Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. --Luke 1:57 (NKJV)
My world has seemed smaller lately. At 37 weeks pregnant, Baby is getting heavy to carry around. I don't have the energy I normally would. With the Zika risk in our area, I am much safer to stay in the screened-in house. For both of these reasons, I don't go many places these days. I don't even do as much in my own house! I am blessed to have helpers with cleaning and childcare, and it is much harder for me to do those physical tasks anymore.
Sometimes I find myself impatient for the next season. "Oh, the places I will go!" I begin to think and plan. We live in such an interesting country, I want to take the kids and explore some volcanoes and lagoons and beaches. I want to go with just my husband to explore some handicraft markets and cute little villages and make marriage memories before Baby comes. But, here I stay to keep that little one safe.
"Oh the things I will do!" I begin to look around the house I cannot leave and dream up projects. A rocking chair here, a painting there, rearrange some things in that room, reorganize that cupboard. And yet, I can't shop to pick those things out, nor do I have energy (or money!) for every project that occurs to me.
"Oh the parenting plans I will accomplish!" I begin to think about homeschooling next year. I plan ballet and tae-kwan-do and rock-climbing activities for the kiddos. I get excited about how I can participate in Church and ministry activities, and help my husband in the office. And yet, today someone else will pick up my kids from school since I can't go out to get them. Today I have to say 'no' to most every invitation and activity because they're all out in the open-air and we're keeping that baby safe.
My world is indeed small. Sometimes I feel guilty for not having more energy to play with my kids or being able to go to Church with the family. Yet I see God's kindness in limiting my activities right now too. I AM tired. What a blessing to be able to rest because the kids are playing games with a nanny for now. What a blessing to sit and read to my kids because someone else did the daily mopping and dusting and scrubbing that Nicaraguan homes really do need.
And what an opportunity too. Now I have two sweet ladies who spend time with me, sharing life, work, language learning. Not being able to leave the house, it's nice to have company in it! And it IS an opportunity for ministry. No, not ministry that makes a big splash, but it is an opportunity to care, love, and help. I do hope the helping doesn't go just one way with the ladies in my home as we talk about life while we work.
I also see God's kindness during this season of forced inactivity. He IS indeed preparing me for the things ahead. It is a blessed life to be the mistress of this home, but a big calling too. Soon there will be five little people under my parenting care, and one of them a newborn. I can't imagine doing that alone, and I am preparing now by accepting help and setting things in place so I won't be overwhelmed. There is wisdom in new mothers resting, yet it's hard to manage with other children in the home. Hopefully, this time around, I will be able to take the time off with Baby I need, yet still be nearby to be present in my older children's' lives. I am able to spend some time in Lucas' office and work alongside him in the mornings, which gives me a voice in where the future of our family's business will go, and enriches our relationship. I do have time to ponder the large undertaking of homeschooling and consider what might work for our family in our situation. And my little ones have a chance to learn some Spanish and Nica culture without being sent off to school when they spend time with a nanny. It is a good way to try out whether our goals for raising bi-cultural kids can be accomplished without school, really.
So it is a small season, but a large season too. A season of vision developing, laying groundwork, and resting up for the big things to come. A season of searching how to be what most glorifies God within my limitations. Not all seasons show measurable growth, but that doesn't mean there isn't growth going on. Having others help me doesn't feel like an impressive accomplishment, but God can use it to accomplish more than I ever could have on my own. Perhaps God is most glorified in a life lived with help in my situation. A humbling, yet freeing thought.