This last month has been rather busy, and I told friends that my July was going to be completely empty! But that’s part of my story.
We can divide many of our troubles into problems we can do something about, and problems we can’t do anything about. Often our problems are a mix of the two. What I’m learning is that sometimes we conclude there’s nothing to be done when in fact, we haven’t thought creatively.
I can’t do anything about Lee’s busy schedule. He works long hours, and for awhile I shrugged my shoulders and said “I guess we’re stuck.” But then I realized that I could go to the hospital and spend time with him when he’s on call. I could make sure chores are done when he’s home so I am free to sit beside him at night and read. I can find a way to make sure I have a regular date time, and I have the freedom to wake up at 5:00 in the morning to make coffee and chat while he gets ready. Not all of those things are easy to do, and I don’t do them all at once, every day, even on the best of days. But I’m not stuck at all. I can’t change the work schedule, but I can change how I order my day so that I can maximize the time I do have. If I needed to, I could do bigger things. How I respond to a challenge shows me what is important: how important is it that the kids and I see their daddy and my husband? What am I willing to give up to make that happen?
Now for background fact #1: When we came to San Antonio, we looked for a house between the two hospitals where Lee would be spending his time. I mentioned that I’d like a house in the middle, so I wouldn’t have to move midway through the fellowship. We didn’t know why we couldn’t find a house that worked for us in this location, so we broadened our expectations and rented a house instead of buying. It has been a good place to be for a number of reasons. One of the fun things for our children was a culdesac just right for riding bikes with the many neighbor children on our street.
Background fact #2:Because we move frequently, I’ve learned that one of biggest priorities is helping my children develop good friendships in their new place. Here again, I am challenged: what am I willing to give up to make this happen? How far will I drive? How flexible will I keep my schedule? Am I willing to choose or change my friends so that my children have friends, too? Would I be willing to move midway through the fellowship to be closer to friends?
Background fact #3: We’ve been praying for wisdom about the need for our children to be saved. When asked about salvation one child offered as a reason the fear that getting saved would mean having to give up the neighbor friends. We’ve taught our children that being saved doesn’t mean you cut off all contact with unsaved people, but we have also taught them that a wise child will choose wise friends. We’ve defined this as friends who want to do right, and who help us do right. And even though the neighbor children are sweet and in general pretty well behaved, they don’t fit in this “wise” category. Several months ago, Lee and I talked about the possibility of moving closer to church friends as a means of removing an apparent stumbling block to salvation, as well as giving them a better choice for good friends. It seemed like God answered our prayer for wisdom, but moving is a big choice, so we were moving rather slowly.
Until the end of June, when our landlord decided he didn’t like the month-to-month lease and wanted to move to a year lease. When we explained (again) why we weren’t prepared to do that, we were told we needed to move by the end of July. Lee and I chuckle now, because that got us moving fast! As it turns out, we ended up purchasing a house near church friends and are in the middle of a very quick move. How good is God! How merciful! July is probably the last month for 9 months with an open schedule. Had God not moved us this month, we might never have moved.
What’s the point? All the movement in our family is the reason for not posting more frequently. When the dust settles, I’ll be writing more. The second point is that we must be prepared to make choices that are best for the spiritual development of our children. Sometimes those choices aren’t obvious. Sometimes we have to ask God for wisdom. Sometimes the answer is not what we were expecting. God really does direct our paths when we seek him first!