Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ch ch ch...changes

This is not your typical story about changes. When I took a "week off" at the end of the summer, it was because God had been calling me to re-establish my priorities, and to realign my relationships. When I went into that week, I didn't expect "BIG" things to happen, or "BIG" changes to occur. I thought I'd be doing a little tweaking here and there, on this or that. Kind of like the week before school start again - you know/remember that feeling? Even as I came out of that week, I thought, hmmm, that was good, all done. Well, when I started getting back into the groove of daily life I realized things just weren't quite right. Nothing that screamed obvious, just that can't-quite-put-your-finger-on-it feeling. So I started to make some changes, and shift things around a bit. I'm not good with change - really. Perfect example - I couldn't wait to have a baby, but in the last 2 months of my pregnancy I FREAKED out about all the changes. So now I'm was going to purposely make changes - without a big long production and plan? But as I did, I started to feel at ease. And please don't think these were easy changes - because they weren't. Some were gut wrenching, some were all wrapped up into other things, some were changes I've been holding out from for years now. Some of these changes involved loss, others involved commitment (well, duh, don't all changes involve commitment?). Some involved the simplest of baby steps, yet they were huge giant leaps for me. I know I'm rambling on in vagueness, so here's just one example. I cut my hair - short. Really short. If any men are reading this, they are thinking big deal. But some of you women know how hard this can be. Of course, at this point, you're wondering if this was a big change or a little change, and what did it mean. Well, I'll tell you. For YEARS now I've been knowing that I need to establish a morning get-up/get-ready routine. When I was working outside of the house it was a no brainer. But then I tele-commuted for many years, and then Thomas arrived 2 years ago. And I never quite established that routine. Getting my hair cut has helped me establish that routine, because 1)now my hair needs to get styled every day, and 2) My shower/make-up/hair/get dressed routine can now be done in 20 minutes! (mini moment for a cheer - HOOORAY!) This is both a little tweak to how our days begin more smoothly around here, and a big change as to how I can get our days to begin more smoothly around here. So over the course of the month, many things have occured - both mega and minor, obvious and not so obvious, and I'm starting to feel just right. While I am both sad about some things, relieved about others, and still adjusting to all, I'm very much at peace, which means I am in the Lord's will. And that is what is most important to me. Not what am I doing, or who am I serving, or how I am doing. Just Am-I-in-the-Lord's-will. That's my measuring stick now. In a world of busyness and doing, I want to be sure any busyness I have and any doing that I do is part of the Lord's will for me, for my husband and for my family. THAT is the biggest change of all. Switching gears, sort of - my week off a month ago was in preparation for my husband's busy season. I wanted to be here, present, in the house, to support and encourage him, to take care of his physical needs. Busy season, by the way, consists of 18 hr days, 6-7 day work weeks, extra long commutes, not much sleep, grabbing food when he can, never really eating a meal, and loads of coffee - for about 3 weeks solid. So I needed to be able to supply what he needed, without complaining. But my work was also in anticipation for when his busy season would end and we'd have "normal life" again - whatever normal looks like to us. So last week was the end of his busy season, and we celebrated Friday with a day trip to the apple farm. It was the PERFECT day. We had fabulous weather, the 3 grandparents got to join us, there was NOBODY in the orchards (yippee), and we got LOTS and LOTS of apples. So we'll be having LOTS and LOTS of apple crisp this week!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quick update - with pics

My last post was about my week off and the work God did in me that week. Well, that was just the beginning. He hasn't stopped working yet. Its been a heavy few weeks - emotional, tough, but I know it is all good. I'm not ready to share just yet, so instead I'm sharing my current favorite pics of the boy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lingering Days and Lessons I Learned

Long, deep post - be forewarned. I have always been a very active person. Actually, make that busy person. Its known by some (okay, many) as a "fault of mine". In high school I was involved in tens of extra curricular activities, plus a part time job. You know, for the college applications. In college, I needed to get involved - you know, to meet people, make friends, hopefully learn some skills for the "real world". Then I was a single, working gal living in the city, so I got involved in singing, and volunteering, and I had the reputation of being the "planner" among my social circles. Once I joined my church, guess what? I dove right in there too...big surprise. Ministry, bible studies, volunteering, planning retreats and womens events, even the choir. I was serving, right? I was also keeping occupied while waiting for our baby. Then I had said baby, and everyone advised - "don't stay home all the time, get out and about. You don't want to get depressed or isolate yourself". So I did that too. And lucky, nope, blessed me, Thomas was and still is an easy kid who liked to go and do and see. So last week as you know, I took a "sabbatical" from all this. A short time, but boy did God reveal a lot to me. He revealed that its okay to stop this pattern of mine. To move on to the next phase. Don't get me wrong - there is a time and a place for everything. Hmmm, where have I heard that? "there is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven" Eccles 3:1. One of my all time favorite verses. And now it is time for a new season 1 - Right now, my ministry is my home and my family. While I can serve at church, and have a social life, I need to put Paulo first, Thomas second, and everything and everyone else third (okay, really, God 1st, Paulo 2nd, Thomas 3rd...but you get what I mean). To most it would seem I already do this, but I know I need to do some more reordering in my heart, my mind, and my scheduling. 2 - I need to spend more quality time with God. I've been in Bible study for years now, but I'm not always successful in completing the reading and assignments. I used to feel guilty about letting God down, but I'm really letting myself down, and my family - because they could be benefitting from what I could be learning. So I making a more firm commitment to my studies this year - which starts next week. One practical approach toward this goal that I made last week was rearranging our home office to make it more "usable" and comfortable. It was becoming just a place to use the computer and put all the paperwork, and the general dumping ground for all misc of the house. I want it to be a place to sit and read, do my crafts, for Paulo and I to have discussions about finances and plans and schedules. I think we achieved that and now I look forward to spending time in here. 3 - Live Intentionally. I've been saying this is my mantra, yet I have not been living it. And its time I start living it - in all areas of my life. This theory requires its own post, so I'll save for another time, but for now, I will be making some visible changes in my life toward this goal. Including this blog. Which brings me to my last point of the day. While I love sharing our life and our boy with you all, whoever you are that read this blog, I want to do more that just report on the life here at Casa Brasil. I want to take a risk by going deeper - share some of my tangents, I mean thoughts; challenge us all a bit in our lives and relationships; and really, just be more honest with you all. So, while that is some of what I was focusing on last week, I can also report that Thomas and I had a wonderful week. While I spend every day with him, making an intentional effort to focus on him was amazing. His vocabulary is growing by the hour. Honestly! All day long he is coming out with new words. And his grasp of concepts just blows us away. We went to the beach one last time and he and I just sat and enjoyed each other's company. That must sound strange, but think about it. When do we just focus on enjoying our children's company? Not what are we accomplishing, or re-enforcing, or teaching - but just enjoying. Try it - its nice. And a wonderful, awesome bonus and blessing of last week was time with Paulo. Last week was the end of his 3 weeks busy season, but the 1st time in ELEVEN years he has had Labor day weekend off! It was awesome. He and I went out to dinner and some amazing discussions about our life and family - our plans, goals and dreams. All I can say is AMAZING. Looking forward to sharing more of God's work in our lives with you soon!