I really needed to hear from God today. I’ve been so busy lately with my life as mom, wife and “keeper-upper” of all things in this crazy huge household, that I’ve felt pressed down and boxed in from every direction. I’ve been disillusioned and disappointed to the point of being absolutely not much fun to be around. I have to admit that I’ve even gotten on my own nerves! Maybe I’ve even been having a teensy tiny itty bitty pity party too. I don’t know. I just know its been “bleh” as my oldest son, Alex so often says. “Bleh-ness” must be fought against as a wife and mother. If we are “bleh”, then we pass on this “bleh” to ones we love the most.
God chose to speak to me through loneliness. Yep, loneliness. How in the world could a woman living in a household of 9 people (self included) be lonely? But, its true, at times. For one, having very young children and a baby keeps me at home much of my time, because, of course, that’s where the main events of our lives occur when at least two members of the family still wear diapers and need long daily naps. For another, just being a stay at home mom isolates me from the adult world of friends and even extended family members at times simply because of pure “busyness”. Oh, that wicked dreaded busyness! There are times when I’m so “standing-on-my-head” busy that I can’t even answer the ringing phone! Why bother anyway, because when I do, I contend with what I call “bad phone behavior” from at least two of my little ones. What is it about a mom on the phone that suddenly causes her children to need to talk to her loudly and all at the same time or to slam a sibling’s hand in a door for fun? So…if the phone rings, I usually declare a “phone time out”, which means all children must now go play in their rooms or sit on the couch with a book while I finish a phone conversation. Don’t smirk, it works.
Anyhow, back to how God spoke to me in my loneliness. Loneliness has a way of turning you inward. You can either spend all that time feeling sorry for yourself, eventually going nowhere positive emotionally or you can turn inward to the Holy Spirit dwelling within you as a child of God. So, I chose the second (after a day or two of misery) and I decided to look for the little messages God gives just through my daily life. This isn’t an easy task with sweet(and sometimes whiny) noisy little voices all around, but it can be done and I have been tuning in, so to speak.
I caught myself admiring my 6 year old daughter, Sofie, as she sat in her grandmother’s lap this afternoon while we waited for our table at a local Denny’s. Its not been easy raising her, yet the years have flown by. Sofie came into our family, a very frightened, crying (actually screaming) 20 month old foster baby, one October afternoon. Long emotional- roller- coaster- of -a -ride story later, we adopted her. There have been some trying times, to say the least, but all worth every effort. She is beautiful – not just in her big hazel eyes, long blonde hair, and twinkly giggly smile, but in many other ways. She’s growing up so quickly. I can’t tell you why God caused me to be overwhelmed with this feeling of thankfulness for her today, but he did. I suppose its because He knows the battles I have had with raising her and how both she and I have grown because of them. I have had many days where I called out to God to give me guidance for leading this child and many days, I recited “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. I have not been alone in this journey of motherhood even if I have felt very alone. He has been holding me up, sometimes carrying me through when I had no strength left. Motherhood is a ministry, He told me today. I’ve known this. I’ve always known this deep in my heart. But, I’ve not always “lived” it with the passion I should. I would just trudge through my duties, at times, resentful and tired. This high calling of ministering to our precious children can only be done correctly through the leading of our Lord.
I’m starting my children’s first day of our home school year this following Thursday. My excitement is brewing! I have some new curriculum I’ve never used and a renewed desire to not only lead my babies to learn, but to love learning and love God. Teaching my children is a privilege and honor that pushes me on to be a better person all around. I know that in order to be a good leader, I must live what I teach and I cannot minister to them without the strength God gives me and tuning in to Him speaking to my heart. And I so never want to miss His voice because of my own inner struggles or busyness.