I have started and restarted a number of different posts over the last couple of days and nothing really inspirational is coming to me.
I had a nice little break thanks to my mother-in-law. She is about to get a fuller house in the next couple of weekends - her youngest son and his pregnant-with-twins wife comes back to town from living in Honduras over the winter. So since I knew the "grandma time" would be limited very soon I agreed to let her have all 4 kids for the night on Friday - which is very rare. I don't usually like to overwhelm anyone with all four unless there is no other choice in the matter. And pretty much by Friday afternoon when she took them, I was at the end of my rope. The sleep deprivation from the past couple of weeks was catching up with me and the newly recharged energy level of the "sickly" boys really was driving me to the edge of disaster. So what did I do with that free time? I slept and laid around and worked at the church a bit. I needed a vegging-out type weekend.
I love my job, working with the kids at the church, helping parents build that foundation of faith within their preschoolers. I do the job because I love it - it doesn't pay much, it doesn't bring me recognition (I don't deal well with recognition anyway)....but man, these past few weeks have been very stressful and very overwhelming and when this happens I am easily frustrated. I think the break from my own kids this weekend came at a perfect time. I had some good one-on-one time with God - I don't get that as much as I would like since I am pretty much helping someone from the moment I open my eyes in the morning until I am ready to crash at night. But I am feeling a little more grounded - a tiny bit any way.
I try my hardest to do my best at all that I am called to do. As a wife, as a mother, my role at the church. Many make the comment to me of "I don't know how you do it all..." and I usually answer them that I don't do it all well. I want you to know that I fail quite often. I am quick tempered with my kids, or I let stuff slide in the ministry, or I neglect to clean the house and instead just sit on my rear for the afternoon encouraging the kids to go play (code words for leave me alone!). I fail, but I always feel compelled to try again and do better.
I am working on my short temper with the kids - it can really get short when I am stressed. I am memorizing Scriptures that remind me to remain calm. My friend Tammy had mentioned in her blog to use words of endearment as you are speaking to your children - it helps her to remain sweet when she addresses them sweetly. For me, when I am angry, "sweetie" is going to come out in a growl through clinched teeth...I don't think the kids will pick up on the affection in that tone of voice! I have to go dive deeper and get to the heart of the matter...I'm working on it...and sometimes I am better and sometimes I fail. But I keep trying.
There are a few other things that I have committed to do differently through my alone time this weekend...and I will continue to work it all out in the real-life of the days ahead. It will be an adjustment, but hopefully one that we can slide into easily - and I think the spring weather will help tremendously. It's been a long, dull, boring, ugly winter and it's hard to shake that dull boring ugly from my mood at times. But I'm going to try.
I guess this long rambling post is just me admitting to any readers I might have that I am not superwoman and will never claim to be. I don't have all the answers and make quite a few mistakes (I am sure you all are terribly shocked by all of this!)...but I think there is encouragement being honest with one another and admitting there are things we could be better at. So what about you? What are you trying to do these days that might have you discouraged? You don't have to tell me, (but I would be happy to be a non-judgmental listening ear), but tell God! He's listening - always - and maybe you need that reminder - like I did.