I really feel like I need stability in my life right now. Routine. Monotony, even. It's just one of the side effects of being pregnant, this whole needing stability thing. It's completely instinctive, like, "I need to make a hole in the ground and bring food to it every day, so that I know when I have my pups I'll have a hole with food in it to care for them in." Or something like that. It's pretty much that simple, though. How about if my family wakes up every day and I feed them and do the chores and bring the kids up to what we call the Big House where someone will watch them for a couple of hours while I do my work in the office and then we'll all go eat lunch, they'll take naps while I do more office work, play for a while, eat dinner, play for another while, and then go to bed? How about that?

Life is never that simple. At least not for humans. And especially humans who work in Christian communities. How about this instead? After the YaYa Sister keeps us awake for a good part of the night with her teething, I'll wake up and realize that the sink is still broken because the duct tape has come of the hose that connects it to the shower. So I'll wash the dishes I didn't get around to last night in the shower, and make breakfast for the kids. After we're done eating, YaYa will lay herself down on the floor and cry because she is just so miserable from the teeth that are coming in. Somehow we'll all get ready and head up to the Big House. On my way up I'll have an epiphany. The family is still here. That is, the family who showed up a few days ago, needing help. They have five kids on a school bus, and the mom has become estranged temporarily: they are looking for her. (I want to interject here that with all my heart I really want to help them, and I'm so glad that we're able to do even the smallest thing to help them. But, we're talking about my stability instinct here, and suddenly having five kids cruising around on top of your two is not the most stable thing.)

When I get to the Big House I'll find out that the person who usually watches my kids is picking grapes for the week. This is the first I've heard of it. So, in a last-ditch hope to still get some work done, I'll attempt to put a video on for them. But the TV will be broken. Okay. At this point there's nothing for me to do but find my husband and let him know that I quit, because my job has become impossible. (I'm the administrator here) He'll suggest that we find another TV, at which point I'll throw my own self on the floor (metaphorically) and wail that there isn't another TV anywhere. But then Elena will let me know that there is. So, Chinua will install the new TV, which has been around since before I was born, while I sit and mutter in the corner. Soon the kids will be happily installed on the couch watching Pooh's Heffalump Movie, (all the kids, including Jed and three of the other five) and I'll go to start some work in the office. Not very far into it, though, Elena will come in holding YaYa, and tell me that she found her down near my cabin, crying her heart out. She must have been looking for me. After my immediate heart attack, I'll cuddle her, thinking, "And they call the TV a babysitter. Ha. Nix the TV babysitting."

So, not much will be done, and you get the point. We'll have a few more adventures, like Kid A waking YaYa up half an hour into her nap, so the rest of my working day is shot as well, and then Elena and I will chase a stray chicken around for awhile. (You can imagine how hilarious this looks if you remember that Elena is nine-months pregnant and I am five-months along) The visiting kids will prefer to think that I am heartless, rather than believe me when I say that I am working, and too busy to fix the VCR for them. It will be an amazingly routine-free and fruitless day, work wise.

And it is so, so good for me. It is at times like these, when I am torn between sympathy and irritation, that I have to turn to God and say, "Look at me, I'm still a wretch," and He lovingly lifts me up. When I am sick with anxiety over the work I have to do and the impossibility of doing it without help, I remember again that it is all in His hands. I really want to help people, but I still have not found a way to combine office work, taking care of my children, and being fully present for people in need. One requires solitude and order, the others my full attention. Will I ever figure it out? Or is walking my life out more a matter of stumbling from situation to situation, asking God to create stability in my heart, to keep me standing by the sheer strength of who He is for me.

It is so important, because maybe one day there will be an earthquake here, and we'll find ourselves in the same position as the hurricane victims. Where will our stability be then? Not in the earth, because even that can be shaken. Not in routine, not in reliable food, or water. Only in Him.