Weeks fly by.
October is G.O.N.E.
November is H.E.R.E.
Though the seasons are changing outside the window, inside it remains the same. We are stuck in a fiery season of reds and yellows...a season of defiance and not listening.
As a result, for me, it has been a season of giving...giving until I think I just can't give anymore.
A season of loving....when some days I say to myself, "Okay, Self, if you can't LOVE, at least be KIND".
A season of sacrifice and service...
- shoes for "him" are more important than shoes for me,
- lunch with "her" trumps organizing the closet,
- one more bedtime story takes precedence over catching the last ten minutes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (did I really say that?),
- rising at five in the morning is worth it to spend some time with the Lord
- rising at five in the morning also means that I can make six healthy homeade lunches, and chat with and pray for my teenagers before they walk out the door at 6:25a.m., and sign all the school folders, and clean toilets/tubs, and start laundry, and respond to emails, and write emails (primarily to teachers), and make breakfast before the Princess and the "Storm" (aka Thunder and Lightning) awaken for the day,
- time spent making reminder charts and positive behavior reinforcement plans outweighs engagement in cutesy crafts,
- the phone, the computer, and social networking are all put aside to make time for homework and one- on-one time with each of five children every day...
- S.A.C.R.I.F.I.C.E. and service. This season is a deep and profound season of dying to self, again. No, unfortunately, I have not accepted every day of it without some kicking and screaming and "what about me's" passing through my lips. And then God so graciously and mercifully reminded me of the days/weeks/months following the births of each of my biological children...the giving, the loving, and the sacrifice that was required to grow happy, healthy, well adjusted, well mannered little people. There were seemingly endless days of pouring myself out to meet the needs of a tiny, helpless baby. There were days that spun one into another without any gratitude displayed, without love being returned, without smiles being reciprocated, without my own needs being met (or at least what I thought were my needs). There were days when my babies cried endlessly and I had no idea how to meet their needs. Then suddenly one day, that same baby who had pitched a fit for weeks, would smile when he/she saw my face, or calm at the sound of my voice, or respond lovingly to the touch of my hand. Suddenly, one day, calm returned, and the fruit of my sacrifice was visible. The baby was happy and bubbly and giggling and responding to affection and comfort. It was a fiery season full of emotions and sacrifice and service (and an occasional pity party). As the yellows and reds of one season faded, a new season of vibrant green was blossoming. Thunder and Lightning did not experience a biological birth into our family, but they have nonetheless been birthed into our family and in many ways they are as helpless and selfish and cranky and non-communicable as newborns. And this is yet another season of sacrifice as we wait for what we know from experience is coming...the season of vibrant green when impulses fade, self control is gained, selfishness diminishes and patience takes its place, goodness abounds and authority is recognized and respected, good choices are made, lies are replaced by TRUTH, and "to listen and obey" becomes a way of life.