We’ve been traveling again, and with my second baby due in less than two months, I am eager to get back home and nest. After seven trips in the past year, I don’t even want to think of the hours and days I’ve spent packing, unpacking, and re-adjusting each time we return from Minnesota or Texas. In other words, all the work–the writing, homemaking, home decorating, and integration into a new community–that isn’t getting done. But then two realizations dawned on me.
Realization One: Important work is happening while we’re away from home. Work on our family life. Work on our marriage. And work on our parenting. (For example, how do we uphold family ideals regarding TV, diet, and time use in places where our ideals are not the norm?)
Realization Two: Traveling is actually training for our second child…because each trip puts us back to square one. I arrive at the destination, and I am forced to pare back my to-do list to bare necessities:
- Is there food in the cupboard?
- Do I have a meal plan for the week?
- Is this living space livable for us?
- Do we have clean laundry to wear?
- Are we getting along? Is our marriage okay?
Yes, again and again in the past year, my life has been reduced to putting first things first: food, clothing, shelter, and marriage.
And that’s how life is with a baby.
With both continual travel and baby care, I’ve learned sometimes it’s all I can do to keep the fridge stocked, meals prepped, laundry clean, and a smile on my face…if I can even do that.
So I guess I’m in training right now. On the outside, it feels like nothing’s getting done, but once again, I can’t go by my feelings.
James 1:2-4 adds perspective to my situation:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
As I trust God with my life, I can be confident that even when “nothing is getting done” on the outside, something is getting done inside of me. Patience. Endurance. Perseverance. All tools needed for parenting, marriage, and life. I guess I shouldn’t be so disappointed when I don’t have time to write…because when I finally have time again, I will have lots to write about, and probably some wisdom besides.