(the very first day together)
For the last 3 years, I’ve been counting down the days… Counting down the days, to what I thought was next Tuesday (1st day of school), but as time inched on, I really started to see that today was the day I was really looking forward to. The last day. Today is the end of an era. THEE day. I told Marty that I felt like I was quitting my job and it was my last day of work. It’s somewhat true in a sense. I’m ready for the next step, the next journey, on to another adventure.
Today’s my last day with kids, all day, by myself, for all eternity. All three of them are going to school Tuesday. Hallelujah. The End.
(except for school breaks and holidays of course)
(yes, Deken is not wearing any pants. Such is my life.)
And don’t judge. I know most parents are teary-eyed as their babies go off to school. I get that too. Sorta. But everyone’s life is different. Every one of us has had a different experience having kids and raising them. No two families can truly and completely relate, because there are just so many factors involved. The second that we judge a tired momma that is jumping for joy sending her kids off to school, is the second that we lose our empathy.. We lose our understanding. We lose our solidarity in this parenting world. We judge. It’s ugly. But no wonder, the world is ugly.
I try to hash out what God was thinking when he was creating our family… It goes something like this:
“Uh, yah, that one over there, Kathryn? The stubborn one that picks fights, refuses to use coupons, has a disjointed view of politics, and is addicted to Starbucks? Yah, we’re gonna put these three over there with her.. I know I know… Yes, I said all three.”
Even at the time, I think God was realizing how ill-equipped I was… But that stubbornness in me that ensues fights? That turned into me doing what was best for my kids when they weren’t being fought for.
That refusal to use coupons, means that I want the very best health for my kids, and from the very beginning was able to lean on their tendencies for produce (who gives coupons for carrots?) and I was able to nourish their broken bodies back to health.
My somewhat disjointed view of politics became a basis for understanding that the world is broken, people fight for the wrong things, and that made me even more determined to show my kids how much I understood their senseless behaviors, because it didn’t make sense, but it was happening, and I could do something about it.
And that Starbucks thing? Yah, three adopted kids, unfathomable special needs, a traveling husband (at first), and then chronic cancer? And she only needs to be fueled with coffee? God was Sold! Keep the coffee flowing and I’m self-propelling..
I was not equipped for any of this. But I said yes. Yes, when a yes really meant gonna.be.super.hard.draining.scary.emotional.blech.
And just because I have a God and a spirit to guide me, doesn’t mean I always listen, or win, or defeat. I’m broken, in so many ways, I couldn’t possibly get it all right. But I still said yes, when everything was pointing to no. And even though I have days that are so excrutiatingly hard, compounded by everyone who thinks they can tell me I’m doing it wrong, I still get up again the next day and keep going. Because without them…
And this guy right here…
…there would be no Me. Because what God has given to me is more than enough. My cup overflowth. Because I signed up to answer only to Him. If I had chosen my own path I would probably still be trapsing all over the world, alone, still trying to figure out who “Me” was. My gut forced me otherwise. The screaming and shouting to be obedient and listen to Gods call, no matter how absolutely absurd it sounded to me, was most definitely the hugest surprise blessing I ever could have imagined.
These three bonkers….
….were a huge risk. So many variables. So many unknowns. Doubts. Fears. Failures. But who am I to decide what only the God of this universe can? What sometimes looks terrible, is really a blessing, all packaged up just waiting for you to pull that ribbon and see what joy is inside.
Yes. I’m shoving my kids off to school on Tuesday, and I’m doing it as if I just pulled that ribbon. Gleaming. Smiling. Jumping for joy.
Because I did it.
I listened when I thought listening was a terrible idea. I obeyed when I couldn’t stop thinking “Who is this crazy God, and what the heck?”
The last 3 years have been so hard, yet so fun. 2 kids became 3. The hubby stopped traveling. I got cancer. We moved 2000 miles. We laughed, we cried, we discovered, we grieved, we rejoiced. And most importantly, we trudged on. We never gave up, even when everything and everyone around us said ‘Quit!’
It’s our crazy, messy, crappy, happy life. And it’s all going to change in a few days when all my little birdies fly the nest for the entire day for the first time. We’ll be on to our next journey. There will be another call, another task, another back-breakingly hard decision to be obedient when I just want to curl up in bed and listen to nothing but silence. Today’s my last day. I hear God cheering me to the finish. I hear all this “…last time I have to make them do that” chiming through my head, and I smile, because I did it. I took on an incredibly difficult yet fulfilling task, that I was no where near equipped for, and I watched it all unfold in that sweet rainbow after the rain sort of way.
And whatever comes next, I’ve already said yes. It doesn’t matter how small, or how big, I’ve already said yes. Because what may look terrible about our life to everyone on the outside, is beautiful to us. We’re cared for and being equipped in a way that no person, place, or thing on this earth can do as lovingly as He does. After all we’ve been through, how far we’ve come, and no matter how big our mountains have been, I’d say yes to anything, if its even just a fraction as wonderful as what I’ve already got. I know my worth. He’s shown me that in the last several years, and how incredibly thrilling was this wild ride! Trusting Him makes all the crappy less crappy. Today’s my last day of full-time crappy….. and I’m loving every minute of it.