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Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time. It’s kind of muddled in my head, though, and it was hard to make myself sit down and write. (There’s a book calling me right now! 🙂 ) I enjoy writing on the light side, and making fun of myself is a hoot, but getting personal is harder, hence the procrastinating.

So here is the thought bouncing around my head—what if, in my blogging, I’ve created a perfect family that doesn’t really exist? Perfection is a dangerous ideal. At times, I’ve sought to be the perfect wife and mom and fallen woefully short. It only leads to depression and despair because it’s unattainable, but also because it takes our eyes off of Christ when we focus on ourselves.

My vision for my blog is to encourage other moms on their journey. I wanted my writing to be uplifting—there is so much out there that is tearing down motherhood. I wanted to be different, but I realize that there is danger in only including the smiles. I’ve always tried to be open and real about my own struggles: my chaotic housekeeping methodsmy phobias, my dark past, my anger, but it just doesn’t seem right to share publicly the struggles that my children and husband face, so I’ve kept silent about a lot of the trials that we go through.

That’s one of the reasons why I’ve done so little blogging lately. I want to be real, but I don’t want to hurt my family by sharing what isn’t mine to share. After praying about this, I feel like I should keep writing, but that I also need to be open and honest and let you know that we face the same problems you do. Sometimes I lose my temper and yell at my kids, and sometimes, I lose my focus and forget that being a mom and wife is the work given to me by God. Sometimes my children talk back and they fight far too often. This is hard work, unbelievably hard, but it’s wonderful work too and eternally significant.

When it seems like you can’t possibly carry on, look to Jesus. Let Him carry you. Trust that He will.

~Rachel

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Love Sick

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a two day doula workshop. It was hard for me to go. I fretted about being gone so much and it was the longest that I’ve been away from my one year old.

The course was scheduled for 9 hours on Saturday and Sunday and then I had 3 hours of driving on top of that both days.  I’m so thankful that I was able to go though. It was an incredible group of women and we shared both laughter and tears.

Apparently, William asked for me throughout the weekend and both he and Joel started up a chant at one point, “Mama, Mama, Mama!” 🙂 Oh, how sweet it was to come home and be surrounded by all their beautiful smiles. Kevin and I kept the little boys up a bit late on Saturday and we just snuggled and played on the floor together.

On Sunday, Kevin texted me a picture of William and Joel that he had taken that day. “The day in their lives that you missed!” my friend quipped, and I felt the sting of tears behind my eyes. “Two days!” I said with a pang. I longed to be home, but I also wanted to take the opportunity to visit some friends I don’t often get to see. I left their house at 8:00 pm and still had an hour drive before I got home. I tried not to drive too fast, but I was worried that the children would all be in bed.

I ran up to the house and joy flooded through me when I saw Joel quietly playing while Kevin played guitar. My baby… my sweet baby. “Joel,” I called to him softly. He turned and gave me a gentle smile. I gathered him into my arms and he just melted, his little body snuggling into my embrace. I danced around the room with him. He rarely cuddles now. There’s just so much to see and do! But that night he just wanted to be close. After a while I sat on the couch with him and he would jump into my arms and wriggle his little head into the nape of my neck and then jump up, laugh, and do it all over again.

Yes, absence does seem to make the heart grow fonder, or at least it makes us realize how precious our loved ones are. But, like taking too long of a break from exercise, I think that absence also weakens our stamina! I have found myself thinking, “Wow, six kids is a lot of kids!” But when I’m away… I know that there’s nowhere that I’d rather be than right here at home… surrounded by those that I love.

The day that I missed

The day that I missed

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Tonight was movie night. My husband tends to pick westerns and adventure films. I pick dramas and tear jerkers. It was my night to pick a movie. Yep, I’ve been crying.

We watched The Grace Card. It came across as somewhat low budget, but the acting was great and the story powerful. I won’t ruin the movie for you, but God took the repentance and forgiveness theme and brought it home to my heart.

“What’s wrong?” my husband asked as my tears made a damp spot on his jeans. “I just want to be a good mom,” I managed to sputter.

Really, I had no idea that being a mom would be this hard. I thought that “all we needed was love.” And now, 13 years into motherhood, I realize that I will never be “good enough.” I will make mistakes. I will fall short. I will hurt my children. And that… is why I was crying.

Wednesday I was exhausted and irritable. Thursday and today I was still feeling rundown and got caught up with homeschool and weight loss. In short, I’ve been a grumpy and distracted mom and my relationship with my children has suffered.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9

Is there anything as lovely as grace and forgiveness? Oh how sweet this is to me! I prayed, “Lord, please forgive me for hurting your little ones,” and He did, He does. Tomorrow, I will ask my precious children to forgive me. That’s the reset button… repentance.

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I’m writing this on the eve of my baby’s first birthday. Is it really a year since sweet baby Joel swept into our lives?

It feels like time has been playing tricks on me. It just doesn’t seem logical the way the days fly past like so many leaves in an autumn wind.

I remember when I only had two little ones and the days were so long. I loved playing with my babies and being a mom, but, I always found PIC_1543myself looking ahead. “It will be easier when she is six months old, a year, three years…” I would think to myself. And in many ways it was, but now that my little girl is almost thirteen, I realize that those years are all to short and I can never have them back.

God has a beautiful lesson for us to learn in this season of busyness, that of dying to oneself. I am tempted to chafe at times when the children are sick and I am up out of bed umpteen times in the night, but then I remember that it is just a season and I can redeem those sleepless nights with prayer.

Sometimes it’s hard to see past the trials and hardship of fulltime motherhood, but there is so very much more if we choose to look for the moments of joy. There is nothing like the thrill I get when I slip into Joel’s room to get him after his nap. Sometimes he’s lying down playing with his fingers or sitting looking expectantly for me, and then our eyes meet and his whole face lights up with delight. {dreamy sigh}

Life with little ones is filled with the unexpected. Three year olds are so wonderfully witty and curious. Giggles abound. A simple walk outside is filled with wonder: a bug, a rock, a cloud.

I don’t say to myself anymore, It will be easier when…

Now I pray, Oh Lord, help me to make the most of this time.

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P.S. I took most of these pictures on Tuesday. Yes, we still have that much snow! 🙂

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One thing that I’ve come to appreciate while living in the North is seasons. They are so distinct here, so tangible. Each season has it’s own beauty and I’ve learned to look forward to them all (though some more than others!)

My children know how I love the first Pussy Willows that burst out in early spring, soft and inviting. They amaze me how they survive bitter cold, and they give me hope that the long winter will indeed end. Spring brings vitality and hard work after the restful winter. It is when we prepare garden beds and plant seeds for the harvest to come.

Summer is bountiful. The garden produces food for the table and the children enjoy a well deserved rest from school. Summer always seems so short when looking back on it. It is so busy with the days flying by. Fall is brilliant and exciting. It is so unbelievably brief here. I love the stunning fall colours and the chill on my cheeks as I walk and take in the freshness and the new scents of autumn.

Winter is a time of coming together again as a family. We settle into routines. There is rest from outside labour. My time outside consists of leisurely walks where I have time to contemplate. Perhaps winter is the hardest season to enjoy. It is long and often very cold, but I wouldn’t want a year without winter. God knows that we need that time to rest and reflect, to have routine and draw together as a family.

As I contemplate the seasons of the year, I am reminded of some similarities in the seasons of life. I am in the summer of my life. It is a season of motherhood, of busyness and hard work. And like summer, it seems to fly by and I get to feeling sometimes that I don’t take the time to enjoy it enough. One day, this season will be over and I know that I’ll look back on it with some longing.

There are some reminders too that autumn will soon be dawning in my life. My oldest child is fast approaching the teen years and I find more grey hairs every year. 🙂

It is easy to look with longing at other people in other seasons and wish we could be there, but I fear in doing that, we’ll miss out on realizing the beauties of the season that we are in. I hope to be able to embrace each season, including the one I am in right now.

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