Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Just Don't Even Read This.

So that last post wasn't quite as popular as I thought it would be. I really hope I didn't sound smarmy. I just thought I'd instigate this discussion as it seems to be something all moms have to think about. But it made me realize I am on a different page than a lot of moms. I see that some of y'all have great ideas on how to get your children involved with you. And I remember that we did that a lot at one point. For example, my children regularly helped with baking and cooking. What Sarah said about it being important to get them involved in the life of a home so that when they get out of the home they aren't clueless was a great point. And I love that my friends are loving their children in this way, and enjoying them throughout the day.

Sadly, I think I have been so overwhelmed with life over the past year that it has gotten to the point where I am just trying to get through the day, and I enjoy very little about my children or much else, for that matter. So maybe I am unable to properly instigate these conversations because I am not functioning on a normal level. With George being gone so much all the time, and with the loss of the car, and with the commencement of our family's experiment with homeschool, I have been with my children alone from dawn to well past dusk almost every day. There are certainly sweet moments of relief when a family member watches the kids for me, but for the most part, I have been with my kids, without relief, for more than I can handle. No mother's morning out, no school, no nights out for me and George (Well, we went out twice in May. That was really nice!), no overnight trips to the grandparents', no helping hand with suppertime or bathtime or bedtime or any other time, no neighbor friends that they can just go play outside with and be occupied with for a while. I am weak. I know many people could handle it better than me, but I am just not handling it well. We use the TV way more than I would like. And somehow, no matter what I do, I can't get them all in bed before nine or ten. So, that's a lot of hours on the mommy clock. And I can barely get myself together to do what needs to be done, let alone bring the children in on it and make it a family affair. Of course, that is not always true, some days we still bake cookies together or take George to work so we can have the car and do fun stuff around town. But lately, to be honest, I just want my children to go away. Please understand, I love them more than anything, but I just need a break. A nice, long break. And that's why I am so glad that I didn't sign up to volunteer for Vacation Bible School! It sounds terrible, I know, but I just didn't know if we'd still be here back in the spring when the sign up sheets were going around. Of course, we are still here. At the time, I thought I could probably jump in if we were still here. But now that it is one week away, I am thinking that it will be better for my family if I just let our sweet church family take care of my children for a few days.

Blogging during this time is very strange for me. I feel like my circumstances are very unusual and I am not quite able to think about things like I normally would. I have less patience all around, and I just feel flat out exhausted and defeated. On the other hand, I don't want to sound like I think I am unique, that my life is just so much harder than anyone else's or that no one can understand what my life is like. And then, there is the truth of the matter that is, many people really can't completely understand. I try to spell it out sometimes, but I feel like it just comes across as whiney. George loves those "funny" video clips where people are busting or getting smacked by some sort of flung object- real life slapstick, if you will. I never really process that like he does. He looks at the screen and says, "Wow, that would really hurt!" and I just sort of have to think about it and think "well, yes, I suppose it would." There is something in me that doesn't naturally sympathize with the physical pain that someone else is experiencing. Even when I think about it, I still can't really imagine, not the way George can, and it only occurs to me to think about it because he is "moved" (to laughter) by it. I am not sure if this has something to do with me having a high threshold of pain? Maybe it's from lack of my own mishap on motorbike or massive sledding hill? Anyway, I think there is the same idea with people's emotional pain. Some people look at someone else's sorrows and say, "Wow, that would really hurt!" And some people have to hear that and look again and think about it, but still can't really incarnate the way that others can. I am guilty of that very often. I have had to learn to take the steps to break down someone's situation, which is really what I'm doing to myself when I write about my frustrations. I think "why do I feel this way?!" And then I have to go through and figure it out to make sense of it. But I don't want to weigh y'all down with the stresses and emotions of all of this. Yet, on the other hand, I don't want to pretend it's not happening and do the thing I can't stand, act like I don't get frustrated or sad or fighting mad. I don't quite know what to do....

And I have to leave it at that, because I really don't know what to do. It's a weird time for me to be blogging. And the "pretty funny" part to the title of my blog has long been a misnomer. Right now, George has his first morning off in months, I think. And what is he doing? He took the kids out of the house so that I could just be in the house without having to referee arguments or fix snacks or read stories or bark orders. I really have become a meanie too much lately. And I think that is the hardest thing about wanting your children to go away- they know you want them to go away. I am extremely grateful that their daddy is able to step in today. It's been a very hard thing to decide, daddy needs to be at work so our family can eat, but daddy needs to be at home so our family can have peace. George recently opted for peace and quit one of his jobs- the janitor one that is 50 miles away and pays $1.50 less an hour than his other job. Right now, he has more been given hours at the Home Depot (they have more to give during summer) and we hope to hear good news soon about another part time job he interviewed for a few weeks ago. Things could be getting better, you know? We just got our stuff back, George could get this job. I don't know. It's very baby-stepish though. It's not at all like I had thought it would be. All of this time we have been waiting, this fourteen months since graduation, this whole year now that we left seminary housing, I have thought there would be that phonecall, then that interview, then that second interview, then the big move- like Exodus or something. This is more like after the exodus when everyone is wandering around. And reading may be about as exciting as reading those law books from during that time (my apologies to God and Moses). But people who really know Scripture find all kinds of cool things in those books. Perhaps I am finding cool things and don't even know it?

I leave you with ambivalence. I'm frustrated. I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful George will get this other part time job, yet frustrated because a part time job is not a solution to our financial or occupational issues. I'm grateful for relief in that George is going to be home more for the next few days and that we have retrieved our belongings. I'm frustrated that after all of this time, it is just "minor" relief and provision instead of the major breakthrough I was hoping for. I am frustrated with myself for being frustrated. I am frustrated that I am not enjoying my children more. I am hopeful that George being home more will give me some relief. I'm frustrated with the Lord for seeming to be sitting this one out. I'm hopeful that he is orchestrating amazing things and it is just because I am finite and faithless that I don't see it yet. I'm frustrated with this post. I don't like it at all. But it's real. And that's something. And I did tell you not to read it.

6 comments:

jennifer h said...

It's ok to be grateful and frustrated at the same time. It is ok to need to be away from the kids from time to time. You are in the wilderness. But that's just the point when you read about or remember the Biblical wildernesses, you are reminded that God is faithful to eventually bring His people out. I regularly tell God that I hate His timing, but I am learning that He is able to hear that from me and still love me. We keep praying for you and George and the kids. I am glad you are dropping the kids off for VBS. Good for you!

P.S. There's a free sports camp for 6 years-old and up for a few days next week in Soulard. I know it might not be possible for you with the transportation and the distance, but let me know if you are interested. It is run by the church my kids play soccer with.

The Rays said...

so i read on anyway and am glad i did. will continue to pray for you in your frustrations and for some relief in the form of the job for george. and i think its wonderful for you to drop the kids off next week. don't you feel bad for that for one second!!!

Wright Family said...

i agree with jennifer and jennie. it's wonderful that you are dropping the kids off next week! every mom who ever lived wants to be away from the kids sometimes! i am glad that you shared. i think that you are right that people are really caring about hard situations at first but it seems like not many people are in it with you for the long haul. we are praying for you and please keep sharing your heart. you are in such a hard place right now and your friends love you and want you to share:) we pray for y'all every day.

courtney said...

Oh girl. I'm not going to be trite and say that I understand completely what you are walking through. But, I know this pain and frustration you speak of. Where we are with my mom living with us and also with job stuff- it's hard. I find myself thinking at times that God just forgot to remember me. B/c when I'm with the kids all day, and I realize that my hubby and I haven't had a date in 5 months b/c we have no family that can help us with the kids and we can't really justify paying a babysitter for 5 kids, yada, yada, yada. It's hard. And, it makes me sad. And I'm still walking there and at times I feel like I'm swimming in the deep end of the pool and I'm just barely keeping my head above water. And, there's fog on top of the water. Is that descriptive enough?? But, I do have something encouraging to say. I am finding that b/c of all these things- from everything then to everything now- I have depth. I can really hear people when they talk to me. I am so much slower to give them some Southern, appropriate or even biblical advice b/c I am more capable of actually feeling what they're saying. Is this growing? I don't have any idea. Maybe. But, I do know that it reaffirms in my soul that I am not forgotten. I am so very much remembered and am worth being made more like Jesus. I hope that doesn't sound cheesy and CPAish b/c I mean it. All this to say, can you imagine what an awesome pastor's wife you are going to be? You're going to really be able to counsel and walk with women. You've been in the trenches and you know how they taste, feel and smell. It will be a gift that not many will possess and you will have it.

You are remembered. You are cherished. You are being prepared for something special. I believe that for both of us. In the mean time and beyond, I am praying, praying for this season to come to a close and for the beginning of the next season for you and your family...

Renee said...

Abby,
You are absolutely doing the best thing by having some time alone during VBS. If I were a volunteer at VBS, I would be SO happy that it was ministering to YOU as well as your children. Because what you have been going through with the moving, George's unemployment, the instability and uncertainty is more than the usual amt. of stress. And I only know what you've shared on the blog! I firmly believe that when we get beyond the threshhold for what we can handle, we are blessing our children for stepping back and having time alone/with the Lord. (I know from hitting that point on a regular basis!) I hope you get the chance to read and bake and pray and whatever else your heart desires. I wish I lived near by so that I could watch Elspeth for you. Maybe another friend will offer. And if they do, please let them!! Praying for you and George. Praying that this trial will bless you with a deep, deep sense of His love for you, in spite of your circumstances. Much love!!!

Katherine said...

okay abby - i think you & i are very much alike. i don't know if it is the seasons we are in or what. i can identify with you on so many levels of this blog. my circumstances are completely different, but feelings exactly the same! PLEASE call me soon! 704.845.2334 or 704.361.3865 (cell). maybe we can vent together and maybe God will speak to each of us thru the other! :)

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