these last two weeks have not been what we expected. what was supposed to be a (somewhat) calm spring break (as much as a "break" with five kids home can be) turned into an avalanche of events that took us on a different type of adventure. one friend's husband ended up with an unexpected triple bypass surgery during spring break and two of her five babies spent some fun filled days with my five. another friend had an emergency appendectomy and i had the pleasure of watching her sweet daughters for one day of her recovery. two friends had marriages fall apart over the last two weeks and needed lots of time talking and crying combined with lots of wise counsel. that combined with my three year old on steroids (literally) and it has truly been a long couple of weeks. i'm not complaining. my weeks were a piece of cake compared to all my friends have been through. still, as i look back at it all, here's what comes to mind.
- everything can wait. the house can be dirty. the blog can fall behind. clothes can wait to be washed for one more day. meetings can be postponed. all the details of our lives can wait when someone needs us. people are the most important part of our lives. when our worlds get shaken, the weighty things settle into place and we can recalibrate our lives to remember what we're really doing here...and those who are most important.
- family is all relative (no pun intended). don't get me wrong. i love my sweet parents and my siblings. still, while they are in california and i'm in south carolina, i have a different kind of family. i have a family that i do life with. i have friends i can call on for anything, anywhere, anytime. and they can call on me. so many of us live away from our own families or have imperfect relationships with blood relatives. i've been reminded how important it is to invest in the families of our own making...those amazing people who come into our lives and fill so many holes we didn't even know existed.
- imperfection is totally okay. i may not have showered. the kids may have eaten fast food two days in a row. i may not have answered the phone when it rang. i may have forgotten school lunch money. i may have forgotten the baby could climb the stairs and panicked for a few minutes thinking i had lost him. all of that is okay. the wall hanging pictured above is in my kitchen. it's my new mantra. grace is so much more important than perfection.
- blessing others means that they can bless someone else. this has been my theme song to my kids these last two weeks. it's a song i'm hoping to repeat when these weeks are over. my kids finally came to understand that when they help me (around the house, with the baby, by being kind to one another) they are blessing me. when they bless me, i have more time and energy to be a blessing to others. they got to see this first hand these weeks as we had other kids in our house whose parents needed help. learning the positive repercussions of blessing others and the snowball effect it creates is a powerful lesson for our kids. i showed them the video below to drive it all home. well done, "liberty mutual"...i truly think this is advertising (and life lesson) genius.
- lastly, this week reminded me that easter eggs should only be filled with chocolate....lots and lots of chocolate.
we've missed you all. we are happy to be back. we hope you have had two weeks full of blessings, family, chocolate, and grace.