Friday, June 06, 2008

When You Lie Down and When You Get Up

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Life here lately has been very full and fulfilling but also very challenging!

Last week the girls and I had a the opportunity to take a meal to a family where the Mrs. of the family had heart surgery.

Then, we had the opportunity to visit with a family who just adopted a little baby from Ethiopia with spina bifida.

And the highlight of last week was a visit from our missionary friend from India who reminded us just how blessed we are to be in America where God's Word can be heard any where and the need for laborers in the rest of the world to open up the gospel to those who are still in the dark.

It was a very fulfilling week taking the girls along on all these service opportunities and I felt very blessed to be used by God.

This week was very different...All my efforts this week was to reunite DearDaughter1 with her best-friend. She had not seen Little R for weeks and she was missing her. So, I invited Little R and her mom over for lunch and a play date on Monday. Then, on Wednesday, we went strawberry picking. Then, yesterday, we went to Little R's cousin's birthday party.

I've been convicted about teaching my children when they lie down and get up and so I've been trying to spend more quality time with them.

However, yesterday, perhaps it was a combination of little rest and PMS, I really started to resent my children. This whole week was about revolving my time around DearDaughter1 and her fun and yet I still dealt with much unappreciation and disobedience from her. I started to feel like a slave to my children's wants and I had a complete break down! In the middle of this break down I called DearHubby and just yelled at him, telling him that I needed a vacation and time away from the girls. Later in the day I called DearHubby up and asked him to skip his exercise day to help me out because I was just having a bad day. He was very upset with me for yelling at him with no warning and then calling later on asking for help. To make a long story short, my yelling at DearHubby in the morning caused him to be upset at me all day and he was still upset when he got home. It made his attitude towards helping me very bitter and the evening didn't turn out very nice or stress free. When we cooled down, in the end, DearHubby and I apologized to one another and we resolved to take the time to find a resolution to my issues.

Last week, I didn't mind skipping a few household chores because I felt like what I was doing was in service to the church body. This week, I barely got to any household chores because my time was literally centered around DearDaughter1's fun. I must admit that I had fun too, but I barely got anything done at home and when I skip a week's worth of chores, it just makes next week's chores that much more difficult, especially paperwork and laundry chores because they quickly pile up. So, I'm in a quandary...

I never thought I feared man much, however, I'm discovering that I do. I find sooooooo much joy in serving the church body and I have found my season's ministry where I can be involved and still be very flexible to serve and keep my family as priority. However, I have not resolved the issue about balancing my time between house work and my children. Some moms feel that their children are more important than a clean house. There is order in the house and the essentials are getting done, but the house is not exactly beautiful and inviting. Some moms feel that a warm, beautiful, and inviting home is a service to their family and find joy in serving their family in that manner. I'm not sure what it is I believe in, but sometimes I feel like I have to chose one side or the other. Here's what I certainly want to do...I want to put my husband first even though my children are young and the second thing I want to do is teach my children godly living. It sounds so easy, but sometimes I do feel like I have to make a choice. I guess I associate keeping the home as part of my responsibility to being a helpmeet to my husband while going on playdates and spending time with my children is part of parenting. And here's where the fear of man comes in because I am associating worldly ideas with biblical concepts...How can I be more of a helpmeet to my husband and how can I be a better parent to my children without feeling like I need a clean home or like I need to provide fun for my children? Then, there's the issue of finding time for me, which isn't in the Bible, but if I don't take care of myself, others suffer....These are tough issues (for me)...Practical Christian living is so much harder than knowing...


Trish D said...

You know, I don't think this struggle to balance it all ever gets easier. When the kids were younger (as opposed to their advanced ages now, LOL!) I kept thinking that things would somehow get "easier" when they reached X milestone. But over and over, I'm being reminded that's just not the case... each triumph comes with its own new set of challenges!

So what have I learned?. I absolutely cannot do it all. Even when it's all "good stuff." I have to pick and choose, and frankly many times I get grumpy and frustrated. But thankfully the Lord is gracious and continually will reach down, pick me up, dust me off, and help me head off in the right direction again. We just had our MOPS finale on Tuesday, and our Mentor Mom closed off the year by speaking on Psalm 127:1-2

"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain;
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat -
For He grants sleep to those He loves."

Doesn't that hit us hard as Mommies? We want to "do" so much for our children, but the truth is that it's not about US. And I can tell myself that I'm doing all this good stuff "for" Him... but am I also doing it THROUGH Him, or simply laboring.

I know I'm sort of rambling here, but please know that I am continuing to pray for you. I know that you have a heart for Jesus, and He will give you the strength and wisdom you need at this trying time.

On a final note, when I'm feeling frustrated I generally turn to the Psalms. I particularly like Psalm 40 - it starts out triumphant in many ways (He lifted me out of the slimy pit and set my feet on the rock and gave me a song!) and I love verse 8:
"I desire to do you will, O my God; your law is within my heart."

Yet David is also very honest and ends with:
"Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay."


Julie said...

Thank you for being honest and real.

Hope you have a wonderful week! Your blog is a joy to read!

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