The boys have always seemed very resilient--able to bounce back and easily come through different circumstance's. But lately I've been wondering how they are really doing with all the transitions in the last few weeks.
When the movers came to pack up our house, we heard a lot of "where did my toys go?!?!?" "Where did my BED go?!?!?!" and so forth. They quickly accepted it as normal to live in a house with no furniture.
Then we drove in the car for hours which would seem to be difficult for a 1 and 2 year old to understand. The notorious "Are we there yet??" makes sense, doesn't it? For little ones, who's concept of space and time is so limited, a 16 hour drive being strapped into a crumb filled car seat is almost unbearable. ARE WE THERE YET? But even still, the boys bounced back. They accepted a long trek in the car, rest areas, and the McDonald's Play Place all to be part of life. I love them for that!
After the long trip, we arrive at a hotel. Again, a family of 4 crams into a small hotel room, and calls it "home" for a week. The kids quickly accepted eating at the continental breakfast every morning and sleeping on a hide-a-bed. They seemed to think it was normal for their mom to tell them to "Run up and down the length of the hotel hallway and get your energy out!" Yes, this happened quite a bit. :)
Now here we are, in our new house (town home) living for a week without furniture. More adjustments, more challenges... but I have to wonder, while the boys have accepted it as normal to sleep on the floor, or eat dinner on cardboard boxes in the living room, they have also required more discipline and more guidance this last week then the whole last year. Or so it seems. :) So are they really as resilient as they seem, or is the unsettling nature of the moving process showing itself after all? Its hard to see it from their perspective. Mostly it just seems like plain disobedience. But I guess I should step back from the parental irritation of correcting- them-for-the-same-fault-the-10th-time-in-a-row that I feel, and instead recognize that it is probably a simple case of boundary testing. Being off kilter and off schedule for so long, they are not sure what the boundaries are anymore!! Tied in with this, I'm sure, is tired and overworked parents who let some of the little things sliiiiiiide at the beginning, and now its all catching up with frequent tests of authority.
In order to prepare better for the next move, I've been making a list of things that we'll do differently; things we'll bring with us (like camping chairs and plastic wrap) and so forth. But one thing I hope that I can also figure out, is how to parent more effectively during a stressful and unsettling time. It'd be nice for the boys to pull through without so much willful disobedience, and instead transition with immaculate behavior and a keen respect for authority. Maybe its wishful thinking...but only time will tell. In a way, its really a test for the parents, can we be resilient? Can we stand firm, juggle all the pieces, wear all the hats, keep everything going in the right direction? Can we pack a house, leave our friends, our home and everything that is familiar-- while also managing the logistics of renting the house, finding a new one, repairing cars, selling cars, transferring medical records, quitting jobs, paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, on top of saying goodbyes? And still through it all manage to maintain steady parenting; disciplining our children in a consistent way so that they know which end is up despite the chaos???
It's an easy answer. No. No, of course not. No, we cannot do all those things. Not on our own, not by our own strength or will -power or desire. But God is steadfast and his promises are sure. While all our world is changing, He is changeless. While our lives are unsettling, He is our Rock. And in his love and compassion towards us, He has promised that "we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us" (Phil 4:13) Nothing is impossible with God. Now if only I could remember this and trust the One who is our shelter in the time of the storm.
Lord, help me to trust in you. Help me to serve you with my whole heart, to be faithful to you and to your word. Help me to be the woman, wife, parent, you have called me to be. Help me to rely on you and on your promises. Help me to remember that I do not fight this battle, I do not wage this war, on my own. Thank you for your grace and unfailing love.