Getting over myself
Amigos Rosalinda and Silas. They are always running up to each other for hugs but until now I have never had a camera on me to catch the Kodak moment.
Boys are attracted to mud like moths to a light bulb. How poetic is that? There is no shortage of mud for little boys to find right now. The one benefit of our unusually wet winter is that the dust that was flying and infiltrating everything a couple months ago has settled. My trailer (and my sinuses) are staying much cleaner. Ok, thats not exactly accurate. My trailer, with 5 people living in it, is not staying any cleaner...just less dusty. We create grime plenty of other ways.
We are down to our last month or so here in Mexico. I want to make each day count and to not just coast into the finish line. It's hard sometimes though. Coasting is easier. It takes being intentional to go find kids to play with or to plan an outing. Living in a trailer adds its own unique challenges not only with family life but in ministry as well. Because we can't have kids over to play, bake or for movie nights we have to be more creative in our attempts to build relationships. Relationship building and loving on the kids is a big part of what we've tried to do here.
This week I was struggling once again with feeling profoundly useless. I can put nice pictures on my blog and talk about all the things going on here but the truth is I'm directly involved with very little of what happens here on a day to day basis. Yes, I have built some relationships and friendships but I am not really "staff". Not that I haven't desired to be. I just find myself in this strange life that lacks expectations, job discription, and motivation. It's kind of like watching everything go on inside a house...from outside the window. It's a really good view, I can wave and say "hola" and even catch some pictures but I'm not really a part of whats going on. Wow, I'm sounding like a stalker freak now. Really I've never really done what I described. (By the way...I like your new drapes)
I homeschool my kids for a couple hours a day and I have my hands pretty full with the rest of my mothering responsibilities but I still wish that I could have found that little "niche" I had hoped to find. I guess our time here isn't over yet.
I have figuratively and literally knocked on doors, volunteered to help in various areas but still I find myself of little value. For one reason or another doors keep closing for me. That's humbling. It would be nice to feel needed and useful.
Yesterday it was hitting me hard and I was loosing my motivation to resist isolating myself and to keep looking for little ways to serve. I knew that I was in the wrong frame of mind and was sinking into a bad attitude. It starts to feel like a downward spiral that I believe Satan lures me into. A pity party of discouragment and frustration. I don't want to be like that. I dont' want to go there.
So, I decided to knock it off before it got any worse. I'm not going to listen to the lies that are being planted in my heart and mind.
Its not about me. Period. It's not about my ego and my desire to feel like I have something to contribute. It's not about my skills, talents, gifts or passions.
After I packed up my pity party I spent some time in prayer. I came away from my chat with God with a big 'Get over yourself'. This work here has nothing to do with me. It's God's work. He brought me here. What he chooses to teach me and how he chooses to use me, I have no control over. Maybe thats what I have a hard time with...control. I'd prefer to pick how he uses me. I'd like to set the stage of my service and maybe hand pick the audience.
I'm learning that maybe I just need to "be"...instead of do. Sure, this isn't a new concept. Nothing I haven't heard, read, or discovered before but right now it is hitting home in a new way. I'm most definately a do-er. I am happiest when I'm busy, when I can be involved, when I can serve....and just maybe be in charge in the process. Instead I find myself stripped of all those things. Just me. Nothing to point to. No answer to give when asked for the hundredth time "what do you do here?". I just am. Me, learning some new lessons. Learning to be.
I knew before coming here that God was going to mould and stretch me during this time but I had very little idea of what that would look like. I thought maybe that stretching would come from very taxing yet fullfilling work and ministry. Similar to what I have experienced through being a foster parent. I was stretched. I was in over my head at times...I had to rely on God to keep moving forward. It was very fullfilling. It was a rush. It was a ride. Suddenly that ride stopped. Here I am. Learning to 'get over myself'.
It is new and uncomfortable. Stillness. Not necessarily solitude or inactivity (I'm still a fulltime, homeschooling mother of three after all) but learning to stand in the background, watch and learn. I just have to be willing to do the last part. To be content with what God planned for me here.
Something else that God pressed on my heart very unexpectedly yesterday (yes, it was a humbling day) was how in a desire to "be more" I am missing out on the things I would be enjoying if I was at home. Specifically my children. I'm still with them ALL the time but often wishing I was doing something else. Little Silas is too often viewed as a hinderance, an inconvenience...an annoyance. He most certainly is all of those things. Every baby, toddler and pre-schooler is. Thats the beauty of their dependance. In a few years I'll have plenty of time for other stuff, right now he needs me more than anyone else does. Yesterday it struck me as I pushed him on the swings just how fast this stage of life is passing. It hit me like a pair of muddy feet to the gut. I can grumble about being stuck alone in an empty play ground pushing my 3 year old on a swing..over, and over, and over, and over....or I can soak it up. I can take a mental snapshot of these precious and very short years..whether the backdrop is Canada or Mexico. My "big kids" are a testament to just how quickly they are growing up. In a couple short years they'll all be "big kids" and I'll miss those squishy kisses, and sticky hands.
I really have SO much to be thankful for and I just being here is something we hoped and waited for. Now to kick that discontent and discouragment back to where it came from.