Extra Grace

For the last 5 years of married life, my life has been relatively easy.  Sure, there have been some bumps, but nothing unmanageable.  In different ministries I am a part of, there is a common theme of extending extra grace to people (especially moms).  When thinking about people going through a tough time (job loss, marital difficulty, faith testers, etc), I often think to myself, “She’s going through a really hard time, so it is important to be extra gracious in those situations.”  I love that I have been able to give of myself, my time, and money to help out others.

Recently, I have found myself in a season of being that woman that I speak of:  in a time of needing extra grace.  (There is nothing wrong with that, but I am just not used to it).

My family and I are experiencing a lot of changes right now.  Though I like change, this has been a little more than I prefer.

Since January, we have or will….

– added a 5th member to our family
– have a newborn, a toddler, and a pre-schooler (no wonder I get so many weird looks)
– to sell our house (with a newborn, toddler, and pre-schooler)
– to buy a home….from halfway across the country
– to move halfway across the country
– leave all of our friends, my family, and all that has been familiar in our 5 years of marriage
– change jobs
– raise extra ministry support to balance out the cost of living

That is just a short list.

My entire life is in limbo.  A must-keep-my-house-perfect limbo.  (As much as I enjoy a clean home, I do not actually like keeping it that way all the time).

I am overwhelmed.

And in need of extra grace.

I forget things often (for example, I killed my neighbor’s plant because I forgot to water it).  I am trying my best in ministry roles, but I am not on my A-game (which frustrates me).  I am excited for what is to come but so sad for all I am leaving behind.  Anytime I confide in my friends, I just get more sad because I realize those friends will be very far away.

I know that the end will be sweeter than I could ever imagine.  Because I love and follow a God who promises that.

I know once we move and are settled in our new home, we will begin a new chapter of our lives.  I will sleep well again.  I will make new friends and new memories.  Shoot, I may even have to teach my kids to swim in our (hopefully) pool!  I will be able to leave my house in the morning without having to make it look near perfect.

But we are in limbo.  And limbo is hard.

I am so thankful to my friends who have extended that extra grace and understand that “life is hard for her right now; it is important to be gracious.”   For friends who invite me over and make me lunch.

Things are hard right now.  But thankfully hard comes in seasons (let’s just hope this season is a North Dakota summer, and not this Kansas winter!).

The Post In Which I Ramble (What’s New?)

I have a lot of thoughts going on in my head.  So I will divulge here….

1.  I am reading The Creative Family.  I am really enjoying it but really wish I had more of a creative drive.  It actually is bringing me some inspiration.  The only problem is that I do not want to buy a whole bunch of stuff right before I move, but the creative juices are flowing and I do not want to ignore them.

2.  Moving.  AH!  It (the actual process of it) goes in waves of being very exciting and very overwhelming.  Brett is going house hunting later this month, so please pray for God to show him clearly our home.

3.  I keep having these weird fantasies that I will start loving to cook once I have a nice kitchen that overlooks our beautiful yard (in Florida).  I do not like to cook.  I am pretty sure a change of venue is not going to change that.

4.  I also fantasize that I will become a great baker once my sister gives me her Kitchen Aid mixer.  (See #3 for the reality).

5.  I read the book Steady Days.  Probably one of the best books I have read on family management.  Her heart is to empower women (not condemn them), and I could totally sense her heart.  I did not feel overwhelmed, but rather encouraged to make positive changes in my home.

6.  I have not made said positive changes because I am tired.  Really tired.  And I know I will one day sleep again.  But for now, I am doing what it takes to survive my day and enjoy my children.  (For what its worth, I also think I will be more organized when I move.  I really have no clue where these ideals are coming from.  Hopeful expectation, maybe?!  I am pretty sure I will be the exact same person in Florida as I am now.)

7.  Our house has been showing a fair amount.  I am tired of barely living in our house because we need to keep it in close-to-showing conditions.  I would like my hand soap to be on the counters and for my toothbrush to be easily accessed.  And for my kids to get to enjoy all of their toys again.  I would also like to exercise my creativity (see #1) but that is messy.

8.  I drink too much Diet Coke.  I know this, but because I am tired (see #6), I enjoy the caffeine boost.

9.  I cleaned out my dryer hose.  No wonder the thing has been drying so slow….it was really clogged.

10.  I finally figured out how to get my shower doors clean.  Scrub them with vinegar and water.

11.  My kids are hilarious.

12.  My sister sent me a new baby carrier.  I love it.  I am typing this post as Luke sleeps soundly in it.

13.  I think I may switch my diaper bag today.  I have a big purse that I am dying to use, and I think it will carry all I need it to.

14.  I am going to stop at 14 to prove to myself I am not totally OCD and do not have to stop at 10 or 15.

Loving Life!!

Life is good at the WIlliams house.  Luke is 7 weeks old, and I am feeling so much better.  The first few weeks were wonderful, but I was definitely starting to get pretty exhausted.  However, once I got to the glorious 6 week mark, I felt much better.  Luke is in a pretty good rhythm of eating/sleeping/being awake, so that has been a huge blessing.

Caleb turned 4 last week.  I just look at him and cannot believe how quickly he has grown up.  He is an amazing little boy.  He has entered into a new phase of just loving to learn.  I love hearing him wonder about how the world works.  I cannot remember if I wrote this on Facebook or this blog, but he said the other day, “I know Jesus is in my heart.  Does he get out through my mouth or my tummy?”  Cute, cute.

Chloe is in the midst of her fabulous 2’s.  She is so so so cute.  But she definitely is testing the boundaries.  I put a toy on my desk the other day.  She got it down to play with (but I had told her not to touch it).  I said, “Chloe, why did you get that toy down?”  She responded, “Because it was up high”…..answering the question literally, rather than realizing she was not supposed to have it.

One cute phrase Chloe uses all the time is, “But I was having that.”
If Caleb picks up a toy (that she likes but has not touched the entire day), she’ll say, “But I was having that.”
Or if I eat food off her plate, “But I was having that.”
She has the cutest voice ever, so it makes it all the better!

I love my little brood of three children.  They are so sweet and lovable.  The transition has not been as hard as I expected, but Luke is not mobile or even needy (except for his most basic needs)…so that helps ease the load :).
It is weird, though, because I do not feel like I know him yet.  Obviously, Caleb is my first child, and then he was still so young when Chloe was born that I never realized that you do not really know your baby.  I love Luke and adore him so much.  But knowing how much he will change and how awesome it is to learn your child’s personality, I do not feel like I truly know him….and who he will be.  When I pray for him, God has given my glimpses of his giftings, but I do not know how he will express those yet.  I can’t wait to find out.

So, all in all, life is good!!  I am still tired a lot of the time, but I am learning to survive on less sleep than I would like.