Where to start? Ever feel like you just can’t get it right. That possibly your kids would be better off with another mum. Maybe one of those friends you have that always seems to have it all together or at least says they have it all together. Ever get to the end of the day and revisit all the mistakes you made and thought where you should have picked them up, and how your going to do better tomorrow when in all honestly, tomorrow will probably just be another repeat of today and you know it.
Or is it just me?
Just lately it feels like an effort to get through the day. Come to about five o clock and I have nothing left to give. The other day I completely ignored dinner preparation and lay down on the couch with a pillow over my head. The silence lasted all of thirty seconds until Bailey, my two year old decided to play doctors on my tummy with an old match stick he found from the craft box which I hadn’t yet put away, cause let’s face it, that’s another thing that I can’t seem to get right. Having a clean house is completely overrated anyway. The tidiness lasts about as long as the silence.
Now I know that in theory if I follow all the principles in Growing Kids God’s Way and the like, I could probably get through to the end of the day with a clean house and a sane mind. And honestly I’m trying but I think my kids forgot to read the book so they know how to fall in line. Besides that I’m not just doing GKGW. I’m also applying preparation for parenting principles and toddler and my eldest is about to go into the middle years. No wonder my head is so full. And the principles are wonderful; life changing in fact, but the reality is life very rarely runs according to the text book. In my experience it seems to go completely opposite. And yet most mothers I know are unwilling or unable to admit just how crazy life really is. We can safely share some stories or some incidents, but we are reluctant to admit how hard it really is. We seem to think that we are supposed to have it all together and know all the answers, and even more so if you have done a couple or led a few courses. Your kids should be perfect, your marriage should be perfect, and you should also have perfect hair. Ok I made up the last bit, but you get the gist.
Well I am going on the record to say that my kids are not perfect and that sometimes the thought of throwing out the book and doing it all my own way is very tempting. Stupid in the long run but tempting nonetheless.
Now I have had a particularly rough year with an irritable uterus, ten weeks of bed rest and then an impossibly horrible labour, and it’s even possible that I may be suffering slightly from PND, but I have found life really hard lately. There is always something to do and I rarely get a break. But this morning my husband let me sleep in for half an hour while he got up with the kids, and then even better, he said he didn’t mind if I started the day off with a walk. “it’s pretty hot thought,” he told me.
Now Darwin in November is not the most pleasant place to be. Most days it is just so hot and steamy that I hide inside in my air condition, asking God why I have to live in this horrible hot place. But then it comes over all over cast and stormy, or the monsoon sets in and it rains for a week and the weather is beautiful and I thank God cause there is no where better in the world to be. So TIm’s comment this morning came as no great surprise. What happened next did.
I went into my room to change in to a singlet, then I came Into the lounge to put on my shoes and in the time it took me to do that, the sky had darkened, and the wind had picked up and it was exactly the kind of weather I loved. Especially to go walking in.
I headed out the gate after reassuring Bailey that I would be back and he would see me again, and as I took in the black sky and the blowing trees the song in my head changed from dynamite (which Taylah heard at school and has been singing incessantly), to Colin Buchanan which Bridie and Bailey have been watching non stop. Now I think this particular song might possibly be a Steve Grace song, but the words of the chorus go like this:
Cause the Lord is king
He’s gonna look after everything
Cause the Lord is king
He’s gonna look after everything
Everything single in this world
Cause this is HIs world
Now ordinarily that song is fairly encouraging in it’s own right but no more so than when it appears that God has flicked the switch on the weather specifically for me. As I began to think about the fact that we do serve a God who has actual control over the wind and the waves, and that he does indeed look after everything, His gentle whisper filled my ears. “The best mum’s aren’t the ones who have it all together. The best mum’s are the ones who know they need to lean on me to fill in all the gaps.”
Sometimes when we’re reading our GFA material, or attending a course, life can seem very simplified. Principle (Pr) plus Consistency (C) equals peace (P). The equation looks something like this:
And sometimes it works like that. Sometimes it really is that easy.
Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes, we have to repeat the equation over and over again.
Sometimes we have to make room for context as well.
And then, even if you have done all that right, there is still one thing that you can’t factor in, and it’s the one thing that even God himself can’t violate; our child’s will
50 (Pr+C)/Cx= no
I actually think no is putting it mildly, but there is not a symbol on the computer that translates into giant, screaming mess on the carpet.
So pretty soon the equation doesn’t look that simple. Does that mean we throw out the books, cause let’s face it, the lady at play group lets her kids get away with everything and they seem to behave better at times.
Not at all. In fact we persevere even harder because nothing good is ever easy. And because what we are doing is God’s work; training hearts that love Him. And if it’s God’s work, it means that we just do our best, and he fills in all the gaps.
Psalm 22:9-10 in the message says this:
And to think you were midwife at my birth,
setting me at my mother’s breasts!
When I left the womb you cradled me;
You’ve been my God since birth
When we stop and look at what God says about not just our children, but us, the equation doesn’t seem so crazy any more.
Pr+C+Trust in God=P
As I write that I can see all the failings in my house. Bridie is sulking about grapes and Ava is probably about to wake up, which means that it has only been three hours between feeds when she should be going four. There are a thousand times I miss it every day, but that just means there are thousand times when God gets to be strong to make up for my short comings. And I’ll let him cause at the end of the day they are his kid’s more than mine, and I know from personal experience, he never let’s his kids down.