Saturday, October 18, 2014

Processing Life

(Note: This little post is just an effort to process life through writing. Sometimes taking a step back and seeing things in black and white helps to frame the good, bad and the ugly!)

I stare blankly, my mind whirring on empty. Unsuccessfully I try to conjure images of who/what/when/where relates to the question I've just been asked. All too often this is my response when trying to remember what happened only one, two, or three days ago! Life of late feels just a little too crazy.

Every weekday morning starts similarly. 6:00 AM, Pedro rises and starts moving the rest of us. 6:30, boys roll out of bed and start getting breakfast, uniforms, school bags. Our morning girl Eva may or may not decide to go ahead and start her online school around this time. Her sister Isabel will certainly cover her head with pillows and try to cling to dreamland. By 7:20, Pedro departs with Owen and Ian which leaves Alec to finish any lingering homework and play Legos or watch Clifford (in Spanish, to "practice" for school.) Around 8:00, Pedro returns to make coffee before heading to church while I leave with Isabel to exercise at the stadium. Either Pedro or one of Alec's big sisters walks him the few blocks to Kindergarten at 8:30. The girls and I eventually reconvene at home where we all do our respective schoolwork (Eva - 7th; Isabel - 6th; Stephanie - counseling coursework.) Except for Tuesdays, when I have ladies' prayer time at 8:30 AM at church. At 12:30, 12:45 and 1:00 schools end for Alec, Owen and Ian. 

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Pedro picks up our girls and Alec first at home, collects Owen at his school; then gathers five or six other children at three separate locations. He accompanies this group of kids to the stadium for track & field training with Coach Anibal. Meanwhile, I drop Ian at the Spink house to do homeschool with Aunt Kim for an hour, then head back home to cook lunch and await my hungry crew's arrival around 2:30.

Our evening schedule is also a bit bonkers. On Monday nights at 7:00, the boys have soccer class. On Wednesday and Friday evenings at 5:30 PM, Eva has equestrian class. (Whenever possible, I try to squeeze in reading for my classes during these sports events.) On Tuesdays at 4:30, the boys and Isabel go to Kids' Club at Spinks' house. On Wednesdays at 4:00, Owen has handball class. (Pedro drops him off, then often uses these two hours for visitation.) On Fridays at 4:30, the boys and Isabel have basketball class. For the adult schedule, on Tuesday nights at 8:00 Pedro has discipleship. On Wednesdays at 8:00, Stephanie has class with the church ladies. On Thursdays at 7:00 Pedro has Bible study; at 8:00 he and the girls go to prayer meeting. On Fridays at 8:00 is youth group. 

And that's just Monday through Friday! It doesn't even include weekends with their many church commitments or other "miscellaneous" stuff - or many of Pedro's commitments, which I can't always keep track of. Some days are unpredictable. One recent Tuesday I had ladies' prayer time at 8:30 AM; picked up one of our college girls for breakfast and accountability at 10:00 AM; got Ian from school at 1:00 PM and bought empanadas for the crew at home; took three of our kids to Kids' Club at 4:30 PM; used that time to take to lunch one of our teen girls who has been somewhat adrift of late; picked up the kids at 6:30 and then headed to soccer (an event which has since been eliminated because - well, crazy is just crazy!)

I write endless lists on notebook pages, church bulletins, and slips of paper to try and organize this crazy life of ours. Upcoming events include today's visit to a local orphanage; next week's track meet; the following weekend's ladies' annual ladies' retreat. Next month I travel to the Santiago for a medical visit. Kindergarten graduation for both of our little boys, and a birthday for Ian are just around the corner. A third trimester test schedule is the bane of Owen's existence at the moment. Twice this week we have had late (10- or 11-o'clock p.m.) deliveries of items we agreed to store for a family displaced in April's earthquake. In the midst of it all I feel so much pressure to complete my studies but guilt when I hole away from the kids to do so. How to find a balance between it all?

Lord, help me to center on You in the midst of the craziness of life. Help me to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness. Keep me focused on Your purposes and Your Person. And when too much becomes too much, let me let go of anything less and simply hold fast to You!

"But I trust in you, Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands ..." 
(Psalm 31:14-15a)

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