Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Beginning of the End

As of last evening, a glistening white placard with capital red letters announces that our townhouse is SOLD. Peering at that sign for the first time brought a flood of emotions...a tsunami of joy at the Lords' provision and obvious intervention, a river of wonder at the mere speed of the transaction, a waterfall of gratitude to our family and friends who made the whole transition possible through their prayers and resourcefulness, a shower of delight that our realtor's efforts were successful and speedy, and a sprinkling of dread as I briefly considered all of the work that lies ahead of us in the next 4 weeks. My husband, however, hit the ground running. He's already packing boxes, figuring what furniture will go where, and making his Lowe's wish list. I'll admit that I am usually the one who takes the project leadership role. However, my mental and emotional capacity right now is generally overshadowed by class preparation, packing children's lunches, dressing/undressing/bathing children, and making sure they are where they need to be when they need to be. Yes, of course I'm happy...I just lack the energy to enter into exuberant celebration mode. Call it self-protection or maybe shock that our dream is becoming a reality...this is where I am right now. So, we say good-bye to one era and enter into a new phase. After nearly 10 years of marriage, we will live in our own single-family house. I am in awe of the Lord's provision and goodness in giving us this gift. When Heather gets speechless, it must be a big deal. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Transitions

Here I am...sitting in my office and holding back the tears AGAIN. (Okay, I'm technically giving myself a lunch break between classes and meetings, although it's really only a Kashi granola bar snack. I'm just too excited to eat and frankly wanted to spend time writing instead.) So, the first full week of classes has begun, and the emotional roller coaster continues. While Bud is still steadily serving at his job, I have now taken on full-time professorship, Sadie is a forthcoming kindergarten scholar for a full-day tenure, and Greta and Asher are in day care for about 32 hours per week. On top of that, we are selling our townhouse and purchasing a single-family home. All we need is for someone to die to totally max out out potential to be stressed scale. HA!

I've realized that we (as a family) spend a lot of time getting ready for the "real" thing. You may do the same thing, and STILL remain normal. For instance, here are a list of actions to get us ready for the main events of our daily schedule: self-grooming, cooking/meal prep, loading/unloading the van, coats/shoes, fastening seat belts/car seats, walking in and out of building, panties up and down for potty time. You get the gist. With three children who are adjusting to waking up early and who are considerably verbal and independent, time is not always our friend. My big revelation this past week was that the transitions are just as important as the events. The jounrey is just as important as the final destination.

AH, you say, Hostler is starting to sound like some Buddhist monk. (Not that there's anything wrong with Buddhist monks, mind you!) Yes, perhaps I have become enlightened. I figured out that my attitude, my words, and my actions set the tone. If I put on cranky nastiness, I simply get that spoon-fed (READ: SHOVED!) back into my face from my children as they whine, assault one another, or flat out spit in my face. Instead, I've chosen to enjoy these transition times and use them as opportunities to have fun with my children. Rather than blowing a gasket at the fact that Greta, as of late, sits her little bottom anywhere in the van EXCEPT in her car seat after my long day of work, I choose to laugh and be thankful for her mischief. Mind you, I have to swallow hard when I'm standing there with bags over my shoulders like a pack mule and Asher sucking on my earrings. No, it's not a plastic smile and a perfunctory Wal-Mart fakeout greeting. I really want to not only SEE but also EXPERIENCE the joy of these days, even when it may be physically, emotionally, or spiritually challenging to remain patient and sane. In the meantime, you have permission to ask how I'm doing when you see me falling short of my own standard. Just be kind. :)