Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Slow Learner, I Am!

The homestead is unusually quiet.  There are no workers hammering, no children playing, only the click clack sound of Rain's nails tapping the concrete floors and the gentle roll of the coffee maker percolating.  Erik has the four older boys, and I am here keeping watch over my sweet babies ~ both of which are napping.  Thus, I am left with coffee, Christy Nockels (on nano), and my computer.  My heart is full.

So many people ask me how things are going with the addition of our sixth child .  It tickles me because some of them visibly cringe when they ask me ~ almost as if they are afraid of my answer.  Rest assured, all is well here.  Life is busy.  Life is full.  But, as always, life is good, really good.

As always, God is whispering, teaching me new little lessons.  Well, maybe.... they are old lessons that I need reminding of or that I need to continue to work on. :-)  I'm a slow learner.  I actually looked at my sweet Emery girl yesterday and wondered the thing that I wonder so often ~ what will she be like, this little girl of mine.  And, I thought, "Maybe she will be like me ~ except without fear."  Since fear and lack of trust have plagued me since birth.  And, then God gently reminded me that I could be "me ~ except without fear" if only I would let go and trust Him more. Ouch.  And, I think that slowly, gently, sweetly He is working this out in me in ways that only He can.

I love Him for so many reasons.  But, I think the most beautiful thing about Him is His tenderness toward me ~ His patience, His gentle prodding.  He knows what our society does not know, and that is that it is best not to rush things.  That some of the most beautiful things in creation ~ from gorgeous aged oak trees to the Grand Canyon are formed over years and years and not overnight or with the click of a button.  And, true beauty, as well, may just be a slow process ~ a slow process very much worth the wait.  And, so we carry on.  We walk on hopeful, prayerful, and thankful.

Through the busyness of meeting the needs of 6 children 9 and under, He has taught me to slow down and trust Him.  I make plans, but He directs my steps.  I make my plan each morning.  I always have a list.  I love a good list.  And, so I take my plans, and I offer them to Him.  And, I am learning to trust Him to choose how my day will be spent.  This was especially true a week or so ago when school was still in full swing.  My lesson plans were made... but He directed my steps.

After Emery was born, I really felt that He brought me to the end of myself.

Early in the school year one of the board members at Excelsior told me, "Erin, if you do 75% of the work assigned in each class, then you are doing well.  Don't try to do it all."  She went on to say, "There are two types of people who do not survive at Excelsior.  The ones who don't do any of the assignments.  They quit because why participate if you aren't going to participate.  And, the other are those who try to do everything that is assigned.  They burn out.  You have to decide what is best for your family in the various seasons of life."  But, I am type A, and I have good, strong German blood coursing through my veins. And, even though I was told this, up until Emery was born we were doing 100% of the assignments.

But, with the addition of Emery, I literally could not do it all.  It was impossible.  Each day I made a list of things to accomplish only to be frustrated because Jack and Emery alone kept me busy.  The laundry was piling up, the house falling apart, and I was literally teaching with one child in the baby carrier and one on my hip.  I drive hard.  I work hard.  I push hard.  Why, you ask? I don't know.  But, it all goes back to the fear that has plagued me my whole life ~ fear of the unknown. Like when I was a child I really thought the world might open up and swallow me whole if I got my name on the board or I made a B. So, being unable to keep my home running like a well oiled machine was KILLING me!!! Discouragement was beginning to settle in on me.  But, then sweetly, beautifully He whispered deep within my soul....

"Sweet girl, you try so hard.  You push and push, but you are simply beating your sweet little head against the wall.  Relax, and fall back on Me.  I promise that I will catch you.  Many are your plans, your lists, but, Love, I direct your day.  You want so much to do, and do, and do ~ to check every little box off on your list.  Could you trust Me?  Could you relax and simply take care of the precious gifts I have given you?  I will fill your gaps.  Will you trust Me?  Will you trust Me even if the boxes aren't all neatly checked?  Will you trust Me even if you fall into bed without every i dotted or every t crossed?  Will you trust even when it doesn't all work together the way you want it to?  Let's let a little more of your fears go. Will you rest and trust?"

And, so I took a deep breath.  At this point I think we had about 2 weeks left of school to finish up.  I began approaching each day in a new way, and it made all the difference.  I made my lessons plans, my lists, but I did not own them.  I gave them to my Maker.  And so, when I snuggled my little ones in for naps, only to sit down and begin diagramming sentences and hear a baby crying, refusing a nap, I reminded myself that He directs my steps, my day.  So, I would go get my little one and put off diagramming with Joshua until a more opportune time.  Somedays a more opportune time came, and somedays it did not. And, those days we went to bed without finishing grammar that day.  And, guess what!!!  The earth did not split up and swallow us whole!!  I, also, learned that I could, in fact, send the boys on Fridays without having them perfectly prepared.  And, they came home in one piece and even with a smile!!  So, slowly I am learning to not get frustrated when I can't do the things that I want to when I want to... because God has a plan!!!  His plan doesn't always look like mine, but I learned that I could trust His plan, trust Him!

Recently, I heard an interview with Christy Nockels where she talked about her new album ~ Into the Glorious.  She talked about how she asked a friend of hers who has 9 children how she does it all.  The friend said something like this, "Christy, I invite the Glorious into the mundane."  I loved that!  The Glorious treading my floors as I teach and train and hold and rock and do laundry and sweep.  The silly mundane chores are seen in a different light when we realize that the Glorious is there with us, guiding us, directing us, holding us, loving us.  May His sweet light and precious presence fill your home as you serve your family for His glory!


Bree said...

This is beautiful and such an encouragement! I too share the same-fear. But God has been faithful (as always) working on my heart, breaking this self and allowing me freedom through trusting in Him. It is oh so good! Peace comes with it :) Have a blessed week!

Sarah said...

Loving you this morning, and your photo--we will talk again soon, but it was so good to hear your voice Saturday! Hug yourself for me :)

Linda said...

Your wisdom and your sweet spirit bless me so much Erin. Praying His peace will fill your heart as you lean heavily into Him.

Tyna said...

It is so cool that you believe the Lord calls you His 'sweet girl'. Oh, to believe in such love...

Kristi said...

Thank you for this beautiful reminder to rest in and give our plans to Him!! Congratulations on your sweet baby girl!!!

Anonymous said...

Erin, you never stop amazing me!!! You always write something I so need to hear!! You are truly a blessing!!

Anonymous said...

amen sister. God is teaching me to stop working "for Him", but "with Him"! it doesn't seem so hard. :0)

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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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