Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Survival mode: turbulence and wise little trees

As tempting as a a climate of never-ending temperate weather, free of boots and mittens and scrapping frost off the windshield in the darkness of winter mornings, I crave the feelings of change the seasons bring.
I feel like my thought patterns, my focus, my realizations all want to find a new colour with the leaves.

Like once young hopeful green ideas, that sprouted energetically from my springtime ambitions, are ready to let go of their idealism and fade into what we are, now.
Ready to let go of the branches of structure they have clung to and drift down into a beautifully scattered pile of freedom.
Change is so good. Yet we fight it.
We had a change in our home. We've been without daily therapy for Aaron for the last few weeks, and while not a permanete plan, it has been a needed break. I feel like it's been enough on Aaron adjusting to Kindergarten and all it's added expectations. We still have our senior therapist and our speech therapist once a week and I'm loving the directions we're heading (after some rather honest expulsions of my real feelings about things) 
Honesty is so good. Yet we can be so scarred of it.
McKye has said good-bye to naps. I have truly mourned those McKye-less hours, as I really reveled in those breaks from his non-stop energy. I was so reluctant.I denied it and tried to still put him down with no success, and I'm just finally started to accept that it just ain't gonna happen anymore. 
Levi, unlike me other kids who weaned right around a year, shows no signs of being "done". And stil loves nursing, especially at night.
All these combined, has made me sense that something had to give (this week it was housework:)
Despite my last post, life ain't cupcakes. 

Ben, my ever constant, unruffable hubby, has even been feeling out of sorts. I think the constancy of his demanding job coupled with his demanding kids and yes, his often demanding wife, was starting to wear on him.

When even Ben starts breaking down, you know it's time for change.

Went back to my post on

 Sister Beck's Essentials, Necessarys and Nice to do with an added insight. Sister Beck visited Boise a few weeks ago, and my friend, knowing I'm a bit of a fan(understatement?) made sure to take good notes.  (Don't worry I won't be "publishing" her unofficial remarks). But Sister Beck did talk about how those categories came to her at a time when she was actually quite ill. I always imagined them coming out of an effort to be more efficient in her busy life. But they came at a time of limitation. There was only so much she could do and so she really had to determine what was most important. 
Having a young family is a busy time, but it is also is a time of some limitation. We can only go, do and give so much. My last setting apart I was counselled that my calling could be one that "took a lot" but that I needed to ensure I gave to my family first, that I didn't "run faster than I have strength".
This whole concept evaluating where to put our energies, and finding the best amid the many goods, reminded me of this talk by Pres Uchtdorf:
"It’s remarkable how much we can learn about life by studying nature... One of the things we learn from studying the growth of trees is that during seasons when conditions are ideal, trees grow at a normal rate. However, during seasons when growing conditions are not ideal, trees slow down their growth and devote their energy to the basic elements necessary for survival.
At this point some of you may be thinking, “That’s all very fine and good, but what does it have to do with flying an airplane?” Well, let me tell you. [He was a pilot and often makes aviation analogies]
Have you ever been in an airplane and experienced turbulence? The most common cause of turbulence is a sudden change in air movement causing the aircraft to pitch, yaw, and roll. While planes are built to withstand far greater turbulence than anything you would encounter on a regular flight, it still may be disconcerting to passengers.What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road.

Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions."

Not that young kids is "adverse conditions" but they definitely can cause some daily turbulence!

I feel to gather in our energies. Try to focus and enjoy the basics of our family life more. TO "steady the course".

Things necessary for survival. Temporal: clothes (darn winter's gonna make pants more "necessary" huh!) food (hmm, no idea what's for super) shelter (even if my house lacks all the decor I drool over in pinterest). 
And things necessary for spiritual survival. Pray. Scriptures. Repentance.
The basics. 
I said to Ben this morning. I think one of our personal and perhaps greatest temptation is to not appreciate what a privilege it is to raise a family within the gospel. To take for granted the love and growth our children bless our lives with, because it's easier to get annoyed with the constant needs  (diapers & sippys) and demands (Diego & want "YOU!"s)
It's so easy to just hold out til bed time, enduring and not living. 
Partaking of blessings because, well that's what we do, without realizing the wonder of having the God of Heaven involved in our lives!

Once again we were brought back to the simple things that set the foundation of our lives. Taking time in the scriptures, and on our knees, actively inviting the Spirit into our lives, so it's fruits "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith" (don't those all sound so helpful for family life???) can flow in to our home (instead of just trying to will ourselves to be nice to our kids and each other and getting frustrated when we fail).
Sister Beck also talks about working shifts.  That we need to determine which shifts are most critical to our family. My morning shift of connecting to the Lord, is importnat to me. My best happens before noon. Which is hard as I continue to work the "night shift".  I have felt to reclaim the afternoon as a more "down time" part of our day, gearing up for the important dinner/family-time shift. 

Afternoons have been nice lately.

We will need to re-insert Aaron's therapy and I have yet to figure out exactly how I want that to look. But right now I am soaking up the time.
Feeling what "just life" feels like. 

And I like it.