Winter 2011

The last three months have been probably some of the most difficult months we’ve lived through. (Hence the reason for the lack of blogs.) Winter not only invaded our garden but our hearts and minds too.

During this time we felt a certainty that it was time for us to move from our out-of-town country home to a small suburb our closest city. So in May we began packing. By June we’d found a home and on 1 July we were booked for the big move! At this time I was overwhelmed with kids birthdays, boxes, meals and general chaos. In our 11 and a half years of marriage this would be our 10th move so I thought I had it all pretty taped. Granted we hadn’t moved in the last 5 years and we had gone from 1 to 5 children in this time – but still I thought it would be a breeze.

On the day of the move besides the fact that we still had boxes to pack and children to sort out my husband was called in by his office and retrenched!

Let’s back track here. Reason 1 for our move: to save petrol on travelling to his work – which he now doesn’t have! Reason 2 for our move: We’ve calculated that on his salary we can just afford to cover the cost of the new house and the old one till it is sold or rented out – he now has no salary! At this point we had truly stepped into the winter of not only 2011 but the winter of our lives.

How we got through July? I can only say it was by God’s grace. I must however digress here to share with you an amazing story of God’s grace and provision. The day after my hubby was retrenched he went online to pay his accounts and noticed that there was too much money in his account. On investigation he noticed that Oxford – for whom he’d written a text-book 5 years previously, had just paid him the equivalent of half a month’s salary! Hmmm, why now, five years later? Was God keeping that money for the exact day and time we would really need it? Wow this retrenchment was maybe not an accident, maybe God had something to do with it. So funny we humans are, just like the Israelites who were taken out of Egypt we forget so soon that God is involved – even if we don’t like it, want it or care. Even so the month of July was an emotionally, spiritually and physically a very challenging time.

Why am I writing this in my Mommymemo blog? Well just because we were walking through a desolate winter didn’t mean that I was no longer Mommy, no indeed I still had to meet the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of my children and husband. Parenting is often painted in this rosy glow – well this had nothing rosy about it. We are all humans and this was a season of quick tempers, little patience, rushed Bible stories and toast for almost every meal. It was also a season of quick forgiveness, many prayers and tears and lots of quick hugs and cuddles. You see our children need to know that we are real people – no, it is wrong to lash out and become angry with each other but sometimes we do and then it’s not about what we shouldn’t have done but rather what are we going to do about it. Do we forgive, stand together as a family and hold one another up?

Just like winter has stripped summer of all its glory so we were stripped to our cores but so too does winter hold the odd beauty of a sunrise or special touch such as snow we saw beauty in God’s faithfulness and provision and protection in such a desperate time of need.

The Missing Ingredient

Living out of town has made regular church fellowship a real difficulty in our lives. We just find the stress of trying to get there was ruining rather than building the family. So we decided for this season to have a break from formal meetings.  This was great in that it has taken away all the stress that was tearing at few precoius family ours together. However what I didn’t realise was how it would affect the rest of my week! This week  – for the first time in ages – I put on some worship music in the house and began to worship whilst doing my chores and aaahh the lightness of spirit and joy that began to return. It was then that I realised that inadvertently – whilst distressing our Sundays, by not attending church I had stopped worshiping!

“Unless the Lord builds the house – its builders labor in vain” says Psalm 127:1. As I’ve tried to mother alone I’ve realised now that it’s only through my Father’s strength and my leaning on Him that I can Mommy effectively and do all I have been called to do – with joy in my heart whilst doing it!

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