JULY REFLECTION

Three weeks ago I decided to finally do it and start this blog. Our life has slowed dramatically with this new season, and I felt like we had struck a good rhythm of work/home life. I was ready to pour new energy into something that I am excited about and had that good anxiousness that was keeping me up at night wanting to work on this new project.

On a Friday morning, I send HOME THEOLOGY out into the world. Sunday, Tyler breaks his leg while we are boating with friends. Monday, Lena gets the flu. Cohen was up a few nights with a fever. Friday, Tyler has surgery. The night of his surgery Cohen busts his chin open on the bathtub. Sunday night, Cohen gets the flu. And Monday night my brother is hospitalized for a serious bleed in his upper intestine.

Now, there have been many crazy weeks in our life. But these past few may have topped the list. During poor Cohen’s bout with the flu, as I was doing the third round of laundry at 3 am, I was literally laughing. I just couldn’t believe the situation we were enduring. But if I’m honest, I was so frustrated a few days into this mess. I had made commitments to myself of how much time I would devote to working on the blog each week & already had some posts drafted up that I had on the calendar. Those first days after Ty broke his leg, I wasn’t sleeping much because of the kids being sick, I was now responsible for everything that needed to be taken care of around the house, was the only one who was able to meet the immediate needs of our children, all while I attempted to keep them from crawling all over Daddy who was stuck on the couch downstairs with a broken leg…and probably wouldn’t be walking for 8-10 weeks.

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I was fighting with God in my mind about the timing of all of this and why in the world He allowed me to start this right before life hit the fan. I was justifying myself by thinking about all the times in my life when I had plans I made & they were disrupted by a major or minor life event. In the past, I just pushed my plans to the wayside and said to myself, “well, that’s about right. Life inevitably gets in the way.” But the timing of this all was almost too obvious and I suspected I was probably wrong. Yes, it would be lovely to have enjoyed the newness of this adventure without everything happening at once. But I would much rather learn what God is teaching me through the difficulty because that will actually change my life. I knew He was asking me, “do you trust Me? Do you trust that you started this at just the right time? That I’m the same God last Friday as I am today?” I realized quickly that what I must learn is very important: that one, starting a blog & fulfilling part of my purpose through work is going to go hand in hand with caring for my family & other daily responsibilities that define my purpose. And two, that God gave me this new vision of HOME THEOLOGY to have purpose when I feel empty and drained by everything else. Some days kids will demand more of my energy, and others I will spend more time working & planning for the blog. And they work beautifully together because when I am exhausted by my fighting toddlers, I am thrilled to think about something that puts my creativity to work. And in the same way, after I’ve stared at a screen for hours I am so excited to play and talk with the kids.

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When the realization hit me that God was saying “I have given this to you for a purpose, and it is a representation of My grace,” I felt like I had been gifted something exciting to work on, rather than having just one more thing to do. It was a total shift from how I normally think. It seems counterintuitive, but one of the best things for myself that I’ve done during this time has been sitting down and working on the blog. So during the nights that Lena & Cohen were sick, I drank coffee at 10 pm (I knew I would be up anyway) and I sat down and worked on the blog in between taking care of the kids. After long days, falling short of meeting everyone’s needs, I was refreshed and excited by the creative work God had put before me. Typically after a hard day, I would rely on binge-watching The Office or scroll mindlessly through Instagram to try and forget the day (anyone else?). And although we watched our fair share of Netflix this week while we were stuck at home, it didn’t feel like the escape I needed. And as counter-intuitive as the lack of sleep & extra work seems, working on something constructive has been life-giving to me these past few weeks.

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I was so sincerely excited about this blog that I had poured a lot of time into it at the outset & was ready to continue pouring the same amount of energy into it. I like the hustle of a new venture & that it sometimes demands sleepless nights. A lot of my frustration stemmed from this expectation I had set in my mind, and all of my “free” time had been filled up with the unexpected. But I need to find a balance in how I will work from home, and that will take time. One day I had my camera out for a project that I never got to. I picked it up while Ty was reading to the kids on the couch & the pictures nearly brought me to tears. When will we ever get 3 weeks with Daddy home while the kids are this age? Probably never again. And although it’s all still frustrating at times, I want to look back on this season with sweet memories and my attitude to be full of gratitude, because soon things will be back to normal and I will miss this. Although I still don’t have the time I wish I had to work on the blog, be creative, go to the zoo, go on a date, take a shower every day… I don’t feel like I’ve lost myself in the chaos like I typically do, allowing myself to fade into the background in quiet discontentment. I’ve had to sacrifice sleep & allow my house to be a wreck at times, but I’m so glad that I didn’t trust my doubts & I trusted God more.

The exciting thing that has kept me motivated recently is that since hitting “publish” on my first post, I have had half a dozen women get ahold of me who want to either get their home organized, finally hang those pictures, find the right furniture layout for their family and even in need of a second opinion on design decisions for their newly renovated home. And every potential project affirms the fact that, yes, I would absolutely love to spend my spare hours this way. There will be lots of good projects in the future that I get to share with you & I just can’t wait!

XO-

Lauren

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