Humm...new tag on the side bar - 'crisis survival' - I guess it's reasonable and I have played around the edges of it for years - but now it's an official part of our life story. On the bright side - I'm writing in the daylight, it's not raining, there are no traumatized children draped over my body (not that I mind the children - but try typing with two or three of them fighting for lap-top space) and it's 5:45am and I'm still the only one up here in the Old House.
Pause for coffee refill.
Nope - it's not a bad start to a new day - with fresh mercies to tackle all the new crisis and a second cup of coffee.
Things are loosening up here in our world - not resolving - but loosening and settling from the emergency room - flashing lights and sirens sort of place back to the endless rounds of what do we do next and how do we do it. Parts are falling into place and adjustments are being made, systems are being developed and a 'new normal' is being found.
It is not anything that we would have chosen - but it is reality. And I am the sort of person who would rather face the fierce dragons of reality every day than play illusive shell games of denial. It's just the way I am wired. I'd probably have made a good Viking warrior and this situation calls for me to get up, get strong and get out my iron breast plate every day - so here we go.
'What are your needs?' is the first question everyone asks when they hear we are in crisis again. It's awesome. I love it. It means we are loved...really loved. And that people want to step in and help us get through this in as healthy a way as possible. It's also a super hard thing to answer in the moment because the hierarchy of need hasn't really settled...in the crisis I still have to manage 90% of everything else that happens in everyday life so figuring out 'needs' gets a little murky. Especially when my brain was full to begin with.
Figuring out how to answer the question is one of my projects for today. I am going to allow my slightly compulsive self to purchase a handful of notepads with magnets on them to stick to the side of the fridge so that I can have a place to go to when people ask 'what do you need?'
(Side Note: THANKS AGAIN to whom ever blessed us with that crazy awesome fridge that I am going to stick notes on! We had ice water to share last night with our friends at church because of you and it was soooo much fun. :) Ice might not be a big deal to some people -but in our family we didn't have an ice maker until Thanksgiving so it is a big deal:)
I think the note pads will be labeled something like this.
Things that need fixing: because our crew breaks a lot and I am always behind about 10 projects on the repair list - things people might want to help with.
Things I need to find and buy: like note books and school materials and text books and glue - we will need to school through the summer because it's been a rough year and we started up again this week to help bring a sense of order back to life.
Things I need to pray over: a running list of niggles I cant decide and things that catch my heart for the kids and household.
Ways others can step in: silly things that don't need to be done by me like weeding, take the kids to the park, swimming, sweep the garage, sew the roman shades for the first floor, fix the fence, move the dirt...
Bigger projects: Things that were on the 'list' for this summer that I have to consider and sort out. What needs to be done and what should be tabled. A/C for the first floor? Repair the roof, check the chimney....
Things I just Cant forget To Do: Like register the big kids for high school/PSEO classes, and schedule medication refills, and pay the bills and pay the staff. If there is a list there I will remember to ask for help with the crew so that I can do those things.
Things that are overwhelming me to think about: money, meals, whatever...a place where I can be honest with myself and where the team that is gathering around me can ask 'what's on the overwhelming list?' (shoot - even typing that made me tear up...sniff)
Safety Things to Consider: It's a constantly shifting landscape and a mental challenge to figure out where the danger zones are in our world. Doors/locks/gates- it's not a bad thing but awareness of what's going on and being one step ahead of things is what makes it work well. Being one step behind is what brings chaos. These will move to the repairs and tasks lists also - but will probably start here first. And others can help.
I think with a series of lists like this- when the question 'how can we help' is asked - I will be better able to answer it. Because so many times it's sort of stupid....I need a jar of jelly beans from COSTCO to encourage the crew toward a TKD test next week or a case of toilet paper - or someone to go on Amazon because an angry child destroyed their math book. Or better yet...I've lost my mind and no one can find it. Would you please bring chocolate and marshmallows and come sit around our fire pit roasting marshmallows with us tonight?
Because knowing to the root of my soul that we are loved is truly the security I need (and they need because I am the heart anchor for most of our crew) to make it through this season. And God- in His amazing goodness - has surrounded us with people who care not only about the way we look but also about the way we feel and how we are doing. We are not alone.