achy breaky heart

March 20, 2013

When people ask me if I work I will answer with a simple, "No."
But what I really want to say is,
"Harder than you can possibly imagine!"
I know that's not what they mean, but still.
It's affects me.

I guess it's because so many people
don't take the role of a stay-at-home parent
as seriously as it should be taken.
I feel like so many people view it as a luxury.
I suspect that {some} people look at my life
and think that I am lucky
to get to take the easy road.

This life that my husband & I chose
is by no means full of luxury.
It is full of sacrifice and hard work.
We have given up so much.
But we do it, because we gain so much more.

By the same token, I am also very lucky blessed.
There are absolute benefits to putting in long hours
that most often go unnoticed.
I guess no matter what choice we make as parents,
whether to work outside the home or not,
there are pros and cons to each.
No matter which choice is better for your family,
one thing we can all agree on is that
parenting is hard.

It's a the job that we need to take most seriously. 
Regardless of how much time we get to spend with our children,
we need to make the most of those moments.

At my house, it's very easy to get frustrated and short.
Someone is always fussing & fighting with someone else.
It takes godly amounts of self-discipline on my part
to keep from blowing up

But, one of the most important lessons I have learned
on this journey of raising kids
is that breaking your child's heart is one thing,
but breaking his/her spirit is another!

I battle with wanting my kids to like me.
I don't want them to ever be mad at me.
It rips my heart to shreds when they stomp off
leaving a trail of "I hate you's" behind.
Sometimes, it's just what you have to do as a parent.

"The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." Proverbs 29:15

However, it is never okay to insert my shortcomings
into the script they recite to themselves.
I must handle their hearts tenderly, conscientiously, deliberately, & lovingly.

"Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Colossians 3:21

"And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

I have to constantly remind myself that
their little hearts are raw
from growing & stretching.
My kids are trying to figure out exactly where they fit in in the world.
It's a battle within them to discover where our family ends
and their person begins.
It's not found without scrapes and bruises.
But, I must make it my business
to not cut so deep that it leaves ugly scars.

"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:3-5


{dirty} laundry.

March 12, 2013

Can any of you out there relate?
It seems like the laundry at my house NEVER ends!

You can imagine my dismay when I opened my dryer to find my clothes still damp.
Uh Oh!
So I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and sucked out the lint trap,
hoping praying this would fix the problem.
So, I had my brave son go outside and dig around in the dryer exhaust to make sure the birds hadn't built another nest in there. 
{Quit judging me!}
Still, nothing.
I then realized that it was time to break out the big guns!
I had to go deeper, because from the outside all looked well.
The time had come to get dirty.
I pulled the dryer out and removed the silver exhaust tube thingy.
{Yes, that IS the technical name.}
I stuck my arm in and dug.
And dug.
And dug some more until I had halfway filled a Walmart bag with dryer lint!
Then I vacuumed out the inside of the back of the dryer.
I was appalled at just how much junk was in there.
I thought, "No wonder it's not working like it should. There's so much trash and dirt inside that it can't do what it's made to do."

And then something happened that I didn't expect.
There I was, covered in dust.
Poking my hands and arms into crevices I'm sure they were never meant to be in.
God spoke to me.
He told me that I am just like that dryer.
There are times when I operate as I was designed to.
I do what is expected of me as a Christian- the work of Jesus.
But, then there are times, when the dirt and lint {of the world} start building up inside the hidden places of me.
Rendering me less effective.
The only way to reclaim efficiency is to clean out the junk.
I've got to go deep and search the bowels of myself.
Ridding my soul of everything that weakens my performance.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him." Romans 8:9