the drop outs

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I feel like if our life was a televised event and we had a narrator foreshadowing our story, the day that Eli fell into our bed would have the phrase “and that was the day that everything began to fall apart for this family…” spoken over it in an ominous tone.

Little dude not only had a face busted open, but in the process of getting his gaping wound glued back together at urgent care, or while being treated for concussion at the ER, picked up rotavirus. He was scary sick for about seven days, and as soon as he was finally able to keep some liquids in his newly skinny belly, his brother raced to the bathroom to vomit. Poor Henry was sick for about ten days, weak and unable to even complain about being so ill.

I kept saying “man, this week has just worn me out” and then I realized it’s not this week. Or even this year. It’s that since 2013, life has been incredibly busy, full of surprises, and challenging… mostly in amazing ways… but in some hard ones, too, and I deserve to be tired.

I felt supernatural peace that I don’t need an excuse. I don’t have to attempt to quantify why I deserve to be exhausted and bow out of activities and meetings and places to be. I don’t need to explain that four years of running a side business to adopt a child that we never got to bring home has me pretty worn out physically and burned out emotionally. Or that while foster care has been amazing, it’s also emotionally exhausting and that I am the worst at self care. Or that every time someone asks if Lucas is actually coming home or if this will be like all the others, my heart breaks and I want to shut myself in my home and never leave again and that the effort of not doing so is draining me dry. That being a mom to a family this size is no joke. That I can love every minute and also dread the morning wake up and look forward to bed time and wish I had a nanny/maid/chauffeur. That worrying about kids doesn’t stop when they are in college. That my business is fun and fulfilling and also challenging and tiring. None of it matters because it’s all Earth. I was reminded by the Spirit that all I am called to do is love this family of mine well. The other stuff is noise and if I can’t handle both the calling and the noise, it’s okay to hit “pause” on the noise with no additional explanation required.

It was my first taste of freedom in years, and I didn’t even know I wasn’t free.

So we are drop outs. We are religious ed drop outs and we are preschool drop outs and we are cookie of the month drop outs and we are drop outs of a million other varieties. I am not necessarily proud that my weary soul can’t get all the things done, but I *am* proud that I had the ability to discern God’s voice telling me that none of it matters. It’s all a distraction from what He has directed me toward. Yes, religious ed is important, but so is quiet time with the family and the Word and if I can’t manage both, it’s okay to stay home. That yes, preschool is a commitment we made, but before that commitment, I made one to his heart and if he needs to be with me right now, why am I placing school above his heart when he is only three? And the best part is that I don’t need to express all of my “whys”.

I am finally too tired to push. Too tired to “why”. Too tired to worry about what anyone thinks. And just tired enough to hear a whisper in my heart telling me that dropping out sometimes is the same thing as plugging back in to what matters.

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