Calm Amongst the Chaos

Mama of 5 seeking calm in the chaos

“On Saturday, he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon

That night he had a stomach ache.”
― Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar

 

Life lately has had a difficulty factor of an 8. (and if I come across a recipe with that kind of ridiculous hardness, it’s a hard no) And it’s not like we aren’t used to hard. I like to say we swim upstream in hard, but this is different. We are swimming in change and I do not like change. Not one bit. I do not like change in a car or on a plane or in a truck or on a train.

The amount of change that has gone on in the past 28 months in our family is enough to throw any champion off course, so for little old me just trying to keep my head above water, I’m not off course, I’m doggy paddling in uncharted waters. This is the stuff that grows us or stalls us. It stretches us and we either adapt or break.

Andrew and I both stopped working at the place we imagined retiring from. Family business is hard and although we never loved the job or the field, it was all we knew and so why change. Until change happened and change was the only result left. Andrew didn’t want to be in the field at all anymore and at 36 went back to school and got his NREMT and started working as an EMT. He started this month and the training has been intense. Like never see him intense. I’m so proud of him and he looks hot in his uniform. I’m staying home now. As in home all day with a 2 and 3 year old. And I have never been home all day with 2 littles, ever. And these past 16 days we have had fall break. And our caregiver we have had for 7 years left for a career change. As happy as I am for her, it was a hard loss. She was a part of the family and her absence is prevalent. So home with little to no help. And home feeling the loss of all the recent changes. Feeling overwhelmed to the point of immobility. I felt like a prisoner because leaving the house is hard. Toddlers and a wheelchair is hard. I hate letting hard make my choices but homes is safe and lately I’ve been feeling like a caterpillar just eating my way though this stage with my only aspiration is a cocoon fat nap someday soon. And while I understand there is beauty in the story of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, I also know that me just eating and sitting on the couch at home with my only dream is a cocoon nap will not result me as a beautiful butterfly. It will make me a big lazy Kim. Nothing beautiful about that.

I am watching my friends that had little kids at the same time as me and as their kids grow up so are my mama friends. They are growing in their careers, or hobby’s, or volunteering, they are wearing their hair and make up so gorgeously they look younger now than they did a decade ago and here I am on my couch eating and watching Dr. Phil. I find myself never wanting to go beyond brushing my teeth because, why. I dread leaving and order my groceries online and sit in my car as they load them. I know this is a season. I know what I would have told myself a couple years ago. They are only little once. They grow so fast. Enjoy these days. And I don’t want to be heard wrong. I do enjoy these days and I can’t imagine anything sending these two back to daycare. I love being home with them. I just get lost in the days at home. I’ve felt unmotivated and sloth-like. I think about my friends that are coming out of their baby days cocoons and I wonder what would I be doing if God didn’t led us to foster care which turned into adoption and I am slammed with a reminder that this is what I am doing. This is my full time career, or my art, or my volunteering or my yoga. They are my thing. All our kids are my thing and I kinda love that. I know maybe I should feel like I need to be more, do more, but I actually don’t. I remember the way God delicately laced Alfonso and Bella in our lives and knitted them in their mamas womb to be raised by us and I am rejuvenated by that reminder. The days are long someone wise said but the years are short and I am remembering in the long days that there is good work here to be done. Great purpose and so much love. I am just seeking some balance in my care and their care. I need to take care of them and me. And probably exercise and maybe get a hair cut.

Fall break is officially over today so maybe some routine will help. Having help with Lily will help. The weather is nice so getting outside will help. Our life is inconvenient and that is just what it is. Wishing the kids to get older faster is useless. Worrying about the future is nonsense. I am going to do better at making boundaries for myself. Make some plans and following through. Fall break kinda hurt my spirits and I don’t like that. I don’t like feeling weak and unable, but that was how I felt. God has proven to be faithful all through my life. He has been patient with me and has pushed me, stretched me and grown me. He has put life back into me at a moment I felt lifeless. I trust him now in all this change and uncertainty as thankfully he taught me to do through Lily, through our marriage and most recently through our foster care to adoption past crazy 2 years. God has had a plan all this time and I know he has us right where he wants us. I just feel uncomfortable like a fish out of water and as someone who hates change and with so much of it right now I guess just sitting up is good because fetal position sounds better.

Last night while snuggling with Oliver watching This is Us I was struck by a quote. Jack was having a moment with his wounded friend and war companion and he said to him “you’re so scared of dying, you forget to do the one thing that keeps you alive… breathing” and he put his hands on his face and told him to breathe. Then we get a flash forward of Jack holding young Randall’s face doing that same thing and I mentally took myself to the last scene with William and Randall as William took his last breath. Fans, you get it. This show will wreck you in the best way.

The reminder here was to breathe. Just breathe. As so many songs tell us to do. As Jesus tells us to do. I read this morning in my Jesus Calling devotional “Anxiety is a result of envisioning the future without me” with a connection to Luke 12:22 reminding us that Jesus in the flesh said “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear” Jesus goes on but then throws this in there “can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” OK God. I get it.

Breathe.

Change is inevitable. Change can hurt and it can drown us. Change can also bring beautiful new wings and bright new colors.

Hang with me as I figure this new way out. As I stop eating chips and start taking in God’s word. As I prepare for my cocoon of being home and growing here and be prepared for what kind of butterfly I get to become. I am most of all excited to see her.

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