Since the day I became a parent, I have felt the cramp in my personal style.
Don't get me wrong; I like the new style okay. Kids are an amazing blessing, and my life feels so full in ways it would not be without them. But mentally, I think of myself as the age at which I had my first child: 28. And the further I physically get from that age, the greater my sense of loss as I wonder, when will it be my time again?
Here is my true confession: I am lazy and self-centered. No, really, ask my husband and he will tell you. And I have concluded that kids just don't mix well with those two faults. I do a terrible job of paying attention to them, because I am so worried about getting what I need. And I never get enough of what I need, which is time alone.
Over the years, I have attempted (half-heartedly) to grow out of these faults. But progress has been slow.
Fortunately (depending on one's perspective), I think I just hit the jackpot of growth accelerator. I am about to start my own homeschool.
I first read the allegorical story of Hind's Feet on High Places at the age of eight. It immediately captivated me and even influenced the direction of my life.
The journey Much-Afraid (the primary character) undertakes includes elements of every believer's spiritual journey; so throughout my life I have had repeated flashbacks of the story as I encounter situations similar to hers. This week, I think of her arrival at a bend in her path, one that leads in the opposite direction of her goal of the mountain tops, down into a desert valley.
Although at first her heart feels broken at the apparent detour, she eventually decides to trust the Shepherd's path. She builds a little altar and sacrifices her need to determine her course, and says, "Behold your servant, Acceptance-with-Joy." Then she proceeds into the valley.
I want to be able to say that this week. "Behold me, Father, I accept your path with joy."
I know I want to write; to put words to paper and smith them until they shine. I know I want to develop discipleship materials for new believers, and to begin actually discipling women young in their faith.
I have a sense of purpose.
But guess what? My first job remains to my children. And right now one of them needs me, to pour into her as much as she can handle. While I might like to say, "But my writing!" I know God will hold that for me as I start a new journey, one to homeschool my brilliant, strong-willed, socially off-beat, active, very tactile learner.
When Much-Afraid reached the end of her journey, she learned that she could not have made it through some parts of the path, had she avoided the detour through the wilderness. The path through the valley had not been pleasant, but she had grown stronger as a result of it.
I do not know from this perspective, how much time will be left for me to write, train, and mentor after I complete jobs # 1-4: God time, husband time, children time, house time. But even if the writing ends up waiting until my 2 year old graduates from high school (which I doubt), even then I choose to trust that this path is the most important one to be on right now. I choose to accept with joy the privilege of putting my personal dreams on hold, in order to invest in my one-of-a-kind firstborn.
But: Kimberly and Caroline? I am still attending SheSpeaks Conference. Believe me, I will be VERY ready to get out by then!