As a new month begins and I take down St Patrick’s day garland (and hopefully Christmas lights!!), I reflect on this past month. I look at my calendar to remember what March held. The good and the hard. The new friends made. The milestones reached by each of the kids. You see, my calendar holds more than just our appointments, school events, reminders. It is also the place I write precious memories, funny things the kids said, the kids likes and dislikes, and any milestones reached. It is a quick look at my life. I have stockpiles of calendars saved in my craft room. And when I go back to check something, to transfer memories to baby books – I get to remember. Remember life as it once was. The hard and the beautiful.
March held a few firsts. I began blogging and have fallen completely in love with it. It now fights for my “me” time with my other passion, crocheting. We went on a road trip with the older littles. Goose went skiing for the first time and, of course, loved it! We began our journey with Boy Child and neuropsychologist visits. Man Child learned to ride a 2-wheeler and Goose learned to ride her bike! We made new friends and repaired old ones. We attended a ball! Baby Boy finally got more teeth in and is talking up a storm! March was a fun month, but also a hard month. It won’t be our last hard month, but it marks a new beginning to our journey. A new path that we bravely, chose to walk.
Even better than remembering a month through my calendar, is remembering it through my journal. Flipping through pages of sermon notes, my thankfulness list, my Bible notes, my thoughts. They tell a story. A story of me. My journey. It tells of joys found, joys renewed, encouragement, thankfulness, my battle with selfishness, and redemption. It tells of hope. My hope. And honestly, it tells me that I have been constantly learning the same lesson for the entire month of March: TRUST, FAITH. I am not surprised that it takes me a long time to get something. I am an extremely stubborn person, so I fight each lesson. Even when I know it’s for my good. Even when I want to learn, need to learn. Still I fight. Remembering/reviewing my journal helps me to review those lessons, to pause and really understand, to listen and to hopefully take a few more steps in the right direction. And it reminds me of the ways God has been meeting me where I am. In the midst of it all.
Today’s Psalm, Psalm 81, was the perfect closure to March:
(6-7) I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. In distress you called, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place…I tested you…
(13-14) Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies…
(16) But He would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.
Yes, that was my March, and probably will be my April. I called out to God, in my mourning, my weariness. And He strengthened me. He has tested me and refined me. And He has fed me – food beyond value, beyond my understanding of what is good. It came from unlikely places; from my hurt, my sorrow, from the everyday, from my children. He provided GRACE upon GRACE. In each and every circumstance, He has provided community, friends to walk with me and to care for my children. He gave me life. I must just listen.
As the month has ended, I reflected on my children. I keep looking out the window, and see their toys strewn around the backyard. And I love it. I love the little reminders that they were there. That they played, sought adventure and found it.
The last few days, Man-Child has changed. He is being kind, helpful and thoughtful. He eagerly reads His Bible. He asks so many questions and delights in praying. This morning, he excitedly told his sister how amazing it is, how privileged we are, to be able to read God’s words, written down by the people that walked with Him! He is reminding me that when we recognize our mistakes and ask God for help – He can. He does help us. He changes us and does a mighty work in us. Man-Child reminds me of the joy I find in God and in His word. The privilege and the grace in it all.
Goosey-Girl has been proclaiming her love of Jesus, really she has been doing it since she could talk. The way she prays is music to my ears, and I can only imagine, God’s. Her zest for life and her love of her Savior are amazing. She is teaching me to live like that – unashamedly in love with Jesus.
Boy-Child has been making leaps and bounds in calming his reactions. He is learning to take a second to react, instead of immediately screaming.
Some days Most days, he screams first, and then reacts calmer. We are learning. He is learning. And I am learning to take a minute. To breathe. Some days are better than others. He and I are learning together.
Baby Boy has been learning independence. He is learning that there will be moments that he is not the most important. I am learning that too, though begrudgingly. I, honestly, am a pretty selfish person. Sure, I am a mom and do what they need first, but deep down – I wonder when things don’t fill me up. And then I remember, it isn’t about me. So here I am, learning from my 1 year old. It’s a great place to be, humbled down to reality. That our child-like ways don’t disappear. They are not suddenly replaced with “adult” behaviors.
Goodbye March. Hello April, sunshine, birds chirping, and learning more as we continue on this path. This journey.