Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2 days

Well, it's been two days. Two days as the complete caretaker for my three wonderful boys! And I am exhausted. I can only imagine how my grandparents must feel after 4 days.

We took the day off from school yesterday to get the house back in order and began school this morning. It wasn't so bad looking back over the school time. It was the in between parts that created opportunity for stress and frustration. We worked through it. And I am in a good state of mind now.

I'd like to share some of what I was feeling this afternoon because I'm sure there are many mom's out there who have felt this way. I prayed this to God this afternoon after being upset over how one child was just being plain mean to the other with no care for how the other felt.

It has only been two days back with my children. I feel out of control and like nothing I say makes any difference in their behavior. They have been mean to each other and disobedient. They have jumped on my back and hurt me. They have griped and complained. I am so much more tired than I was even when I stayed up late while away from them. I find myself wishing I didn't have them around all the time. And that makes me feel horribly guilty. I missed them so much. Yet, today I just feel like I want to escape. Lord, help me. I want to be a good mother. And I feel Satan surrounding me with lies that I am not a good mother. That my children think I am unreasonable. That I am expecting too much of them and that is only making them feel guilty. Help me to sort out what you are saying and what lies Satan is throwing my way. I have to go back to your scripture to discern which is which. Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy. peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, sincere. Those things are from God. Whatever is full of envy, selfish ambition, lies comes from Satan. So, I am not a bad mother. I love my children. I seek to do what is best for them in every way. It is true that I am impatient with myself and that translates over to my children. I get upset when they keep making the same mistakes over and over again. I think it is true that I am in danger of heaping an abudance of guilt on them. I need to go back to being a coach for them. Pointing out problem areas and encouraging them to do better instead of overtalking and telling them how much it bothers me. It is ok to tell them when something hurts my feelings but I don't need to tell them every single time the problem occurs. So, I am not in a horrible pit of despair. That is a lie from Satan. Thank you God for pointing that out. When I feel that agonizing, mind stopping, how will life ever get better feeling, I can know it is not from God. It is not lovely or full of mercy. I need only to look to you God. You will work in my mind to pull me out of my hole and back into your loving arms. I feel you telling me that is what I am to do for my kids as well. I must stop taking things personally. My kids make their own choices. I don't make them do mean things to each other. I don't make them disobey. Please give me wisdom to know what to do to help them stop repeating bad and dishonoring behaviors. I feel lost when they keep repeating the same behaviors over and over again. I run out of steam at constantly dealing with the same things. Please bless me with endurance and perseverance. I am a good mother. I love my kids. And you love me. If I make some mistakes, you are there to catch me. I want to be that for my kids too. Show me a better way than how I have been acting towards them. Thank you.

I hestitate to share this because it exposes me for who I am. But I know we all fall short from time to time. And please know that I absolutely love my kids. And even though I had moments and still will have moments of not wanting to be around them all the time, I am so blessed and grateful that I do get to spend most of my time with them every day. I would be so sad if this journey were not mine to experience! So bring on the adventure, I'm resting in God's sweet love and empowered with his Holy Spirit!

Monday, March 30, 2009

4 Nights

I am amazed that I just spent 4 nights and 3 1/2 days away from all 3 of my children. It was only supposed to be 2 nights and 2 days but rain, hail, and 6 inches of snow got in the way of our plans. Thankfully my grandparents were able to continue caring for them while we stayed longer in Tulsa. The boys had a blast with their great grandparents! And we had a lot of fun too.

Sometimes I feel really guilty when I am away from my boys. (Like I am supposed to be with them every minute of their lives until they leave home.) But this trip I didn't feel that way. I knew they were having a great time with their great grandparents like I used to when I stayed with them on my spring breaks as a kid. It was very quiet in the car after we dropped them off. But we slowly adjusted and enjoyed being together just the two of us. Even though it wasn't really just the two of us because we stayed with friends and were surrounded by people all day. But it still gave us a chance to reconnect with each other. It gave us a chance to talk without interruption in the car, to gaze into each others eyes from across the room, to hold hands and be around each other off and on all day for 4 days, and just be a couple.

We went to a workshop in Tulsa where J worked at a booth for Sunset International Bible Institute meeting potential students and talking to them about online bible studies. He also took pictures of all our alumni who were speaking at the workshop. It was so great to see the many people who share in our love for the Lord. So many who are seeking to teach others of the love of Christ in our country and many others as well.

Now that I am back to my job as house manager and teacher and mom, I am feeling pretty tired. The boys have a bit of work to do on remembering how we act when we are at home. And I am in need of lots of patience as I do my best to be firm and gentle and enjoy my children who I missed so much. I really did miss them. Though I did not miss the picking at each other and being told no. I have realized that although I liked to tell people what to do when I was a kid and maybe even a young adult, I really enjoyed 4 days of having to tell no one but myself what to do. I am so grateful that God has blessed me with three wonderful boys to teach and love and grow with! I will stop thinking of it as telling them what to do and instead think of myself as their coach.

So, I wish I could think of something more profound to say or share insights from my trip. But for tonight all I can think of is a bit of time with my husband and some sweet sleep. Good night, dear friends!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What a wonderful day!

What a wonderful day we had today! I made it my purpose today to enjoy each member of my family. I was looking for ways to spend time with them doing what they enjoyed doing.

I got my first chance upon waking as the kids were watching cartoons. I grabbed my water and headed for the couch where A was laying. Then C came in and I shared my blanket with him as he sat next to me and we talked about what we were watching. Then we shared breakfast together and another opportunity came as a request from B to let him dictate a story to me and type it on the computer. I love seeing how his mind works. He said he was thinking of the story last night. I plan to do better with seizing these kinds of opportunities. If I had asked him to do this kind of writing or thinking for a school lesson, it wouldn't have been well received. We wrote together and formatted chapter 1 of the story to look like a regular chapter book.Then he moved on to having his dad teach him how to use the computer to make a cover for his book.

I had a few minutes to myself to get dressed and then it was on to reading to the younger two outside. I can't remember the order of the rest of the day but I know A and C and I played Sorry! and then I played Uno Attack with all the kids. I played Mancala with B. I hardly ever win against him but I did just once with his help. We watched a stop motion video that B made that was so clever and entertaining! And we played croquet with the grandson of our neighbor. And every now and then came hugs and kisses with my sweetie.

I even got some planning for school and menus done. And J got the tile grout in the bathroom sealed and slow cooked (grilled) a brisket all day long. And then he cooked hamburgers because the brisket wasn't done enough for dinner. The brisket and hamburgers both turned out great!

So now I am looking forward to our Sunday. Another restful day to spend together and with our church family. Praise God for his rich blessings on my family and on your families as well.