Monday, November 1, 2010

The New Normal

John and I knew back in January that this year would end up much differently than it began.

Back in January we said "yes" in our hearts to John getting his Masters Degree. A few days later we found out that after years of trying that we were pregnant. When John asked if we should put off the schooling in light of the new demands of a baby, it seemed to clear to me that the baby was further affirmation of a season of fruitfulness. We should just say "yes" to it all.

It seemed that we were in such a season of favor. In other words, all our prayers were being met with "yes" and our endeavors were met with esteem and cooperation from others. The events of those days and weeks were so vivid that it defined the term favor for us. I even formed a hypothesis about seasons of favor. From now on, when we find ourselves in seasons of favor we'll say 'yes' to whatever comes our way. That was the impetus behind us picking up two very weighty endeavors of Masters Degree and baby though both were expected at the same time.

I anticipated (and wrote about) then what I'm living out now - The New Normal.

All the beautiful structures and schedules that worked for me so fluidly, I have reluctantly put in the trash. I actually tried to make our old schedule work for a while. Wake up, get dressed, breakfast, Math, History, get the idea. Its not hard to see why that isn't working so well with an infant in the mix. I have the honor to effort a new kind of order in my home. So my homelife needs a new normal.

My beloved John began teaching at a new school this year. He moved away from a visual and performing arts middle school to a distressed-and-trying-to-recover high school. To be honest, he likes it, but it has required him to reconstruct all his lesson plans and learn a new attendance/grading program, as well as make the adjustment to new colleagues and leadership. That's a handfull. But now we're adding two nights a week of a brand new focus and area of responsibility. Its an adjustment, but he really loves the program, too. He gushes about it and I'm so happy for him to have something to gush about. He's lit up. And he'll stay lit up about it if I can remain supportive and not, for selfish and pouty reasons, make it a point of tension for us. *note to self: avoid selfish pouting about John's absence 'cuz it'll work out better for all of us. In other words, John needs to acclimate to his New Normal. And the family needs to acclimate to John's New Normal.

And then, just yesterday, we packed up my little sister and her new husband to make their move to Kansas City to join the International House of Prayer. The three youngest girls in our family have lived together the longest and this was a very hard good bye for us. While so happy for their bright future, because they're sure to find success and favor there, it is a stark change. My family has a habit of Sunday lunches together at my parent's house. Its life giving and endearing for the daughters. My little sister was always the main schemer to get everyone over to the house when she lived at home. But her room is empty now and will soon be converted into an office (somewhere my mom is cheering!). Lunches and visits to my parent's house just won't be the same. We'll find a New Normal there, too.

So. I'm counteracting the spinning in my head by beginning to reorganize here at home. I'm coaching myself away from panic and toward a more productive outlet - beginning the process. I'm not sure it even matters what process I'm beginning.

I believe that processes and journeys just need to be begun in order to prompt the cooperation of our Heavenly Father's joining. Its when we knock that He opens the door. Its when we call that He answers. Its when we step onto the path that His word becomes the lamp to our feet. And so, on that principle, I will put our school books in a more readily reached spot to prompt school whenever it can happen. And in the snatches of time that I have, I'll play my old, sour note piano to more readily find Him and His songs here in the privacy of my home.

I'm reluctant but obedient to find the New Normal.

In a season of favor, keep saying 'yes'.