Monday, July 18, 2016

purpose

Life is strange.
i was born with a fire in my belly...  but i remember being eleven or twelve and becoming in a season, lonely for death. Life felt heavy, and for whatever reason, i felt overwhelmed by it.
i was so little - and even now, i wonder what it was that bruised my young heart to make me feel something i've never felt - even briefly - since then.  Whatever it was, it increased my ability to empathize with others who have felt a longing for endings in longer lasting seasons than i ever experienced, and for that, i'm grateful. Before that short lived season of 'ending', and after it... i've felt nothing but a passionate hunger for life: i don't want to miss any, i want to learn, think, see, hear... i want to do, to become, to grow, to laugh... In a lot of ways, i see life the same way i've seen my fertility: i'll never be the girl who said, "Well, that's enough of that..."
i think most people think about the timeline of their life at big milestone birthdays... "i'm 40... if i live to be 80, that means i'm half way there..."
So, in the shower i whispered to God words that are truer than any whispered anxiously in that season where i didn't understand that God had a purpose and a plan for tiny awkward me, and that i needed to be here to fulfil it. My voice sounded strange and soft as the steam rose around me with the sound of cartoons babbling incoherently from my bedroom, "God? i know you know what you're doing... but i need to say it out loud..."
No kids came running at the sound of my voice. Praying, or singing, shouting and rapping are all accepted practices in our showers - and i'm grateful for the grace afforded in this accomodation. Dancing is frowned upon, but mostly for practical reasons. Nobody wants a concussion... My sister tells me that God often hangs out in her shower too... This doesn't surprise me - that He would be available in the vulnerability that comes when a mother finds herself - if she's lucky - alone for a moment. We reach for Him like our littles reach for us, and find Him willing.  Today there were no operatic trills or growled spoken word versification... It was just a thought; one that i felt it was important to share with the One who breathes life.
"i want to live..."
& i know that He knows this already, because i often tell Him how grateful i am for my life, and how much i enjoy the work that He's allowed me to put my hands to.
"i want to live till i'm really, really old. i want to work hard and be fruitful... i want every breath that you'll give me, and if i get a vote in the matter... i just want it to be on the record that i told you how much i want to live."
i waited for an answer, a fluctuation in the temperature as the water ran over me, baptizing me into a new decade... washing away my fear, pulling away the fingers from my eyes as i discover this new me... whose evolution is as exciting as it is disconcerting.
i felt that familiar fire build and glow in my belly. A longing and a desire to live fully, to become like Him, to surrender completely.  It's a fire i once ascribed to youth, but now recognize as my purpose. The fire grows with me, unhindered by the age of my bones or the remaining elasticity of my flesh. He put it there, and my faith has stoked the flames and allowed them to grow over time. It's not leaving me, but instead, through Him, it leads me.
He hears.
And no matter what He chooses for me, it will be best - and i? i choose Him.

Friday, July 15, 2016

bring on 40... forgot to press, "publish"

Wednesday, July 13th 2016 ~ My last day in my 30's ~
Breakfast: waffles with Elmer and miss rita, coffee
Lunch: eggs on toast
Supper: hosted a spaghetti party for 31!


i read: nothing. Like, email and texts and a few internet articles including THIS ONE about hospitality!

What's on my mind: i've been stupid excited about all my free beach body t-shirts. i know... it's not deep, but it's happy and it's true.


Played and sang today: oh man, i forgot i'd have to answer this question! The only song i played and sang today was... My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. Sloanie joined in. It was epic.


Missed: Cairo - who was busy from dawn till dusk, but who filled my ears with news of her day & life when she came home late and drove me to get free cobbs bread from the neighbour who had too much at 9:45pm.

i wore: a thick sweater, jeans, thick socks... brrrrrr. Cold this July!
hair: down & plain.

I HOPE MY 30's BRING..... (by their close...)
#one... glory to God... He is my hope & salvation. i hope my 40's bring a closer walk.

*More people. I hope that as God teaches me to be less selfish, He will give me eyes to see the hearts and needs of the people around me... including, but not exclusively my kids.

*More trips, dates, time with Neil... we are just beginning to taste a new season in our marriage as our 30's end & it makes me hungry for more.

*More clear direction from God in the day to day and in the big decisions of life. i have been learning to hear Him and recognize His voice... Keep me soft, Father.

*Does it make me a horrible person if i hope to experience being a gramma this decade? i do...

*It is almost intimidating to realize that at the end of this next decade, i will only have 2 boys finishing off their high school. This seems like an incredible amount of work that will take us from where i am now, to where i will be then. Oh, God, thank you that i love the work... help me work hard and honour my family in my labour!

*In as many ways as possible, i want to grow creatively... i want to be able to look back on my 40's and see myself as a better musician.

IN MY 30's I LEARNED.....
*How to die to self
*How to parent teens
*What it really looks like in marriage when 2 people mutually submit.
*How to open my home to a million teenagers, to feed them and let them in your heart.
*How to ask for help when you have to walk through situations that are too big for you.
*How to let go. How to let go. How to let go.
*How to supplement home education with online schooling. Seeing my weaknesses and finding solutions.
*How to maximize space.
*How important God's Grace is...
*How unimportant most fights are.
*How much i *love* being a wife and mother.
*How to dress like a grown-up... (sort of) 

(My sweet birthday gown from Neil...)  *i *love* Neil.
*How to build a music curriculum.
*How much i love fitness.
*How to accept rejection with grace!

IN MY 40's I WANT TO LEARN....
*How i can keep growing when i don't know where & how to focus my energy.
*How to stretch myself
*How to let go, but keep communicating, "You matter to me."
*How to get better reflexes - that my first response will never be offence, but just better understanding...
*i want to begin to learn skills that will take me past this high needs season of motherhood that is wrapping itself up as my littles begin to leave home and create homes of their own. I want to model good things to my littles... i want them to see a woman whose identity is not in the beautiful vocation of motherhood, but is in my citizenship in the Kingdom of God - and that my work for Him extends far beyond the walls of this home into the realm of the eternal... i want them to find me faithful...

Monday, July 11, 2016

3 years, 3 months

Three years, three months.
If all goes as planned, and my firstborn flies from our nest in September, three years and three months is how long i got to have all my chickies under one roof.
It seems like such a strangely small wisp of time when i compare it with my decades of motherhood. Wobbly first steps, night wakings, bloody tooth removals, stubby finger pointing to sight words and lisping mouths sounding them out.  Baking cookies, studying for learner's licences, fender benders, high school credits...
It has been such a whirlwind of constant addition in these years. Another voice, another mouth to feed, another pair of shoes to buy, another pillow for another head, another opinion, talent, heart. One more baby, another life, another start...
And now, to start the process of subtraction in our household seems to weigh rather heavily some days. Oh, i know, i know... i'm adding a son. A son who gets us, who loves us, who feels like he's ours in every way... i love him. But they are going to be a "them" too... separate. Distinct. A family of their own, subtracted from us - the first in what will be a series of subtractions in the years to come.

Three years and three months is not a lot of time. It feels like Elmer and Cairo have both always been here. It feels like i have been a mother to these eight since the dawn of time... but that's just not so. One, two, three... they came so quickly... four and five... till we almost felt overwhelmed... but i begged for more... six, seven, eight... my bonus boys... And i would have been content to keep adding, but time grows babies, and years stretch legs and arms. Decades bring them to adulthood, and marriage means letting go.

Three years and three months... we were all under one roof... bumping into each other in our narrow kitchen, sharing beds, organizing mounds of shoes in the entrances, fighting, making music, schooling, eating at a table that didn't fit us all around it's merry sides...

Hardly seems long enough...

Friday, July 8, 2016

recap of my thirties...

Way back on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, i posted a blog post detailing my hopes and dreams for my thirties... it has been on my mind a lot in these, the last days of my thirties, as my forties loom.

A whole decade passed.

And so, i thought i'd bring that old blog post back to light, from July of 2006... and see how i did. i'll include my present day thoughts in colour.  Hoping to create a new post like this to bid farewell to my thirties and stir up hopes and dreams for the decade to come!

**********************************************

Thursday, July 13th 2006 ~ My last day in my 20's ~
Breakfast: Toast, avocado, coffee
Lunch: Mr. Noodles (Cai cooked) toast (Sloan cooked) OJ (Peyton cooked!)
Supper: pb&j sandwich (hey, Neil's out of town)

i read: The Tale of Despereaux (half last night, half today)
3 chapters of Anne of the Island to the big girls (Cai read 1)
Lots of email
Some psalms & the story of the persistent widow (Luke 18)
(This week i read "underground to Canada" & "Voyage of Hope ~ the saga of the brideships"

What's on my mind: Becky M., heaven, babies, children, missing Cai and Sloan when they go to fiddle camp this week... having too much company, are we gonna move again? Can i pull this off? Be a real homeschooling mom?

Played and sang today: "my cry" ~ by me
"blessed be your name, in the land that is plentiful"...
"stuck in a moment" U2

~ missed Neil... who will be home sometime after midnight ~

i wore: a sundress ~ plaid ~ from Old Navy
hair: in barrettes

I HOPE MY 30's BRING..... (by their close...)
#one... glory to God... He is my hope & salvation... i hope my 30's bring a closer walk... Above all else, they have!

*more homeschooling Hurray! One point!! My thirties brought me a whole decade of homeschooling!
* happiness & love in my marriage... My marriage is the happiest that it has been in it's twenty years... & that's saying something, cause it has been a pretty sweet union. Thank you, Jesus. 
*clarity Unfortunately, no. If anything, less. 
*less selfishnessYES! Continually!
*one daughter into womanhood! (Cai will be 20!)
*two daughters finished highschool! (Sloan will be 18)
*my tiny Mollen into double digits! (She'll be 12)
*Peyton will be sixteen!
*Charter will probably be bigger than me (at 14).
*Oh, God, i'm scared to hope, but i yearn for my 30's to bring me another child. This makes me cry. Big, huge, fat tears. Thank you God for Hope, Gage, Ephraim, Tiny and Elmer - who all came to me in my 30's! 
*i want to be a better mom. i hope i am. i'm doing my best... which seems like not enough a lot of days... but like the widow with the mites, i'll faithfully bring all i have & trust it to my Father's hands. 

IN MY 20's I LEARNED.....
*How to die to self
*How to be a mom
*How to be a wife
*How to cook, clean, organize, do laundry & run a household.
*How to grieve... how it really feels ~ to grieve...
*How to give birth, & breastfeed... & breastfeed... & breastfeed
*How to "run" a homeschool!
*How to pack up & move a whole household... again, and again, and again...
*How important God's Grace is...
*How unimportant most fights are.
*How much i *love* being a wife &  momma~
*How to dress like a grown-up... (sort of) Hahahaaaa! Still working on this one... 
*i *love* Neil.
*How to put together a website.
*That i don't know much... but i want to... & i'm willing to do something about it.
*Your children can surpass your wildest hopes and expectations...

IN MY 30's I WANT TO LEARN....
*How to impact this world & take back ground our parents lost... for the sake of my children who will battle this darkness after i'm gone. In my 30's God brought me through several intense seasons of learning how to PRAY, and PRAISE. Through these times, He has transformed my heart and continued to soften me and show me that my biggest battle ground is in my own heart and mind. 
*How to FIGHT against what i know to be wrong ~
*and how to EMBRACE love... above all to love, Love like Jesus, "do unto others"...
*How to homeschool successfully through high school. Times TWO, baby!!
*i want to know more about the environment & good nutrition & exercise... to pass on good habits to my littles. Love this one too... i think i'm the healthiest and strongest that i have ever been in my whole life... both in mind and body. 
*How to teach my girls all i learned in my 20's (!) (maybe not all, but LOTS) I love the wonderful, capable women that my girls have become. i don't think i would have dreamed that i would still be in my 30's as my oldest plans her wedding - but what a beautiful thing that she has seen in our young, crazy marriage - nothing to fear. 
*Miracles happen, hearts soften... Indeed, they do. 
*Neil loves me...Oh, how he has persistently and consistently taught me this. 
*How to let my babies go... tears. 
*How will we do this dating thing?? We will do it the way we've done a lot of our parenting... it will be messy and off the cuff. It will be scary and hard. We will talk and listen. The rules will be few, but our main focus will be keeping their hearts. 
*More about prayer and fasting...
*How to find a schedule that i can actually do. Oh, paige, was this written before the days when you realized that schedules have to constantly change so that they continue to work for you? Learn to be flexible, work hard, be consistent... schedules will come and go - and they will only work as well as your character does. 
*How to get up earlier in the morning. Um, this one is actually pretty easy when you're not eternally sleep deprived. i'm sorry you felt like you weren't good enough because it was so hard for you to wake up in the morning for so many years. Now, you get up at 6:15 without an alarm. You work out before the kids are up. You drink coffee because you enjoy it, not because you need it. But you miss sleep deprivation because it means there aren't any babies in the house anymore...

recap of my thirties...

Way back on the eve of my thirtieth birthday, i posted a blog post detailing my hopes and dreams for my thirties... it has been on my mind a lot in these, the last days of my thirties, as my forties loom.

A whole decade passed.

And so, i thought i'd bring that old blog post back to light, from July of 2006... and see how i did. i'll include my present day thoughts in colour.  Hoping to create a new post like this to bid farewell to my thirties and stir up hopes and dreams for the decade to come!

**********************************************

Thursday, July 13th 2006 ~ My last day in my 20's ~
Breakfast: Toast, avocado, coffee
Lunch: Mr. Noodles (Cai cooked) toast (Sloan cooked) OJ (Peyton cooked!)
Supper: pb&j sandwich (hey, Neil's out of town)

i read: The Tale of Despereaux (half last night, half today)
3 chapters of Anne of the Island to the big girls (Cai read 1)
Lots of email
Some psalms & the story of the persistent widow (Luke 18)
(This week i read "underground to Canada" & "Voyage of Hope ~ the saga of the brideships"

What's on my mind: Becky M., heaven, babies, children, missing Cai and Sloan when they go to fiddle camp this week... having too much company, are we gonna move again? Can i pull this off? Be a real homeschooling mom?

Played and sang today: "my cry" ~ by me
"blessed be your name, in the land that is plentiful"...
"stuck in a moment" U2

~ missed Neil... who will be home sometime after midnight ~

i wore: a sundress ~ plaid ~ from Old Navy
hair: in barrettes

I HOPE MY 30's BRING..... (by their close...)
#one... glory to God... He is my hope & salvation... i hope my 30's bring a closer walk... Above all else, they have!

*more homeschooling Hurray! One point!! My thirties brought me a whole decade of homeschooling!
* happiness & love in my marriage... My marriage is the happiest that it has been in it's twenty years... & that's saying something, cause it has been a pretty sweet union. Thank you, Jesus. 
*clarity Unfortunately, no. If anything, less. 
*less selfishnessYES! Continually!
*one daughter into womanhood! (Cai will be 20!)
*two daughters finished highschool! (Sloan will be 18)
*my tiny Mollen into double digits! (She'll be 12)
*Peyton will be sixteen!
*Charter will probably be bigger than me (at 14).
*Oh, God, i'm scared to hope, but i yearn for my 30's to bring me another child. This makes me cry. Big, huge, fat tears. Thank you God for Hope, Gage, Ephraim, Tiny and Elmer - who all came to me in my 30's! 
*i want to be a better mom. i hope i am. i'm doing my best... which seems like not enough a lot of days... but like the widow with the mites, i'll faithfully bring all i have & trust it to my Father's hands. 

IN MY 20's I LEARNED.....
*How to die to self
*How to be a mom
*How to be a wife
*How to cook, clean, organize, do laundry & run a household.
*How to grieve... how it really feels ~ to grieve...
*How to give birth, & breastfeed... & breastfeed... & breastfeed
*How to "run" a homeschool!
*How to pack up & move a whole household... again, and again, and again...
*How important God's Grace is...
*How unimportant most fights are.
*How much i *love* being a wife &  momma~
*How to dress like a grown-up... (sort of) Hahahaaaa! Still working on this one... 
*i *love* Neil.
*How to put together a website.
*That i don't know much... but i want to... & i'm willing to do something about it.
*Your children can surpass your wildest hopes and expectations...

IN MY 30's I WANT TO LEARN....
*How to impact this world & take back ground our parents lost... for the sake of my children who will battle this darkness after i'm gone. In my 30's God brought me through several intense seasons of learning how to PRAY, and PRAISE. Through these times, He has transformed my heart and continued to soften me and show me that my biggest battle ground is in my own heart and mind. 
*How to FIGHT against what i know to be wrong ~
*and how to EMBRACE love... above all to love, Love like Jesus, "do unto others"...
*How to homeschool successfully through high school. Times TWO, baby!!
*i want to know more about the environment & good nutrition & exercise... to pass on good habits to my littles. Love this one too... i think i'm the healthiest and strongest that i have ever been in my whole life... both in mind and body. 
*How to teach my girls all i learned in my 20's (!) (maybe not all, but LOTS) I love the wonderful, capable women that my girls have become. i don't think i would have dreamed that i would still be in my 30's as my oldest plans her wedding - but what a beautiful thing that she has seen in our young, crazy marriage - nothing to fear. 
*Miracles happen, hearts soften... Indeed, they do. 
*Neil loves me...Oh, how he has persistently and consistently taught me this. 
*How to let my babies go... tears. 
*How will we do this dating thing?? We will do it the way we've done a lot of our parenting... it will be messy and off the cuff. It will be scary and hard. We will talk and listen. The rules will be few, but our main focus will be keeping their hearts. 
*More about prayer and fasting...
*How to find a schedule that i can actually do. Oh, paige, was this written before the days when you realized that schedules have to constantly change so that they continue to work for you? Learn to be flexible, work hard, be consistent... schedules will come and go - and they will only work as well as your character does. 
*How to get up earlier in the morning. Um, this one is actually pretty easy when you're not eternally sleep deprived. i'm sorry you felt like you weren't good enough because it was so hard for you to wake up in the morning for so many years. Now, you get up at 6:15 without an alarm. You work out before the kids are up. You drink coffee because you enjoy it, not because you need it. But you miss sleep deprivation because it means there aren't any babies in the house anymore...

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

playlist