Friday, October 14, 2011

Seasons

Seasons of life...

the ebbs and flows... the never knowing... the following... trusting... putting your head down and just walking on through seasons, ever changing, never the staying the same.

Life is never quite what we expect.  Neither the good nor the bad are predictable.  My belly is a bit swollen and round, and after 15 weeks I still look over at my Erik and say, "Can you believe we are pregnant?"  Like, where did this come from?  It wasn't scribbled in on my to do list for this year.  It wasn't what I expected, but it is good.  I'm thankful that God writes our stories instead of us.  I might have stopped at four, and can I imagine life without my Jack?  I wouldn't want to. And, my heart is so ready for this next little one.  I am so happy to be with child once again! :-)

A few weeks ago we dedicated our baby Jack ~ all seven of us standing before the congregation.  And, I giggled to Erik later that it was a first for us ~ dedicating the child we held in our arms while another child was growing deep inside.  

I'm not getting much sleep these days. Jack is in a routine of waking 3 times at night.  He quickly returns to sleep, but still...  And, pregnancy helps to make me weary some days.  I took the boys to the pumpkin patch with some friends earlier this week.  It was a fun and relatively easy outing.  My boys are good to me, and I am so thankful.  If they were not, I fear we'd have to stay home because I couldn't handle it all by myself.  But, they are helpers.  They carry things for me, hold the baby, and watch their younger brothers.  I'm thankful.  But, at the day's end I was tired, so, so tired.  And, I fell into bed knowing that it wouldn't be long before my precious fuzzy headed friend would need me.  But, as I lay there, I pondered deeply my day ~ and not just this day ~ all of these days.

These are some of the hardest days of my life.  And, by hard I mean physically hard ~ mostly.  But, also, I mean hard because I am laying aside the things that I selfishly desire for the ones I love most.  Elisabeth Elliot once said that her parents taught her this in regard to her brothers and sisters, "My life for yours."  Christ lived out daily.  My life for yours.  For this season, it is for me, my life for theirs.  And, it feels good.  It feels right.  I'm tired.  I'm worn out daily.  The old ladies at my church watch me walk my children into Wednesday night activities, and they smile and say, "Bless your heart."  And, oh, it is blessed!!  God has used this time to strip me and teach me to live for someone besides myself, and oh, how I needed that!  I need it still!  I am thankful for the hard. I am thankful that I, who used to struggle with the inability to fall asleep, rarely wrestles with thoughts deep in the dark of night.  I'm worn too ragged to wrestle.  I've simply given up, given in, and often feel that I am just falling into His arms.  It's never been my life to plan and choose, anyway, right?

Falling into bed exhausted, completely spent, means I did something today.  I gave of myself today, and that feels good.  I spend a lot of time and energy complaining that my life is hard.  Sometimes I tell Erik that, "No one understands.  No one has any idea..."  But, even as I complain, I wouldn't have it any other way, not for a second. Not for one single second.

The winds of change are blowing.  I can feel them, their gentle breeze cool and soft in my face.  We lost some trees this week, and this was quite hard for me...


However, it has not been hard for my husband who is quite excited about the changes coming.  I'm a little more reserved, holding my breath, waiting...  There is a hole in our woods now. :-(  But, it was a carefully constructed, planned out hole.

The day our friend came with the bulldozer Eriky asked me to read The Giving Tree to him at nap time.  I had to laugh at his choice!  Here I was mourning the trees our friend was taking down, and he wants me to read The Giving Tree!  Oh, the irony!  I got about halfway through the book when sweet Eriky stopped, hugged his silky, looked up at me with big brown eyes, thumb in his mouth, and said, "I just love that tree!"  Oh, heart smile!!! :-)  I just love him!

But, to come full circle, I pray that I can be like that sweet tree always giving, always happy.  I make Eriky finish the sentence each time the book reads, "And, the tree was..." pause, wait for little man, "Happy!"

"Who was happy?" I ask him.  "The tree," he answers.  "Was the boy happy?" I probe.  "No," he says after thinking a minute.  I agree, "No, the boy wasn't happy.  He was always searching, always wanting more.  So, who was happy ~ the one who gave or the one who took?"  He looks at me, big brown eyes full of thought, "The tree who gave."

Let it be with me, Lord.  Oh, that I would be willing daily to give my apples, my branches, even my trunk.  Let me not be fooled by the lies of this world telling me that happiness comes from having more and more, from being served.  True joy is found in laying down my life for You, for others.  Give me eyes to see Your truth and courage and strength to act on it.

3 comments:

Tara Lee said...

beautiful - thank you for sharing.

Bree said...

Congratulations! (I've been out for awhile :) ) Secondly, thank you for sharing-isn't this what life is about, to serve, to love, to praise, to glorify...so far from self...and sometimes so hard to do. Erin, you worded this so beautifully-thank you, thank you. I am in a season that is so far from self and I've struggled, some days down to the pits...and by His grace He gently leads me out. Humbly, I take one step at a time, His love gently leading and reminding, "I'm not finished with you yet." (Max Lucado's Wormie :)) Praying for you!
~Bree

Kim said...

I've been reading for a long time but not sure if I've ever commented. Thank you for this beautiful post. It hit me just where I needed. I am in a season of struggling with my selfishness. Thank you for the encouragement!

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

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