Lent 2016

In the midst of a surprise pregnancy and surprise no insurance, the baby who made me a momma turns three. We stay up late cleaning and decorating and readying our first house for its first birthday party.  I hang pink and white balloons from the ceiling and joyfully reflect on three years of motherhood.  I run a last minute errand to Target with my mom for plates and cups (how, oh how, did I forget those?) and am grateful for the gift and the joy of having my mom and my children’s grandparents so close.  It is a joy I never knew as a child and its one that I already see bearing fruit in my family’s life. Gratitude. Overwhelming gratitude.

The next day, between glasses of lemonade and bowls of chili, we joyfully share our new home with dear family and friends that are like family.  Eliana’s birthdays are always deeply special to me. Some of these people were at the hospital when she was born. It is a gift that I keenly know I don’t deserve and I am so grateful my daughter has begun her life with such a large crowd of people who dearly love her.  Who cheer for her. Who make a trek out to each new home we celebrate her birthday in to remind her with words and hugs and gifts that they are for her.  What a gift.

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We share a passing moment in the kitchen with David’s brother and his wife.  They’re planning to start a school this fall and they are disappointed we just bought a house because they were thinking that David might be a good candidate for the headmaster position. I laugh. They remind me that there’s an Anglican church we might attend. I laugh again. “Well, too bad we just bought this house and have a baby coming in the fall. There’s no way that would work.” I say, scuff my toe on the horrible stick-on-tiled kitchen floor, imagine what projects we might cross off our house to-do list this summer, and walk out of the kitchen and into another conversation.

About two weeks later, David will come home from work late, I will ask where he was and he will tell me that he’s been on the phone talking about that job his brother mentioned at Eliana’s Birthday party. I will stare blankly for a minute and have completely no idea what on earth he is talking about and then I will remember. He’s talking about the sell-our-house-switch-careers-move-states-have-baby-all-in-the-same-month job. Ok. Cool, sounds great to me. I will remain totally, one hundred percent chill.

But then I will also go to my Bible study and raise this issue as a prayer request with a group of women I love and trust. I will do this because certainly they, older and wiser as they are, will say what I already happen to know. They’ll say it’s irresponsible. They’ll say that it would never work. They’ll talk about how much they would miss me and how they hope that we stay. Only I am wrong.

They don’t say any of those things. They just tell me that sure, it’d be hard and sure, they’d miss me but it actually sounds great! They agree to pray and I head home empty handed. We gradually start to ask a few close friends and family to pray with us and try to discern what the Lord might be doing.  I am overwhelmed by the response.  I start to grow excited. I start to hope for the sell-our-house-switch-careers-move-states-have-baby-all-in-the-same-month job. And the waiting begins.

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