Let Me Be Singing

A mama friend posted this on facebook last night:

status pic

I was immediately brought back to that place of frustration and desperation, walking the floor with my own wee boys. Her positivity and determination to dance through the difficulty inspired me.

This morning in church, we sang this song, which also happened to be one of the ones she posted following that initial status.

I was struck when we got to the line

Whatever may come, and whatever lies before me

Let me be signing when the evening comes.

Evening isn’t the easiest time of day around here. Our kids are still not great at bedtime, and Ezra hasn’t embraced the transition from a crib to a bed quite as quickly as we had hoped. By evening we are tired, short on patience, frustrated with the kids, and snippy with each other. When we got to those words this morning “…let me be singing when the evening comes…”  it grabbed my attention. Evening. Let me be singing. During the hardest part of my day.

Usually when I get to that line “Whatever may come…” I think grand scale:

Job loss? Whatever may come…let me be singing.

Illness? Whatever may come…let me be singing.

Loss of a loved one? Whatever may come…let me be signing.

It’s easy for me to say resolutely, in those far-removed, possible, but less-frequent scenarios “Let me be singing!” But today, the evening really struck me. What does it mean to “Bless the Lord” and have a spirit of gratefulness and joy through those difficult things I encounter day in, day out. What does it look like to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4)?

I don’t know, exactly, but I do know that I need to think about it, to check my attitude, and to be reminded in the middle of the daily (nightly?) grind that I can still sing.

And so, to remind me, I made this:

I put it up on the wall outside the boys’ bedroom.

Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me…

Ezra leaving his room for the 34th time…
Haydon telling Ezra to call for Mummy through the vents…
Ezra beside my bed at 1:47am asking for mummy milk…
Haydon yelling from his bed at 2:43am that he’s scared and needs his blankets fixed…

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Let me be singing when the evening comes.

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(Speaking of singing through hard things, my friend Leanne Friesen preached a brilliant sermon at this year’s True City Conference called “Singing Songs in Strange Lands” you should totally click on that and listen to it.)

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Need your own reminder? Click here for a FREE printable PDF!

Something

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On Sunday I had breakfast with our fam at the most glorious discovery of a restaurant/bookshop ever (more on that later) and picked up this lovely little gem of a book that is one of those delicious reads – you know, one in which almost every paragraph you can (and should) stop and suck on for awhile. And then I read this and both talked about how art is something we participate in as servants – that we can be obedient to the art that’s calling us or not, and I just need to start obeying. I feel the call, and my insecurity keeps convincing me that I can’t or shouldn’t, but I just need to, meager as it may be.

So here I am, again. I always hesitate because I feel like I don’t have a polished message. Or, the flipside, like I’m vainly broadcasting a false reality. And then I remind myself that I called this place “Journalling the Journey”  for a reason. Perhaps it’s the equivalent of crayons on the page of a kindergarten notebook, but it’s something. Something.

I just finished scrubbing the kitchen floor, after putting it off for, well, too long. Angry as anything at the crazies that we’d been wrestling (literally and metaphorically) to bed for far too long. I scrubbed (anger seems to help scrubbing), and pondered parenting and villages, after a week on holiday with extended family. Today, my first day back to reality, alone with the boys, and no run, and no shower, and just me to do the 3 meals and the 3 meals worth of dishes. There really is something to be said about community…

Aside from the blood-boiling bedtime, we had a pretty nice day, me and those crazies. Library, lunch with friends (ha! want crazy? 7 children for last minute lunch counts, I think), quiet time, outside time. I filled the kiddie pool and they immediately added mud and what do I care if they’re playing happily? I weeded alongside them, trying to tame our yard-turned-jungle while we were away.

It’s still an overgrown mess. But it’s something. Something.

 

 

Camping. Remember.

H Hammock

 

 

 

 

We slowed

and played.

IMAG0105

h fire

 

 

 

 

I watched them,

saw new things,

took delight in the them -

as they are

andE fire

as they are

becoming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

tent sleepers

 

 

I woke early, that last morning,

slipped from the tent

picked up my books

turned my chair

from the fire

to the sunrise.

 

 

 

sunrise through trees

Why don’t we always

turn

toward

the

Light?

 

    *photo source

 

My Baby Is Two!

 

 

Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet Ez.

Right now Ezra loves trains. He loves to roar at people. He loves to throw sand in the air and watch it settle.

He’s obsessed with having  to identify noises – airplanes, vacuums, lawnmowers.

He loves to say hello to EVERYONE he sees.

He gives the most snuggly hugs and says the most heart-warming “I wuv oou!”

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photo 4 (2)

 

photo 3 (3)

 

 

photo 1 (6)

 

photo 2 (5)

 We love you Ezra!!!

10 Things About the Past 10 Years, Part 2 – Education

(Welcome to my series reflecting on my journey through my twenties, prompted by turning 30. Links to previous posts are at the bottom of this one).

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My undergrad seemed like an obvious significant part of the past 10 years, considering I spent half of them working on it. I have mixed feelings on this one.

I have an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Global Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Basically, this means that I am working the same job I worked at part-time throughout school, am still paying off some student loans, and have a certificate somewhere that says I have an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Global Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University.

I was 20 when I started my undergrad degree. This was a result of being born in January, being the last part of Ontario’s double cohort (meaning 5 years of high school), and taking a year off in between high school and university. The year off was because I had decided at the last minute in my last year of high school that I actually wanted to study music, but didn’t have enough time to prepare an audition. Part way through my year off that was dedicated to studying music and preparing an audition, I found that the intense focus killed my joy in studying music and decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. So I went on with my other interests.

I had been accepted to WLU for English and History. During orientation week I ran into an acquaintance from camp who was taking Global Studies. Intrigued by the subject matter and drawn to topics considering how we live as citizens in this increasingly globalized world, I switched my History major (I think I did a history minor? I still took lots of history). I really enjoyed the topics that I studied, but wish I had a better understanding of what options I had, and what I was trying to accomplish. I went to university because that’s what you did if you got good grades in high school. After middle school, high school. After high school, university, right? And a university education meant a great career, right? And even if it didn’t because you just had an arts degree, it was still a great experience and you matured so much and you understood the world so much better. Right?

As I mentioned in my post on marriage, James and I got engaged over Christmas break of my first year. Because I was already older than many of my classmates, obviously in a bit of a different life stage than many of them (a lot of people looked at me like I had two heads when I came back from Christmas vacation engaged), and someone who has always struggled to make friends in new, big social situations, the social aspect of university was a bit of a challenge. I took the first semester of my second year off to get married, and in my third year, James and I moved to Hamilton, so I basically just commuted back and forth for classes and that was it. There are certainly some twinges of regret that I never had that living in a house with a bunch of awesome girlfriends who you love so much and get together with every year for epic reunions. Other than some facebook interactions, I really have no connections to people from university phase. I’m a bit sad about that.

Also, because I was married (turns out having an effective relationship takes a reasonable investment of time, especially at the early stages), trying to work part-time and manage a home, I wasn’t really involved in any extra curriculars.  I went to class. I read. I did assignments. I got good grades (that was the point, right?), and I carried on. I really regret that I didn’t dig deeper into some of the opportunities that student life allows, and that I didn’t engage more in my subject matter. I was an excellent student. I knew how to take the assigned reading and regurgitate it in the desired format to get a decent mark. So that’s what I did, and at the end, I feel like that’s what I got – some decent marks. I don’t feel like I really digested a lot of the concepts and philosophies, and I certainly didn’t interact with and engage with ideas in the informal arena the way others did.

That said, one of my favourite things about the Global Studies program was that it required some sort of cultural exchange program. I applied for and was super excited for a semester at an international learning program in Prague. I was so, so, excited. And then they cancelled it for that semester, which was absolutely devastating to me. In lieu of a travel experience, the department required a year of study in a foreign language. I got special permission to study Hebrew (special because Hebrew is an ancient language that was taught through the archeology department, not the language department). I. loved. Hebrew. My year of Hebrew was probably the most exciting and engaging aspect of my degree. I am also so glad that I took it, because as I look to future study (I’m really hoping to go to seminary), my time studying Hebrew will be a good foundation for further language study.

So. I slogged through 5 years of school. My husband brought me tea and gave me back rubs and told me he knew I could do it while I stayed up late writing papers. And I did it. And I’m glad I did – although I think I would do it much differently if I were to repeat it.

dad and diploma

I graduated in 2009. I was really happy to have it all done. I was also pregnant.

 (If you ever want to feel like you reeeaaally don’t fit in somewhere? Be married and pregnant in a room full of undergrads. Few of my classmates counted morning sickness and pregnancy exhaustion among their lists of reasons it was so hard to get their work done).

I believe education is incredibly valuable, and am so thankful for the opportunity I had to study. On this side of the experience, I am for more aware what an investment it is – of both time and money. I would be for more careful in my decision-making and approach to how I were to invest that time and money if I were to do it all again.

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Other things about the past 10 years…

10 Things About the Past 10 Years, Part 1 – Marriage