It can only go up from here (AKA- my pseudo-Lenten reflection)

>> Friday, March 20, 2009

We are going on hour 19 of 24 of Hubby's crazy work day which started at noon yesterday and will end around noon today. But this is really hour 24 of 34 that I am playing single mom starting with Lucas' early wake up yesterday (Hubby slept in to gear up for his crazy day/night). My relief will come when Hubby wakes up around 5ish from the power nap he will need when he finally comes home. Yesterday was fine, even good. We had a fun morning, good naps, an outing and dinner with some friends. Lucas even went to bed with little drama. Some friends came over to hang out and have some wine/chocolate therapy. I felt pretty good about my energy level and patience. Honestly, I think I do better with my parenting sometimes when Hubby is gone because I have no expectation of having help. So I set more manageable goals and just take things in stride. I was actually having a lot of fun with my boys.

Was. Until around 11pm. Caden woke up, snotty and more clingy than ever. I got him back to sleep around midnight in time to see Hubby for a few minutes when he came home to shower and then turn right back around and leave. I laid down and got about 20min. of sleep before my snotty baby woke up. From there it was an endless cycle of "I want to nurse-but I can't breathe-so I'll just cry- which makes me want to nurse-..." I'm sure you've been there. We tried the steamy shower, sitting up, all the old tricks. I think we both got some sleep, but not enough as we both woke up cranky and very tired. Top that off with some old-fashioned toddler defiance and disobedience at 6:30am and you have a mama who is nearing the end of her limits. Anytime you have both a spanking for direct defiance and a timeout for general disobedience and excessive whining before 7am after a sleepless night with a sick baby, the day can't go anywhere but up. Right? At least Lucas is acting better after our mother-son heart-to-heart. I just told him that neither of us would survive a day that continued to look this way. He could probably see in my face that I really wasn't kidding.

After that, I picked up my hysterical 7month old and turned on some music on Comcast to change the mood. The second song to play was this one , then this one (neither of which I hadn't heard since high school). But it was just what I needed to get my head back in the game, get my eyes off myself and my seemingly-rough morning.

"We believe in God, and we all need Jesus. 'Cuz life is hard, and it might not get easier..."

"Make my life a prayer to you, I want to do what you want me to."

"I want to thank you now, for being patient with me. Oh, it's so hard to see when my eyes are on me."

I have been meaning to sit down and write an intentional post about my Lenten reflections. But this pretty well sums it up. After reading a post from a friend about proper perspective and then hearing these songs, I am realizing that this is truly how my heart feels. The fatigue and frustration with the clinginess and naughtiness and ridiculous whining are NOT the true state of my heart. At least I hope not. The emotion that pours out when I hear such songs and let those words roll off my tongue and out of my heart- that indicates to me that that is what is true.

It is so easy for me to get caught up in the "hard-ness" of the moment or the day. And then moments like this hit when I can brush away the fog and see things clearly, even if it is just for this moment. I do believe in God, and I do need Jesus. Because life really is hard and I really do want to do what He wants me to. And sometimes it takes being at the edge of my limits to force me to take my eyes off me. This is exactly what Lent is supposed to be- a time to strip away those things that we lean on, depend on, crave and replace them with the truth that we all need Jesus.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about which preschool to send Lucas to in order to shape his little soul and what activities I should put together to teach him about the truth of Lent and Easter. But in this moment I would really just like to teach him the truth I can see and feel right now- that we all strive for perfection and to be able to do things well. But in the end, all that we need to know is that "we believe in God and we ALL need Jesus." You may think that is over-simplifying it. But if I can teach my boys that, than even if I choose the wrong preschool or slack on cutting felt symbols or lose my cool before 7am, than I might still be doing ok. If I can teach myself that...

Today has not started well and I have a long way to go before help comes, and yet He is here. And I am tired and the boys are both a bit cranky, but He is here.

Lord, help me to strip away my pride and self-reliance and narrow focus and fix my eyes upward on You. Life may seem hard, but You are here.

I believe in God, and I need Jesus. Simple. True. Things are looking up already.

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mommaof4wife2r March 20, 2009 at 9:16 AM  

great reflection...and i can't agree more. i love how god speaks in spite of us! and, for the record, my 14 month old was on the defiant schedule with the snot and cough last night too...
i'm thinking some wine/chocolate therapy.

ashley March 20, 2009 at 6:20 PM  

I can say law school is tough all day, but it has nothing on what i just read. I dont know how you do it girl. But you do. And so well--even when you disagree. I love you.

Melinda March 20, 2009 at 9:57 PM  

A great post and a good reminder. I have a CD of worship songs that I play whenever life gets rough. I played it a lot this week. And oh girl I can feel your pain on the whole snotty baby trying to nurse thing...that is the worst! I am looking forward to Abby's arrival with a touch of apprehension wondering how Aspen will do adjusting to sharing Mama.

Just Me March 23, 2009 at 9:28 AM  

I understand entirely how it can be hard when husbands are gone for a long stretch. I cannot imagine being thrust into it with 2 kids. I had practice....warm up if you will. Now I am used to it...Not to say it is always easy or I don't at times resent it. lots of hugs

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