Math has never been my strength. Even though we homeschooled, I didn’t teach math to our children at the higher level. That was their dad’s job.
I think our sense of math/numbers and our sense of direction are probably intricately intertwined. I received very little of either those two gifts when God wove me together. My Garmin has saved me from lost time and wasted miles when it comes to the lack of a sense of direction. And I’m really, rEAlLy, REALLY trying to understand and learn algebra. I’ve had two excellent math teachers since my return trek down this numerical road at college. I can honestly say that I have only left class ONE day frustrated and completely lost as to what I just saw explained in black, blue and red marks across the white board.
In class, I sit as close to the board as possible and I listen intently. I take voracious notes and hang on every word spoken by both my soft-spoken, gentle female teacher and my vivacious, animated current male teacher. Last quarter, I knew that Mrs. Wiggins would wear dress pants, a nice shirt and an over-blouse every day. And this quarter, I know that Mr. Visintainer will come in a short-sleeved shirt with a fun, quirky tie decorated with SpongeBob, Veggie Tales or an interesting printed design.
As I sit here and study this morning, I am reminded of a poignant question asked of me yesterday in class. I was struck by the fact that the young girl who asked me was young enough to be my daughter, but asking a meaty, thoughtful question.
She asked me, “What is your calling?”
I took no time to hesitate. There I stood, my hand resting on the shoulder of my oldest, my man/child, seated in the computer lab at college. I leaned down and pressed my cheek against his head with locks like mine – wiry with slightly argumentative curl and body. I replied, “My calling is to spend my days focused on raising my children.”
But, I am not able to focus fully on that calling right now.
That job has been re-defined ….
I do firmly believe that nothing happens to us that doesn’t first sift through the hands of our Heavenly Father. I do not believe that a broken family is His perfect plan, but we live in a world of broken people. Along the way, plans are changed, visions altered, lives redesigned. Those changes are not always good, but God allows them. And it is our responsibility to keep our eyes on Him and choose to find the good from these situations.
And so, I find myself asking, “What should this new snapshot have within the frame?”
I don’t know what my future looks like…no more now than I did nine months ago. I may never feel the same degree of security and expectation that I have known for my entire life – first under my parents direction and then under my husband’s protection.
In the past, I knew that next month would look like this month and last month. We homeschooled. I expected that within the frame of the snapshot would be three children, a husband and nights and weekends. I knew the summer would be filled with trips, fellowship and splashing in a pool. I knew that days would be spent building, reading, exploring. The last years of homeschooling, I knew that certain Mondays were spent at park day, Thursday afternoons at PE and Friday was dedicated to co-op. The last few years of co-op, I knew that Friday at 11:00 a.m. put me across the table from my friend Lorin and beside Susan, helping grade Spanish homework and talking about God, character qualities in ourselves and our children and how to keep fresh oregano growing in the yard. I knew that Laurie would come to co-op with a smile and that Cheryl would have on an outfit that I would love and a kind, wise word of encouragement for me, if we had a chance to speak in the kitchen over a warm cup of java.
Right now, the only thing I feel fairly certain about ….
is that I do not know what is around the bend.
And surely, that is where God wants us, doesn’t He?
If we think know what is around the corner, we become comfortable
and don’t turn to Him for guidance, leadership and comfort.
If we are confident in ourselves,
then we have less – or no – need for His strength and support.
And so, I live one day at a time
and watch to see what each day brings.
Today will be filled with economics, computer class, a Public Awareness campaign and a nap. I will re-glaze more windows and listen to a violin serenade my afternoon as Joy practices with a hollow wooden box and a horse hair bow. I will drive my van and be thankful that it cranks and runs. At some point, I will speak out loud, “Thank you Lord, for my van.” Soon after, Joy will begin, again, to explain to me why we need a new vehicle. I will again go over why we cannot have one and must be thankful. And I will look forward to a dinner from Glory. I will try to put the house back in order after a few days spent in bed with a cold and I will lay out a design for a new painting project I have in mind. This is what today looks like for me. It could change in a minute – and, of course, I have no idea what is around the bend.
Seasons change, life unfolds, a new day begins.