Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Transitions and Milestones

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep...
Lyrics from Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds,
adapted from Ecclesiastes

We said tearful goodbyes to my parents this past Friday...

Our family's world was rattled and a new, strange season began for us on June 2, when my water broke at 28 weeks.

And here we are, three months later.

September 2 marked exactly three months since that day. It seems like God chose that date as a very distinct beginning point to the next season He has for our family. It's a date full of significance, since it is the anniversary of the day BB first asked me to be his girl, 14 years ago (and we were married one year and two days later on September 4, 1999).

September 2 fell during the long weekend, only two days after my parents' departure. We were blessed to have had live-in help for almost all of 10 weeks - the span of my hospitalization and then some. But the time had come for us to take stumbly steps into Just the Nine of Us territory.

One of the most special things about mom's stay here was the fun things she did with the kids and taught them. Remember the newspapers at the beginning of the summer? And they made terrariums, as well has having lots of sewing lessons with mom. They all know more about a sewing machine now than I do, that's for sure!

Mom stayed with us twice. Her first stay began right when I was hospitalized. I am so thankful that she was willing to stay with the kids so BB could be with me overnights at the hospital. Looking back, the snatches of time we had together while waiting for Baby H were really precious and truly helped keep our marriage strong in a time of strain and uncertainty.

I am blessed to have such devoted, committed parents who pray for us and help us and love us and our babies.

We are thankful that God gave us a long weekend over which to begin getting our bearings - how does life need to look now? What's important? How do we get it all done? What's God's best for us in this new normal?

One little step toward normalcy that we took over the weekend was to go on a day trip. We love to escape occasionally like that, usually to somewhere that involves exploring, playing, picnicking and the like. This time we went to a state park where BB and the kids waded and swam in the river (in 100 degree weather!). I sat in the shade on a blanket with Baby. It was a bit cumbersome, organizing the nine of us to go, but we did it, so now we have experience in that area!

Another element that comes with a change of life seasons is a kind of cleansing. All of us are changed because of the adventure of Baby H's pregnancy and birth. God has grown us each. At the same time, seasons of crisis and survival mode mean that elements of our character may go ignored, unnoticed, and sometimes bad habits form. What I'm saying is that each of the children has specific character issues that need to be addressed. In a sense, we have not fully parented in three months. It's pretty intense right now as we try to discern their heart needs and prayerfully deal with discipling, discipline, and counseling needs.

But don't think it's just the kids who need to do some soul-searching! The Lord did great work in me over the summer, but there's much more to be done. Always will be, right? He loves us too much to leave us as we are. As a Perfect Parent, He works to change us more and more into Christ's likeness.

I never pictured myself as mama to seven. Nor could I have imagined the way God would bring Baby H to us, and the impact that would have in my life, in the family's life. But what an insanely generous God we serve, to have blessed us like this!

But this job is definitely too big for me. It is overwhelming. And He gives me this Truth:

...But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, Who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:9

Indeed, and Amen!

I cling to this truth, to Him and I'm learning to pour out my heart to Him throughout the day...

I lift up my eyes to the hills - 
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, 
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121: 1-2

Shifting gears a bit:

It's a grainy, dark phone photo, yes, but such a sweet memory. We were quite unexpectedly given the chance to go out and celebrate that September 2nd "first date" anniversary Sunday night. We tried out this charming little outdoor biergarten at a nearby restaurant. What a cozy, fun atmosphere, complete with a live band of older gentlemen, playing old-school country music, kind of Johnny Cash style. It was a special night for me and my true love.

Thanks be to God. BB is truly my best friend and hero and I love living this life with him. It has been a wonderful journey.

Oh, and on a really rambly note: I'm so thankful for God's mercies today in some little ways. It was encouraging to recognize His presence and kindness when...

I lost my sunglasses clipons at the grocery store, but had already loaded the littles up in the car and had to go on home. I prayed that someone would turn them in and planned to go back by the store before school pickup time to check the lost and found.

When I got home, I found the sunglasses in Baby's carseat! I was so thankful to God and relieved.

As I unpacked the groceries, I realized I wasn't seeing some vitamins I'd bought. Sigh. I went to look in the Suburban to see if I'd left them out there. Well, I hadn't. But I did find two blocks of cheese before it was too late. Threw those in the fridge, then saw the missing bag of groceries containing the vitamins. I'm glad for God's tender mercies on this absentminded housewife today!


  1. Beautifully expressed, all of it. And, so honoring to your sweet parents. I am praying for you as you take these first, wobbly steps as 9. Keep your eyes on Jesus and His mercies, you can't go wrong with that, trusting that He will continue to give you wisdom in all that you do all while sanctifying your hearts.

  2. Beth, I'm so glad none of the groceries or the glasses went totally missing! I love love love those little details.

    And when I read your post, I realized that we are dealing with some character issues with G. I didn't have the words for it, exactly, but I always learn something about parenting from you. Thank you, as always, for sharing your heart.