Friday, January 31, 2014

More Than Solo Survival

January is drawing to a  close (much to my excitement for entirely personal and positive reasons), and I'm transitioning into my new reality after saying goodbye to my mom so that I can figure out how to parent these four kids with a little less help. So far, flying solo has been sleepless but satisfying. It's nice to feel back to my old self…at least somewhat.

I rested while Mom was here. And when I say "rest," I mean that I was a permanent fixture on the couch or bed and watched an obscene amount of dumb movies while Mom cooked and cleaned and took care of pretty much everything. I needed that. Well, not the dumb movies, but the resting. But along with that came a certain amount of apprehension about how I would handle things once Mom left.

Would the floor gradually be lost under a carpet of pet hair? Would the boys ever get out of their pajamas? Would the dog double in weight from never being walked? And, most importantly, would I ever sleep again? (Incidentally, "no", to the last one, and "who really cares" to all the other ones.)

At the same time as my internal freak out, the Man and I were discussing our choice for our family's word of the year. I was thinking of something along the lines of "peace" (wishful thinking with four kids, right?) or "hope" (which I thought was general enough that I wouldn't get into too much trouble), but he suggested "courage". Internally, I thought it was a really manly choice, and I wasn't quite sure how I fit into it (being such a girly girl, as you all know<--this is sarcasm), but I said I'd think about it, and I did.

Anyway, as Mom's departure date grew closer, and I heard more and more "you've got your hands full" jokes and was asked repeatedly who I was going to have helping me once she left, I realized that subconsciously my word had become "survive". As in: I just have to survive until the Man gets home or I just have to survive today or I just have to survive the twins screaming blue murder while Tiny throws a tantrum about something incomprehensible and Littles sings lustily at the top of his lungs (which somehow reminds me of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns to the ground). I just had to survive.

And I didn't like that.

No one wants their word for the year to be "survive".

And that's when I realized the wisdom of my husband's word choice. Because what I needed wasn't the ability to just survive, but the courage to wake up every morning (and multiple times during the night) and say yes to Christ and no to self. I needed the courage to face every day, the countless demands of my children, the midnight feedings, the endless dirty diapers. I needed the courage to make something beautiful in the day to day instead of just slogging through.

So. Here's to 2014. The year of courage.


  1. Yes! Thank you, Josh. And Marian, I'm proud that you chose courage. I'm reminded of Joshua 1:9 -- Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. AND he will be with you every minute of the day and night!

  2. GREAT word for the year! and yes to Joshua 1:9!!