Be With Me

"mommy, you're being mean."  my sophie says to me through clenched, quivering, lips.  tears running down her cheeks.  and i was.  i have been so many times these past few weeks.  of course i took her and held her, just hoping she would forget my unkindness.  my short temper.  my sharp words.

these haven't been easy days.

and i don't want to confess this because in fact, i'd want to instead write here about how triumphant i've been over the past month.  i wanted to be the martyr for the better cause:  "the mother and wife who can do it all" in order for her husband to succeed!"  doesn't it sound like something you'd read on one of those manilla, high-class, certificates (the ones with the gold star emblem on it)?!  i wanted one of those.

but this is not the case.  sure, there have been wonderful moments and we have been getting by just fine.  but in seeking self-glory, to toot my own horn, i have failed to be with God.  i have failed to usher him into our lives and let the joy of the Lord be my strength.

it comes down to that.

it's not easy for us to see ben for about 30 minutes each day (while the rest of the time he hammers away at his dissertation).  it's not easy for him to be away from us.  and i know he is doing the best he can.  and it isn't easy work.  by far.  and we are all so proud of him and eagerly look forward to the day when he is finished.

i'm tired.  i'm short tempered and don't have much patience.  and i've been more irritable.  and when sophie needs so much from me, i feel i have little left to give to audrey.  and i want more time with her.  but i also want to be with them both.  although my mom is arriving on monday, i had it in my head she was arriving on wednesday.  and i'm so glad she's coming to help, but with her visit, the reality of moving will commence.  and with the absence of ben in an emotional and spiritual sense (he's here in the house, physically, but his mind is focused on what it needs to be focused on), i am sort of left holding up the emotional fortress of what it means to move half-way around the world and say good-bye to all of those we love here.

but all of this emotional turmoil.  all of this preparing to move.  all of these "last moment" memory-making.  have i allowed God to enter into this?  have i allowed his strength to fill me?

it has been a gift to spend this past month with people, with friends who are like family.  it's been so sweet to take the girls and be with rachel, sandy, bb, caroline, allison, jennifer, megan, lauren, melissa.  and to be with others in the evenings when the girls are asleep:  renee, quinn, alison.  and it has been wonderful to invite children of these dear people over so that their parents can have moments to themselves, and like-wise.  and we've been filled up in such a good way with these lovely people.  sharing life.  and i didn't expect this past month to be so incredibly rich in that way, knowing that ben would be absent from us and we would carry-on our lives separately.  but it was.

and now that i think about it, God has been there.  he has come into all of that and been so present.  should i be so quick to forget those were God-moments?  this is not a failure.  but still, i need to claim "the joy of the Lord shall be my strength."  because it will be tough over these next 24 days.  it will not be without sorrow and stress.  and in that, God will say to me, "be with me."

so, i will be still for a while and sing his name.  over. and over.  and over.