Category: Family Journal

Stages of PCS’ing

Adrienne Hedger captures the zeitgeist of  spring cleaning, but for me it sums up PCS’ing season.  PCS is one of the myriad military acronyms which bleed over into my life — Permanent Change of Station.

Spring Cleaning! Adrienne Hedger

It’s April. We pack out and the kids and I leave in June. Hubby follows in July.

I actually scheduled on my calendar that I would only prep for the move starting in July.  I didn’t want to focus on leaving too soon. I wanted to be present, in the moment, in this place. . .   Yes, goodbyes and move logistics take time, but like many big tasks, they expand to fit the space I give them.

Now it is the end of April, and move prep is in full swing. We did a pre-move inspection and are repairing the odds and ends around the house that are normal wear and tear for a family of eight (but not normal wear and tear for a typical renter!)  We’re sorting through clothes, books, misc. . .  I’m at the point at which part of me wouldn’t mind if our container slipped to the bottom of the ocean and we had no more things.  And then I see our family photos, special artwork, and other sentimental items and I know that isn’t really what I want.

In addition to the physical preparations, we are in the midst of the emotional and relational preparations.  Those are a bit more complicated.  I’ll write more on that and Building a Raft later.

But for now, it’s time for another cup of coffee, harnessing my motivation, and culling more of possessions to get under 7200lbs before we pack out.

Listening

“Mom? Can you go get Alexa?  I don’t want to miss this stuff.” – A5

We’re listening to an audio Bible.  We’re in Leviticus.

Noisy Kids in the Back Seat

Once upon a time, I had a noisy little Honda Accord hatchback and four noisy boys.  The noise of the tires on the road was loud, and the normal noise from the kids was loud.  It was a bit overstimulating, and I tuned it out.

 

And then I was diagnosed with hearing loss.  It’s bilateral, moderate, mid-range sensioneural hearing loss — nicknamed a cookie bite because that is what it looks like on an audiogram.  That means while I can still hear the sounds around me,  I’m not picking up a lot of the sounds in the speech range.  I hear the rhythm of your speech, I hear some of the sounds, and my brain puts together what it thinks you are saying.

 

It was a relief to get a hearing loss diagnosis (it’s not all in my head!) and hearing aids seemed like a gift rather than a stigma.  In reality? My hearing aids were life changing.

 

But the most profound moment after being diagnosed?

 

Driving down the road I realized, “Wow, my kids in the back seat are actually talking to me! Not just being noisy!”

 

A Wooden Spade They Gave to Me

 

At the tidepools, A5 & H2

 

When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up
Till it could come no more.

  • Robert Lewis Stevenson

Early Mornings. . .

Productivity experts and uber-awesome moms extol the virtues of waking up early. The quiet, peaceful mornings. The crisp, cool air. The relaxed cup of coffee over Bible reading.

I’ve been experimenting with waking up early again. It’s been, oh, twenty years since I’ve had consistent early mornings.

I remember why. Anytime I wake up early, the little kids do to. And cranky.

I’m going back to bed.

Nature Study: Tadpoles

We caught some tadpoles a couple of weeks ago from a much-neglected swimming pool. I thought they wouldn’t last more than a day or so.

But it has been two weeks and the four little tadpoles are still here and growing! We watched a couple of videos and have been feeding them. They are getting so big we had to put them in to two jars.

I caught H2 feeding them this afternoon. A5 and I have been watching them, but I didn’t realize she was observing them, too.

For thus says the LORD:

“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.

“As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

“You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bones shall flourish like the grass;
and the hand of the LORD shall be known to his servants,
and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.”

  • Isaiah 66:12-1419

Comfort

 

1. Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?

A. That I am not my own,
but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death,
to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins
with His precious blood,
and has set me free
from all the power of the devil.

He also preserves me in such a way
that without the will of my heavenly Father
not a hair can fall from my head;
indeed, all things must work together
for my salvation.

Therefore, by His Holy Spirit
He also assures me of eternal life
and makes me heartily willing and ready
from now on to live for Him.

 

Heidelberg Catechism, Question 1

 

 

I am finding great comfort in the promises of God, especially as they are expressed in the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism.

Our boys’ best friends’ mom died yesterday.  I know she would  have said will full confidence,

I am not my own,
but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death,
to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.

I don’t doubt that she was ready to see Jesus, even if not ready to leave her family.

But, I’m not ready.  Not ready to help my sons mourn.  Not ready to watch them walk alongside their grieving friends.  Not ready to consider my own mortality and leaving my kids behind.

 

At The Seaside

 

When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up
Till it could come no more.

  • Robert Lewis Stevenson