Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rose Gardens

The Great Awkwardness was the theme of my sermon on Sunday, and while I didn't speak to the parallels in our family, as I sat down to write this evening, it was what kept entering my mind.  We have spent the past 13+ years living in some state of awkwardness, be it waiting on adoptions to be finalized, allowing God, love and time to perform magic and help strangers become emotionally connected, or working and waiting for results as we hit the books hard with homeschooling and hope for tiny miracles to reveal themselves each day.

Awkwardness...waiting...patience...while they will never become my friends, they have surely become my life companions.  And you know what? I have grown in ways I never expected because of it.  Now, don't let me fool you, as my mom would attest to my lifelong impatience with many things, and clearly I will always have room for improvement in that regard, but I am finally at a place where I can talk myself through situations,  I have witnessed what can happen when things aren't forced to try and mature before their time.  I could do "pregnant" very well now, I think.

I will admit that the past couple of weeks were harder than I would have predicted.  I can see where some emotions were allowed to build for too long, and how they spilled over.  What has not helped me in this regard is not having a true homeschool mom kind of friend with whom I can talk over my day to day grind.  Most people have some sort of work related peer group, which I am lacking, and that doesn't help me work things out.  On the other hand, it might be a positive thing as well as then I am left to figure it out myself rather than be led by other's experiences...none of which ever really mirrors mine.

Living in the Great Awkwardness happens somewhere along the line for everyone.  It may be that span of time between jobs, between friendships, between loves.  I realized as I thought about it today, that my Great Awkwardness is going to be years and years long, and will require a new level of patience.  I won't have answers about ultimate results with Kenny, or even any of the other kids, until way down the road.  I will have to use this time to be as creative as I can be, as intentional as I can be, and as trusting as I can be and let God do the rest.

Not a bad place to be, if only I can succeed at letting myself be comfortable in it.  That'll take a lot of work!

This weekend was a relaxed one spent largely at home.  From my previous post you saw a little of our work.  Memorial Day was sweet though, restful and spent together.  We went on a picnic to see the north side of the Black Canyon and take a short hike.

Of course, lunch came first.  Always.  

Then we wandered a bit along a trail that had no real view of what would eventually come before us.

Taa Daa!!!

It was a stunning view.

My Motley Crew

We took a long drive home, and saw some territory that we've never covered before.  Around here, there is SO much to see that we just have yet to get to all of it.  Because we bought an annual state park pass on our field trip, we decided to make a point of using it as much as we can for the year to feel justified in spending the money.  I think that with our trip and this day trip, we are already close to breaking even!  We geocached a little, which we enjoy and are going to try and do more of this summer as well.

We spent the early evening at a local cemetery with our friend, Mr. Steve, assisting the veterans group as they pulled flags from the grave sites.  It was a perfect and solemn way to end the holiday weekend, as the dappled sunlight and the cool evening breeze caught us.  We walked and read the headstones, recognizing so many familiar names from early settlers in Montrose whose descendants are neighbors and friends.  We talked in hushed tones, and we then headed home to lazily spend the remainder of the evening...which always feels like the first "real" weekend of summer.

On the drive home, I had thought that the weekend was a little lacking in excitement and adventure for the kids, and I apologized for not having anything special in particular planned.  It was then that I was reminded how often our own perceptions are so way off base.  Every one of the kids asked why I had said that, and told me that they had a wonderful weekend!  Conversation turned to what makes them happy, and how little they really need to enjoy themselves.  Angela mentioned that working hard makes you enjoy the relaxing times more.  

I have it sooooooo easy in so many ways, and I think I needed to be reminded of that this weekend.  Our kids are appreciative of every single little thing we do.  I get thanked every night for making dinner.  I get hugged often and deeply.  I never, ever beg for school work to be completed.  I usually ask once for a chore to be done, and it is done.  OK, with Kenny I have to ask five times for him to hear it right, but the desire is there! Hahaha!  I have a sweet and tender 13 year old son in Matthew, who just this moment scrambled back out of bed after almost falling deeply asleep...just so he could come give me a hug good night because, "I almost forgot to wish you good night, Mom!"

This past week or so I think I needed to vent how hard it is sometimes.  Being real, being honest and not pretending it is all a rose garden is important to maintaining sanity.  I think it also helps others to know they are not alone in feeling like they want to scream once in awhile, or that they are so deeply sad for their kids sometimes for issues that they face together as a family that were not created by anything any of them had anything to do with.  I hit a boiling point over the past couple of months, I think, and admitting that is something I am not at all ashamed of.  We all get there, and it is justified, and actually quite necessary.  

Every rose garden has a few thorns.  We all get pricked once in a while and bleed.  My rose garden is filled with such beauty, and it is my pleasure to prune here and there as needed, even if I get injured in the process. But that doesn't mean it comes without some pain.  

I think I'm on the other side now, we'll keep on keepin' on as best we can.  We'll live as wholly into our own Great Awkwardness as is possible.  Someday I am sure I'll look back over these years and wonder why I thought they were so hard.  I'll laugh as the Awkwardness will have passed, and the future will have revealed itself to be far less worrisome than I imagined.  I will also see how I grew through the process, right along with the kids.  I'll be stronger, wiser, and tougher.  I don't think I could be more loved, or love more.  Oh wait, yea, that only continues to grow as well :-)  My rose garden might not be one many would select, but they just don't know what they'd be missing once all is in bloom!


Anonymous said...

The Great Awkwardness--that gives me much to ponder. Is there somewhere we can see your sermons? I would love to read them. I think I will have to reread this post several times to let that term sink in, but it seems a time many of us live in at least occasionally. Your life has been so jammed full that coming up with "The Great Awkwardness" rather then something much more dramatic comes from the light that shines through you, the love that pours out.

As for roses--once a friend gave me a beautiful red rose from her garden. Because it was given at a time of crisis in my life, she tore off the thorns to make it smooth for me. It was beautiful for a few hours, but without its thorns the rose died prematurely. I ponder that lesson for my life often. It takes on different meanings each time I remember it, but always seems to come when I need it. You have The Great Awkwardness. I guess I am out there in the garden. Let's take time to smell the roses together soon.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

I see your smiling kids, the great CO scenery, read of the "simple things" they enjoy doing together, and I marvel at the blessings your kids have been given. We also tried to raise our kids to appreciate simple family times, things that don't cost much, and their relationships. It's wonderful now, to see how adoption has blessed them all with relationships between eight unique siblings. Our older ones support the younger four still at home, the younger ones (all teens) appreciate those relationships. And hubby and I get to marvel at it all. For your kids, I think of how great it is that your three sons have the chance to grow up with sisters...and how the girls are so blessed to have three brothers and parents to show them the marvels of CO...and family life. This isn't worded very well, but the smiles on your kids'faces, as well as their responses to you later in the car, all just make me marvel at how God puts families together. Just the right people in just the right family! When our first son (2nd adoption) was referred, he was the last of a group of two yr olds (didn't come home til age four) to get referred. We know many of the other kids from that orphanage. It's obvious to us that each went to the family they were meant to. Our son is so much like hubby and fits right in to make all of us happy to have him for our son or brother. Your kids also, all found their way to their family because God knew who was meant to be siblings and who needed you two for partents.
As I said...not worded well, but your post just made me marvel...at your life, and mine!
Nancy in the Midwest