Post holiday burnout blues and how to get renewed strength for the journey.

“In everything give thanks….” 1Thessalonians 5:18
The NEST
During Christmas break, 
David made this beautiful nest from twigs and branches.  Cozy sheepskins line the inside.
As I amazed and admired this artistic, inviting nest, 
he mused quiet gratefulness into my ear- 
“Our nest is not empty.”
Most couples our age range have nests that are quickly becoming empty.
Yet, because of the gift and honor of adoption,
Our nest continues to fill up…

We are head over heals in love with our newest addition.  
He’s blooming.
Mohale is gentle, intelligent, funny, eager to please, and clearly resourceful.
Mohale and Daisy
Precious.
Big Sister teaching vocabulary to her sweet pupils…
(The way they say “caterpillar” makes me laugh:  SOOOO CUTE!!!)


Our delightful, long holiday vacation is over.

David returned to work last Monday. 
Isn’t Monday after a LONG vacation HARD????
David has been mostly home since we left for Africa in October to get Mohale.  
David is amazing and doing this parenting thing as a team with him home is almost easy!

But, all good things come to an end. (Almost.)
Anyway, our middle-class family relies on his day job, so back to the office he went.
Our busy day starts before the sun.  

My Monday Morning Moment:  Mama Meltdoooown.
  I dreaded doing this alone.
Words like “inadequate” stuck in my heart- not the best frame of mind to begin with.

By 9am, our home looked like a big hairy giant with ADHD picked it up and shook it. HARD.

With our nest in chaos, sour dishes piled high, laundry mounting in a mist of stench, Cheerios strewn all over the dining room and play room, 6 poopy diapers in the bin and at least one lost amidst the chaos, several stinky attitudes (including mine) and a serious toddler tantrum going on, I had a “moment.”  In that moment, forgetting all passion, I decided that homeschooling is no longer for me.  Desperately, I called the local public school to find out how to enroll our kids.
Barely audible through the noise, a cheerful voice responded through the chaos: “Just bring in a their birth certificates and proof of vaccines and they will be ready to go!”
My eyes widened in joy and disbelief…”You mean there is not even a waiting list????!!
 I can bring them in- just like that and you will educate them for me???”
Her reply? She laughed and said “Yes!  Just like that!”
I LOVED that lady on the other end of the telephone.  Seriously. 
Late Monday night after a cold cereal dinner,
I flopped my tattered attitude onto David as he came home, stepping around toys, diapers and laundry.
Too eager to notice his tired face, I poured out the glorious news all over him. 

David didn’t quite share my enthusiasm.  Deflated from his first day back to corporate reality, he quickly proposed another suggestion- that I return to the corporate workforce and he stay home with the kids.
Uummm.  (Blink blink…speachless.)  
David agreed to support whatever I decided.

After talking, we agreed that only two months into our new normal,
it seems best not to invite more change at this time-

Instead of changing our circumstances, I changed my focus.
And that changed my attitude.

Liam and Cattitude

Gratefulness
gently poured in- burning grey clouds of suffocating discouragement away.

In a blink our nest will be empty and I’ll wish we’d had more time to invest with each of them.

By evening the thoughts of how many good times we have from homeschooling refueled my heart.

Tuesday morning came with renewed strength.
As music rapped loud lyrics of praise and gratefulness,
we sang and bounced wildly around the house doing the “clean up” dance.

By 9am our full nest actually looked awesome! 

It sparkled with order and laughter.
Dinner was already placed in the slow cooker.
(Just don’t look in the closets or drawers:)

Our situation had not changed.  However, our hearts were light from gratefulness.

Gratefulness, praise and encouragement became a source of the Strength that He promises to give.

With gratefulness and renewed strength, Tuesday we hit the alphabet and algebra again while the little boys toddled and vroooomed around us with their play dough and matchbox trucks.  The familiarity of this chosen lifestyle began replacing post-vacation blues.  Laughter had returned to our chosen, amazing chaos and burn out was fading away.

We share life together in a beautifully transparent way-
making mistakes often then learning from and laughing about them later.

Gratefulness, like the sun, burns away grey clouds.

“In everything give thanks….” 1Thes 5:18

Gratefulness is a source of warm redemption and strength.
We are NOT grateful FOR everything.  Ugh, absolutely NOT- wicked cruelty happens in our world every second.

But, we are encouraged to find something to be grateful for in everything.

Gratefulness is a power tool.

Public School?
If we go there at some point, we will celebrate the gifts in that place.

As we homeschool?
We will celebrate the incredible gifts in this place.

In any life situation on this broken side of heaven, there is always a good and a bad, paralleled together.
(this is true in mostly good and mostly bad times.)

Gratefulness brings strength for the journey.

Focusing only on the hard, takes the wind out of our sails before daylight even breaks through. 
Facing a day with gratefulness is a channel by which He renews our strength like a breeze under eagles wings.  

Through gratefulness we have strength for the hard.

Gratefulness allows us to see and savor incredible gifts that surround us.  

Our life is full again as we celebrate in gratefulness
Together.

Science.  Liam and “Dzumac” the crested gecko.
Math and Engineering
P.E. with Ianna the scooter coach:)
Precious Sierra, our personal “tutor”
Our nest and our hearts are full.
His renewing strength carries us faithfully like a breeze beneath eagles wings.
Do you crave strength for another hour?
What can you find in the midst of your life challenges to praise Him for? 
Open the door…

Isaiah 40:28-31
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

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