My husband returned from work around 1 a.m. on Thursday, and I was awake (I’ve been struggling with insomnia this week). We tuned into our weather radio, knowing that severe storms would soon be marching through our area. A few minutes into listening, we heard the eerie cry of a tornado siren. We piled our girls and a bunch of pillows into our basement. The violent winds and storm bypassed our town; I scarcely heard a rumble of thunder. However, other parts of the Southeast were ravaged by tornadoes – last time I checked the death toll had topped 200 – so keep those folks in your prayers.
While it was unsettling to hear that mournful siren moan in the night, I never felt worried. Later on Thursday I talked to some friends who were really scared, and I was faced with what has always been my own personal and ironic spiritual dichotomy. I’ve never been one to sweat the big stuff. A tornado is bigger than I am. God is bigger than any natural disaster and will bring good out of the wreckage.
Yet, my small daily tribulations – from not getting enough sleep to getting everyone out the door in time without looking like total ragamuffins – these are the things that weigh me down. It’s when the daily toothpick crosses pile up on me that I shake my fist angrily and impatiently at God and want to shout. “Hey, Big Guy! Help me out here, would you?”
Time and time again, I tell myself I need to wrap my faith and my trust around in Him in everything, not just with the big stuff that I know I can’t handle on my own. Why is it that I accept that I have no control over natural disasters but believe that I ought to be able to control all the small disasters living with young children might bring on any given day?
My nana, who turns 90 in July and raised nine kids, recently told me she never felt fear when she discovered she was pregnant again (she shared this at a moment when I was worried I couldn’t take care of the three kids already in my arms and couldn’t possibly imagine juggling another baby). I’m not sure a lot of people could say that, but she meant it. “I always knew I just had to hand over everything to God. I had to trust Him because, Katie, we could never do it all on our own.”
Later, on Easter Sunday, she was joking about where some of her things would end up when she died.
“I’ve got dibs on your faith when you go,” I said.
“But you already got that,”she said.
Maybe she’s right. Maybe all I have to do is to learn to lean against my faith in both big and small matters.
On Thursday night, we arrived home from some friend’s house and the girls were playing wildly in the driveway (it was late, and they were wound up). They had my van keys and my car alarm started blaring. I asked Madeline to give them to me, but she was lying on the driveway crying. I saw a little scrape on her knee and assumed she was having a drama queen moment, but it turns out she jumped up*** and somehow landed the wrong way and broke her ankle. She is now sporting a huge aircast-boot (bigger than the one Mary Elizabeth had to wear; yes, this is the second boot in our family in less than a year). Rachel was jealous that Madeline got to eat a grape Tylenol tablet. “Oh man! I never get hurt or sick!” she cried. That’s right, my calm kiddo. Let’s please keep it that way!
I also have an itchy, puffy left eye from an allergic reaction to some unknown irritant (ah, the wonderful pregnancy immune system!). It looks like someone clobbered me on my left eye. Not sure why I felt compelled to add that, but it just sort of seemed to fit with the kind of week we’ve been having.
***Ah-ha! The full story was just revealed to me at 10:02 a.m. on Friday, April 29th. Madeline actually jumped off a brick wall we have along our driveway that we have repeatedly told her not to jump off because she could get hurt. Apparently, she and her little sister were pretending the concrete driveway was a pool and they were jumping into it. Note to silly children: Jumping into cement is not nearly as forgiving as jumping into water!
On a chirpier note, my husband was watering one of our hanging planters when he discovered this:
The girls are so excited to keep an eye on the nest and hope to see baby birds hatch. I’m pretty thrilled myself.
Yesterday I chatted with Lisa Hendey and Lynn Wehner on the Faith & Family podcast. We talked about two topics near and dear to my heart: mixed marriages and battling burnout. We’d love to have you listen along and perhaps even join in the conversation by calling the feedback line or dropping us an email. (Oh, and cut me some slack when I referred to Pope John Paul II as the soon-to-be saint rather than the soon-to-be blessed. The cold gunk has gotten to my brain.)
Madeline made her big stage debut a few weeks ago. Rachel does tomorrow when she performs a short number for her creative movement recital in the very flashy and very pink costume below. During her dress rehearsal on Wednesday, she stopped in middle of the dance to pick up a speck of lint or something on the floor. She then examined it, flicked it away, and started dancing again. Hopefully, the stage floor will be swept nice and clean come curtain call.
I can’t believe May arrives on Sunday. This spring has flown by and so has my pregnancy. I’m 23 weeks and counting…
My husband and I have a date night planned for this coming week to go see Water for Elephants. We both read and enjoyed Sara Gruen’s bestseller several years ago. I’ve also read Gruen’s two horse books, Riding Lessons and Flying Changes, and while they weren’t as well-written, coming from an equine past, they were pleasurable page-turners for me. I’m looking forward to going to a movie in a theater and spending time with my husband after coming off of a really hectic work stretch. I honestly can’t remember the last movie we saw together outside of our basement.
Have a wonderful weekend!
As always, thanks to Jen for hosting.