Here is the longer version of life right now... mostly for my mom, who has undoubtedly been worrying about me! (love you, mom!)
I am insanely busy this fall. Insanely. Life is a constant juggling act of school, planning, correcting, remembering who has worship band practice when (3 different kids), who has soccer practice when (4 different kids), who needs to eat dinner early in order to go to aforementioned practices (5 different kids), who needs what in order to be ready for co-op classes on Tuesday (6 different kids), what I need to do to be ready to teach my classes on Tuesday (fortunately there is only 1 of me!), how to get 3 children to soccer games in different places at the same time.... with the usual grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry thrown in there. And maybe some cleaning when I can't stand the house anymore. Oh yes, and occasionally seeing my husband.
We are working diligently on daughter G's phase 2 driving hours, but for now I am still the only day-time driver in the family, so much of my afternoons and early evenings are spent chauffeuring.
Many moms go through this. I know it is not unique to me. And it is a temporary stage.
But this level of busy-ness is layered with the emotional work of helping daughter H through the loss of her first family and her bonding with us. It is this emotional work and the lack of margin in my life that just overwhelmed me the last couple weeks. There are many things we cannot change about our present circumstances, but there are a few things we can change. We are working to create more margin in my life. More down time. More time for fun and relaxation. More exercise. More rest. I am learning to let some things go. Even more things than when my kids were little and I was physically exhausted all the time.
But the emotional work is just going to be hard work. There's no getting around that. I struggle with knowing how much to share here, on a public blog, about a very private matter. How to communicate the delicate balance I am living... being the mom who daily loves and invests and cherishes and protects and works to learn the likes and dislikes and needs of my girl... while my girl continues to fruitlessly yearn for the love of her first mom. The delicate balance between what my head knows and what my heart feels.
Sometimes the pain is so great I cry myself to sleep. Yet it is nearly always mixed with joy. Learning to live with this.... the way things are and are likely to be... accepting that daughter H's journey is her journey, and she will grow and change and wrestle and struggle and accept and grieve and blame and forgive in her own way and in her own time.... it's just hard. Worthwhile, God planned, beautiful, mysterious, and hard.
That God is all over this I have no doubt. And that gives me great hope.
In other news....
Daughter G and I went to our first college fair last week. We visited the booths of about 7 colleges and had some great conversations with the representatives. Daughter G felt a bit overwhelmed. I felt like it was a great information gathering evening. I have no idea how we will even begin to pay for college, but we are planning some college visits anyway, and dreaming and trusting. Daughter G is very focused on trying to get art and academic scholarships. She is highly motivated and very driven. She has a pretty good idea of what she wants to study (art education) and can see how God could use her in a variety of ways in the future. Such a great girl we have!
The recreational soccer teams that sons G and L are on have not done well this season with their win-loss records. It is interesting for me to see how each son has responded to this. Son G doesn't really care how many wins his team has. He plays his best each time and just has fun. Son L is very disappointed. He had high hopes for his team (as did his coach) and now that they have no chance at the championship it is tempting for him to "give up". We have told him over and over that his mind is the most powerful part of his body, but he is having a hard time winning the mental part of the game. Both boys look amazingly handsome in their uniforms! I hope that doesn't sound creepy for their mom to say that.
Son C and Little Man have discovered what we think is an abandoned homeless person's shelter in the woods near our house (yes, it is truly abandoned). They are working on it nearly every day and fixing it up. If either of them decides to run away from home, that is the first place I am looking. ;)
I bought myself new pajamas at Costco recently. They are soft and warm and cuddly and make me feel pretty. Win, win, win, and win! (and they were inexpensive! Win again!)
Several weeks ago my husband volunteered to move to another project at work. He officially began it yesterday, and was a tad disappointed to learn that he would not be doing what he thought he would be doing (something new and different). He is committed to it now, but is hoping he will not regret volunteering. There is an opportunity in this new project for more of a leadership role, which would be very stretching for him. I am praying God makes things clear, and that my husband would continue to find favor in the eyes of his supervisors. I may be biased, but he is such a great software developer! I am so very thankful for his job.
We have a whole bunch of new babies and pregnant moms at church. I mean, a whole bunch! So fun to see their beautiful round bellies, and then later to hold their perfect, tiny babies!! God sure knew what He was doing when He planned for humans to start as babies. (I approve! haha)
This is long, so it is all for now. If you are not my mom and you read this far, you deserve an award!