These last few weeks have given me the opportunity to become more settled into our new "normal" life as I nanny for Mr. S. with Moriah along for the ride :) She enjoys her days, have no doubt about that, as she watches the busy 2 1/2 year old little guy and his gentle dog Ruby. Moriah squeals with delight as she watches Ruby, who patiently gets close enough for Moriah to touch (or grab) and then calmly walks away! The biggest perk of this job is the 4 day work week, with additional time off as overtime hours are necessary from time to time. During the past week I worked two extra-long days, that weren't the easiest at times, but was compensated by an extra day off... who could ask for more than that! This week I have lots of potential fun planned with Mr. S. starting with our "In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb" handprint craft. We're also going to keep a calendar together. Mr. S. is a smart little guy who does an amazing job at distinguishing between today and tomorrow (I think his busy parent's schedule has helped him learn time more quickly). Since there are a few long trips for his mom this month having a calendar and looking at the days may help him understand when she'll be home. The "in like a lion, out like a lamb" is also all about weather so I think we'll sketch a little picture of the day's weather on each box and discuss at the end of the month whether or not it was like a lion or a lamb. I've also been browsing a few toddler learning books to find creative activities for our days. I was even able to buy two of them at our favorite Half Price Book Store this weekend! In one book, I read about making a teddy bear parachute, which we'll also try tomorrow I hope. His tall staircase will be the perfect launch site :)
In other news, our family life is seeming to be the sweetest it's been in a long time for me. Part of this sweetness comes from the opportunity I've had to experience so many different "seasons" thus far... I've been a single woman teacher, a married teacher without children, a married and pregnant teacher :) (it deserved a category of it's own!), a married teacher and a mom, and now a married nanny and a mom. These opportunities have shown me much, and given me a chance to empathize with the challenges women can face in each stage. None have been "easy" per se, but in hindsight the Lord seems to show a lot. Now that I have an extra day off each week, I feel like I've been given bonus time! The chores which were always needing to get done can be accomplished with less stress and much more joy. Little projects I might dream up (clearing out books to sell at the used book store, writing in Moriah's baby book, starting to baby proof our house) can be added in to my days. And the most important thing... my perspective is filled with thanks. I know now that the opportunity I have to spend quality time with Matt, do dishes, cook dinners, make baby food, fold laundry, vacuum and swiffer, dust, and keep our home tidy are not opportunities every woman has... oftentimes they must be neglected in order to accomplish other more urgent tasks which may be related to her job or family life. I also know now that these routine chores can bring a sweet order and stability to a home. They can allow me to serve Matt in a way that gives him time for sermon preparation and school work. I can send him off to start his day with fewer things on his plate and that is a joy to me. I can try to offer Moriah a routine which gives her all she needs to eat (an ever growing amount!), time to sleep, play, and learn about her world. This is no small task. I am so thankful.
If I was an artsy person I'd love to create some great painting on a canvas incorporating the verse from Andrew Peterson's song "Planting Trees"... I know this life might not always be as filled with sweet moments as it seems to be right now, and I know that there are still hard moments and hard days, but these words encourage me that my work is glorifying to the Lord and will have eternal ramifications I pray...
"She rises up as morning breaks
She moves among these rooms alone
Before we wake
And her heart is so full, it overflows
She waters us with love and the children grow
So many years from now
Long after we are gone
These trees will spread their branches out
And bless the dawn
These trees will spread their branches out
And bless someone"
Pray for me, that above all else my days would not be filled with busy-ness that is absent of the Lord, I desire to seek Him through His Word and must grow in that priority. All else is insignificant if not fueled by Him that I may bring glory to His name.