In trying to describe my life, I often say something like "I'm half on the schedule of college students and half the schedule of two toddlers". How else do you describe that fact that one night I have students over until 11 pm and then next morning I wake up to change a messy diaper... It's just a weird reality of my life!
It's never felt quite as dramatic as it does this week! I spent the last 10 days "all in" with campus stuff. Hosting students for our Reach Team meetings and meals for two days, hosting a LAUNCh prayer gathering for 60+ students, parents and community members, I went to Navs to meet new students, hosted a tailgate social for our students one night on campus (UWW won 73-3 in case you care ;-) and then an ice cream social for 30+ at our house the next night (Where Noah kicked them out just around midnight). I was ALL IN on campus as much as I could be...
And then comes this week.. I'm home with my two beautiful girls attempting to toilet train my youngest. Which means, mess, mess and more mess. It means house bound, and half the day in the bathroom, and singing songs about being proud of your daughter for putting her pee in the toilet. Like kind of the EXACT opposite of what college life is like... Having zero minutes for myself, doing 5+ loads of laundry a day and setting a timer to remember to take Josie to the toilet ALL. THE.TIME.
I LOVE my life, I'm So grateful to be in this crazy beautiful mess of campus ministry while mothering two little girls. I love that I can have students over, I love that I can serve by making an apple cake and hosting Bible Study in my basement while my kiddos are sound asleep upstairs. I love that I can invite students over for dinner and see my 3 year old ask them amazing questions about their day while they entertain my girls. I love teaching my girls about loving other people, opening up our home, and praying for students to know JESUS! I love seeing Noah lead Nav Night and then going home and tucking my girls in.
It can be INCREDIBLY hard sometimes, but it is so joyful and so rich. Yesterday Noah was watching the girls for the morning so I could get out and meet with the two ladies I'm blessed to disciple this year... and as I talked with a student who is struggling to be back on campus this year. After an AWESOME summer trip to Russia last year and a new relationship with a great guy at a different campus, she is struggling to be excited about being here as her heart is all over.
As we were talking it through, I got to thinking- I can relate. When I was in college discipling another woman, I could be ALL THERE! We could curl up on the futon in my room with our cup of hot chocolate and talk, and be in the Word, and pray, and I wouldn't have much trouble being all there. I didn't have to worry about dinner (I had a meal plan) nor cleaning ( a college student really isnt that messy compared to two toddlers!) Nor did I worry about laundry (like 2 loads every 2 weeks as opposed to 2 loads an hour)
But now, as much as I LOVE my job, I'm like an onion- I have so many layers. I can't go to campus and not wonder, "Did Ellie get to read that book with daddy that she has been asking me about? Did Josie make it to the toilet on time? Is Noah able to find something to feed them for lunch? etc. etc. I have more layers in my life- for that I am GRATEFUL . But it does make it harder to be "all there" sometimes... and I think that's okay! Just like it's okay for the student to want to be in Russia AND UW-RF AND UWW at the same time, I want to be on campus and home at the same time. And while that isn't possible,I am learning to appreciate the layers of your life, and ask The Lord to help me diiscern where and how to be fully present - even when it's hard!
So last week, I was up late and trying to live the college life, this week, I'm back to mom life- time for me to go take a nap :)
To see my dramatic contrast, let my pictures do the talking.