Monday, November 10, 2014


Several times here lately, I've caught myself thinking about how "hard" everything feels right now, mainly because so much demands our attention.  Exhaustion is rampant, and I often have a niggling feeling that any moment when I am not accomplishing something is a wasted moment.  No one wants to live like that, but our current reality is a bit on the pressing side.

Our life is over-flowing with goodness.  I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I am overwhelmingly grateful for what the Lord has chosen to fill our lives with at present.  It's like all of our dreams came true.  All at once.

We dreamed of having four children.  Actually - to be fair - I dreamed of having four children, and John dreamed of having three, and we knew we wouldn't have to worry about that little difference until after we hopefully had three children.  But since we bypassed three and went straight to four with twins, my four little dream children became a reality for us within four years.  Just like that.

We dreamed of owning a restaurant.  Sort of.  We dreamed of doing something that would allow us to work with lots of different kind of people, and as it turns out, owning a restaurant makes that happen on every level.  We live and breathe a wide variety of people.  As you might imagine, this has major draws and drawbacks, depending on the day.  And we just added a second restaurant which added about 1/3 more people to our little world.

We dreamed of having rich friendships, and the truth is that there are not enough hours in the day to spend time with the people we would want to.  We dreamed of serving with our church, and seeing 5,000 boxes being packed off to go to Nepal was really amazing.  We dreamed of finding ways to give to others, and the opportunities we've been presented with in the past several months have been God-ordained.

I'm so very grateful.  And so very bone-tired.

I think in my heart of hearts, I really thought that dreams come true would somehow equate to an easy path.  Silly, Carol.  It's actually quite comical, now that I know the reality, to think that I ever thought having four young children would be easy.  It takes every bit of me and more that I don't have to parent these children.  When the disobedient screams continue on 30 minutes past bedtime, and I'm sitting on the ground praying for peace for us all, it's hard work.  When I'm rocking a whimpering boy at 3 a.m. after falling into bed myself only a few hours before, it's hard work.  When I'm packing a lunch and making sippies and sweeping under the table - it is unending.

When John has far more work than hours in the day, it just feels hard.  Everything has seemingly happened all at once, and we need to make decisions about health insurance and the Christmas party and how to merge payrolls from two restaurants and who should clock in where and how to market when.  And Santa's coming to the mall and so is Black Friday, and you better not pout, you better not cry.

But I might have to.

I really have spent time asking the Lord why it had to be all at once and why it has to feel like a desert marathon.  I've been gently, but firmly, reminded by him that I should not be trying to do it all in my own strength.  I am so prideful, and I feel like I can do it, and he is showing me that I can't.  Only he can.  I do have to work hard, but I have to do it in his power - mine runs dry long before the work is done.  And when I work out of my own strength, I feel used up and a bit bitter about it all.

I was doing dishes when I got home from Wichita and remembered that I needed to change my little kitchen calendar to November.  But - I saved this verse from October, because it really is applicable right now.


Thanks, Cary Collins, for that beautiful reminder!  I can do the hard work put in front of my with the adequacy that comes from God.  He will equip us for his good work.  It may not always feel like I want it to, but it will be what we need.