I haven't written much lately. My thoughts get scattered and then fixed on many small details. Thoughts form and flutter never fully landing and completing. With three boys it can feel like picking up bowling pins all day only to have one of them yell STRIKE just as I set the last pin in place.
Today will be a late opening followed by their last dentist appointment before moving. I will then take them to school and Ian home to play with legos while I paint the stairs. Two dear friends will stop by, one to go through a talk she will give for Young Life club, and the other for dinner and dessert. After a long talk at the table we will hug goodbye and I will make sure homework is done and teeth are brushed. I will sit beside a boy deep in thought and read a chapter of Wind in the Door by Madeline L'Engle. And once the boys are asleep Jeff and I will sit down with the new budget and rejoice that three more people have pledged this week and talk about how the next 13% will be raised. How to finish our punch list to rent the house and sell the van and truck, and what jobs Jeff has lined up for the week.
It can feel overwhelming looking at the to-dos for the next two months. I have had the chance to see many close friends move; in state and out of country. Not one of them pretended that it was easy, graceful, or without stress. All had the frantic last days of chaos and goodbyes. All lived through it and adjusted within the next year. One of them reminded me to look at what we have accomplished each week instead of what is left to be done. Man, that helps. Two bedrooms painted, passports for the boys, visas started. E-mails were sent out, the window boxes painted in basement., and a load was taken to consign. A new kitchen faucet was put in, the entire acre raked and seeded, and a shed cleaned out. Just typing it out makes me feel like we will not be swallowed up by the lists and that we are making progress. I always remind friends here that a lot can happen in a year. I think I will start changing that to a lot can happen in a week!
But I anticipated the long to-dos lists and late nights. What I did not expect in this season is the complete sappiness that can ooze out when least expected. Visiting my dad in the hospital last week I was overwhelmed with how incredibly proud I feel to have them as my parents. To witness the grace in which they have approached these last months. To see how they genuinely care about each nurse that came in to check stats. To see how we are still the loudest hospital room on the hall. There is always more laughter than tears. My dad, mom, sister, and I loved our time together, remembering, hoping, and planing for what was next. For that week I was crushed by gratitude. Grateful for the parents and family I was given, undeserved, and fully blessed with. I couldn't even watch Frozen without sniffing and dabbing and thinking about how much braver I am because of my big sister.
On Sunday a row of leaders for YL sits in front of us in church. I listened to the sermon, Ian carefully tracing letters next to me. And I got misty eyed remembering how I met each one. How each, including myself has changed because of the friendship, the shared journey. And I wonder if I will feel like this big pile of scattered mush until we leave. It certainly doesn't help me be productive or let me feel put together in the transition. But I would gladly hand back the appearance of order and restraint for the knowledge of His blessings. It floods into my scattered thoughts and brings peace each time. To be crushed by the weight of all we have been given is a beautiful way to ache. The God in Scotland will be the same God who provided such amazing family and friends here in America.
So the to do lists are scribbled out and pinned up. Crossed out one by one with a thick, black line. Small celebrations entail when a bigger item gets crossed out. But in the midst of the lists and bowling pins getting knocked every direction, stands a grateful teary eyed child of God. Thanks for the prayers, encouragement, and love! I will be back to writing each week, whether the pins are set or not!