Since my last post in September, we've settled into a routine that feels good. Peter and I are home together on Mondays and Wednesdays, while I keep the household running (somewhat) smoothly and work to coordinate communications for Geneva Campus Church. Peter loves his new school, Eastside Lutheran, where he goes Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. While hearing about St. Bernard's closure two weeks before school was starting was stressful, I'm thankful that we were forced to find a different childcare solution. Looking back to February, when I first felt like I needed a change from my job at UW Health, I can see so many ways that God answered prayer:
- I felt called to take the communication coordinator job at Geneva, but knew that 20-25 hours per week would be too much for our family; God helped the church staff re-write the position to be 10 hours per week instead.
- I was worried about leaving the field of nutrition completely; God sent Marcy, a co-worker from 2010, to ask me if I wanted to take 8-20 hours/wk of her job at University Health Services.
- I was tempted to take on 18 hours in order to get health insurance for our family even though I knew that might be too much; God arranged a "Graduate-Program/temporary appointment" that makes me eligible for benefits at 10 hours per week...for the next two years!
- I wondered if it was good to have Peter in preschool full-time at St. B's, but it was only $30 more per month to enroll him in full time care instead of the three days I'd be working; God led us to Eastside Lutheran and even answered my prayers about using our dependent care FSA that I had set aside for St. Bernard's tuition.
- My faith was feeling stale and disconnected from the reason for it all, Jesus; God called me into prayer, even if it was for seemingly insignificant life logistics, gave me monthly time with a mentor, Mary Beth, who encouraged me to check out two books: Craving Grace and New Morning Mercies.
Reflecting on answered prayer has reminded me (yet again), how easy it is to ask God for help when I'm desperate - my job is unfulfilling, our daycare is closing, I have interesting new job opportunities but feel completely unsure about the "right" choice or combination. I've come to realize that while God would never intentionally mess things up in my life in order to remind me to seek him, he is always walking next to me, eagerly waiting for me to turn my face towards him and ask for help.
My top two ongoing prayers now are 1) that I literally crave His grace and mercy, which daily calls me to read God's word and pray earnestly even when things seem to be going well, and 2) that Nate and I are able to understand and provide for Cora's needs, especially on school mornings, when she generally takes longer than Peter and Louisa to "hatch."
I was thinking that I didn't have any related pictures for this post, because I haven't been photographing these answers to prayer, but then I realized that throughout this time of change, beautiful things have been happening, proving to me that I don't have to even know what to ask for, but God will bless, in big and small ways.
|This earns a "beautiful things" tag because Peter picked it out, without prompting, and after adding it to his kid cart, asked, "is that cereal called Fruit Loops?"|
|Cora is spending her kindergarten days perfecting her monkey sketches|
|Art class is a favorite of Louisa's too|
|Trying on glasses with Peter was surprisingly fun. He's wearing the winning pair in this photo|
|Peter ice boating at the Children's Museum. We sent this photo to Papa, to share our love.|
|Speaking of Papa...10 miles? No problem!|
|Exploring the hip, new Wharf in southeast D.C. after the Army 10-miler|
|Radishes from our CSA. I learned from Hello Fresh how to quick-pickle. Even the kids ate them!|
|The leaves felt especially vibrant and long-lasting this year. And yes, we let Cora wear her pajamas all day whenever she wants to - it helps with faster hatching.|
|Our troopers on the 3-mile hike to the 8-bunk|
|Fantastic memories made in the Porcupine Mountains|
|Ooo la la. Je t'aims our new built-in book shelf!|