The blog has been neglected. It’s not because I don’t have anything to blog about. It’s because there is an abundance and I don’t know where to start. This is one of those times when I am just going to write like I speak. I’m going to pretend that you are sitting across from me, with a cup of tea, and we are having a chat. I’m sorry that this conversation is one-sided. Please, feel free to tell me what God’s been teaching you as well.
I started the summer with a plan, and if you follow this blog at all, you will know that nothing I planned worked out. It was going to be a summer of intense schooling, but that did not happen. We didn’t crack a single book! I was a little worried when my husband told me to take a break from school. However, he’s a wise man and that summer break was very much needed for all involved. This year I was excited to start school and that hasn’t happened in quite a while. We are off to a great start and I know it’s going to be a great year.
So, what did I do this summer? First, I spent a lot of time in my garden. I planted, weeded and watched over my plants. It was like a daily retreat being out there. I prayed, I worshipped, I thought about a lot of things, I learned a lot, and I both laughed and cried. My Heavenly father taught me many lessons in the garden this summer.
A few times I went to friends’ houses and helped with their gardens. I enjoyed working and fellowshipping with my friends.
Another thing that I did this summer was drive. We had so many appointments! The usual orthodontist, doctors, music lessons, etc. In addition, one of my children had some testing done. There were hearing tests, reading evaluations, IQ tests and various consultations. We discovered that my struggling learner has a severe language processing disorder. He also has some visual processing issues. We are working with some therapists now. They are helping me set some educational goals for him, and I feel like we are finally moving forward. He also spent a week with one of my friends. She homeschooled him and gave me a lot of good feedback about how to teach him.
Just when I thought things were going to slow down for a bit, something else happened. My nine-year-old daughter developed nervous tics. It seemed like it came out of nowhere, but as we started to look back, we realized that she had been having tics for a while. We took her to the neurologist and she was diagnosed with Tourettes. It turns out she’s not just a nervous kid, which is what I always thought. Her tics range from hardly noticeable to complex. Sometimes she will repeatedly shrug her shoulders, blink her eyes, cough, or clear her throat. Sometimes she will scratch herself and fidget. The most complex tic, and the one that caused us to realize that something unusual was going on, is that she will roll her eyes and turn her head from side to side. We have decided not to medicate, as the side affects of the medicine aren’t worth the benefits.
We are blessed to have a wonderful church family. We explained to her friends what was going on. They love her and it doesn’t matter. We taught her what Tourettes is an she can eloquently explain it to anybody who asks her why she does the things she does. As a mom, it is hard to watch her deal with this, but at the same time, I see it making her stronger. I see that it has somehow made her heart softer and she has grown up in a lot of ways this summer.
I’ve grown up in a lot of ways too. This summer I realized that loving my family and caring for my home are not distractions from the “bigger” things. I’ll share a little information, that I don’t talk about very much. Eleven years ago, I applied and was accepted into a Master of Fine Arts writing program. It was a rare opportunity, as I was accepted without having a bachelor’s degree. I was even offered a small scholarship. At the same time, God added a son to our family. He had a lot of special needs and it quickly became evident that I wasn’t going to be able to care for my family, meet his needs and do the MFA program. I gave up the school, but I always planned to do it someday. I felt like getting my Masters degree and pursuing a writing career would be a way for me to reach a lot of people and do “great things”. All these years I have loved my family, but in the back of my mind I was waiting for the day when I could do “important” things.
Well, the message that I got loud and clear this summer is that being a wife and a mother is a high calling. Driving kids to appointments, jobs, music lessons, and classes is serving God. Training my kids, loving my husband, being a good friend and simply caring for the people around me is great and important in the eyes of God.
I have to tell you, I feel so free! I don’t feel like I have to try to be something that I’m not anymore. I’m no longer worried about if I’m doing enough. I know that i am where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I am enjoying my life and not constantly fighting against self-condemnation. I don’t feel pressured to be the belle of the ball or to win approval of others. I’m not totally free of worrying about what people think of me yet, but I’m getting there.
As far as writing, I’ve decided that it isn’t the “big thing” that I am going to do with my life. Being wife, mom, friend, neighbor, loving and caring for others…that’s the important work of God. I love to write and maybe someday I will write for publication again, but that’s not nearly as important as what I’m called to right now.
I’m not going to edit this blog. You have it just like it is, and I’m okay with that. 😉