Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Basking in the Silence

It's 1 o'clock in the morning and I should be sleeping, but I can't abandon the cool silence. The general absence of noise (except for the hum of our daughter's fan and the occasional car cruising up Avenida Bilbao) is balm for my battered senses. For months, the clatter of construction next door and now in our own driveway has dominated our days. Trying to teach math and language and corral my children's attention over the screaming of an electric saw and the jarring of a jack hammer (as well as the recently added clamor of a neighbor beating his drum set) makes me want to pull my hair out and scream. As I stated to my sisters in our WhatsApp chat tonight, "My nerves are shot."

So I bask in the silence. 

What am I doing at this hour, you might ask? Scouring Facebook for Marketplace advertisements that might meet the need of a FLORECE client and newborn who must find a inexpensive place to live by a week from tomorrow. Comparing the limited options within her budget with the possibility of finding a combined living situation with another young couple in need of lodging. Alternately feeling hopeful and frustrated with the possibilities before me, as the search at times seems impossible within the financial limitations both parties face.

It was a long, hot, tiring day. But God answered prayer and the morning's busyness was well invested in visits to multiple offices in search of background information on the property we are excitedly pursuing to auction this Thursday for FLORECE! My lawyer friend Luisa generously requested time off work to join me in my pursuits and clarify confusing terms and scan more than half a dozen title documents from the past decade and beyond to confirm everything was in order. It was truly miraculous in our context to enter each building and find minimal wait times so that much was accomplished in a relatively short time. It was our final stop at the bank entrusted with FLORECE's account that we encountered a roadblock that would require several strong conversations and much wringing of hands to remain, as yet, unresolved due to operational mismanagement and blame shifting.

I am emotionally exhausted. This afternoon Silas was exhausted, too, and whiny and needy and impossible after a morning of missing parents and too much electronic stimulation and wanting to play Dutch Blitz with the big kids and Mommy (the game being a desperate endeavor to create something positive out of internet problems and compete with the overwhelming urge for everyone to simply "veg out" and mindlessly succumb to the thick summer heat.) When the clock hands finally ticked past 7 PM, I swept the tired toddler off to bath and bottle and bed for the sake of everyone's sanity! At 9 PM, four of the five big kids set off for soccer and poor Pedro who'd had his own crazy day collapsed in sleep before the allotted time for pick up, which subsequently sent me off into the dark night around 11 PM to gather our "chicks" and friend Christopher.

Yet I am grateful. As she headed to bed, my oldest hugged my shoulders and said, "I'm praying for you to find what you are looking for tonight." Earlier today, my tall son asked, "Do you need a hug before I go?" and bent down to the couch to give me a squeeze before heading off to play at the park. There was a point this afternoon when the other four were washing the car (and one another!) amidst banter and giggles and that always warms my heart. Often I feel like I am selling them short with all my running to and fro, or being too tired to summon relational conversations. Today I literally fell asleep mid-reading questions with my son for his language assignment! Thankfully, the semester is nearly done and perhaps Pedro and I are looking forward to it more than the students themselves.

We had such a special time around the table yesterday after Sunday church and lunch. Belatedly expressing what each one of us loves about Ian (for his birthday) and teasing Daddy about always saying "because he is a hard worker!" and just full out laughing in unison over family silliness. I treasure those moments. They are a respite from the moments of friction and the pace of life that pulls us all in different directions so many times. They are a reminder that we are a team with shared stories and strengths and so much to offer if we allow God to use us together.

And now, I am off to bed in the golden silence. Because tomorrow we will renew our rhythm and the clatter will commence and the missed hours of sleep will be longingly remembered. But also, "new mercies" will be gratefully received. 

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