So on Friday around 10 a.m., Lambchop, who comes out every week to read poetry to my sweet second graders, led the class in a very special Snow Dance.
You see, this Snow Dance NEEDED to work.
It had been a week.
Chaperoning a gym full of third, fourth, and fifth graders during an after-school Cupid Hop Dance, a Valentine’s Day exchange, and a couple of meetings after school made for a sleepy Mrs. S.
Not to mention that I took the morning off the day before to finally go to the doctor and get some real medicine for the sinus infection I had been fighting all week because Tylenol Cold had been as effective as eating a bag of Cheetos.
(I’m fairly certain Tylenol Cold is a placebo).
I was almost in the fetal position on my classroom beanbag with a white flag by Friday.
Listen. I know people juggle a lot more things that are much worse, but this almost 9 months preggo just needed a little break.
Little did I know that this apparently was the greatest snow dance in history and would not only work, but God showed us great favor and gave us the whole WEEK.
If you had told me that last week, I would’ve fallen over in said bean bag laughing because we live in Middle Tennessee aka the Snow Dome of the world and THIS NEVER HAPPENS.
Y’all, I am so thankful.
I hate that the ice made for some downed trees and power lines and caused wrecks and worse. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but Y’ALL.
I. am. so. thankful.
In more ways than one.
You see, this week has been more introspective for me than maybe for others.
If you know me, you know we’re about to experience a huge change in our lives. The greatest change is that our family of two will become three and we are beyond excited and grateful.
But I’d be lying if I said that we’re not a little bit anxious and nervous, as well.
(If any new parent says they’re not, give them a fire extinguisher because their pants are on fire).
Let’s have a little backstory: For as long as I’ve known I’ve wanted to be a teacher, I’ve also known I’ve wanted to be mama.
A stay-at-home mama.
For some mamas they can’t imagine having to stay home, and I get that. It doesn’t make any mother better than the other, but my Mama did it and she says it was one of the greatest blessings of her life.
However, real life happens and for a while I didn’t know if that dream would be possible for us. Then, one summer evening a couple of years ago, Brett and I were eating dinner on the back deck. He lands an Excel spreadsheet on the table and I teared up instantly.
It was a budget based on his salary and none of mine.
And it worked.
We could do this.
Fast forward to this past year and when we paid the last of student loans making us debt-free other than our mortgage, we knew were ready to start a family. And in June, God blessed us so fast with the desires of our hearts that we still pinch ourselves.
Back then, my mind was already starting to wrap around the idea that I would be taking the one-year maternity interim leave and possibly beyond that. We are going to wait and see how we’re doing financially to determine if I need to return or will continue to stay.
(By the way, we feel very blessed having the option, as I have great coworkers that I won’t see every day and that’s the hardest part of it all. Plus, there is a daycare there where he’d still be in the same building as me. Oh, and I do enjoy teaching and my students, ya know).
(And I’ve already told a certain few colleagues that I demand a weekly meeting at my house since I live a mile away and ADULT INTERACTION, I will cherish it).
But things get real fast. Doubt creeps in.
Will I enjoy being at home all the time?
Are we going to be able to afford groceries without eating Ramen noodles for a week?
How is it all going to work? Insurance change, one salary down, new bills? Will the budget my sweet husband created really work for our family?
I have started feeling it especially as my due date nears. Still excitement more than worry, but worry nonetheless. We are leaving our comfort zone in a small way and entering a new phase of our lives, and I just didn’t know. Then, God gave us a week off at home where we had no choice but to be… at home.
Now I’m not naive enough to think God shut down the whole state of Tennessee to calm me down, but I do think God gives opportunities for us to listen in the most peculiar of circumstances.
While I’ve seen lots of complaints of cabin fever, being stuck, and wishing for not another snowy day (the horrors), I honestly feel like God’s given me a hug.
Let me explain.
I have loved every minute of being home. I know I don’t have a newborn crying at all hours, and so I’m probably more pleasant than I will be in a few weeks (!), but I have loved every minute of it.
There have been no plans other than laundry. I didn’t have a meeting the next day and I didn’t have to give up a precious Saturday to clean the house. My body woke up when it was rested, not when an alarm clock shocked me up at dark-thirty. I know a baby is soon to be my alarm clock, but I can go back to sleep when he does and stay in pants with an elastic waistband all day.
We have eaten food from the the pantry and freezer that I’ve forgotten about. I’ve realized that our groceries will go much farther than I’ve let them go in the past. I have the time to cook. I haven’t missed going out to eat as much as I thought I would because we’ve sat at the table enjoying a meal every night.
I’ve had time to enjoy the little things. I’ve lied on the couch counting the kicks as Luke practices to be a kickboxer, apparently. When Brett walked through the door yesterday and today, I couldn’t wait to hear about his day and tell about mine.
I’ve read (and puzzled if that’s a verb).
I have had time.
I have loved being at home.
I have felt the doubts slide off my shoulders.
And I felt like I’ve appreciated more than I have in a long time.
When the ice and snow continued to build up, this one verse continued to pop up in my brain:
“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
I looked up that passage (I knew it was a Psalm but didn’t know the chapter and verse number), and would you look at the rest?
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
So while I look forward to warm days like many of you, you won’t find me complaining about being stuck inside my warm home (and paid for it this week!) with the husband who, while it’s not the proudest for me to admit, has shown more trust in God than me during this change prior to this week. Those doubts I’m sure will creep back in from time-to-time, but those questions I’ve had just seem a bit irrational now.
I’ve been still and I know He is God. He will provide. He is our fortress.
Let it snow.