But can I be real, friends? Pretty much not one part of this transition is “going well.”
I could bore you with details about the undercover cops in the lobby and the overwhelming odor of marijuana when we arrived at our hotel. But then you’d scratch your head at why our first instinct, upon discovering this, was to go ahead and unpack our bags. We’ve gotten so accustomed lately to simple things becoming complicated, things you’re supposed to take for granted being absent, that we just roll with it. Getting out of our lease in Tennessee has proven to require Herculean efforts, an exorbitant amount of money, and now, legal counsel. Acquiring a new midwife in Virginia Beach has thus far required Vanderbilt sending my records a grand total of three times and five re-schedulings of my first appointment. At nearly 22 weeks pregnant, this is not encouraging.
I don’t mean to complain, though I know that I am. I have been with my blessed children in our two-bedroom suite most of every day. Daniel leaves before they’re up, I feed them, we “get ready,” do school, then try to find a place to go for a few hours before I crash from sickness and exhaustion. They are doing remarkably well, but I’m tired of shushing them, tired of not having anyone to talk to all day, they are tired of always sharing their space, their limited toys, their bed. There have been nights Daniel didn’t return until 9:00 or 10:00 from his job that is very much wanted and very much a blessing but, at the moment, sucking the life out of him. We have a tiny portion of our stuff, and I like to think I’ve been resourceful with it, but it's all getting old.
All year I’ve had this book near me, until recently on my kitchen counter and now beside my rented bed: Choosing Joy. I bought the book because I desperately believe that you find what you seek and peace and joy are what I've been wanting to find. I believe that happiness and, ever much more importantly joy, are choices that we make and must not be tied to our circumstances.
But choosing where to focus my attention when the difficulties scream so much louder hasn’t been easy.
I hate that my husband and I occupy the same space for less than two waking hours per day during the week, but until recently, we only saw each other on the weekends, so for this I will choose to be grateful. I hate living in a hotel, without any concrete idea of when certainty and security and stability will find us. But I will choose to be grateful for our ability to be together, for our health, and for God's provision, however day-to-day it feels. I hate that I wasn’t prepared to homeschool my daughter the way I’d always intended to be. But I will choose to be grateful that she is loving all of it so far. I will choose to be grateful for the extra time with her, and that I have thus far been able to convey all of this as a great adventure to her and her little sister.
Even as the days tick by and there is more of this pregnancy behind me than before me, even as I still don’t know where we will live when we welcome our son, I will choose to be thankful for his apparent health and frequent movements that were just strong enough for Mirabella to feel them for the first time. I thank God for these reminders about what really matters, even as I long for stability and home. I will continue to seek the joy and the beauty in little snatches of every day.
And I pray that we are deep in the throes of learning whatever it is we’re supposed to be learning so we can go ahead and move on.