Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It All Adds Up in the End

To say the last two years have been a battle would be an immense understatement.  So I'll just give you the run down, by the numbers:
  • Number of funerals-4
  • Number of jobs gained and then lost (hubby and me combined)-4
  • Number of months hubby away from home for dream job-5
  • Number of times I traveled (4-7 hour trips each way) to visit hubby with two kids in tow-8
  • Income this year so far-40% less
  • Church changes-1
  • Consulting businesses launched-2
  • Novels started-1

Yeesh.  I promise I will not do that again!  That is a list cringe worthy and a precursor for much therapy.  Stick with me though, it gets better.
The thing is, despite all of the things above, there is another list I can make.  It's the spoils of the wars listed above.  
  • Marriage closeness and strength-100% better
  • Number of words written in just 3 months on first novel-60,000
  • Relationship with God-1500% deeper and growing
  • New friends found in unexpected places-6
  • New jobs-1
  • Consulting clients gained-4

What prompted this assessment was a recent parent teacher conference.  As we approached the school, my husband and I braced ourselves, readying ourselves for whatever the meetings would bring.  In the past they focused on our eldest working through reading and anxiety challenges.  This year, however, the wild card of our youngest was thrown onto the table and we had no idea how that would play out.  We also braced for what we were sure to hear-the struggles we faced as a family would naturally have an effect on their day lives at school.

We met with the very traditional second grade teacher first.  The report card was resplendent with A's.  The only N (for needs improvement) dealt with organization and neatness.  We already knew that, we cleaned up after him everyday!  She simply smiled at us.  We looked at each other and asked, "Is there anything we should be concerned about or work on at home?"  The answer, "No, he is working up to his full potential." WORKING TO HIS FULL POTENTIAL.  Yep.  My fella.  My reading, writing, no inappropriate behavior demonstrating 8 year old ROCK STAR was working it!  

Next we visited the preschool teacher.  She smiled and said though he was younger, a 'summer birthday', he was always pleasant and eager to do the work.  Even if it took him longer than his older and wiser peers, he would keep at an assignment until done.  HE WAS DILIGENT and EAGER TO LEARN.  By this time we were nearly doing high fives and the flippin' macarena in joy!

We were giddy at our new found revelation.  OUR KIDS WERE FINE.  Despite all the challenges as a family they weren't just surviving, they were THRIVING.  We were so thankful because we knew we weren't alone in our parenting.  Truly God had partnered with us when we asked Him to pour out  supernatural grace and strength for all of us, and especially our children.  There can be no other explanation, and we won't look for any other.

There's more good things to come, I believe.  Here is a final list of the things we have done which seem to be working-so we'll keep on keeping on.  If you have any to add, please comment. 
  1. Drawing closer to each other and God.
  2. Pray and pray some more.
  3. Setting up healthier, clearer and safer boundaries.
  4. Walking away from people, places, things and ideas which didn't reflect love, truth and accountable relationship.
  5. Embracing new people who come with arms outstretched and who left their agendas at home.
  6. Laughing and playing everyday and every chance we can get.
  7. Chocolate and caffeine (my personal fave).  
So today I count my blessings and remember James 1:2-4, knowing that all this has a purpose greater than myself and my family.  And it will all, someday, add up to something great. 

"Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.
    3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
    4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing."

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