Saturday, June 21, 2014
Time to answer the question that everyone is asking … (what a presumptuous statement, as if "everyone" is on the edge of their seats, checking their feeds to see if I've blogged or not, waiting on me… get over yourself Jody)
Technically it's Crystal Lake, we are about an hour outside of Chicago.
I love the weather.
The parks are awesome. Ben is taking the kids to them like every day on a huge scavenger hunt that the park administration office came up. He has to find out all kinds of questions and for every ten of them they get a prize. So far he's been to about 25 parks.
I'm loving the people too. I think I really like the Chicago accent, every time I hear it from people up here I'm always pleasantly surprised.
What else? I love the church. It's strange because a lot of times people move places and then they have to go looking for a church. In this case, we are doing the opposite, we found our church, now we just have to find everything else. I love the people of the church, it's been really cool to walk into open arms. They have been knowing that we are coming for a while. They often say "So good to finally meet you!" Who wouldn't love that kind of welcome?
Ben is still looking for a job. I'm praying that the Lord will give him somewhere close to work, that he would enjoy it and he would be able to have a ministry there. Right now it's as though he's on a really extended vacation. I love it. He's always around and always helping. He's been doing all kinds of odd jobs around the house and it's been really cool to bless Gabriel and Debbie in that way.
Okay, the biggest change in our life right now is the fact that we are living in community. I mean like the same house. Six little kids, two sets of parents and a single guy. It's crazy. And I love it.
I mean, I really really do. My kids always have playmates. We have the boys room and the girls room. Ben and I have our own room, so do Gabriel and Debbie and Manuel lives in the basement. It's kind of a huge house and we all fit. I mean, we could probably even do another couple of people if anyone else wants to join … just kidding, I mean, maybe.
Debbie and I were talking one day about how maybe we need to write about living together. When your friend says that you should write about it, then you know they are okay with having you around.
I am tossing around a blog post with a list of rules for living with another family.
Here's a few:
1. Do as much as you can around the house. Try to out serve the other. If everyone does as much as they can, so much will get done. Don't try to keep track of what the other is doing, just serve each other. It's beautiful.
2. Give the other person alone time. Whether it's a shower or just some time alone in their room. It's always good to tell the other person, hey, you look tired, I can watch the kids by myself for a bit while you go and hang out with Jesus for a while.
3. Divide and conquer. If one person makes the meal, the others should clean it up. One person take care of cleaning the kitchen while the other gets to sweep all the floors.
Those are just a few things. Debbie could probably add to the list. She has honestly been a joy to live alongside. She's a hard worker and she's the real deal, she doesn't turn on or turn off her love for Jesus and her passion for others. She's a good mom and for sure a wife of noble character.
I've also been a fan of "team parenting" in that we as moms decide to instigate things and then when we are tempted to give in to the children, the other mom can be like, "um, didn't we agree to this?" (just ask us about the issues with kids and them insisting on a certain color of plate) there is strength in numbers. There's also the fact that we both have glorious two year olds. There's something about the two year old phase/age that is just plain humbling as a parent. No matter how much you spank them, try to reason with them, anything, they are still going to test you. It's always going to be frustrating. They are going to have whiny little voices and you just have to keep in mind, "this won't last forever."
Aria story: at 3 am this morning I woke up to see a light under our door. I walked out and found Aria had gotten the first aid kit down from the third shelf up (this means she had to climb up the other shelves) and was trying to get a band aid. I tried to calmly tell her no, she screamed that she wanted a "ban-iad" and that she could do it herself. I did my best to settle her down, thankfully we didn't wake the whole house. It was just one of those two year old moments.
I felt a little better when Debbie had to spank Deacon during breakfast (didn't even make it through) this morning. Something about seeing someone else struggle as you do is just a little more heartening. Something in you says, "I'm not alone, everyone struggles."
Lord, thank You for leading us here. Thank You for the things you are teaching us about trust and surrender. Thank You for the rest You have given us. Thank You for the good work that you've had us to do these past few weeks. I'm amazed that we are here. It's been a beautiful time so far. Help me to be humble and to serve. Thank You for community and the gift that it is. I don't even know what else to say, only that I'm thankful for where we are and I'm looking forward to what You have next.