This Peaceful Fall

Fall 2015 found me single, living in a garden basement apartment in Uptown, and teaching 5th grade in Logan Square. Being a first year teacher, with a class of various and occasionally overwhelming behavior and academic needs, my job kept me on my toes throughout the week. Yet I knew for sure, without a doubt, that I was in a peaceful, less complicated phase of life.

I knew it when I woke up on Saturday morning with nothing on my schedule besides any errand that might occur to me.

I knew it when I made easy meals just for myself, and let the dinner hour stretch long, as I sat on the counter with my dishes beside me, engrossed in a book.

I knew it when I stayed out late (rarely), or went to bed early (often the case), just as I pleased, every single night.

I had no man, no children, pleasant roommates, and I knew it wasn’t going to last forever.

I honestly believed that children would come into my life first. I knew, even then, that Safe Families and foster care are close to my heart, ministries I will pursue until the Lord says otherwise, and I wondered if a little one might come tumbling into my care sometime soon.

But, quite unexpectedly, it wasn’t a child, but Jonathan who appeared, first in my mind, then my test messages, then my heart. And then, in a way that was both completely unplanned, and yet obviously and unquestionably the only right thing (as God’s things often are), we were together. Talking, then dating, then engaged, and then, in a blink of an eye, and also after a lifetime of waiting, we were married.

And so I was right, during those fall months of just me, but I was also wrong. I knew that that season of life was just for a time, but I wasn’t quite sure how it would change, what the Lord was thinking of next.

I feel the same way now, two years later. I still teach, although I’ve (mercifully) come a long way in the last 24 months as an educator. I’m married, of course. Living in a rented house in the suburbs that we know we’ll vacate in the new year. I plan for my time at school, I work with my husband to maintain the house. I do laundry (because I love it) and mop the floors (because they need it).

But I know, just as I knew in my heart that a change was coming two years ago, that this season will not last forever.

Life is peaceful, right now. Busy, yes. Hectic, on some days. But there is a peace, a predictability, a warmth and a calm that I feel in my body, that rests in my heart, and I dare not fail to acknowledge it.

So I make a list on Saturday morning, taking joy in the things I might accomplish, the sun in the windows, the serenity of the house, the music playing over the kitchen speakers.

I treasure the time Jonathan and I spend together; afternoon hours between my commute home after work and his evening trip into the city to hit the Chicago music scene. We create dates when we can, as we find precious weekend hours that he’s not working. We have fun together, we talk together, we’re growing together.

I do what I have to do, and I do it well. Because I have the time, because I have the peace. Because I know that this unhurried, newly-married, suburb-living season of life will not always be, and I want to use this gift as best I might, as long as I have it.

~Natalia

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