Right now, I’m sitting in Bryan College’s still library. It’s Spring Break, so the campus is empty except for a handful of staff members charged with duties that aren’t suspended in the absence of classes. It’s a beautiful, well-lit library on a cozy campus. It’s my first time here and frankly, I can see why, after visiting this past fall, my husband spoke so highly of it. It’s beautiful, yes. But it’s peaceful, too. Everywhere, the motto “Christ Above All” is sprinkled– and feels real.
I’m not sure I will ever quite get over the “how cool is that?!?” factor of loading up before breakfast to run down to the post office and pick up a box of chicks.
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow, we mothers decided that we should be busy. I blame the NIV Bible, which translates Titus 2:5 like this:
to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
The email was a welcome bit of encouragement: you are not forgotten, I pray for you and your family, your work. There was a simple ask at the end. Just a request to partner in ministry.
And yet… the tears.
We school year-round—three months on, one month off. The shorter, intermittent breaks suit the rhythm of our family well. By the end of a twelve week summer break, all of us were craving structure and weary of open-ended days. Too, we find the heat of the summer in the south exhausting at its peak, and not enjoyable in the “we’re on vacation!” sense. So: three on, one off. The perfect compromise.
This post may contain affiliate links. Purchases made through these links support our family’s work in sharing the Gospel around the globe. Thank you!
When I was pregnant with my second child, a kind acquaintance farther down the path of parenting more than one child passed on a reading list of helpful titles. I was an eager student, especially given that seven long years passed before I became anyone’s sister. I grew up dreading my friends’ summer vacations and envying families where there was a built-in playmate. My babies, however, would be just thirty three months apart, and society told me exactly what to expect. Competition. Struggles. Drama. Vying for my attention. Jockeying for position. Whining. Tattling. Bickering. Rivalry.
At the very top of the list of suggested reads, I found what I was looking for: Siblings Without Rivalry. I immediately went to the library, checked it out, and dug in.
I know this routine well. Wake up in the dark. Pull on some clothes. Whisper to a teenager that I’m leaving. Lock the door behind me. Drive on empty roads. Pull up to the curb. Open the door. Say goodbye.
“Measure his education, not solely by his progress in the ‘three R’s,’ but by the number of living and growing things he knows by look, name, and habitat.” –Charlotte Mason
The sun is out nearly every afternoon now, warm and inviting. There have already been a few trips to check in on the creek, and a good number of plans made for a whole village of “mouses’ houses.” The back field has been plowed. Birds are flitting in and out of the houses that dot our property.
Ashes, fish on Fridays, and giving up chocolate.
If that’s your impression of Lent, let me introduce you to something more. Something deeper. Something that points to the cross and your own aching need for the blood of the Savior.
This is what a real husband looks like.
He doesn’t have a wardrobe of the latest in men’s fashion. His kids needed new winter boots, so in his mind, it was never a question of whether or not he needed that new shirt.