Embracing the Eternal Season in the Midst of the Temporary One

Things have been a bit crazy around the Dattolo household for the past few weeks.  I am tired.  And Randy is tired.  Our kids are even tired, as they’ve been falling asleep almost immediately upon hitting their pillows each night (normally they’re up in their room until between 8:00-9:00).  And I’ve been putting them to bed EARLY!!!  I can’t honestly think of anything specific that we’ve done lately that would tire them out so much, other than that maybe playing outside in the cold might make one more tired than playing outside in comfortable weather?  Or perhaps the sheer tiredness of both their parents has actually worn off on them.  I think we parents affect our kids in more ways than we can ever really understand. Anyway, I’m so tired that even the 2 cups of fully caffeinated coffee I had this afternoon (brewed “richly” by my new Ninja Coffee Bar!–I promise, I’ll write some kind of “ode” to it at a later date–it’s amazing) cannot help keep me awake.  Just glancing at the piles of clean laundry waiting for me to fold is making me yawn.

Randy got a new job recently and it’s stressful on both of us.  He’s now delivering packages for UPS.  Randy and I are wired so differently when it comes to career stuff.  And because it’s hard for me to understand the sudden switch, it makes it hard for me to explain it to others.  So I won’t try just yet.  I will say that I’m very proud of him, supportive, and happy for his happiness–there’s an excitement in his face when he says that this is the first job he’s had that he pictures himself retiring from.  (Wow, when did we get so old??? haha!)  Obviously, retirement is not in our near future, so it IS saying something that he feels like he could have this job from now until retirement, and it’s the first time he’s felt this way.  Because it’s the holiday season, this means several LATE nights for us right now, and early mornings.  For the past few weeks, his average arrival time at night has been around 8:00-8:30 p.m.  Then he has to eat the supper I’ve saved for him, and rush off to his second job, which he has to keep for now.  We’re like ships passing in the night.  Except I’m not passing.  I’m standing still and he’s coming and going.  So maybe that was a poor analogy. But you know what I mean.  This sudden change in our schedules has made us both tired and struggling to figure out how our day-to-days should work.  He’s obviously out working hard, and I’m figuring out how to keep the kids entertained from breakfast through bedtime and debating whether or not I should go “all out” for supper and what we can talk  about over dinner when it’s just been them and me all day long.  It’s exhausting, to say the least.

Randy and I now relish the weekends even more than we did before.  Saturday and Sunday hit and we both feel like we need to absorb as much of each other as we possibly can to last through the long week ahead.  I guess this makes the fact that I’m a very organized planner come in handy.  I actually schedule all of our family time on the weekends–when we’ll do a certain devotional, make cookies, take a walk, have a movie night, etc.  I have to plan it out or else we just sit around feeling exhausted and bored and before we know it, it’s Monday again.  This past weekend felt particularly special because of this.  Last week was the first week Randy had EXTREMELY late nights (like, after 9:30 at night–this has become the “norm” half the time, now) so the weekend together felt so needed!  I mentioned in a previous post what my plans were for December schooling.  We’re doing a devotional from my church which has some family connections (that I happened to write–did I mention that part?) and we’re also doing an abbreviated version of Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda White.  (I really love her!)  The kids and I do the Truth in the Tinsel during the week in place of school, basically.  It’s great, though, because start-to-finish, it takes about 20 minutes of the day!  So it’s definitely a nice break from our normal couple hours of school.

15267848_10158177065380221_7654522769736880644_nSo the family devotional we did this past weekend from Hope Chapel was about Jesus’ name: Immanuel.  We read about it and talked about its meaning.  Then we were supposed to have some family “togetherness” to symbolize being with each other the way God is with us.  We called my mother in law, who lives in Connecticut, just because.  I made Ree Drummond’s amazing broccoli cheddar soup and let it simmer on the stove while we took a family walk in the cold.  And it flurried a little for us!  When we got home, the soup was ready and we had a nice, long, lunch together as a family.  Then we ALL took a nap!  It was the best day.  Not to mention that Randy and I went out that night which was a lot of fun. 🙂

img_0969Yes, this is a stressful time, which is why it’s so important for me (us) to cherish these quaint, family moments.  Whenever I’m tempted to talk about this time of life being a “season” of this or that, I’m reminded of something I recently learned in a Bible study… the author was cautioning us not to think of life in terms of different seasons because the truth is, Christians are in an eternal season of life.  And this life on earth, knowing Christ, is its own season that should impact every temporary “season” of life we will ever experience.  So even though I’m tempted to dwell on the stress of this time and give myself the excuse that it’s just temporary, or seasonal, it’s no excuse to lay down.  I can rest, as long as I rest in Him.  But I can never stop living the life that God has given me or ministering to others (ahem, my husband, children, family, and friends) with the tools which He’s equipped me.  So I’ll continue to plan our family events so we can capitalize our time together.  I’ll continue to wait up for my husband and sit with him while he eats dinner at 9:30 at night and take care of the household chores so he has one less thing to worry about.  And I’ll continue to entertain, care for, and witness to my children.  And I’ll continue making broccoli soup, which we all decided is our new favorite (actually, it was always one of Randy’s favorites, which is why I made it). 💜 So that, my friends, is what’s up with me.  I was going to write about how we talked about our next fruit of the Spirit, recently–gentleness, but I’ll save that for my next post.  How’s your December going?

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