Friday, September 25, 2009

Ignore that last post. Today I am so full of frustration that any form of contentment I might have had today flew out the window around 6 am. I was up around 5:30 nursing a baby and believe it or not...I was grateful to be woken up then knowing that after I nursed him I could get dressed, go downstairs and read my Bible and then exercise...all before the least little wee one appeared for the day. I have resigned myself to functioning on less rest. I have resigned myself to the fact that not getting my shower before the kids get up is okay. I have resigned myself to the reality that if I don't get my quiet time and my exercise in early they won't happen. But I had not resigned myself to the fact that if Satan sees me arising early to be with the Lord he will tap on the shoulders of my sleeping small children and awaken them an hour or two earlier than usual. Now, don't think that I haven't come to expect this. When it happened the first morning I quietly put that child back to bed. The second morning...back to bed. The third morning it was just late enough (and yet still early) that he came down and sat with me. I took him on my walk. No problem. Not my plan but...I worked with the new plan. The fourth morning? Gage was up first...then 6:15. Should have put both of them back in their beds. But you should see their smiling little faces that radiate this, "MOM...I am SO happy to see you!" look. Pitiful. But my heart by this fourth morning was NOT ready for the early assault. For you see, they are only quiet and smiling for a short time before the demands begin..."I need a drink. I want to eat. Where's daddy? I want to watch Boz. I want that toy. Hold ME mommy." With both of them awake I knew there was no taking one on a walk with me...I am NOT pushing a double stroller up these hills. That is not exercise...that is suicide. I sit. In self-pity. Still in my workout clothes. That haven't been worked out in. It's 2:00pm. I ate terrible. Well, worse than I'd wanted to. And the scale told me this morning that the pound I worked so hard to lose the days before...was back. I am constantly working hard to lose the SAME weight. I feel tired but Grayson took a great morning nap and woke up when Gannon was going down for his afternoon nap. Lovely. And Gannon...and potty training. UGH! Can't tell you how many times I used the words "pee pee, poo poo and stop touching your penis" today. Can't tell you how many minutes or hours I sat in front of a toilet reading books, making pushing noises and cheering him along while reading him book after book. Only to get NOTHING. Pretty sure the minute I put him back in the diaper for nap he probably peed and pooped. Oh well. We start again. And my older boys? Well, we made the mistake of allowing them to use birthday money to buy "Rock Band" for their Playstation. Now I get to hear endless beating on fake drums and someone moaning loudly into the microphone nonstop throughout the afternoon. Can't wait for the newness to wear off.

The good news? I am healthy. The people I love most in the world are healthy. And happy. And safe. We have a paycheck today. It will pay bills and provide some extras. Not many...but some extras. And the sun is shining brightly. And my windows are open. And my husband loves me. And my kids adore me. And my baby has new teeth. And I am overweight could be worse. And this messy house will get messy again after I clean it so why get obsessed about it? And my loads and loads of laundry show me that my machines are working. And God cares about all of this. And even the hard stuff He chose for my cup. And my cup is a blessing...not a burden...a joy...not a sorrow. None of that stuff up there matters. And tomorrow I will feel differently. And I am determined to stop flying by these feelings and start resting in the Lord. SO, I say to my thought closet...MARCH ON! CHIN UP! SMILE A LITTLE! And already I feel the corners of my mouth turning up. Thanks Lord. ~M.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I really do love how the Lord works in my life. It is rather subtle but in an obvious sort of way. You know...when all the books or scriptures or sermons you hear all line up with a specific subject? Or when your heart is continually pierced by the same attitude or action you continue to exhibit? I have been there in the last few months. Several topics continue to pierce my heart...currently it is the topic of contentment...mostly as it pertains to complaining or self-pity. But, I am currently reading a book I LOVE and HIGHLY recommend...Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. In that book I see unfolding a lot more ways that I continually sabotage my own contentment even beyond complaining. I didn't even realize the depth of my own discontent and the habits I have that further it. Let me share some of this amazing book with you so that: a) you might be interested in picking it up and reading it yourself or b) you might be affected by what I share with you even if you never pick up the book!

First off is the list...the daunting list of a ..."prescription for contentment...
  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything-not even the weather. [Gasp...not even the WEATHER? But, I live in HOT, HUMID Arkansas...ugh]
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else. [Gee, not even on vacation with JUST my husband...or putting my kids on the bus instead of homeschooling them?]
  • Never compare your lot with another's. [But, Lord, her house is so much prettier than mine...her body is so THIN...sigh]
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise. [Lord, not even wishing for a daughter?]
  • Never dwell on tomorrow-remember that [tomorrow] is God's, not ours."[I guess dreaming of when my children will all be out of the toddler years is dwelling on tomorrow?]
I mean, come on...the book could stop right there. I could live on those points alone and STILL be working towards contentment the day I die. But, then she (Linda Dillow) adds this later in Chapter 4:

"When does a woman become an adult? Perhaps it's when she stops comparing her life to other women's. When she stops waiting for 'Mr. Right.' When she stops wishing she'd married someone else or that her children were at an easier stage [um...ouch]. We grow up when we see our life from God's perspective; when we thank God for the role He has assigned us and begin to see our cup as a gift instead of a cross; when each morning we ask, 'God, how can I glorify You today in my given role?' "

I guess for me it is this. Being pregnant, giving birth, raising an infant, raising toddlers, raising preschoolers, raising young children and then young hard. It is tiring. Some days I just KNOW there is an easier life waiting for me. And I KNOW I squander the joy right under my nose for the joy that doesn't even exist yet. The world is no help. "Oh I don't know HOW you do it. You must be so tired. I could NEVER do what you do. Are those all YOUR kids?" And the comments go on. And in the end...I feel all of these things. I can't do it. I don't know how I do it. They are ALL my kids...what was I thinking? :D But instead of thinking that way...and winding up discontent...I need to say, "I do it with God's help. It is a JOY. I am most blessed among women. Who is as blessed as me? To God's glory...this is my overflowing cup! I would want no other life than this one. So, with God's help...I will begin checking all of these discontented thoughts and bring them into captivity and make them obedient to Christ.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

It can get heavy....the work that needs to be done in my heart. But, I am not without hope. God has shown His light here so that He and I can get to work on it. AndI am ready. I am ready to look at today and be thankful. To stop looking back and dreaming of what was or what could have been. To stop dreaming of tomorrow and the way it might be. None of that will bring contentment. None of it. Until I start living fully in today and all that God has blessed me with and stop the complaining and the pity party..I will always be miserable. God help me. I want joy. I want peace. I want contentment. Thank You so much Lord that there is contentment in YOU! ~M.