Tuesday, March 17

Dear Momma Who Isn't Quite Sure Where She's Going Right Now

Dear Sweet Momma, 
The one suddenly home with her kids all day, every day—home schooling, making meals, trying to keep the peace, wondering what in the WORLD is going on.
The one whose whole world suddenly feels inside out and upside down. 

The one who was supposed to go to work this week, and is trying to figure out  what to do, how to do it, and who is going to take care of her kids. 

You may be feeling anxious, very anxious, about it all. Or maybe you're just feeling a little confused. Like one of my sweet friends said earlier this week, "I don't even know what my life is right now." 

I hear you. I don't know either. 
These are confusing and uncertain times on SO many levels.

People's jobs are shifting. Businesses are temporarily closing. Playdates, meetings, prayer services, church gatherings, small groups, coffee dates, lunches, school plays, baseball and dance practice--they've all been cancelled. 
Momma friends, I don’t really have answers, I just want you to know that I see you. I hear you. I understand.

I'm a little bit confused too. 
There has never been a time in our lives when our schedules-- our plans, to-do’s and intentions—have changed so quickly, so abruptly. There has never been a time, that most of us have known, that the state of the world has evolved and changed so quickly. 

It’s hard to know what to make of these times. How to plan. What to do. 

It's hard to know where are we going and how are we going to get there.
We are living in the great unknown.

But even as I say all of that, a still small voice whispers to my uncertain heart and mind. It says this, “I know.”

I know. 

"I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. 

“Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

My human mind wants to say, Well I know you know, but what does that look like? How confusing is it going to get? How long are my kids going to be off of school? How many people are going to get sick? When will the napkins and the paper towels be back in the stores because we legitimately don't have either one right now? 

(You should know I'm not overly concerned about the paper towels and the napkins right now, but it is a slight issue when you have little people in the house). 

But here's the thing that God has been teaching me over, and over, and OVER again for many, many years now-- sometimes we don't get to see the whole picture. We just get to know that He knows. We must learn to surrender control, and surrendering can be a very hard thing to do. 

In Jeremiah 29:11 God says that He knows the plans He has for us. Plans to prosper and not harm us. Plans for a HOPE and a FUTURE. 

In this time of unknown, I am meditating on that verse. Because for all that I can't do right now, there is I lot that I can do. 

I can pray. 

I can trust God. 

I can reach out to my neighbors to ask how they are doing, and if they need anything. 

I can spend time doing the puzzles and playing the games with my kids that have been purchased over the last few years with very good intentions, but have sat collecting dust on shelves because life simply gets busy whether we mean it to or not. 

I can learn how to use my camera to take better photos. It's been on my "to-do" list for years, but I haven't had time. 

I can read more chapter books with my girls. 

I can play a game of hide and seek, like we did yesterday, because there is nowhere else to go. 

We can write those letters to our sponsored child (through Compassion International) that we've been too busy to write. 

We can draw pictures and mail them to my grandmother, who is 91 and struggling with her health. 

We can do so much...right from our homes. We can embrace this time set before us and make the most of it. 

I know this might sound strange, but I've been oddly peaceful over the last few days. Perhaps it's the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Perhaps it's also that the rhythm of our life had gotten a little too fast for me, and I'm enjoying these quieter days-- for now. 

Yesterday morning, I woke up around 6:15 and made my way downstairs for coffee before the kids woke up. I was carrying a lot of questions with me--wondering how we were going to structure these new, suddenly unstructured days. 

I knew that I was going to need to start helping the girls with their schoolwork and that in order for us all to live peacefully in the house together that we were going to need some kind of "plan", as loose as it might be.

As I walked down the first flight of stairs to the landing, I stopped briefly at the large picture window in front of me to look outside. I often stop there momentarily to assess the weather and gauge the day. Yesterday morning as I did this, the most serene picture greeted me. It was still dark, just before dawn, and the moon hung quietly in the sky with just one star to its left. The words of a worship song came to mind, 

"He who holds the stars. Who calls them each by name, will surely keep your promise to me..." 

I couldn't remember the name of the song, or even the rest of the words, so I looked them up online. 

They're from a song called "Take Courage" by Kristene DiMarco. 

After re-reading the lyrics to the entire song, I realized they feel oddly necessary and relevant right now. For copyright reasons I can't post the words here, but here is a link to the lyrics online, and the YouTube video (please do take the time to listen-- it's a good song). 
Here the You Tube link: Take Courage, by Bethel Music. 
I was reminded, after staring at the moon out my big picture window, that God is above all and in complete control. That while the world feels likes it's teetering and changing moment by moment, that God stays the same. Just as steady as the moon He hung in the sky at the beginning of the world. 

So, friends...I don't have answers, but I have peace. 

I'm going to leave you with one more scripture about stars and God being in control, because when you can't see the path clearly in front of you all you can do is hold on, with faith, to the God who is in control. 

"Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all of these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." Isaiah 40:26. 

So, peace I leave with you. I hope that these words encouraged your heart in some still small way and that in the midst of great uncertainty you are able to hold on to the one who holds the stars. 

Have your kids draw those pictures and send those letters, keep on keeping on and use this time for good. 

If you need to post some reminders around your house about God's peace and goodness and faithfulness, visit one of my favorite websites for scripture printables (I don't get a dime for saying that, it just really is one of my favorite websites!)...https://www.pageofjoy.com

[I had promised to write a post about "Quiet" today, but so much has changed in the last week that it didn't make sense. I plan to return to my posts about the idea of finding quiet next week-- I'm taking notes about where and how I'm finding spaces of quiet in this new landscape of life with all of the girls suddenly home. And how all of these closings and cancellations have suddenly brought a new type of "quiet" into our lives that none of us were expecting.]

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