It's woken me up two nights in a row. It's woken her up too. The question of what to do this fall with the oldest three. Which, if any, school is best? The fear of making that decision spirals into a greater quest. A more burning question. What is the right thing? Where do we go from here? One choice affects the next. And the next. And the next.....
I told her about my sleep interruptions this morning during our quick sister-chat. She laughed. I was awake also Jo, she confided. She was awake too. Knowing us we probably were laying wide-eyed, staring at different ceilings, at the same time. Praying for the same guidance. Desperate for the same peace.
Sisters are like that.
I smiled. Wished she was here. Sitting next to me in my van instead of a time-zone away. I know how much I miss her. But the ache grows larger on days like today when I need her listening ear and tender heart. I long for her hug. I yearn to see her face. Her sharp blue eyes, one of the few sets of lens I have been gifted in this lifetime that can see straight through to my soul. She has seen me, truly seen me, since I the day first held her in my arms when I was only three. Warm, swaddled and beautiful.
So many states away, she still gets me. Knows my heart. Understands my struggle. Believes in my mothering. She is a sister in blood but a secret-keeper in friendship. While Christ acts as my compass, my beloved sister helps blow encouragement to keep me pointing straight.
We got off of the phone today and I headed into the chapel. I sat and prayed. And I wept. I got down on my knees and I thanked God for my sister. Everyone should have a friend like her.
I thought about the Gospel story in Luke about the wise builder. Could this story in Chapter 6 possibly give me insight into where to send Lillian and Lacey to school next year? An illustration of how crucial it is to be intentional in each brick we lay as we build our home. A dwelling that exists here on earth but that determines our road to heaven. Does God have a word for me in this? The foundation we mold for our children must be firm. Consistent. Loving. It requires order. We can't build the roof and put in the windows before the footer is poured. We can't plan where our kids will go to middle school or high school before they've learned their ABC's.
And this is the lesson that Diana and I are learning and sharing together. Deciding to have the maturity to make one decision at a time. The best choice in the NOW moment. Continuing to pursue the spiritually rich path for our children to know and love and serve Christ. Deciding on next year means laying down the fears about decades to come. It means being prudent in the present. Excited about the now. Purposeful in the gift of today. Breathing in the options and not pining for what could be.
How do we make these big decisions? Especially when we fear one mistake could color our children's future (that is Satan talking by the way...)
We make them one step at a time, knowing each choice, whether small or large, is pointing our feet and our children's feet in one direction.
Either toward Christ or away.
"In our humanity we are often overwhelmed by what we are trying to build, the kind of life we want to have lived when we look back over our days. He suggested rather than compare our meager starting place with the glorious result we aim for, and freeze in the face of an effort of such magnitude, we consider our destination the way a pilot does when plotting his course. We see where we are now, and where we want to end up, and we chart our paths by degrees. Each good choice we make takes us closer to our desired destiny.
The same vector theory applies to poor choices. Poor choices (like a tiny lie, a rationalization, or a lazy effort) may seem small and inconsequential at the outset, but they too are representative of a degree. Consider the trajectory of a course that is a few degrees off at the outset, and how vast the implications are for reaching our final destination.
We may think we are going to Hawaii, and end up at the South Pole. Similarly, we may think we are building a sound career, only to end up bankrupt. We may think we will have a great marriage, only to find ourselves on the brink of divorce. We may think we are in good health, yet get a doctor's report that necessitates life-altering changes. A series of inauthentic choices can lead us into living a life that feels like a total sham.
In all of these cases, we then have to adjust our choices and behaviors, degree by degree, until we get back on course. How much easier to simply choose to be diligent from the outset?" (pg. 151 & 152 "Work in Progress by Kristin Armstrong)
May God give us discernment as we help chart our children's path to their final destination......His kingdom.
"(Mothers) when you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:24