It's been a whole lot of nothing extraordinary. Just ordinary, home days. Full of vision, full of learning, full of living....
Of course, we did have a nasty freeze on Monday which caused a pipe to burst and subsequently had/have to deal with plumbers and work crews...and of course our van died at the same time so I was stuck at home, and we just had stuff to deal with... the old me would have still been stressed out about this.
In fact... about 4 years ago we had a series of similar experiences in our house, and back then, my heart and head were a mess and I was a stressed out grouch-bag. I was working part time, home with two boys under 4, and pregnant with a third. Our We were barely holding things together, still reeling emotionally from sudden tragedy and dear hubby was in his old position at work which required frequent travelling, so he was away... a lot.
Our oldest son caused a flood in the house that caused upwards of $16,000 in damages (that's right). Chaos.
Back then, I felt very alone. Though God provided amazing people to help me get through it. One of those people came by almost everyday, or at least called - because, I as found out much later...she was worried I was going to have a nervous breakdown...and I probably would have if not for her and the prayers of many... (things were going to get much worse before they got better).
Anyways, I felt alone.
I was stressed and depressed.
I was angry and tired.
I felt like I had to be strong (or at least pretend I was), regardless of the fact that I was overwhelmed.
I pressed on like that for a long time, still things got worse, and worse...
Until I was broken.
Until I was forced to surrender.
Until I was forced to take up peace and keep what grace gives.
After the flood of 2007, we had a few years of serious challenges.
Some which we are still dealing with.
Years of STORMS.
And then the rain stopped.
A year of CHANGE.
A new "school", new church, new schedule, new focuses... after all that change, I feel like we've finally found our new normal. Happy Sigh!
Though I should mention, it's not all sunshine. There's still the odd rain, aftereffects and such. But the storms are passed. The white knuckles are gone. HOPE and PEACE reign.
Now I can say, I'm so grateful for those horrible seasons, because we GREW in them. We were forced to make choices and decisions that made us stronger, better and trust God most. We received favour. Purely unmerited. We grew in wisdom and knowledge (though we still have so much more to learn). We found about about little things like extra insurance and coverages (an extra $30/month saved us $100's in plumbing bills), the difference of quality tradesmen ($10,000 quote vs $1000), price shopping, and keeping a home calendar (flip that switch every December). We learned big things like trusting the inner voice (should have checked that fusebox when I had the recurring inkling 3 weeks ago) and welcoming God into the mundane (sending baby boy to take out food waste and hearing a gush of water when we opened the door, right as it happened, not an hour later)... these big and small things all make a huge difference.
I know it, because the past two weeks have been awesome. The "incident" on Monday, barely registered a blip on my "drama meter". I've had a great couple of weeks.
Needless to say, I am SO HAPPY that the person I was then and the person I am now are soooo different. I have not been stressed. I actually got to the end of today and said to myself "what a great couple of weeks we've had". I had already forgotten about the "crises" (even though things are far from cleaned up).
Perhaps part of this "new normal" is also because with the home schooling we've "settled" into things... a routine of sorts. I've relaxed into a state of peaceful trust (in my heavenly Father and myself), so I'm not worrying about them learning what they need to learn. I'm told this is normal. (It helps that they've surpassed my expectations curriculum-wise). There are still interesting and frustrating moments, but overall it's been fun and peaceful. Though I feel like we're definitely NOT normal, part of the minority, swimming upstream so to speak...it's better. Since the changes, we're different, and we're OK with it. We've enjoyed the "winter" we've had, one sunny and mild day hiking, then other days skating and today finally tobogganing! quiet visits, afternoons reading or watching movies, some days hardly leaving the house, others out and about, but not stressed.
Or...perhaps part of this new normal is acceptance. Things change, people change, I change. Changing churches was really hard on me. I find I still think about it, but not as much, and it doesn't feel as bad. I miss the people I used to see all the time (but only at church). I find it's forced me to be proactive in getting together with people purposefully. I find it's deepened the relationships I do have (especially the ones under my own roof). I also find that I'm trusting God in these relationships more. Trusting that seasons come and go, and who knows what this one, or the one after that holds?
HE does, and He loves me. So it's all good.
When I think back about the time we spent in our previous congregation (18 years), the seasons came and went, bringing people and activities and memories, which also came and went. But I STAYED there through those years and those seasons, while they came and went. Now I'm one of the people that came, and stayed and went.... a new season.
It's been a season of reconnecting. People who were prominent in previous chapters, then moved on...are back again. It's great! So I find it's easier to trust God through this season that people I've loved, and still love, will probably show up in seasons down the road, it helps... alot. ♥
It's been a season of meeting new people, new positions, new groups. I love that I've made some new friends who don't go to church. I suspect they don't even know Jesus yet. ☺
I love that I've gotten to read soooo much, and learn so much. I love that I've gotten to spend so much time with my family. I love that I've been able to pick up writing a bit more. I love that through all of this, I've never felt alone...even though I've definitely been alone a lot...I've never been ALONE, because He is always with me.
It reminds me of something from the messages I heard Sunday (yes I went to 2 church services at 2 different churches - and guess what, God does not change - I heard him say the same thing loud and clear) - the storms of life will hit both the godly and the ungodly... the difference is what foundation they build on. The principles of the world or of God? (Matthew 7:24-27) I'm so glad we built on the Rock.
Yes, I've had a great couple of weeks, and I think this is going to be one of the best years yet.