In Which I Make an Attempt

I've been meaning to hop on the old blog and update lately, but these days my intentions never quite line up with my reality.  As it turns out, parenting these 2 little people God gave me is only getting more time consuming and intense as the days fall off the calendar.  Huh, imagine that?  It's especially intense this week while my partner in parenting is living it up in Peru!  Ha ha, I say "living it up" because it seems that getting an extended break from the kids qualifies as an instant good time, but actually I know he is working his rear end off.  He flew out on Thursday morning and won't be back until next week.  He is literally busy from very early in the morning til very late at night and while my mind likes to assume he's got it easier than I do, I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
We took Daddy to the airport early in the morning to send him off.  Naturally both kids slept late and we had to wake them up to get in the car :)  Because isn't that always the way it goes when you have something to do in the morning?  There is always a certain silence that falls over us as we drive to the airport and one of us is leaving the other.  There aren't many things to say beyond, "I love you" and "I wish you didn't have to go" and "I'm really going to miss you."  Thankfully the kids don't really understand what a 12 day absence means, so it was only my eyes that pooled with tears.  I'm so glad he could go, I know the Lord is doing a mighty thing in Lima this week, but it's never easy to say goodbye.  Especially when you really like your husband :) I like his company, I like his lame jokes, I like his crazy ideas for wearing out the kids, I like his ever present smile and I even secretly like the trail of evidence he leaves around the house, reminding me that he's home...(Evidence meaning clothes on the floor, snacks in the living room, books on the nightstand, shoes as far as the eye can see, etc.).  Funny that normally I huff and puff about constantly putting it all away, but right now, I miss it. 

We've been able to skype once, but other than that I am relying on pictures and updates via their facebook page and the church website.  Today I'm especially anxious thinking about him.  He preached twice at a Church plant of our sister Church in Lima and I hate that I wasn't there to hear him and support him.  He was excited about it, but he had to preach through an interpreter, so I'm sure he had some nerves about that whole experience.  I love to hear him teach God's Word and although we are thousands of miles apart today, he was never far from my mind this morning.  For many of our early ministry years I spent every moment I could, at his side, serving along with him.  But in this season of our lives, I'm learning how to support and serve from a distance, in the midst of busy little ones and a home to run.  It's not always easy to be the one who stays back, when often my heart is longing to go, but I know that my mission field is found in the big blue eyes of a little blonde-haired boy and in the heart of a mischievious redhead, who needs the steady presence of one of us.  And right now, that one is me.  A sweet friend of mine shared something with me this year in our Bible study that I haven't been able to forget.  She grew up in a Pastor's home and one that she says was not always balanced in priorities.  Her Dad was gone constantly and the Church always came first.  She said they expected some of that, it seems to go with the territory of being a leader, however she told me that what really stung was to see her Mom willingly volunteer herself out, leaving them often alone or in the care of someone else.  While there is nothing wrong with a baby-sitter or getting a break, it struck my heart to hear my sweet friend remember the pain of that, in her 50's now.  It was a good word for me when the offers to "help" or "volunteer" or "serve" are always plenty, but the price never free.  It always costs someone when either one of us is commited and for now, I'd rather pay the price for Trav to be gone than for our kids to resent both of us being gone. 

If there is one enduring lesson that parenthood has taught me, it's that seasons come and go and just when you think you've got the hang of this one, a big change is just around the corner.  So therefore, don't sweat this one too much!  My opportunites to be by Trav's side will come around again, one day the kids will be older and we'll be able to create adventures of their own or for the 4 of us to do together.  But not yet.  For now my kiddos need me to hold the fort down while Daddy is gone and they need to see me joyfully let him go.  They don't need to hear me complain about being the parent who's "on" more than I'm "off" and they need to know that more than my own agenda or preferences, I love Jesus and I want all of us to be obedient to Him, no matter the cost.  These days aren't easy for me.  I'm glad to be at my parent's house for some extra support and help, but it's just not the same without their Daddy here too.  We're having a good time though!  The kids are busy and my parents are remembering how much work this stage is :) They are also realizing the golden reward of being a grandparent...they get to spoil my kids, love them up and then watch me deal with the bad behavior, while laughing with their hands held over their mouths, ha ha! 

I have some fun pictures to post from our time here already and one of these days I need to write Carter's 9 month update before he turns 10 months!  I'm hoping for another golden afternoon of duel napping and fewer thunderstorms at night :) Our hearts are in another part of the world this week, praying for Daddy and wondering how he's doing.  Next week at this time we'll be packing up to head home and greet him at the airport.  Seems like a long time from now, but I know it will be here before I know it so we're going to do our best to enjoy the week together!

I hope this has been a blessed Sunday for you, no matter what season you are in.
I'm praying through Philippians 1:6 while we are apart...
 "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
What you've started in us and in our family Lord, carry it on to completion!  Both this week and always. 
May I be found faithful to trust YOU with each and every season, no matter my circumstances.


Holly said...

Great post Steph... that God has just where we are supposed to be. It is so interesting when my attitude is in check that when Mike is gone it really does like I am on a "mission" trip as well with long days etc... all to be a blessing to him and my kids. Enjoy the thunderstorms.. we have not had them in forever.

petrii said...

Sweet Stephanie,
You will never be sorry you spent this time with your littles. Time certainly flies by fast and the opportunity to spend time with them waxes and wanes as they grow. My baby is heading off to college in less than a month. Truly the time flies by.

You are absolutely right...seasons come and go and just when you are getting one down, in comes another, but you are a beautiful example of Grace in motion sweet one. God is doing such a work in you. You are a beautiful wife and mama with a heart to follow hard after Jesus. What a beautiful combination!!!

Have a wonderful week with your family ~~ love and prayers go out to you and Travis, as he lives the Great Commision ~~ love you girl ~~ Dawn

Robyn said...

Thanks for sharing this, I have been having a really hard time with having to miss things at youth group (usually the late night things).