- I'm just really not even in the running for Mother of the Year. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be supermom. But surely there are a few standards: like being able to walk through the house without tripping over a shoe or maybe being able to eat a meal without first moving a stack of school papers. Then there is always the chance they would interview my children. THAT would surely be the end of the line. Once they had a little sit down and found out from Football Boy that not only would I not encourage Daddy to quit his job and move us all to L.A. to start FB's acting career and then this week we said no to the basketball team--well, we can forget about a vote from our oldest!!!
- If you go to Jason's Deli on Tuesday night. AND you order from the new girl who is not entirely sure what she is doing. You can feed a family of six for Eleven dollars and some change. Yes! ELEVEN dollars! Plus, she'll throw in a free pickle for Dancer who is devastated it didn't come with her pb&j! I can't even cook for that cheap! Now--if they will just keep hiring new girls...
- If you stop exercising, drinking your 8 cups of water and drinking your green smoothies at lunch and replace all that with a diet of candy corns, popcorn & M&M's, and chocolate covered peanuts, all that weight it took months to lose will come back very quickly and you will begin to look pregnant again--really NOT a good look!
- If you leave a pan of uncooked rice out (that was being used in an educational activity, of course) and a certain 21 month old dumps it all over the kitchen floor, Tigerfan will volunteer to vacuum it up while you get the children bathed. Wondering if this would translate to all the rooms of the house...I may just have discovered how to get the house vacuumed this week!
On the More Serious Side:
- You may or may not know that this has not been the best school year we have ever had (okay, I kid, everyone knows that because I have whined about it non stop for the last week or seven). I have been on my knees more than I ever have in my life trying to figure things out. I will be honest. I have been not only frustrated but just plain mad at God for not "fixing" things for me. On the bright side, I have found a much deeper faith than I have had in the past because despite the fact that at some points I have really WANTED to just stop talking to God, I have found that I can yell and whine to Him and tell Him how angry I am, but I can't stop believing in Him or ignoring His presence and authority. I have been disappointed after pouring out my heart, waking up optimistically to a new day only to find it was worse than the day before--and I have cried out asking why and what was I supposed to do. Things haven't changed much, although I can start to see a shifting a bit. What has changed is my perspective. As an American, I have gotten used to a pretty easy life (still live one, as a matter of fact). My struggles revolve around plumbing leaks and money woes...but I HAVE a house, and a husband, and enough food for my family. I have thought a lot lately about my struggles, and they are real. They are painful and frustrating and exhausting! But God never promised an easy life. I think as Americans, we have grown to expect that, I know I have. But there are many beautiful christian people in other countries who will not have enough food to feed their families today. There are faithful, loving Christians that will go to jail, be beaten, and possibly martyred today in other places simply for their faith! Our life abundant is not necessarily an easy life void of problems...it is a life full of Jesus and of a hope a non christian just doesn't have!
- Along these lines, as we have suffered through this year, I am learning that I CANNOT do this alone on my strength. I am out of fight. I am tired! But that is where, if I choose to, I can lay down and let my Father in Heaven fight for me. You see, all this time, I have prayed, asked for peace or help or something...and then immediately taken back the control and tried to do things on my own. And right now, my own just isn't enough. I have never really been stripped down to just total dependence on Him, and that is where I am. I admit, I don't like it. I am kicking and screaming and shaking my fist. But in those moments when I remember, I don't have to do it alone...in those moments, I find peace.
- Be careful what you pray about. A few months ago in a Bible Study, we discussed the growth that you have during a struggle. I realized I had never really struggled through anything. I have healthy children--a healthy family, no marital problems to speak of...other than I keep leaving my shoes out and that REALLY irritates Tigerfan, no major financial woes, no prodigal children. For the most part, I have never deeply struggled. And so, without really asking, I asked. I wanted a deeper relationship with God. I wondered if I was tested, would I stand. And now, here we are. I must admit, though this trial has been quite small compared to what many suffer, God has allowed me to walk through a tough time--and I am embarrassed by my lack of faith, my lack of trust...I have been so easily shaken. And yet--I already feel a bit stronger, knowing that my God has not left me. Understanding that my answers aren't always His, but His are always better. I am not sure how much longer this time of learning will be--I think it is going to be a tough year! But I KNOW that I have a Heavenly Father that is walking through it with me. Thank God for that hope!