Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days of the church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between. Philip Yancey

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer to School to Baby (Ten Things Off the Top)

1-There will be 4 kids under our roof tonight for the first time in 4 weeks after going 2 by 2 to my parents in FL. Treasured pictures were taken by a talented family friend while down there:

Being a family of four is something we've not done much. We were given this fun plate one Christmas to capture the 6 months of such Tripp family status:

Being down to two kids for this summer stretch has allowed much resting for me, the best management for my weak hips. It's been shocking how much less household upkeep has been required too (laundry, cooking, size of messes...). I've kind of always thought, while your doing it a few more kids aren't much difference. Not sure if it's comforting to learn the contrary being that we're about to be a party of 7 again soon but it's been nice for a change. At least I have some big girl helpers in the mix.

2-New teacher orientation has begun for Jason and he is already loving the Christian school setting. Classes start mid next week.

3-Info needed to make school decisions for our kids just squeaked in mid this week. The conclusion is that everyone is staying put even though I became convinced over the summer that change was upon us. It's been a bit of emotional whiplash for this hormonal mama. We just got back from open house for Sophie and Caleb and it did go well. They resume school Monday across the street. Amelia will follow shortly afterwards at Veritas supported homeschooling.

I do trust God's plan but still really struggled through the stress of such crunch timing, glad baby hasn't arrived so I can still be a part of getting them ready and settled. Grandmothers have been busy wading through picked over uniform selections at the stores and school supplies will be bought tomorrow. It's going to happen even if not on my schedule.

4-Do inconsistent beliefs and feelings or even actions make one a hypocrite? (Like knowing God is in control of my kids' placement but falling apart that I couldn't advocate for what's next while in limbo.) I think we'll all be hypocrites, to hopefully diminishing degrees, until our refining is complete in heaven. Seems like our society is shocked and dismayed that Christians in general don't perfectly uphold their beliefs and ideals. That misses the main point, that we fall short and need a Savior for initial salvation and daily saving from our selves as well.

5-This summer has involved studying the book of Jonah, church wide and with a small group of ladies. This overlapped the second death anniversary. The book study Suprised by Grace helped me process why this anniversary was so much easier. I was able to just focus on Lydia that day, still sad but not overwhelmed by disappointment in grief-life like last year.

For one, it was revealed that church community and relationships, while good things, are idols for me. Secondly, I saw myself in Jonah after he reluctantly gave Nineveh God's message (made the "big sacrifice") and sat on a hill to watch the aftermath play out. God sent a plant to shade him during the wait then caused it to wither and the heat to bear down on Jonah's head.

Last year I was angry with God, not about Lydia's death but about my own withered plant, the difference in His provisions through our acute grief in contrast with the provisions I'd come to know (and expect) through special needs parenting. Life became so unbearable with no relief in sight. While my expectations were never met, the screaming needs eventually quieted and thus my emotional response followed suit. That allowed this year to simply be a time to think about my firstborn little girl, who would be starting middle school if here and healthy!

6-The pool has been different this year as well, a treat but not our primary sustenance.

Less parenting is required when the kids are all enjoying themselves with respective friends and/or the water slide. We escaped there every possible opportunity last year, no other goals but getting through the summer. These past few months I've had to plan for the pool, try to get it in around schooling for 3 in the mornings ( is invaluable for drilling math facts),

chores, sibling devotionals, naps and more. It's not been simply survival through detouring around any avoidable incline for flat surfaces. I am thankful and relieved.

7-The girls' relationship is in a deep rut. You'd never know it by this picture, which I find worth including twice:

The way they treat each other pushes my buttons way too quickly to consider homeschooling both presently, even though I fear Sophie's academic rut this year without a significant change. Please pray with us for a turn around. Last two years our survival approach has often been to separate them. This summer our parenting is revived enough to start tackling it, for starters zero tolerance response to the fighting and as I mentioned earlier this free devotional series on sibling strife (highly recommend).

8-Other signs of revival among the adults? I've been sewing for the first time in years. Motivation and a desire to create beauty are both wonderful things.

Jason completed a privacy fence around the backyard, more motivation and creating.

And I considered writing a whole post titled "Abraham and Sarah Threw a Dinner Party".

After Jason's surgery, recovery was long and rebuilding endurance longer. He was just weaned from pain meds and trying to start weaning frequent naps when I called on him for help prepping the house before a group of ladies gathered here. This group is not high maintenance, paper plates and pizza would have been much enjoyed by all. I love to pull out the pretty stuff and entertain though and it had been so long since I cared enough to do it. I couldn't let the opportunity pass, from the fig and goat cheese appetizers to the homemade honey and lavender ice cream, china, crystal and linens.

I had major housecleaning help and still my bodyy paid dearly by the time it was all said and done, as in barely able to shuffle to the bathroom during the following night because my hips wouldn't even bear weight. Started much needed PT the next day. Jason and I were a pair, moving slowly together, feeling old and still partly dazed at the thought of new baby transition soon upon us. Abraham and Sarah I tell you!

9-I am finding myself feeling territorial as I consider new baby's arrival. It's more like Lydia's last days, when I was glad for visitors but greeted them snuggled in the bed. I didn't want Lydia smelling like other's cologne... On the contrary my typical new baby response has been eagerness for every interested party to hold and gush, once their hands were clean. 

My hovering may quickly dissipate. Emotional anticipations don't always manifest. Just consider yourself warned and don't take it personally if I'm not quick to pass the baby. I do treasure your excitement and want others to rejoice in seeing her but I'm being strange.

10-I don't think it will be much longer. My educated guess, based on present progress (3cm and 70%) and past timelines, is that baby will be here by end of next week. The second pic was taken last Sunday.

Next post may be a birth announcement, or if stay pregnant longer because of all this laying down I may take 10 off the top several times more. There's lots of time to think when you are still. 


  1. loved this post and cant wait to see new baby pics... :)

  2. Always enjoy hearing from you, prayers and excitement as you embark on the addition of a new baby, Jason's new job, new school years, new hope, new mercies, new & unconditional love. Blessings! J. Penn
    Give precious Amelia a big hug from Mrs. Penn, love her.
    Psalm 55:22
    Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you,
    he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.