My sister asked me the other day why I bothered to get a new blog if I am never going to update it. When I set this up I had the lofty goal of posting about every week; now I am thinking that if I aim for once every two weeks, then I will be doing pretty good. We will hope for more than once a month. I am in such a busy season of life right now (is there such a thing as an un-busy season?) and blog entries have a tendency to swirl in my head without ever making it into type.
Seasons, seasons, seasons. As hectic as it is, I really do love the season the Lord has me in right now. In school, at home, single. My contentment level varies on a daily basis but overall, I know this is a precious time and I want to savor it to the fullest. As the oldest in a large family, I am grateful for the ability to enjoy this time of us all being at home together. I think of my friends who are younger kids in big families, and the dynamics change once the older ones move out. I know that I get to experience this time more fully than my youngest siblings. We are all living at home together, and once we start to go our separate ways and begin our own families, this season will be finished and home will not mean quite the same thing it meant before. The changes are already beginning as my sister Anna and I have started to pursue various interests and ministries and so are not home as much as we used to be. But even still, when she and I refer to home, we mean the same place.
For now, home means three or more people trying to make dinner together in a tiny kitchen, late night talks and giggles until Daddy bellows "Go to sleep!", listening to looooong stories about bionicles, maneuvering for room at the bathroom mirror on Sunday mornings, studying for a college literature exam at the table with the 6yo who is learning his subtraction, chatting on facebook while sitting across the room from each other, eating meals in a hurry so that you can run to the next activity, two spelling tests being given at the same time while everybody else covers their ears, twenty cereal boxes adorning the top of the fridge, inside jokes and knowing looks, cleaning house while dancing to music that is turned all the way up, studying while a two year old brother plays with legos on your lap, "discussions" about who is wearing who's shoes, constant teasing and laughing, numerous loads of dishes and laundry, and celebration at every new phrase the baby says. Life is good and I truly love being home.
And yet... It amazes me how quickly my bubble of contentment is burst. All it takes is some person trying to make conversation asking "So, you're still living at home? Oh! Okaaay..." Then I suddenly feel very small; as though I need to offer an apologetic explaination. It slighty helps that I am studying for my B.A., but what am I supposed to say after I have my degree and am still living at home? I begin to realize that my contentment is based too strongly on my enjoyment of the present situation and on the good opinion of those around me rather than being grounded in the God who put me here.
Isn't it funny how we have our lives figured out during the years when we are 12 to 17? At least I did. I thought I had the perfect understanding of how a single young lady should live. She simply stays home and bakes bread until her Prince comes a-knockin'. Not until I turned eighteen and started to look single young-ladyhood in the face, did I begin to realize how little I understood. It is all very well to say that you are going to wait at home for Prince Charming, quite another to actually do so when he is nowhere in sight. What do you do with your time? What are your aims and goals? And what if, dare I say it, you don't marry until you are forty? What then?! Do you still plan on being at home?
As I have agonized over these questions to my parents, I have been reminded me of several things. First: God is not cruel. Second: There is no point in worrying over things I am not dealing with yet. In other words, we will worry about 40 on my 40th birthday. Third: This season is not a punishment. Fourth: Being single is not an excuse to be idle. Fifth: My purpose is no different than it has ever been; to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. By the way, just because I can list them does not mean I have learned them. I am still working on them and will undoubtedly be doing so for awhile.
My parents and I have been trying to understand what this season is going to look like. The truth is that the Bible doesn't lay out a clear cut plan for how single daughters are supposed to do things. We are given principles in the Word, and we are given wisdom to make decisions for how we are going to live them out. We are aware that the choices we make are not going to be the same that other families, or possibly even some of my siblings, may choose to make. I would personally be happy in a cookie-cutter world; one in which I could be certain of doing things right. But God in His wisdom hasn't made us cookie-cutters and is instead pleased to allow me to figure these things out through seeking Him and studying His Word. Not my way, but undoubtedly the better way.
So for this moment: I am at home, working on a degree in English that will hopefully make me better equipped to serve the Lord. In addition to the academic lessons I will be learning over the next year, I am certain that God has spiritual ones on the agenda as well. How greatful I am for His patience and for the certainty that He will glorify Himself as He works in me through this season and the many to follow.