As a family, we’re neck deep in change. Months ago when Ben was invited to transition into the position of Lead Pastor at CedarCreek Church, he said yes because we were confident that God had called our family to take that next step of faith. Yet we had, and still have, no idea what’s in store for the long run. By the way, we’re adding another human to our chaos this spring (no, baby #4 was not a surprise…we just love adventure, or we’re complete gluttons for punishment)…at this point, what’s one more change, right?

These days Ben is experiencing a new sort of pressure, to lead, serve and teach like never before. I feel a heightened responsibility to relieve him of any stress I can (that includes things like packing lunches; it does not include overseeing our finances…that would not serve us well at all). And the kids are…kids. Yet in spite of changes, most days are totally normal. Ben’s still in charge of cleaning up the dog poop in the backyard; I’m still battling the skin of a 13 year old (ugh, hormones), and the kids are still…kids. Want a look at a 2-minute segment of a typical evening Chez Snyder?

Lydia, there has to be a clean uniform shirt somewhere in that pile of 28 loads of unfolded laundry. Dig deeper!

Samuel, is it already the end of the month? We have 2 ½ hours left to complete for your reading log!

Noah, quit hitting your brother, and fine, you can eat dog food.

Did I remember to get a babysitter for the next work trip Ben and I are taking, the third in two months?!?

And I just realized I pulled a complete no show for the meeting I scheduled for last weekend. Brilliant.

Welcome home Ben…hope you took a deep breath in the garage, because we’re running short on air in here.

For us, the best part about “these days” is the continual reminder that God is so faithful. Ben and I constantly reflect on the foundation He carefully and painstakingly laid in our lives for years leading up to this season. We still have so much growing to do, but by God’s grace, and with the coaching and encouragement of so many, we’ve developed grit and resilience; we’ve embraced and extended forgiveness; we’ve learned to say no; we’ve committed to being patient and savoring the process, not just the outcome, and we’ve vowed to work through the tears and fits of laughter together. We didn’t have the necessary foundation 5 years ago or even one year ago; this step of obedience was for such a time as this.

One practical way God has prepared us is by helping us build in as much life balance as possible. Total balance is a joke, but partial is attainable. We strive to protect Fridays as a day of rest (for me, that means no makeup, hair in a pony and limited human interactions). We give one another space to exercise; I’ve continued to run about 4 miles twice per week, and the energy it provides during pregnancy is such a gift! We schedule in 4 family dinners per week, and we prioritize meaningful bedtime chats with the kids at least every few days. I’d love to say we’ve enjoyed trips to orchards, serene Saturday mornings and pots of soup simmering on the stove, but it’s more like a last minute dash to the pumpkin farm, sloppy weekends running from errands to soccer games and meals on paper plates. Lowered expectations and guarding priorities makes this all more than bearable.

In everything, God’s faithfulness radiates. I don’t mean in a mountaintop-chills-all-over way, but in a subtle, deep and residing peace sort of way. I know this is due in a huge way to the many prayers people are saying for our family. We can feel it. Thank you. BEST.GIFT.EVER.

I heard someone today say that we experience God most in seasons of suffering and faithful obedience. In either case, we’re not able to control, and God has space to do His work. My prayer is for all of us to surrender to whatever season, chaotic and change-filled or otherwise, that God has placed before us. May we all be poised to take that next step!

Lauren E. Snyder – And She Laughs


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