Life is fast around here these days. This week is a bit slower, at least for me, because I have a break between classes. Nate and I knew that choosing to do grad school at the same time with a tiny babe would be a bit chaotic (okay, a lot chaotic). But here we are, in the midst of it.
Each day starts to feel the same after a while. Alarm goes off (a ringtone or baby talk), stumble out of bed, change Jesse’s diaper, feed Jesse breakfast, Nate goes to work. Nap (schoolwork), lunch, play/errands, nap (schoolwork), play, dinner, baby bedtime, school work, sleep.
I have read many words by wise individuals about seeking God in the ordinary moments. Life feels pretty ordinary lately in our home. And I trust that God is at work. So what will I remember when I look back on this time?
I hope I remember sitting on the living room floor with Jesse, watching him roll and sit and almost crawl, playing and laughing with him. I hope I remember his sweet smile when I come to get him up from his nap and how he kicks his little legs with joy when he sees me come into his room. I hope I remember the many cups of pour-over, the relief and sense of accomplishment that comes with submitting an assignment, the encouraging comments from professors, the sweet words from friends who cheered me on.
And though the errands seem mundane and strictly out of necessity, I hope I remember all the kind strangers who have offered a helping hand when I only had one available. Like the woman at Costco who held Jesse when he was three months old because he was falling out of the wrap and I couldn’t keep shopping without re-wrapping it. Or the people who offered their cart to me in the Aldi parking lot without asking for a quarter in return or helped with that pesky clip on the back of the Ergobaby. And all the smiles and sweet comments and blessings — all of it means more than I can say. There were days that felt impossible, but God showed up in the faces of strangers to remind me He is always near.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:58
This season is one of perseverance and paying attention to God’s kindness.
It is a season of remembering that Nate and I are on the same team, that our goals are equally important, and voicing our expectations and feelings is crucial during a time when our focus seems to be on everything but each other.
This season requires spending intentional time on building relationships with the Lord and with friends because it’s easy to get caught up in grades and deadlines, naps and bedtimes, and forego opportunities to spend time in prayer and in community with others.
There have been late nights, nights where my mind races in opposition to rest, and some nights where sleep is sporadic and unpredictable. There have been early mornings, and afternoons that drag on, and lots of coffee. There have been stress-induced arguments, more than a few exasperated sighs, and many questions on why we’re pursing these degrees/what our life is going to look like over the next few years.
And to be honest, some days my path to becoming a counselor seems vague and intimidating. At the end of all this reading, writing, and studying, what will my career look like? Do I really have what it takes to sit with people in their most painful moments? (That second question is especially apparent in the wake of recent tragedies throughout the world.)
Jobs like the one I’m pursuing exist because this world is not as it should be. But as Jesus does with us, we can sit with others in their pain with hope that one day, whether it is during our lifetime or beyond, it will be redeemed. And when I am sitting across from someone (with a client in the chair of my office or with a friend at my dining room table) who is willing to tell me their story, I know God will give me the grace to help them know they are not alone in their suffering.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21:3-5
So life is fast these days. And the everyday work is hard, but it is purposeful. These ordinary days are part of a more extraordinary story. What a gift to be a part of it.
As a side note, here are a few things I’ve been enjoying lately when I have some free time:
- The Popcast with Knox and Jamie – If you enjoy pop culture as much as I do, you will truly appreciate this podcast. Not sure where to start? Check out the episodes they suggest here.
- L.M. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon trilogy – It’s probably a crime that I never read Anne of Green Gables as a kid, but when I saw the Emily trilogy on sale for Kindle, I decided to try it out first. I was not disappointed at all. I’ve found Emily to be so charming and funny, and she reminds me a bit of myself as a young girl.
- This Is Us – By far my favorite TV show on the air right now. I never keep up with shows anymore, so it’s a big deal that I watch this one every week.
- Music by Harry Styles, Flor, and a playlist created by Ellie Holcomb – Harry Styles’ album might be my favorite of the year, no joke. I wasn’t even a huge One Direction fan, but I am all in for HS. Also, I recently stumbled upon Flor’s album, “come out. you’re hiding” and I can’t stop listening. Additionally, Ellie Holcomb created a playlist on Spotify called “Light in the Dark” and it is a beautiful compilation of uplifting and encouraging songs.
- PrepDish – If you’ve never heard of this awesome meal planning service, you’re missing out. The plan includes a grocery list and instructions for a “prep day” and each “dish day.” I’ve had a prep day the last two Sundays, and the hard work on just one day has made the weekdays so much simpler.