I am a planner. ANYONE who knows me is well aware that buying my new planner each year brings me amounts of joy that most would find disproportionate to the task. I love ordering my world and dreaming of how pretty life could play out and I love doing it in multi-color ink and sometimes stickers!
With each passing year I hold the plans I make more loosely. The Truth that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” is more real to this control freak than ever before and 2018 has forced me to balance my planner on open hands. I mean, the above picture shows the first five days of August and only 6/13 items written happened even remotely the way I planned them. Three of those six happened on time but played out completely different from the way I thought they would because of Little being readmitted to the hospital and having to plan around that new development. All of that to say, what I used to hold tightly I find I now hold with a much looser grip.
When the conversation about Little being added to the transplant list began to get serious in May, my mind immediately started to spin. I was overcome by my powerlessness – my inability to create even a semblance of control by mocking up a plan for our lives. I couldn’t work up a schedule to more speedily get a new heart. I couldn’t be involved in the plans of our healthy children because they were miles away. The ONLY thing I kept coming back to with confidence was that we had been praying for months about potentially homeschooling Bubba and I was confident the Lord was saying “yes”.
Yep – you read that right. The ONLY thing I felt certain about involved asking this child who used to require a printed schedule to emotionally manage children’s worship, to live flexibly and roll with it while we lived away from home. It involved asking me, the mom who has always been pro-homeschooling for everyone else, to jump right in and become a teacher at home. And so I started dreaming about what this would look like since it was the only thing I knew “for sure.” I didn’t know where we would be living in the fall but I could choose the curriculum we would use. I couldn’t predict Little’s future but every time I dreamed of the fall the picture included me, Bubba and her living together and enjoying our time.
Bubba moved in with us last weekend. The kids and I spent Saturday at the pool I never planned for while Jeremy made the apartment I never fathomed tech-ready. One of Bubba’s classes is online and so we now have wi-fi and there’s a printer for assignments and a Roku (’cause Jeremy loves me). On Monday we sat down at the kitchen table, prayed together, and then dove into science. There was conversation and Truth and we were done in a timely fashion.
How has the rest of the week gone? Super! I overheard Bubba telling his uncle that he is excited about what he is going to learn and the fact that it is from a Biblical perspective. My heart swelled from the other room.
Little is doing so very well. She has gone from taking 31 pills a day to only taking 15; that’s 11 medications down to 5. Two more of those will drop off in October and she will be on three of them the rest of her life. With the decrease of medication there has been an increase of appetite and we are hoping we are done with sick tummies and the downward trend of her weight. We keep our plans to a minimum since she still gets tired pretty quickly. If we have a busy morning we can expect to spend a quiet afternoon together. She was given the “all clear” to swim this week and so she has enjoyed walking through the water in the pool.
After feeling out of control for MONTHS I can say I am only slightly better at keeping my hands from clutching at the things I hold dear: my plans, my hopes, my fears. And yet, as I look back over the past months I see time and again that His plan was more painful than I could believe I would survive, but more amazing and joy-filled than I could have fathomed. And here I sit in this amazing apartment and I look around me: daughter with a healthy heart on the couch, son being flexible beside me, me being a teacher, all of us enjoying our time together . . . and I realize we are living the dream!