The adjustment to seven children is real. Resuming school after adding a newborn to our family has not been easy in any sense of the word. I am continuing to brainstorm routines and class formats that will assist in creating and maintaining a peaceful home environment. There have been many tears along the way: from mom and children.
In addition to home management, we are facing many unknowns in the days, weeks and months ahead. There are times when I feel angry about the circumstances that put us into this season of uncertainty; sometimes I feel anxious about the challenges ahead and the discomforts we will have to navigate. Change can be exciting but when it’s not predicted or planned it can be fearsome.
With the chilly weather we are having and the hard week we completed, we decided to make this weekend fun and cozy. Yesterday, after 4 hours of planning out a new daily routine, the month of February and next week, I made homemade hot chocolate along with freshly baked sourdough bread and crispy popcorn and we introduced the Christy series to the children. This morning we all slept in and then began the day with cartoons and muffins for breakfast. Arden burst out with, “This is the best holiday!” From there we tackled some home projects and had music playing; as GH passed me in the kitchen he reflected, “I’d really love to have something warm and baked right now.” I laughed inside because the children all know I don’t tolerate “I’m huuunngrry” whining. He found a creative way to tell me the status of his stomach.
As the day progressed it got colder and colder, so after naps everyone bundled up and piled into the little boys’ room to play a game. We have story cards: I hold up a picture card and we take turns telling a part of the story based on the picture. It is a favorite game of ours. From there we moved to the living room for hot tea and some winter treats with more Christy. Since we kept mentioning the temperature of the day, Arden inquired, “Mom, what is the fever of the cold?” I just love how children interpret language!
As the keeper of my home, I take note of weekends like this one. What made it peaceful? Was it the balance of work and play? Was it the intentionality in absorbing the little moments, the innocent conversations, the silly antics? or perhaps it was the gratitude I felt at coming out of a grueling week and seeing God’s faithfulness in all of it. For truly, God is faithful. As we struggle and weep and toil and fall and fail and despair, we cling to Jesus. Every trial I endure reminds me to recall the trials He has brought me through. “If I can make it through that, then I can make it through this” and with that acknowledgment I am flooded with thankfulness for every chapter in my story.
The reality of Jesus is even more apparent in the experiences we would never choose to include if we were writing our story. I believe that when times are easy for too long we become swept up in how good we feel, whereas the difficulties confront us with the impossible and we remember God. In His faithfulness He provides us with a mixture of both: the need to pray and the chance to praise.