Tag Archives: discouragement

Day 21: The Hard Days (31 Days of Simple Truths)

31daysOfSimpleTruthsSo, I read this post from Lisa-Jo Baker tonight and promptly dissolved into tears.

This has been a ROUGH parenting week. And it’s only Wednesday (Lord, have mercy on my soul!). It’s one of the those weeks where I feel like I’m screwing everything up and utterly failing at motherhood. How on earth will I ever prepare these little humans (who I so fiercely love and who are so fiercely making me want to pull my hair out right now) for life? How can I possibly do this when I feel so unprepared myself? When I mess up on the very thing I was just trying to teach them?

There are a lot of moms in my life who make me feel insecure, but really it’s my own fault for falling into the comparison trap. What I want more than anything is to be fully confident that we are doing the best we can for our kids, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. We’re not responsible for their families, only ours.

I am the worst about admitting when I am un-fine. And I am definitely guilty of finding something to criticize about other mothers so I can feel like I’ve got some edge up on someone, somewhere. I try really hard to reserve these thoughts for strangers, not friends, as if somehow that makes it better. (Um, no. I promise to encourage the next stranger-mom I’m tempted to criticize in my head.)

Sometimes I am afraid to voice the struggles because I’ve heard single or newly married friends say that all the honest, tell-it-how-it-is mommy blogs out there have made them terrified to ever have children. I get this. I have kids and it scares me that some day I might refer to them as chaos-causing little monsters who are turning our home into a frightening, trashed-out wasteland. At what point do we lose our minds and cross that line? Please, God, don’t let it happen to me!

But no, it doesn’t have to be that way. Because my kids most certainly aren’t monsters and they are most definitely treasures. Still, it’s hard right now. Really, really hard.

But first I am reminded that I am not alone. And then I’m reminded that suffering in silence is no good for anyone, ever. And finally, I’m comforted by suddenly recalling a conversation I had at the beginning of September with a sweet couple, now retired and in their 70s. They raised a few kids and lived to tell about it. I shared with them about our upcoming move and other changes on the horizon, and the man smiled at me, eyes twinkling, as he said, “This is a season for surviving. Some seasons are just like that, when surviving doesn’t mean you’re failing and barely scraping by, but it means you’re do something right and pulling the family through a hard place. There will be time for establishing standards, raising the bar a little, but right now, you just have to survive and keep loving each other through it. And that’s ok.”

So I take a deep breath, maybe shed a few more tears, and maybe a few more tomorrow too. But it’s ok. Because we are surviving, and this too shall pass. And we’ll be a healthier family on the other side of it.

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Filed under 31 Days of Simple Truths, Family, Parenting

A Sliver of Hope

We’ve had a lot of craziness in our lives recently.  I’ve had a major project at work reach its climax.  I started taking care of a friend’s little boy 4 days a week, in addition to my own munchkins.  Any routine or schedule I’d been fighting for has been thrown to the wind.

Last Tuesday, I came the closest to having a productive, normal day I’ve come in several weeks.  It seemed we were finding a rhythm.  I managed to get a few things done around the apartment.  I managed to get some work done on my project.  I got all the little ones tucked in for naps.

And then the phone rang.  And after only a matter of moments, my world as I knew it was turned upside down.  I was left, struggling to breathe between the sobs.  (And I will write more about this change soon.)

The rest of the day was a fight to take care of the children and not alarm them, even though I only wanted to lock myself in the bathroom and cry.  It was a fight to face my friend when she came for her son and not come off as a deranged nutcase she should never have entrusted her child too.  It was a fight to be present when my husband came home, to not crawl into bed and refuse to come out.

In the middle of the fog and chaos and discouragement descending on me, I received this Facebook message:

I got up this morning around 6:30 to have my time with the Lord . . . I couldn’t get comfortable in my spirit . . . your face came before me in prayer . . . Please know that someone who really doesn’t know you other than saying hello in the parking lot was going before God for you . . .

God knew what my day held, and He stirred someone who is basically a stranger to spend the morning in prayer for me.  Why was it a stranger?  Why not a friend or my pastor or my own husband?  I don’t know.  I don’t care.

Or maybe I know a little.  Because in the days that have followed, I have often felt like maybe God has forgotten me, maybe He doesn’t see me.  It wouldn’t be that odd for someone I know to think of me in prayer.  But in moving the heart of a stranger on my behalf, the very day my soul was crushed, He emphatically declared that He does indeed see and know and has not forgotten.

This is my only hope right now, and I am clinging to it tightly.

And perhaps you, friend, have endured a heartache and disappointment recently.  Perhaps you feel abandoned or forgotten.  Tonight, I whisper a prayer that your eyes would be opened, that astonishing signs would be sent your way to have an assurance that He sees and He knows and He’s moving on your behalf.

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Filed under Grieving, Hope, Pain, Prayer