When you live in the northeast, you can count on the fact that there will always be just one more snow storm before spring really shows up.
We have had a few warm days; a few shoots have made it through. I know not to let that deceive me, however. I cannot exhale yet. But I have learned some things about life from the snow.
When we first relocated to the northeast, for instance, our new pastor said, "If you stay inside and look at it, you'll go crazy. Find a way to enjoy it and get out there and do it."
Life with nine kids is like that, too. With one baby after another coming, it didn't take long for Captain Fun and I to realize that we couldn't wait for the kids to grow up before we experienced life. We decided to experience life with them.
"Is everyone going on vacation?" I have often been asked (and it never ceases to amaze me). "Okay, kids," I can hear myself saying, "pick a number to see who gets to go this year." Though it usually requires two cars, two hotel rooms, and two pizzas, everybody goes. Every year.
"We built igloos today!" my Emma said, coming home from a day of kindergarten our first year up north. Of course- take advantage of all your resources. Why settle for a snowman when you can build an igloo?
Equip yourself for the snow. Clogs, for instance, won't work. I tried, as did two of my teenagers. We all landed on our backsides. No shortcuts- this is not the south. Salt, Blizzax tires, and an LL Bean clearance sale and we are all set. With the right equipment, I have yet to meet a hill I cannot climb.
Ditto for life with nine kids. It is full of challenges and changes. I assess the challenges regularly and equip myself. As a mom, that means keeping my face in my Bible and my knees on the floor- though at times I find myself with my face on the floor, too. Some days are just like that.
Parenting nine kids means a lot of work blended with a lot of laughter (Captain Fun's department). And for all of us it means putting the family first- the only way for the family to survive.
Shortcuts are sometimes necessary, but not when it comes to the important stuff like practicing what you preach, integrity and family unity. Try to take shortcuts with those, and you'll end up on your backside every time.