There was a poignant moment this summer when I felt like I had a whole new picture of what that looks like in a practical way for our family. The story is, in short, the long-time-coming swing set going up in our backyard. The long story involves a number of months where God used this playset to expose my thinking, my communication with/to my husband, my desires and my expectations on our family and our time together.
My husband's job is the church. My job is our home. And then, of course, there's family time. Sometimes at the church. Sometimes at home. But never enough. So what is the point of this post? It is connected with other posts still in process, but I just wanted to say to others who may be wrestling with this same question - you're not alone.
For us, it turns out I was asking (at times) for the wrong things. I discovered some areas where I was trying to "include" Kevin when he had no need to be included and would even be drained by my attempts to bring him closer. Finding out what he most enjoyed doing to serve me or the girls, or the things he most enjoyed in our family time each week, or even what he really didn't care about and was glad to just let me "do"... this was immensely helpful! Once that was sorted out, we found more time and energy for real family time activities. Or grown up time. Or house projects. Or whatever. And there were less conversations lost or unresolved or waited for. Most of this only really affects my head and my heart, and looks nothing different on the "outside." I am a smart, capable woman. And my husband constantly tells me so. In the last eight months or so, I've seen with new eyes both where and why God has intended for me to use my talents for the benefit of the home. And I'm enjoying that.
I'm still sorting it all out, and I often feel like there is no step-by-step roadmap (or at least one that I can follow without searching my heart and submitting it to the will of my good Father in heaven), but I think a lot of the "carried along" feeling from this summer is washing away. Certainly taking a weekly Sabbath has something to do with that... but that's another post.
Even in the frenetic pace of life at home with young girls and in the midst of planting a church, I am finding that God, who has spoken by His Son Jesus, in His Word, the Bible, is speaking peace and surety to me. Christmas is often a time where the word peace is casually thrown around as a platitude, but my peace has been more than just the season of Advent in the making. I pray for all of us that we would let the true peace, the peace of the risen Christ (not just the absence of conflict) reign in our hearts far beyond this "holiday" time, and experience the fullness of life only He can bring.