Thursday, June 19, 2008

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!

9 comments:

Justin & Shauri Phillips said...

Oh darlin!! You know I can identify with you! If we all blogged about what REALLY happens during our 24/7 of being mom's they would lock us all up. Seriously, you should go read my blog that I wrote yesterday. You'll see how very FAR from perfect I am. Truuuuuuuust me! :) I too got a huge kick out of Katie's blog. Everything she said was so true of myself. We just do the best we can and pray like crazy that our children turn out the way we want them to. Keep doin what you're doin and know that I am right there with ya!! Love ya! xoxox

Candace said...

Wow! If we moms wrote about everything that we go through on a daily basis, I think that we would all be heavily medicated. I try to keep my blogging upbeat, but these days there are not many upbeat things going on. I really enjoy reading your posts and laughing and taking a break from reality in blogger world right along with everyone else.

Kim said...

I hear you! I think it is hard to find that balance of being real but not having a spirit of complaining.

I wanted to tell you too that I couldn't nurse Noah either and it killed me! But God really used it to humble me and I am still so grateful. I learned a lot about grace through that process and how God is so much bigger than these issues we give so much weight.

I struggle with impatience and being glass half-empty too. So I totally know where you are coming from.

Thank God He is a Redeemer and Refiner!

jkbaber said...

I was laughing as well at Katie's blog. I think we could all write a blog like you and Katie have. Sometimes I love going to bed thinking I can start over fresh in the morning. You are a great momma!!

Courtney said...

I feel your pain! I can't tell you of a single mom I know that doesn't struggle with those same things - especially patience! As I'm writing this, I'm struggling with the fact that I expect so much from Daphne, my oldest, and so little from Noah, my youngest. Hang in there! I have no doubt that you're a wonderful mom!
Courtney

Jamie said...

I have lots of thoughts concerning your post, but what I'M currently struggling with is that my two biggest boys play so well together that I find myself NEGLECTING them for hours and hours at the time!!! So...I'm off the computer now to go hang out with my kids...who may have destroyed the living room while I read your post just now.... BY the way, WOW on your blog facelift!!! $20 well spent, I'd say!!!

Melody said...

Oh girl, if you only knew what goes on inside my house!!!. Today was one of "those days". I also choose NOT to blog about it cause quite frankly I don't want to re-live it.

I do love my life, I feel blessed beyond measure but I still would love a few days away from my family so I can sort of "recharge" my battery.

Beach Anyone?

Rebekah said...

Hey Lindsey! It's funny that you commented on my new designed blog because I got the "free" blog background website off of your new blog background! So a big "thanks" goes to you for finding the free website! :) ~rebekah

Kate said...

Thanks for the "shout out" about my reality blog! I actually just wrote another blog that says something similar to what you have said here. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of your life with us! When I encourage people to be honest about their lives, I certainly don't advocate a blog dedicated to complaining. A good model for what I am talking about would be Psalms, which is basically David's blog. He was honest, but never failed to glorify God in his struggles. Obviously, we also need to blog about the positive experiences in our lives, too. I think having a good balance is the best way to witness to others. I've heard many of my non-Christian friends complain that Christians are all plastic and fake and that all we do is judge other people. The fact is that we are ALL sinners in need of God's saving grace. Being honest about how we feel can be a ministry when it's done in a humble way.

BTW: It's a wonder I haven't had to go to the ER a few times with my kids--I accidentally leave dangerous stuff out all the time. See, it's little confessions like this that help remind us,crazy ADHD moms, to get our crap together! :)