Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Self Reflecting

I am writing tonight out of the beginnings of a realization that I have gradually let myself become someone I don't want to be.
  • Selfish.
  • Unprepared.
  • Easily angered.
If I were to make an excuse for myself, I believe I could adequately sum up the root "cause" of these negative characteristics in one short sentence: I'm tired.
  • When I get a moment of solitude, I often choose to do something with it that (directly) serves only myself--like sleep.
  • Fatigue-induced lack of motivation has kept me from efficiently managing my household.
  • The shorter my longest stretch of sleep at night, the shorter my fuse the next day.
I certainly want to remedy this, but in some ways I feel trapped.
  • Should I take a nap when the kids do so that I have more patience and energy for them later, or should I stay up and do some menu planning?
  • Should I spend the last bit of my day's worth of energy cleaning up the kitchen so that I can start tomorrow with a clean slate, or should I save it (i.e. my energy) for my husband?
Maybe I'm being slightly too idealistic, but right now my life just doesn't look like what I want it to look like. My personality rends me nearly incapable of doing anything half-heartedly; and yet I am realizing that in several arenas of my life, I have been doing just enough to get by.
  • I "supervise" the kids, but I don't always "mother" them.
  • I cook supper for my family, but sometimes I fail to prepare side dishes.
  • I buy groceries for specific meals, but I often lack a plan for when those meals will be served.
  • I do the dishes and pick up around the house, but I rarely get to my daily cleaning tasks.
  • I embrace my role in Travis' and my marriage, but sometimes I forget to just be his wife.
I think that I've been excusing my recent shortcomings by telling myself that "it's just a season"--and it is--but maybe it's time to start making changes instead of excuses. I haven't always been this way--and I certainly don't intend to always be this way--so now I just need to figure out how to get back to the way I was.

And it's that thought which takes me back to where I used to be: in prayer that God would continue to mold me into the wife and mother that He wants me to be.

Dear God, please change me....


Julia Kulish said...

Angela, It truly is just for a season! You have a lot on your plate right now. It's always good to strive to be better people, yet balance that with the knowledge that God is patient with us and understands that we are just made of dust! I think you are so right on to lay it daily before the Lord and ask Him to show you exactly what He wants you to accomplish with you time and energy. And of course, always remembering to look to Mary (even when our "martha" thinking gets in the way) and choose the one thing that is important :-)
I remember those toddler days all too well (and am sort of revisiting them right now myself!) I will be praying for you.

Amy S. said...

Hang in there! You are not alone. I believe many mothers, including myself, feel the same way you do. I don't have a lot of advice on how to change it but I have found that exercising in the evening after the kids go to bed has given me the energy to get things done (homework, housework, etc.) and I honestly feel better the next day too. Lack of sleep is a horrible thing and can do strange things to people. I hope those sweet little girls let you get some rest soon!

Stefanie said...

I have been feeling the same way...as I read, I felt like you could have been talking about me! I'm worried about how I will handle having 3 kids in August since Landen will be 3 and Adellyn will almost be 2. I don't blame you for wanting to take a nap with the kids, especially if the twins are not sleeping through the night. I have noticed that I have also been impatient with my kids and I sometimes just have to walk away before I get to angry. My kids seem to be as stubborn as me and we tend to butt heads a lot and that makes me stressed. I do agree with Amy on the exercise...on the days that I am able to take the kids for a walk (even a short one to the post office and back) we are all in better moods.

Jenilee said...

I've been there! Just remember that God sees your heart! HE knows where you are and what you are dealing with and he understands no sleep! It is just a season, and you are right, that is not an excuse but one day, you will get sleep again, start to feel yourself again. There are days that I still feel that way and I have learned that instead of overwhelming myself with all of the things that I'm not doing right, to just pick one and work on it that day. Go slow, you will get there and God will see you through it all!

I was just reading James 1 today. love verses 2-3. Consider it joy today!

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

Hi Angela, could you please email me, I have a lengthy response that I would like to email to you. thanks


Mary Tometich said...

Think of it this way...

Your children rarely notice when something is in need of being cleaned...so only keep up on it when you know adults will be around (say your husband might appreciate it). If your husband wants it done, then that's another topic.
I remember growing up and having the house seem nice but my mom mentioning it always needed picked up! My favorite memories are when my mom would stop what she was doing (stop supervising us as you may say) and start Mothering us--- Interacting, playing, and training us. My other favorite memories are seeing what happened in my house when my dad came home. My mom would embrace him and all of us kids would jump around and get hugs! I loved seeing my parents show love towards each other. My pastor always encourages our father's to remember how important it is to have our children see their parents love each other. It puts more security in their hearts! =)
Now, I'm not a wife yet, but soon to be. So don't think I have it all down and everything. You may think I'm crazy because I "just dont know yet" but know that I only tell you these things from my own experiences and views.
I always get more excited (even now) when I can see my parents spend time together rather than dealing with the chores around the house. The things of this world will go away, but never the souls!

Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

You're living my life!

I imagine if you took a nap when the kids are napping, you'd find you felt more like doing things like menu planning during their awake hours.

Praying for you dear...on the same path.

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

Hi Angela, I tried to post my comment but low and behold I was too wordy! I tried to keep cutting out the unimportant words, but still have way to many. Sorry!

Angela said...

I received this comment by email and wanted to share it here:

Dear Angela,
When I read your blog the other day my heart went out to you. First, let me say you are a wonderful wife to my son and wonderful mother to my grandchildren. If you talk to any "older women" they can very much relate to the demands we as mothers put on ourselves. I've also been doing some searching and always come back to what I know is true. God first, which I know seems simple enough, but it is so important for us to make that a priority, even without all the demands in my life I still struggle with this. With this spiritual growth comes that knowledge that to be the woman God chose us to be, we must take care of ourselves, WHAT, you probably think I've went off the deep end now, but when we have time to eat, drink and exercise (remember, I'm telling what God reveals to me, unfortunately I don't always follow), we have the strength to keep going on our list, our husband, our family, our home, church commitments, etc.

Second, I truly do believe that we have different seasons in our life, the Lord will reveal to you what is most important and what comes next.

Angela, you are doing a great job of being the woman God wants you to be, today is your gift from the Lord.

Love, Sherri

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I love your honesty! I just found you through Michelle's blog! Love yours!

Camille said...

You sweet girl! I too hopped over from Michelle's blog ~ my heart goes out to you! I totally vote for the nap when the kids nap!! That's one thing...and the other is just do the basics and relax about the rest until the next season comes along. Look to the LORD and ask HIM for wisdom (James 1:5) ~ HE promises to give it. Very often we feel like we are not doing enough, when in fact it is too much! Don't fall into the trap of trying to do all the extras when the basics are all you can do...I would imagine that the basics are plenty! Side dishes?? Hmmm...I'm not sure my family knows what those are! LOL! Hang in there...one day at a time WITH the LORD and moment by moment. REST is key in the stage you are at. I will pray for you right now.


Amelia said...

Oh my, you sound like you are doing very well in the housekeeping department to me! : ) I was never able to keep up with the dishes much with little ones. On the suppers? Just add frozen veggies to the crockpot or on the side and it is so easy. I found salads too difficult with little ones and now my baby is 16 and I still see salads as a bit of a task. Don't worry about the house, it will always be there...don't worry about clothes being hung and folded as long as they are clean and in baskets. : ) Try to enjoy the children and your hubby and take naps. :) I wish someone would have told me that... I am 49 now and married for almost 30 years, homeschooling for 20. Our four daughters are 16 to 27 and here at home and now they help me out a little but things are still a mess at times because there is always cooking and lot's of sewing & creating. I say so what? Just give me 3 hours notice before you drop by. ; ) LOL

Stay sweet and keep a smile on your face. Your family will rememember that more than anything.

If you ever get a chance, see the old 40s movie, "You Can't Take it With You"

I just wanted to encourage you today! Bless you! : ) ~Amelia

GapGirl said...

Stay strong. We have ALL been there and have all done that..... Don't be so hard on yourself....

Michele @ Frugal Granola said...

Dear Angela,
I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you today. A reader of my blog referred me to yours.

I am in that "tired mama" season right now too. But God is faithful. Feel free to e-mail me if you want someone to walk through this season with you. :)

Meanwhile, I just wanted to give you a "hug" and a bit of encouragement today. :)

Michele @ Frugal Granola

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