Thoughts & Playing Out

We've been housebound for weeks now, so when the opportunity presented itself to go outside, out we went!

It's amazing how even twenty minutes outside can make the day seem better, shorter.  And the kids more manageable.


I've been a bit quiet on here. It's hard for me to sit still and focus when I'm feeling anxious. And I've been quite anxious as of late.  Lots of thoughts.  Thoughts of those babies I lost, thoughts of the babies I'm raising, thoughts of homeschooling, thoughts of next year, and thoughts of the distant future...

For now I have reached acceptance with the miscarriages.  A touch of sadness still, at the loss, and the thought that I won't have a squishy new bundle to tote around this summer... but still, acceptance.  I trust God.  I trust that he wants what's best for me, and for some reason, that doesn't include another baby right now.

For the three I am still here raising, loving & hugging everyday, I am feeling content.  Our days are good.  We have a steady routine, a nice rhythm, and I am calm.  I haven't yelled or lost my temper in ages.  It feels so good to fall asleep each night knowing I have filled their love tanks completely.  We enjoy each other, and that makes me happy.

Homeschooling is going really well.  We're halfway through the year, and I feel good about the progress we've made.  They are reading and doing math confidently.  They have tested well and are excited to learn new things.  They love reading aloud, chapter books especially, together on the couch, or on the rug in the playroom after calendar time.  My heart sings to think of them loving books the way I do.  
Wyatt has improved his ability to self entertain, and most days he sets off for the playroom while we settle in for our lessons at the kitchen table, and we don't hear from him again until school is done.  The only trouble with homeschool is that I don't ever feel like I'm doing enough.  I recently ordered a history book, so I am excited to add that to our days, and I also know the boys would love more science, specifically experiments.  I have to remind myself that I can only do what I can do, and there is time for everything else that is to come.

My thoughts of next year flip violently from excited to scared.  Josh got his contract for the 2015-2016 school year, and we have committed to it.  We will be back in Marshall for a fifth year.  Part of me is excited-- financially it will be really good for us to come back, to pay down our debt as planned, and for Josh to gain even more experience.  But another part of me is scared.  The last two years have been challenging for me personally.  Depression and anxiety have colored my experience out here, and it's tempting to think that if I were somewhere else, I would feel differently.  But I know that's not true.  I have had panic attacks in Vancouver. In Anchorage.  It doesn't matter if I'm in the village or in the city.  My mental health is what it is.  
So I am working to believe that God will see me through, and that the sacrifices I make out here for the rest of this year and for next year, will be worth it.  I can do hard things.  

...And honestly, I think this year would have been really good (mentally) if it hadn't been for the two miscarriages.  That gives me hope for next year.

 Thoughts of the distant future are what keep me going.  I know that someday I will look back on our time in Marshall and miss it.  I will miss having family dinner every single night.  I will miss our religious Friday date nights, our family movie nights, and homeschooling in such a quiet environment.  We are working right now to make a better future for ourselves.  And the work is hard.  Josh works hard at the school, and I work hard here at home.  
I am constantly reminding myself that "The days are long, but the years are short."  In this way I can remember that though the days can be a challenge, the amount of time I have with six year old Logan or three year old Wyatt are limited.

With that in mind, I am working to let little things go, and focus on big picture.  It's more important that I have special one on one time with Jack than the bathroom mirror be clean.  It's more important that Logan understand the math concept, than that lunch start exactly on time.

I hope that as time passes, I continue to feel peace about our family and our plans.  I also hope to back on the blog a bit more consistently.  I miss it.


Tabitha Studer said...

Beautiful and honest post Shelly and I've missed your blog posts too! You are doing hard work and work that's important, irreplaceable, and incredible. I am inspired by you and all you do!

Anne Harvey said...

You are such a strong mom! As a former villager I know how it is and I'm truly amazed at your strength. The way you stand by your husband and support him is awesome! Your kids are so blessed to get to spend their days with you. You can see the love in their smiles. Keep on keepin on mama!

Holly Parlier said...

I love that you said you can do hard things! And most of winter is behind you now - even in Alaska (I think?!) I also worry that we are not doing enough, school wise. I can go from thinking my Wyatt is kicking butt in the reading department one day to worrying that he is desperately behind the next. Ha.

Kasey said...

We go out every day we can too. You're right in that it's amazing how 20 minutes outside can change the day. It was below 0 here this past week and we had way to much inside time.

Annery said...

Prayers for peace! Getting moving and the return of nicer weather will hopefully help as well :)