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« God of Grace | Main | Looking like monastics »

No pain, no gain

One of my Greek classmates is a pastor's wife and a mom of kids, in various stages of school from elementary to high school. Those are busy years. I remember those years. I admire how she is able to juggle all of those details and still make it to class and succeed. It's nice having a woman to sit beside in a classroom full of men.

If I don't do well in my studies it is my own fault. I have no kids at home and few obligations. Praise God, my in-laws are healthy and my husband is very low maintenance. The only creatures awaiting my return home are my dogs. This could be seen as an enviable position to those who don't have time to study, especially the young men who have wives and children along with their heavy course loads.

I am grateful for the time I have. I am thankful that when I sit down to translate Greek sentences there is silence (unless my younger dog, Bear, is outside, and then there is a good chance he'll find something to bark at). I am grateful that if I need to have a little snooze in the afternoon (wake up time around here is 5:00 a.m.) I can do so without too much trouble. 

While all that freedom is great, it does come at a cost. It means my children are grown and gone, and I miss them. It means that relationships take more work than when they were at home. My friend in Greek likely has to spend a lot of time refereeing disputes and conflicts. I have no such disputes to manage, but getting three kids in different cities, with different schedules to find an agreeable time for family gatherings is a different kind of work. It doesn't happen as much as I would like. When kids have jobs that mean working on a weekend, it's not always easy to find that time. Adult children have the regular struggles of life to manage, and don't take refereeing, but they are the kind where I can no nothing but pray. I'm not always good at just sitting and waiting.

This semester, I have more work than previous semesters. I find myself more consumed with my schedule, and being diligent to keep up relationships has not come as easily as it usually does. I don't want them to think I'm not interested in their lives. There is a balance in parenting adult children between prying and staying interested. As a mother of adult children, I have never been more aware of how little control I have over anything other than my own responses.

I am enjoying this part of my life. I love biblical Greek and I'm doing well, even if I do make careless errors on quizzes. Church History is heavy with reading, and I have had a couple of marks I'm disappointed with, but for the most part, it's great. But I do miss my kids. It's very easy to become disconnected from them if regular contact isn't kept up. So while this free time is wonderful and I'm benefitting from it, it means letting something else go in order to get it. But as always, it's part of God's design for us, and his design is good. And looking back, I am so grateful that when they were home, I was able to devote my time to them.

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