. Our real life was drastically different for what felt like a long time.
Many days it still is.
But it all happens through those other activities.
What I keep hearing from people, new and old readers alike, is that this is what they want to read. They want to hear that even when it was really hard or I was anxious (usually these sorts of things are shared in random Facebook statuses) I still did something, even if it wasn't what I wanted or planned.
People often talk to me like I have some super hero strength that isn't available to the general population. When they tell me (some iteration of) this, however, I usually discover that what they really think is that they are not as strong and they think they should be.
My news flash for you today is that NO ONE is as strong as they think they should be.
No one I know thinks they are strong enough for whatever they are being dealt right now.
The only people I know who believe they are strong enough are the ones who have walked through some crazy life crisis, survived regardless of whatever outcome came their way, and subsequently realized just how much is out of their control and not worth worrying about anyways.
But most of them wouldn't call that their strength any more than I would.
I'm gonna go out there on a limb and say THAT is what so many have seen in me... not strength, but faith and acceptance of that which I cannot control.
I have really come to believe that living our lives in worry or anxiety about the future is just NOT what God wants for us. Yes, He calls us to be good stewards and to live our lives in ways that are pleasing and honorable. He calls us to responsible parenthood, among other things. He does NOT call us to worry about what happens next all the time though.
I am 18 weeks pregnant. At 18 weeks pregnant with Siena everything changed, but I'm not afraid. I'm cautious. We are doing extra monitoring and lots of extra praying. We are celebrating every single good ultrasound. We are talking a lot about risks, benefits, and gathering facts (even when the facts could be scary).
But I'm not afraid.
Sometimes I'm so calm about it that I think I might need my head examined.
But it isn't strength.
And it's so entirely simple, that most of the time I feel silly writing about it because I didn't get it for so long and I feel like I should have.
Yet as I talk with more and more moms, I think maybe I wasn't alone.