The past few days I have wanted to write, but the time and words have eluded me. In the adjustment, I find myself making lists, doing laundry, feeding sweet little faces, helping a rambunctious little boy learn to be gentle with his little sister, and mentally trying figure out the next step of my day. Yesterday was good. On the heels of a few very exhausting days, we are seeing fruit in our son. What a joy it is to watch a young man make wise choices and see the blessing!
Salem is doing GREAT. She is adjusting tremendously well and getting used to her new surroundings. Her doctors visit last week confirmed what we suspected to be an ear infection, so she is on the mend and moving around the house in her cute little scoot. If there were any part of me that was tempted to push her little leg underneath her to try to train her to crawl, I am not listening to it. I know it will only last a few more weeks, and then she will be walking. I am trying to be more laid back as a mother this time. The Lord has taught me so much over the past three and a half years, and I can see the result of much refining in me...praise God! Of course, there are always the days of utter failure to bring glory to God, but I am learning to be humbled by them, seek the merciful face of my Father, and move on in grace. And I am learning to be merciful to my children. Thank you, Lord, for your example and the very clear picture you draw for me of your love through parenting.
This past Sunday was our first Sunday flying solo. Well, sort of. In the months leading up to our trip to China, I struggled with fear and worry over Sunday mornings. They have been a challenge to say the least. In my limited vision, I wondered how in the world I could train two children to be an active part of our church worship. I love having my children with me in worship as our church gathers each week. This being said, I also recognize it as a challenge and sometimes feel very weary in the process. I have yet to listen to the Revelation series downloaded on my Zune, for I missed it entirely in the trips to the bathroom and loving correction needed. I have been tempted to feel despair in this, but am learning to count it all joy and carve time out of my days to hear it. In fact, what a wonderful surprise to be met face to face with the teaching of James as I entered the balcony of our church building, Salem tucked in the sling on my hip, with Jonathan's hand held firmly in mine.
Our morning had gone smoothly. The mental schedule had played out nicely through wake times and breakfast. Getting dressed was surprisingly pleasant as Jonathan was extremely helpful to me in juggling two kiddos. Yet, on our way out the door, with barking dogs and a cattle dog who loves to herd the Scotties up and down the fence next door, the clear instructions given to Jonathan to walk straight to the car and wait for me were met with the obvious distraction. He followed Cody to the backyard looking behind him at me. Hearing my clear instruction again, he chose adventure. In the moment, having broken my momentum of moving toward an on time arrival at Sunday School, I felt frustration rise. I put Salem in her car seat and literally chased my son around the backyard until my longer legs caught up with his, in heels I must add. Our drive to church was met with emotion that I had not anticipated in the early parts of our compliant morning and I felt once again the need of the Spirit of Christ to invade me. If there was any pride within me linked to the morning so far, it had flown out the window as we drove down the freeway in tears, both of us. The commands "stop" and "come here" are a challenge for Jonathan to obey. He is learning, but slowly, and for that reason, while walking, his hand remained in mine for the remainder of the day.
So, as you can imagine, to hear the message of James, was fitting and much needed. As I relayed the morning while hearing Pastor David's admonishments, the Lord helped me to see clearly how I could have responded differently, and further humbled me. The fact that I was able to hear the message in it's entirety was a huge blessing. It has been months! I cannot tell you how grateful I am for a husband who is willing to not only lead our church body into the presence and worship of our great King, but also to be fully present with us when he can. As Salem fell asleep in the sling and Jonathan sat next to daddy, I was able to soak in the Word and be refined and changed. In the moments of frustration much like those I met face to face that morning in our yard, I am learning to count them joy, for they are producing in me a steadfast perseverance leading to completion. Once again, I am "Finding Salem" in my days and am grateful for the blessing.