I am a mother of four (so I get little sleep), one of which is an eight month old (resulting in even less sleep). I know that you can’t take your eyes off of them, that it only takes a moment for them to make a mess in a perfectly tidy room, and the only way to really contain them is in a crib or when they are strapped into their car seat. The other day, Brandon and I were heading out to drop the two youngest off at my moms house for a couple of hours. For 30 minutes they would both be strapped into their car seat— 30 minutes where they wouldn’t be able to get away or make any messes. So of course I brought some stuff to get done. The plan- use the 30 minutes to write some thank you notes and chat with Brandon about our plans for the rest of the week. A few months ago I had written a handful of thank you’s— I had written, stuffed, addressed, and stamped them so they were ready to go. I set the stack on the kitchen table and ran upstairs to change Kennedy’s diaper before getting the littles in the car for the quick ride to the mail box. I was out of the room less than five minutes. I returned with a freshly diapered baby to Levi sitting at the kitchen table opening all of the thank you’s that I had written. He was “helping” me with the mail. So yes, writing thank you cards in the car might not sound like the best idea, but it was better than some options.
So we are driving. I have pen ready, trying to formulate my first sentence while keeping my hand steady as we drive along… “Momma, why are catcuses green?”
“huh? I don’t really know Levi. Mommy is trying to think, hold on one second”
“Momma, why do the mountains over there look grey when the dirt is actually brown?”
“huh? Uh, that is a good question Levi, uh….”
“Momma, why does the song say ‘God is over the moon’ is that where God lives, does God live over the moon?”
Pen down. Cards folded.
Continue reading “Wonder”
“Are we there yet?”
We all know this line, but parents feel it. We can hear the whine drawl out as a cringe moves throughout our entire body. It is amazing how children seem to be compelled to ask this question when passengers in a car…over and over again… no matter how long of a trip they are on. The Willett family has been getting a lot of use out of this line since we moved back to Arizona this last summer. In our small Montana town, the only home the boys really have known, we were never in the car more than 5 minutes. Officially the Miles City is 3.3 square miles, but it felt like everything was under a mile away. We traveled out of town often, but our daily lives included very little time in the car. Then we moved to the commuters paradise. The Phoenix metro area is known for its sprawl. Just driving from our house to the closest grocery store is an entire Miles City away, and to Levi’s preschool… well that is the length of two Miles Cities. So our kids have struggled. It isn’t just on the long road trips that we are hearing this all too familiar refrain, but every single time we get in the car… “Are we there yet?” “How much longer?” “Are we closer to home or to nana’s now?”
I get it. The in-between is no fun. We left the comfort of home and are headed to something amazing (nana’s house, dinner out, a friend’s) and we are excited. We got ourselves ready and now we are just sitting in the van… waiting. Fifteen minutes can feel like three hours to a 3 year old who is excited to see his nana. Watching and waiting and still we are not there.
Life feels like this sometimes. I want to scream “Are we there yet?!?” Friends this is what the season of Advent is all about. It is a recognition of our state of waiting. That we are watching in anticipation of what is about to come into being. It is faith that in the birth of Jesus, God did something definitive- that God broke into the mundane and introduced a promise of something amazing, and then set us on a journey to its fulfillment. We are watching and waiting, seeing glimpses of God’s vision becoming but we are not there yet.
Continue reading “Are We There Yet?”
The boys are in the midst of their fourth week of school. Transitioning to a new school in a new community has been both exciting and challenging.
On a typical morning the boys wake up at six and head straight downstairs to watch cartoons until Brandon and I can shake the haze of midnight feedings and get ourselves out of bed. A few mornings ago Graham switched things up and instead of heading downstairs, climbed into bed and snuggled. In the midst of my haze he whispered in my ear “Mom I miss Miles City…. I am starting to forget what my friends’ faces look like.” The haze disappeared instantly as my heart broke into a thousand pieces.
That same day, Micah struggled at school and as we talked about it over our mid-afternoon snack he shared that he missed his friends and even though he was getting to know people here, everyone else knows each other better and he misses being comfortable with everyone. “Comfortable”— I asked him what he meant. He said that he misses playing with people that he has known since preschool, people who just know him.
I am not a territorial pastor. I believe that some people “fit” in some congregations, and other people “fit” in other congregations. I don’t get defensive if the congregation I am serving isn’t for everyone. I am quick to let people know that if we aren’t the congregation for them, please let me know and I will try to help them find the right one. I want people to find where they are comfortable and where they can most tune in to what God is doing in their life. I have actually told people to just keep looking until they find where they are “comfortable.” I think a lot of us who have looked for a congregation to call our own has used the term:
“I knew instantly that Federated was the church for me, I just felt comfortable.”
“We are trying out different churches until we find one where we feel comfortable.”
But after my conversations with the boys and thinking about our new ministry here in Anthem, I am realizing that “comfort” isn’t what we are actually looking for. The old recliner in my living room growing up was “comfortable.” Sweatpants are “comfortable.”
Continue reading “More than Comfort”