Posted by Jeri on May 29, 2010
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34
These are words that I’ve had memorized for years and years. But recently, I re-memorized them, and I have been working on hiding them in my heart. It’s like I know them in my mind, but when it comes to practicing them, it’s so much harder.
Unfortunately, sometimes I still worry.
Before Craig left for his trip, I worried and worried. I thought of all the things that could go wrong while he was away. I thought how hard it would be without him, and I worried. His departure was inevitable, yet I still worried. There was nothing I could do about what might happen, but it was so hard for me not to worry.
A few days before Craig left for North America, I began praying for strength, patience, and peace. I did my best to give my worries to God. I’m sure I kept a few, but I know that God has been with me and he has helped me jump this hurdle. It may seem like such a small thing to you, but being here alone really worried me.
When we dropped Craig off at the airport, the kids wanted to stay and watch him get on the plane. So we did. Hannah immediately started crying right when he boarded the plane. She continued crying all the way home from the airport. I had my doubts about how it was going to go. What a way to start, I thought.
Now, 10 days after Craig left, I am feeling blessed. Not blessed because he left, but blessed by God for teaching me so many things over the past couple of weeks.
Here are lessons (great and small) that I learned, and some of the blessings I recognized while Craig was away.
1. The internet is an amazing thing. Funny as it may seem, I think I would prefer for Craig to travel to the other side of the world than to be away in a village here in PNG. Having contact with him makes a world of difference. Just a year ago, we didn’t even have internet access at our house. I have been SO thankful that I have been able to talk to Craig while he is away.
2. When you have to do something, you just do it – even when you thought you couldn’t. I am a very dependent person. I like working alongside Craig. I don’t like to be alone to make decisions or to handle everything. But, I’m doing it. All of us have been sick most of the week with colds. Normally, I would think this is just terrible, but I know that I have to deal with it – and I’ve been able to.
3. I need to take the kids out more often. In the past, I’ve avoided taking all 3 of them places by myself as much as possible because it is so hard here. Now I’ve had practice, and it’s actually been fun. We’ve been swimming, out to eat, to the shops, to the park, and on many walks together.
4. Doubling a few recipes and freezing the extra food made meal times much easier. And there were less dishes to wash, too. I also learned that cooking simple meals for supper (like scrambled eggs and toast) is okay too.
5. It’s alright if the house isn’t spotless. I generally like to keep a pretty tidy house, but I’ve allowed myself some breathing room (phew!), and it has been easier. Also, I’m thankful for our house helper, Susan. who helps me twice a week with cleaning and watching the kids while I grocery shop.
6. Involving the kids in the planning is important. When Craig left, the kids helped me draw pictures on a calendar of one special thing we’d do every day (swimming, painting, packing, etc). It was a good thing to have because I couldn’t be lazy and say, “I just don’t feel like doing that” because the kids were watching our calendar daily and knew what we were supposed to do. We’ve also been counting down until we see Craig again. (I’m amazed at how fast the time has gone!)
7. Recognizing the blessings each day helps alleviate the worries of the task. I’ve just tried to notice, smile and laugh at the little things in our lives that give us joy – like when Caleb says, “fruit woops” (fruit loops) and when Elizabeth gives Hannah big slobbery kisses.
8. I don’t have to put everything on the table to serve a meal. At first, I was getting everything set up on the table (like we do when Craig is here). I quickly learned that it’s much easier to leave all the food on the counter, serve the food, and put the filled plates on the table. (duh!) Then I don’t have to move it all back again. This may sound like a simple task, but it’s amazing how long it can take to get a meal prepared, served, and fed to 3 children ages 4 and under. Oh, and I’m supposed to eat sometime too!
9. It is rainy season here, and we had our fair share of rain a couple of weeks ago. But, I kid you not, we have not had a single rainy day since Craig left. (I think it might’ve rained in the night once.) I thought we’d have to just play in the rain every day, but God has given us beautiful weather to do lots of things. It has made it so much easier going places with the kids. I haven’t even had to open an umbrella once. (Well, I did when I was walking outside with Elizabeth in the sun.) If you’ve been here during rainy season, you know that’s a miracle. What an incredible blessing.
10. Every day I have been reminded of God’s perfect plan for a family to be together. Though I’ve managed to do it alone, having a loving and helpful husband around makes it so much easier. I don’t know how single mothers do this day in and day out for years. I’m thankful that God has given me a wonderful husband, and fun-loving kids. We are blessed with a happy home.
After composing this list, I just wonder to myself… why did I ever worry?
Consider the lilies of the field …
I missed Craig terribly, so I am really looking forward to our reunion in Sydney, Australia in a couple of days!! We’re really excited about our family vacation together.