Pip went to school yesterday with one shoe on. He told me he couldn’t find his other shoe as he was walking out the door, and I said I would grab it as I went back inside to get several other things.
After he walked into school, his very gracious teacher quickly came out and told me he only had one shoe on. Sigh…how could I forget a SHOE?
As I drove the 15 minutes home and 15 minutes back again, I had a lot of time to think about this shoe. But as I drove, I realized that the shoe represents a whole lot more. It is mid-April, and we plan to move to Ethiopia in mid-August. We have a one month training from June 25 to July 25, so many things on our to-do list need to happen in the next 10 weeks. Things like…choosing what to store (a few boxes) and what to get rid of (almost everything), packing things to prepare for living in Ethiopia, selling our house and cars, spending time with family and friends, finishing our financial support raising, paperwork, doctor’s appointments, and many more things. All on top of the normal laundry, cooking, parenting Sam & Pip, and being up at night with a newborn. People told us this plan was crazy, but we felt (and continue to feel) that this is truly what God is calling us to do.
Most of the time in life, I feel like I can handle things. Maybe I’m busy, maybe I’m a little stressed, but I can make a really good to-do list, plan out my time well, and make things happen. When life is like that, though, I end up having a lot of faith in myself and not a lot of dependence on God.
When Tim was in residency, I learned for the first time what depending on God really means. I might have said I depended on God before that, but in retrospect those were words I wanted to believe but didn’t understand. During residency, there were days on end when Tim would leave before the kids woke up and return home after they were asleep at night. I was alone a lot with two busy little boys, and it was good and fun and so, so hard. Some days I literally reached the end of myself by 8:00 in the morning. I would be exhausted from the night before and wake up with a baby who wanted to start the day at 5:00 am. My patience would be spread thin, and I’d snap at a sweet little child while eating breakfast. How can I get through 12 more hours of this when I’m already messing it up so badly?
I had never felt so overwhelmed and inadequate in my life. And it was that feeling of overwhelm, the sense of inadequacy, the desperation for help that pushed me toward God. I prayed more honestly and often than I ever had. Asking for help, strength, patience. My need + prayer + God meeting me in those moments = some of the sweetest and deepest growth in my life.
As the feelings of overwhelm have been mounting over the last couple of weeks, I have spent way too much time staring at my to-do list and not enough time bringing my need before God. My pride would like me to act like superwoman and power through these next few months and say, "I moved to Ethiopia with a newborn and it was no big deal!", but instead I’m going to remember what God taught me during Tim’s residency and say, “Man, this is hard and I need Jesus.” I have been trying to juggle and balance and get everything done in my own strength, and a child going to school with one shoe on yesterday was just the kick in the self-sufficient pants that I needed.
Maybe all the things on the to-do list will get done, and maybe they won’t. But if I reach the end of these ten weeks having grown in my faith and dependence on God, I will call that a win. So thanks for wearing one shoe to school, little Pip 👞❤️