Children Are Inconvenient

I know that sounds so mean, but its true. Just yesterday I was driving my girls home from school and complaining in my head about how much work children are. I hate, absolutely hate, helping with homework. My mom used to tell me that she did her "time", and I would get this mental picture of her behind bars. Child rearing is not convenient to my lifestyle at all. My car could be clean and it wouldn't be a dreaded mini van. I could buy things for myself and not feel the least bit guilty about the things I didn't buy them. I could feel like my toothbrush was safe and the sink would not have clumps of unused toothpaste in it. What about feeling like maybe once the diapers are gone, you've taught them how to do dishes, cook and clean and do their own laundry, that maybe, just maybe it will be smooth sailing. Oh no, teenagers are even more work. You have to outsmart them. I've been finding myself pulling out my entire arsenal, you know the big guns, with my two oldest. Granted they haven't even skimmed the surface of what my husband and I did at their ages, but you sure need to be able to put yourself in the place of the truant and the guard. This is the age for choosing your battles, otherwise I go around like a private eye waiting to find them in some indiscretion. Certainly not convenient at all, but God says that if I raise them right, they will turn out okay. Man, gotta put your trust in that.


Something Just Doesn't Feel Right...

Have you ever been dressed and ready to go, but you just felt like something was wrong? Even my two year old could tell that something was askew when I tried to get her pants on and this was the result. Shirt on, pants on, both feet on the floor...but wait, I can't seem to walk.


Which Way Did I Go?

Ok, so I knew that when I started this blog there would be times that I would be afraid to post what was going on in my head and heart, but I will not be a chicken with this one. So those of you that have been reading know that I am stuck in a time of my life once again where I am having to wait. Then add to that those who have read my mother's day post and my little junket on my ideal plan for life. Granted that plan was stupid and shallow and I really didn't plan on falling in love with my husband and enjoying the company of my children. I know that sounds really lame but that was really how I foresaw my life: going to work, becoming successful, owning things. Whatever. Life happens and you realize that things change, you change. Back to the wait. So, I'm here waiting. There is so much up in the air right now as far as my very near future and I am truly vexed. I have been absorbing various other blogs from pastor's wives, mommies of large families, etc. Happy mommies and wives who grow gardens and write books and home school. I could get into that except I kill plants, my two oldest are home schooled out of a direct response to our local middle and high school system, not from any deep conviction. So I have been trying to convince myself that I should embrace this whole homemaking thing especially when I realize that no one else around here really knows how to clean or organize anything without my supervision. Then out of the blue, a friend from school busts into my perfect little bubble and suggests that I take some online classes this summer during my wait. Shut up! I was starting to settle into this place and there goes my dream again. Why can't it leave me alone and let me be normal raising my 6 kids from home with a garden? Why oh why do I have to be the consistently discontent person who always has to be doing way too many things at a time? Why do I want to stretch the confines of my life to achieve more? Why do I feel guilty that I don't want to stay at home and keep my house clean all the time? And so wages the battle between my ideal self and my true self..


On Growing into Motherhood

Today is Mother's Day and upon awakening my mind instantly races to the people who gave me this extraordinary task and title. Prior to having children, I though life was all figured out, I'd get married after college and starting my career as a psychologist, in time have two children, one boy and one girl. Happily each morning I'd run off to work wearing a dress suit with my hair up elegantly, the picture of success and accomplishment. Then I had my first son and boy did life change. Suddenly, my focus was not on me and my illustrious future, but his. He really grounded me and made me realize how very, very selfish I was. My daughter came two years later and once again I was slammed, this time it was relationship. Boys are easy, they get hurt and move on. Girls harbor the pain, they have to be pampered and treated delicately. I was front row patron at the unfolding drama of watching a father with his daughter, something I never experienced for myself. Even now, I sometimes find myself jealous of this relationship my daughters have with their daddy. Daughter two has taught me survival at all costs. She is my strong one, won't take no for an answer, the will of iron. Daughter three, brought with her beauty and healing of pain. The worst parts of my life so far I went through while either pregnant with her and while she was tiny. Daughter four, was restoration and joy. Wow, what a girl! The smile of an angel. Baby boy has yet to arrive but already I have learned faith in the face of adversity. Being a mother is easy that comes just by giving birth. Its becoming a mother that gets interesting, I don't think it ever ends.


Marital Celibacy...What?

No, I am not referring to monogamy. That should be a given in marriage. However, something that I just discovered in the past year delves even deeper into the sacred covenant. Last year, I was going through a time of intense dialogue with God concerning some of His references to women in the Bible. These same things had come up in some of my conversations with other women in the church, and I realized that I was not the only one who was having to gloss over these touchy topics when considering my relationship with my Father. I mean, what's with only counting the men at the fish feeds, or telling the women we need to keep quiet in church? What about this submission business? Remember all those references to women being unclean? That time of the month rolls around and suddenly we are disgusting creatures, childbirth even places us in that category. What's up with that? I believe that God loves me but does he somehow think I'm less just because I'm a girl? All my being screamed no, and yet I couldn't back up my belief with anything solid. With these questions rolling around in my brain I embarked on a journey that led me to discover the Jewish practice of mikvah. It intrigued me to learn that Jewish women don't look at things quite the same way that I do. For them, their "time of uncleanness" is actually a special gift given to them each month when their focus can be solely on themselves and their God. That's sounds really sketchy, but it turns out that the command God gave to women concerning this time was that all relations between a husband and a wife were to be stopped. No touching, no sleeping in the same room, some even went so far as to not sit on the same couch. The purpose of this time was actually to allow for a time of rest in the physical relationship between a husband and a wife. God is a God of Sabbath, rest, for everything. So during this time a woman is considered unclean, not because God is saying that she is dirty, but she is off limits to her husband. I don't know about you but that sounds kinda better than just plain unclean. It means my God actually thinks I'm special enough to set aside a time that I don't have to feel guilty about saying no if you know what I mean. No fake headaches here, just a break, and hubby and I get to work on our verbal communication skills. Wow, I think I like that.


Things I learned this week...From my kids

1. Listen to your kids.

My usually sensitive child, and the one who holds his tongue unless he feels its absolutely necessary, told me I was mean. He later also told me I needed to chill out and sit on the couch for a minute after I went on a rampage yelling at everyone within earshot. Man, I hate it when he takes his role as "man of the house while dad's gone" seriously.

2. The American dream is a hoax.

After spending months looking for a house large enough for our family, yet within our price range, I realize that all we really needed was a kitchen, bathroom and living area. Presently, these children, who according to our society's standards are to have a bedroom and a bed of their own to be properly cared for are camping out in the living room floor. They also really hate taking baths, brushing their teeth or otherwise utilizing the extra bathroom Dad and I purchased for them upstairs. They prefer to use mine especially if I am in it.

3. Don't hesitate to question the establishment.

While shopping for Teacher Appreciation gifts yesterday with my girls, Serena my rebel, dared to ask this question, "Mom, aren't we supposed to be picking out the gifts, I mean I didn't know you had a teacher at the school." I of course promptly reminded her that unless she was paying for it, I would have the say in what we purchased, but we did strike a bargain after that. Candy, instead of lame notecards.

4. Perception is everything.

I like to call my children silly pet names and the other day I referred to Emari as my little peanut. She corrected me and told me, "I not peanut, I Mari." Then she wasn't my baby girl, she was a kid. Today she varies from a goose, to a cat, to a rabbit, but never what I call her. She chooses who she is. Gotta love it.

5. Pray whenever you get the chance.

Taylor is our resident intercessor. I mean that girl prays, and she likes to really carry on at the dinner table when we are all famished. Dad and I can't tell her no, but she prays for everything but the food. And if you peek at her she will not be bowing her head, but looking around to make sure that everyone is in agreement and that she is remembering to pray for each one. The other day she even prayed for the people who need salvation, all before eating a bite.
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