Learning to balance....
Well, I think pretty much everyone in my life is either a christian or a mother...most in my life are both. This means I am pretty much surrounded by tender hearts who are trying to mold tender hearts! A day never goes by where I don't stop and think (multiple times a day!) how I could've handled a situation with my own children better...or my husband for that matter...it seems I'm in a perpetual state of growth lately. God must be really working on me right now and let me tell ya' - if you've experienced that (and I'm sure you all have), it can be draining!
The reason I'm writing this post is because I just read my childhood friends (Katie Mitchell) blog post and after laughing really hard and nodding my head in agreement to nearly everything she said, I felt like I really needed to add a few of my own thoughts. I would encourage you though to read her entry....Katie is someone who is constantly trying to better herself inwardly and she's really been blessed with confidence and honesty - she's also been blessed with the ability to encourage others and she really strives to build others up!!! Which is where her blog post began....
Placing motherhood aside for now, does anyone else ever find it challenging at times to be "real" with others simply based on your christian faith? I have found myself many times wanting to vent (or complain in laymen terms) and then have stopped myself because I don't want to have a spirit of complaining. This has turned my blog in to a different direction...it's an honest direction...but at the same time, a rather one sided direction. I rarely talk seriousely or even jokingly about the many (and I do many many) frustrating moments of my day! The reason being, I don't want to discourage anyone or bring anyone down...I also tend to think that nobody would want to set aside a few minutes to read about all my frustrating moments, and I want to be a good witness for Christ...I guess I know that there are people in this world with REAL problems and I don't want to sound ungrateful to my Father for the many blessings I've been given. Having said that....I can get discouraged when I feel I'm the only mom who's struggling - SO....I've decided to show all of you just how "real" I am and give you a glimpse in to the other side of our lives....
1) I struggle with my patience! Unfortunately, I got my dad's tolerance level. This is something I've REALLY had to work on and pray about. The good thing is, I have high expectations of my children (which I think is a good thing), the bad thing is, I have to work on having REALISTIC expectations. There have been times when I know I've been too hard on my lil' ones and have had to ask forgiveness from them...that is not an easy thing...there's nothing more humbling than being a parent!
2) Bottle Feeding. I was unable to bottle feed Shepherd - I tried...seriousely as hard as I could!...just didn't work out. I struggled with a lot of guilt which probably would have subsided had Shepherd's immune system wound up being strong....BUT....most of you know all the many health problems we've had with him (ranging from Eczema, Osteomyelitis, Meningitis, etc.). I have really wondered if he was susceptible to all these things because I didn't nurse him longer - guess I'll never know.
3) Cooking! Before having kids, Chad and I cooked reguraly together and had a lot of fun doing it! SINCE having kids (and most definitely since having kids AND working full-time), I rarely cook dinner. This frustrates me beyond end, and I'm working hard at getting better at this, but to be honest, by 5pm, I'm so tired that the thought of de-thawing chicken and making a casserole that my kids will most likely only pick at anyways is just totally unappealing. I probably over-compensate for lack of a good dinner by making extremely healthy breakfast's and lunches....BUT, nevertheless, our dinner table is seriousely lacking. My mother-in-law is my hero in this department and is probably going to be so unhappy after reading this one! :)
4) I'm a natural "glass half empty" person,...daughter and wife of glass-half full people. I am also friends to mostly glass-half full gals - boooy has this been a blessing in my life! There are a few key people who have changed me - Amy Bell to name one! Having said that, I still struggle DAILY fighting off my natural, sarcastic sense of humor...if I'm not careful, that humor can bring me down to what I like to call "reality". SO, I try hard to keep my humor (or at least that particular humor) under wraps and have found that it really changes how my day goes.
5) I'm a do-er and a pleaser which can make life pretty miserable for myself at times! Having said that, I do believe there are some people who are called to serve...I feel called to do just that. BUT, I'm really having to learn how to say "no" so that my own family won't suffer! To be completely honest, there have been days when I have come home from serving on a ministry team, and have been so depleted that I had nothing to give my children and my husband. Now THAT is shameful! Shep was invited to a birthday party on Sunday and I took a deep breath, picked up the phone and politely declined....got off the phone feeling slightly mortified with myself and mostly thrilled - learning to say no can be a WONDERFUL thing! :) Learning to say "no" to my children has proven to be even harder though! I think every good parent finds joy in saying "yes"...but I also believe that every good parent should have the wisdom and the ability to say "no" from time to time.
6) I used to be a MESS!...my bedroom was a mess, my car was a mess, my school work was a mess, etc. Since going to college, getting married and having kids, I've gotten myself organized. BUT, there have been a few times when I've reverted back to my old ways. A few times have proven pretty dangerous! I once left a bottle of cough syrup out (had given it to Shep at midnight and was too tired to think to put the lid on)....the next morning, I found him on the floor guzzling it - we wound up in the E.R. with Shepherd drinking cups of charcoal. You'd think I would have learned my lesson but NOOOO....another time, I had a bottle of Motrin on the bathroom counter (FULL bottle). Shep and Rauly somehow got in to it and took turns taking shots - they drank the entire thing. I FREAKED OUT - gave them enough water to make them float away...practically stuffed bread down their throat (not sure why, but thought surely it'd help somehow soak up the meds) and watched them like a hawk as they bounced off the walls from their sugar high....they wound up being fine...I now keep meds locked up. A few weeks ago I let the kids have some cookies for snack, I then left the FULL box on the counter instead of just putting in away....next thing I know, my kids became cookie-monsters and ate ALL 20 while I was most likely blogging or something like that! (he-he) Needless to say...you can never be too clean or organized with kids!
Alright - well, these are just a few things I struggle with on a daily basis...add that to being woken up daily at 6:30am by the kiddo's, dealing with one little boy who talks non-stop (seriousely needs to get out double the amount of words that an average grown woman would need to spew), and dealing with one of the strongest willed little angels you've ever seen - my life is definitely FAR from perfect and FAR from pristine...still though, I'm grateful and love this life! I hope this encourages someone and I really hope it doesn't discourage anyone!