Weariness: It's a state of being with which I've become quite familiar recently. This has been a very difficult six months. The Nursery has been doing well, but I find myself feeling more weight every year in terms of leadership, responsibility and oversight. More and more people depend on me, and I feel the pull toward becoming driven and overly ambitious. Ultimately, my desire is that the Nursery would feed more people in our community and become a larger clearinghouse for meeting needs. I think it does that, but it is God who is doing the good work through us, not us doing the good work. As soon as I begin thinking that I'm "making anything happen," that is the moment that I begin to lose proper perspective.
Stephanie feels the weight of responsibility, too. She has taken on substantial oversight of production- both in a practical sense and in a visionary sense. She is doing a wonderful job. But the Nursery has a powerful pull on her as well, and that coupled with the needs of our home and family, she reaches breaking points much more easily than she would like.
Benjamin is a powerful individual, and as he gains confidence through education and social development, he has become very challenging to channel energy in right directions. His heart is tender, and I want to foster that tenderness, but it takes a powerful edge to provide discipline to which he will submit.
And Britton is coming into his own. He has his own opinions now- no more consistent compliant sweetness that we had during his first two years of life. Although he is much softer of will than Ben ever was, he is expressing himself in much more demonstrative ways than ever before. This also requires much more energy for us to channel.
So Stephanie and I feel like we are in a crucible- I sometimes feel like I'm on "the rack," being stretched to uncomfortable levels. We have been able to work together toward health and freedom, and are finding enjoyment in each small victory. But it has been hard to experience some of the worst of our flesh in the process. The challenge has consistently been to remember that we are not one another's enemy- no, we have another enemy who hates us and has devoted himself to dividing and conquering.
I think to define what is happening to me I'd say I feel that my time is no longer my own. Britton is up around 5:45am each morning. After work, my time is spent with the family- fun and yet still requiring something of me. Once the boys are in bed, Stephanie and I just want to collapse into the shower and then into bed. I feel like my margin of time has vanished, so every day I am just barely recovered before the day is upon me once more. I understand that this is a season of time- both in this one year (Springtime) and in the grand scheme of our family (the boys at their current age) but while it's going on, I sense a feeling of desperation in me that says, "I don't know how long I can do this!"
The only solace I have is in hope in the LORD. Confidence or hope in anything else is lacking. So I hold on to the faith that as I rise each morning that the God who made all things will empower me to live and love in the way that is good and right. I come back to the reality that all I need to do today is love God fully and love people well. That seems to help. I can do that. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"