Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just the right balance...

Not to whine (yet but life is so hard right now. My whole house (3 bedrooms, office, huge kitchen, living room, 2 car garage and an attic) is in a storage shed and a bedroom at my parents house. My 3 year old son sleeps in the lower bunk bed of my 15 year old sister's room. (I'm grateful she's willing to share her room with a child... but poor her.) And my 5 month old daughter shares a room with us. Now, I am very grateful that we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, healthy family and people who love us....but I don't for one minute see any of this as NORMAL. Putting a family of four with another family of 3 into one house does not equal normal for any one of us.

Stephanie (my sister) cannot go into her room for privacy if Chaz is taking a nap in there. She gave up some of her closet and drawer space for his clothes. Chaz's 'toys" (most of which are in storage still) are in plastic cubes at the end of the hallway. He can't play in his/steph's room because there's no room, so his toys end up scattered all around the house (which my OCD mother CAN NOT stand...but what's a kid to do??)

My parents just sent their 5th child away to college. Their house is supposed to be getting emptier, but no..we add more children to the place...which they usually do not mind, but it's not what they had planned. We have yet to find a ministry position. And we still have not found a temp job either! Not even Wal-mart has called Daniel back! (another place told us they wouldn't hire Daniel because he was way too qualified. You go to college, and that makes you over qualified?!? I guess they know that person probably won't stick around long term) But school starts soon, so hopefully we can at least get some substitute teaching jobs.

It has recently hit me that we have now lived here for 3 months.
That's 1/4 of a year.
My dilemma now is finding out how permanent I should start thinking. We've lived here for three months...should we take some more things out of storage so that this place feels more like "home" to us and our kids??? But what if a church calls tonight and we interview and move in 3 weeks???

So, I have to be willing to move in a reasonable amount of time, yet somehow think about this place as a more permanent "home." What in the world does that look like???? I'm serious. This is affecting me/us in lots of ways. I'm not getting to know people around here, or investing in them too deeply because, "Well, we might be moving soon and then I'll have to just say good-bye." Why volunteer in church/community because "when we leave, they'll just have to replace us."

But I can't keep living like this. I can't keep thinking about the future so much that I don't live in the "now." That's why Christians are so ineffective. We've got our head stuck in the clouds, thinking that "when we get to heaven it'll all be better." We look forward so much, we forget that Jesus still has us HERE and NOW for a reason. There's got to be a balance where Christians can be IN the world, but not be conformed to it.
There's got to be a balance where I know that we can move to anywhere in the US in the next month, but yet make this HOME for my family. If you have any suggestions as to what this looks like, please let me know. Seriously. Thanks for listening.


Melody said...

[But I can't keep living like this. I can't keep thinking about the future so much that I don't live in the "now." ]

No great words of wisdom or suggestion here, just the gentle encouragement of someone who's been there for several years.

I've come to the great conclusion that life just can't be measured in terms of now and future. Life is just that life; whatever that may be from minute to minute, hour to hour. Take courage though, God knows exactly what He's doing with this time in your life. Even though there's not a lot of comfort in that and it doesn't really help that desperate feeling you have right now.....GOD KNOWS.

Blessings to you as you figure out the next step in this journey...

karenstacy said...

Hey, Its Karen
I read your blog regularly and think of you and yours from time to time.
I read this and remembered when Tony , Aidan and I were living in my friends basement.
We had no toys and not alot of clothes for Aidan so we did what we had to to eat. My " Friend" had toys for her 2 boys but my son was not allowed to play with them or their toys. ( Ever) He wasn't even allowed in the living room / playroom of the house because she didn't want him to think that the toys were his to play with. She graciously allowed me to "borrow" 2 sweatsuits that didn't fit her son anymore so that my son would have clothes to wear. My son slept on the floor at the bottom of the stairs on a pallet and at the top of the stairs was the backdoor that her babydaddy would leave open when he came home from work @ 3 am. It didn't bother them since there is a door to the upstairs and they didn't get cold at night. My son would always wake up and come to bed with us about 330 am.
It took me a long time to figure out why he couldnt sleep through the night anymore.

I would buy food with what we had the money for only to wake up to find that her babydaddy and her had eaten it when he got home from work and that there was no breakfast for my son.

My son was blamed for everything that went wrong in the house because he would laugh or sometimes even cry .

We were once broke and depressed living somewhere that we couldn't stand to live, trying to defend our son who was an 18 month old baby.
Needless to say we moved out the moment that we could.

But we tried to keep order. We got up and ate and went to the library and did everything that was normal to us even though I constantly had someone telling me I was crazy and wasting my time.
We ate at the table( a child size card table with one chair for the baby and we sat on the floor or on our knees.)
We bathed our baby before bed. ( even though she kept saying that he didn't need a bath and I was going to wash all of his skin off and that it was wrong to bathe him more than once every two weeks.)
He hated the bath and would cry interupting her TV
We read to him. (even though she said that I shouldnt and that he didnt understand it)
We prayed with/over him at bed time.
We put him to bed at the same time everynight in the same bed/ pallet.

We did everything that we could and everything that we could think of to keep a "normal" life even though we had a loud and annoying voice chiming in at all the wrong times.

I dont know how you feel nor have I been there but here is what i know about a similar situation.
Just hang in there.
Pray pray pray.
plan plan plan
and then just get up every morning and be the normal that today brings you.
Dont listen to that voice whose ever it is.
Love your son, let him play, read to him and teach him to pray.

Even though it was the toughest 3 months of our lives ever.
We taught our son to pray and then even when we forget he bows his head to pray.
He even growled at his friend at his birthday party for taking a bite before he prayed.
I think that we were able to teach him that even in the midst of confusion we still pray. even the confusion of a birthday party we still pray.