This week did not fly by like the others. It clunked and clawed and left muddy footprints through the days. Just when you think you have the steps memorized, have the rhythm worked out you end up on a dance floor without a clue what to do.
Friday though Sunday Jeff was away speaking at a camp with 48 kids from different Young Life areas in Scotland. In America I would have stopped the juggling act of different hats to go with him. Giving the mom hat to a grandma to wear and donning only a ministry one. Here, we aren't quite at the place were we can leave three life loving boys with someone else for more than a couple hours. So, I stayed and prayed for the kids and leaders instead. The boys and I took trips to the forest, did Saturday football and visited the Dundee Science museum. Those are the things I take pictures of to remember and share with family back home. And on homesick days we sometimes go through the virtual photo album on my phone. On the hard days, the remembering is so important.
Jeff came home on Sunday evening. In time to go to our dear neighbor's funeral on Monday. The neighbor with twinkling eyes, and knowing smile. The one that shared a similar story to my dad. And clouds formed in my heart and head that seemed to muddle all the good things that are given each day. The things I can usually see and give thanks for.
Jeff left again long before the sun came up Tuesday. This time for an all staff conference in England. Another thing in America and with the help of grandma's I would have gone to. And now Thursday night, the week almost complete I am surrounded by the balls I have dropped. Two sick kids, three very important phone calls missed, late to pick up Ian twice, late to pick up Levi once, and a parking ticket today. Laundry is still sitting in piles and dishes have yet to be washed and put away in the same day. The desk I paint at has sat empty and I have eaten scones almost every day (my new comfort food).
Hours ago I sat down defeated, and pulled up the photos. Ian sitting next to me and put out a finger to slide the pictures one by one. By the fifth picture Levi stopped playing Legos and came over to see, and not long after Luke leaned over to get a look also. The pictures start with all of us standing in front of the mountain of luggage we had packed to move here. Ian slid his finger past our first weeks here, walking and exploring. Past our first trips to Dundee, and Perth. Through the countless playgrounds and forests trips. Their school, and new friends, the Monday night group of Young Life kids, and night of fireworks with neighbors. He slowed as he reached to the last ones taken. The trip to the bay.
I had forgotten I had even taken him there after school on Tuesday. I forgotten I had snapped pictures and then given him the phone to capture images. My heart and head were still heavy. Heavy with Ian's questions of why did God have to make germs and sickness anyway. If He was God why didn't He make the world where people didn't get sick and die?
But the trip to the bay quieted the questions of why for both of us. I didn't know I was about to flop through the week in a clumsy dance. In those pictures I clearly remembered how amazing an artist God is. That in one rain dropped leaf I see more evidence of God than a thousand answered questions. The goodness of God is surrounding us, His gifts are given daily. I just can't always see them as clearly. My kitchen still holds the treasures of the trip. Sandy stones, and sticks still drying out, bit of bark and a twig of berries to draw later. The phone flashed low battery and the boys dispersed, Ian saying, "I love our life, and I love when you are late to pick me up because it means I get to look at books!" Learning to thank God for the days I know the dance and the days I stumble through in His grace.
Jesus -- "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor 12:9