Wednesday, May 25, 2011


"I'm barely keeping my head above water."  That's what I said yesterday when Joe came home from work.  Every man wants to be greeted like that after a long day at work, huh!?  This morning I read Psalm 69:1, "Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck."

 Life is overwhelming, it just is sometimes.  The hectic schedules build, it's been weeks since I stayed home one full day.  My expectations turn into disappointment.  Things like expecting to sleep {just} a full 5 hours, Jenna not peeing her bed for the fifth night in a roll, getting more than a few things marked off my to-do list a day, summer break to mean rest and freedom, shall I continue?!
So far, I miss our routine, and have done nothing but fight off frustration and impatience, because I'm disappointed that I can't get more accomplished with more hours in the day, and that my kids make more messes because their not occupied and get bored. 
You would think we brought another new baby home from the hospital.  Jenna hasn't acted out this bad ever!  She dumped an entire bottle of Elmer's glue on the living room carpet, broke a box of Crayons into tiny pieces, tore up Bethany's artwork binder, has had more accidents in the past 48 hours than Brady has had wet diapers, locked doors in my face, disobeyed consistently and there is so much more that I don't even care to remember.  All, might I add, with a smile on her face.
I could go into the details of running from soccer practices to doctor's visits, the cell phone store to grocery, church to meetings, weddings to graduation's been non-stop 7 days a week for over a month and going non-stop with 4 kids in tow, has certainly cost me patience and kindness.   The kids have fought, hit, yelled, complained and made mess upon mess.
I hate feeling this way, overwhelmed, grouchy, irritable, angry, frustrated, TIRED.  My lengthy list of things that have to be done and my very short list of things that I'd like to do, never find an ending and some days not even a beginning.  I haven't been the best mommy or wife for a couple of days.  I've prayed, Joe pushed me out the door and begged me to go thrifting, I cranked up some music, I drank extra coffee, I took a bubble bath, I took enough deep breaths to hyperventilate...nothing helped for very long.
I knew what my problem was, it's the same problem as always.  I have been depending on myself and finally I am not enough.  I am empty, so very empty.
Being empty is such a lonely, frustrating feeling and all I ever want to do when I am empty is blame.  I blame myself {in a poor-is-me kinda way}, I blame Joe, I blame the kids, I blame anyone and everyone.
It's never easy admitting I'm wrong, that I have been neglectful of God.  Admitting that I knew I was going about things all wrong, but continued on until I made a mess of myself.
The Lord is so gracious, his forgiveness is unending and immediately he is waiting to help me.  To mend the broken pieces and messes.  I was reminded of broken crayons and spilled glue, yet he is so much more loving than I, more merciful and forgiving.

Not to say, that my kids behavior has been entirely my fault, but I really felt I needed to go a little further in making sure they knew I was sorry for my pitiful attitude.  Jenna had once again exhausted me and herself with this day of orneriness and disobedience.  It is rough and draining to constantly discipline at all, let alone with the right attitude.  She was once again in tears about something that didn't go her way and I certainly wasn't backing down.  I offered to read her a bedtime story, something I don't ever do.
I bought My Little Book About God thrifting and it really spoke to me and I wanted to read it with her.  As I read the words, she listened, "God makes us grow, too, with minds and eyes to look about our wonderful world, to see its beauty, to feel its might.  He gives us a small, still voice in our hearts to help us tell wrong from right."
"Do you have a voice in your heart that tells you when something is right or wrong Jenna?"  "Yes."  "Who is that little voice inside your heart?"  "God." I went on to explain that we need to work on her listening and obeying God's voice inside her heart.  It was a very special moment, I was able to explain that sometimes I don't listen to God's voice either, but that He forgives us and loves us so much.  I told her how much I love her.  That little example of listening to God's little voice in her heart will be a great way to remind her how to obey tomorrow.  A few minutes before bed with each of the 3 oldest kids changed their day. 
I don't do things like this often enough.
Bethany shared that she feels like God has some special purpose for her life, "Different than you or Daddy or anybody else." she said.  I tried to listen and ask what she meant and she just kept saying that she feels like God made her to do something special when she grows up and she really wishes He didn't, because she just wants to be normal, "Like you and Daddy and everyone else."
I'm not really sure what she was trying to say or what this all really means, but I know that Bethany worries.  She worries about growing up, and she worries about her life.  I reassured her that we all are created with a special purpose and that yes, God has a special plan for her life too.  I said, "But, you don't have to worry about what God wants you to do when you grow up, you just live one day at a time.  God wants you to do one thing every single day and that is all you have to worry about, do you know what that is?"  "No, what?"   "Jesus said, only one thing matters you should love the Lord your God with all you heart and love your neighbors, the people in you life, as much as you love yourself.  That's all you need to worry about doing each day."
As we talked she explained her frustrations with rooming with Jenna.  Jenna messes up her stuff, tears it up sometimes, wakes her in the middle of the night too.  I immediately realized that though I think it so often I really don't tell Bethany how proud I am of her for being such a good big sister to Jenna and being patient with her.  I told her I understood exactly how it feels to have a little sister and she said, "Yeah!  Because you had to put up with Aunt Carrie!"  I explained that I also know how she feels because I pick up messes all day that I didn't make too.  I said that God allows us to learn to deal with things like this to teach us to be more like him and ask for his help.  "I have to ask for patience two times a day with Jenna, morning and night!" she said exasperated.  "I think I have to ask for patience twenty times a day."  I added.  "But God cares about the little things we do, the messes we clean up.  He sees that and he wants us to ask for his help."
I read the book to Joseph separately in his room. I read, "He {God} gives us memories of yesterdays, so that happy times and people we love we can keep with us always in our hearts. For God is love."  I asked what kind of memories he had made today and he listed off getting a grass burn from trying to get he ball at soccer practice tonight.  "I was trying to help my team.", he said.  He mentioned going on a bike ride today and finding a box turtle that we brought home for a few hours.
I want to remember the moment all the kids were sitting quietly waiting for the turtle to come out of his shell and their shrill laughter when he finally took off walking. And when Joseph said, "I wonder what a turtle looks like if it gets struck by lightening!?"
I want to much.


~Mamma~ said...

How can that cute little face be such a tornado!
I love you Jenna! Looking forward to our date for your birthday. We haven't forgotten.

Bonnie said...

And now I'm crying! I'm right there with you. I goto bed everynight asking God for forgiveness, strength, courage, and stamina to keep up with these four children he has blessed me with.

I'm crying because I know how you feel..I don't say that often but in this case I do. I pray constantly for me to accept His grace and move on to another day, another day of doing the best I can for these children.

Thank you so much for writing this.