Ohhmygosh…. Where to begin? Can I breathlessly sigh…maybe sit down here a while? I’ve missed here. This blog…this little corner.
Truthfully, I’ve just missed writing in general. It’s been too long. The book…the holidays…
Ten days into the new year and it still feels like Christmas. But it feels like March too. The days are long but the years are short. A wise mama other than me said that once when my babies were babies and it was YESS then but it’s yes now too.
My goal, our family’s goal, in 2015 we decided, is simply To Be Stronger. Of course, there’s a secret Type A side of me that I keep hidden well and she likes to think on things a bit and then “expand”.
So our To Be Stronger aim became one of those bubble-and-line think sheets we all learned how to do in English back in 5th grade, and pretty soon our Be Stronger found itself smack in the middle of the page with branches of Emotional, Financial, Spiritual, Marital and Physical bubbles sprawled across the coffee-stained white in bold print with little baby bubbles of how-to dangling off of them.
And before my little boy handsome even knew about all these goals and bubbles his mama’d been working on, he stood up to pray in his kids’ church class. Which was a huge Be Stronger feat in itself because he hasn’t been to kids’ church class since last March when he abruptly decided with tears in his eyes that he wanted to hang with Mom and Dad and go to adult class or help them teach the little kids. Stuck like glue to his folks he is.
But we’ve been taking him and sitting with him since he was missing his kids’ class but just didn’t have enough strength to go by himself.
And at the end of class that day at the end of the year, he summoned every ounce of his little brown-haired boy courage and stood up at the closing when the teacher asked if anyone wanted to pray. He folded his chubby little man-hands and he squinted his eyes tight and he thanked the Lord for the day like his daddy always does…
…and he asked God if He would help us all to grow strong.
And my Mama heart bust open. He didn’t even know we’d been talking about that.
But isn’t that what we all need? To grow stronger?
Even when we don’t know we need it, we need it.
And in 2014, our strength walked us through…
-helping our girl learn to walk her first year as a brand-new Christian
-one cancer diagnosis
-one death in our family back home
-one rooster execution
-two goat rehomings
-four guinea pig deaths
-seven weeks of radiation treatment
-a barnyard reconfiguration
-raising, butchering and processessing a flock of 30 meat chickens
-another long weekend at the annual fair
-publishing a book
-a twenty-year marriage anniversary
A little less stressful than some years, a little more than others. Just a year.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength but sometimes you’re just walking your normal life and you don’t even realize your strength has waned some but there it is, the load that once felt stable now feels heavier and your muscles start to quiver some and all of a sudden…you just feel a little worn out.
So you slow down to rest a bit more. And rethink. Refresh. Refill. Rejuvenate. Reenergize. Regenerate.
To grow stronger.
Even a six-year old can see it.
Sometimes you need to slow the pace so you can take some deep breaths in…and let some deep breaths out.
So ten days into this year…
…we sleep a little longer and don’t feel guilty.
…we pile up on the big bed most every night for devotionals and long family bedtime prayers.
…we cut back on all outside obligations, reorganized others to fit better, and only allow the calendar to hold things that are a) easy b) refreshing or c) bring great strength to us or those who need us.
…we read the Bible every day.
…we exercise for six minutes at the top of the hour on school days to refresh and strengthen.
…we cook fun new things out of a new cook book.
…we talk a bit more.
…we smile a bit more.
And hopefully, after all the days and all the weeks, we’ll get to the end of 2015 and we’ll be able to squint our eyes and clasp our hands and thank the LORD for the day…
…and celebrate being stronger.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.