Monday, February 18, 2019

Scarf

I finally finished this scarf I crochet in 100% alpaca. I bought this yarn before Reuben was born, and started on it when he was around 28 weeks. I am so glad to finally finish it!


I love this scarf. It's so soft and just a dream to wear.


What are you making lately? I have, in the works, one rainbow sweater for myself, a bunny hat for Reuben, a pair of socks, and two other project bags sitting on my shelf that I have forgotten the contents of. I am too lazy to stand up and look.

I hope you find time in your day for a hobby or two. I know I have learned, as a mother of two, to make time when I can. Often it is while during something else--while breastfeeding, or sitting on the floor playing one of Reuben's creative "games".

Sunday, February 10, 2019

when you are frustrated

I told my husband yesterday that I felt I had no purpose anymore. My life seems to consist of watching small children and cooking, and I struggle with feeling satisfied on a daily basis. I have all these dreams and ambitions and many of them now seem hopeless when faced with the work of raising and caring for my offspring.

My husband always is willing to listen to me, a trait I love about him. He is unfailingly patient and thoughtful. I am not patient. I am like a freight train going from 0 to 60.


So he listened to me pour out my heart and my struggles and than he challenged me to really stop and think about what I was saying. To identify my goals and list what makes me feel satisfied. Doing this really helped me understand some basic concepts about myself and the way I work. I like completing things, the task of crossing something off my list, of moving on to the next task. I like seeing a finished product and holding it tangibly in my hands. I love knitting, sewing, reading and writing. I dream of knitting and crochet projects to design and could devote myself for life to creating patterns for people to follow. It makes me happy, it brings me joy and most of all I get a sense of fulfillment from doing those things.

Raising children is never "done" at least not for the foreseeable future. Children are unpredictable. They require unfailing patience, they don't listen, they take swathes of emotional and mental energy. At present, it is not a task that fulfills me. I am constantly frustrated, tired, worn thin and baffled by my children. I can parent for hours but then I need some space to recharge and small children don't understand the concept of space. At least not mine, not yet.


With my husbands help I continued deconstructing my thought patterns. What would I want my life to look like, when I looked back upon it in 60 years? Decades of making knitting and crochet patterns and YouTube videos? Or decades of dying to myself and putting my trust in God for this season of raising kids? What would fulfill me in the long run? The answer to this question required no thought. I hope to look back upon life in 60 years (I'll be 92 so this is unlikely, but I can dream) and see that I ran the race with endurance and sacrificed my selfish desires on the alter of God's Will. I want my children to know they are loved, more than any dreams or passions I have. I want them to spend each day knowing they are special and seeing God's work in my life and theirs. Yes, it would be nice if I had some time to knit, but that is not the purpose God has for me right now.

In parenting it is easy to be consumed by frustration over the fact that nothing is going my way. I am daily bogged down by the emotional and mental weight of caring for small kids, cooking, cleaning and managing a house, communicating with my husband and raising Reuben and Rebekah. It's a alpine climb, like Anne says. But it is so worth it. There is meaning in what I am doing, even if I don't feel the sense of fulfillment at this time. And what more perfect opportunity can be found for being perfected by God's fire? He is pruning me as I devote myself to his task. He is teaching me so many things, but most of all I am learning that life is not about me. Life is not leisure, life is hard work. Life is devoting oneself to God and to his plan, regardless of ones own dreams and desires.

And I know in the end I will have no regrets because God's will for me is perfect and he is without flaw.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Goals in Motherhood and How I Mess Up

Often after a hard week I feel like I am suffocating. Drowning in small children. Smothered with laundry and dishes and mommy mommy mommy whines.


It's at this time that God reminds me that I can't do it alone. I can't mother on my own strength. Oh, how I love this reminder. Sarcasm, like coffee, is a necessity to motherhood.

But, why is this a lesson I have to keep relearning? I surrender only to find myself stuck back right in the mire of frustration, drowning in my own woes and with only the bleak realities of my life to keep me comfort. 

This cycle is not fun. I am not enjoying it. I want to break the cycle, I pray to break it. Teach me to see my kids the way you do, God, I cry. Let me mother them as fallen human beings, not as an Overseer who only wants to control them. Let my words be gentle and my patience everlasting, and for goodness sake let me make some time for them and not get caught up in homemaking perfection.

And for awhile it works. One blessed day my heart is in the right place, and I soak in the inner joy and peace that comes from yielding to God's plan and will in my life. I feel on top of the world! During this time I calmly parent my kids with grace and mercy that can only come from God above. I think "how can I point my child to God" when dealing with strife, and I remember to open my mouth with humility and love when contention arises in my marriage.


Two hours later it's like I am a totally different person. It only takes one small thing--today it was Reuben throwing up after dinner. After my carefully constructed, 45-minutes-to-cook-dinner, he had the audacity to throw up all my hard work. All over the carpet.

I yelled at him. My exact words were: don't throw up there throw up in the trash can, what are you doing because of course that is what every three year old needs to be told while they are tossing their cookies helplessly on the floor. Well, in this case it was buckwheat cake, but you get the idea.

Poor kid. After he was done he turned to me and said in the saddest voice mommy I am so sorry I was sick. can you please wash my hands I threw up on them. His blue eyes were full of tears as he hovered over the trash can, gulping for breath.

Oh, my heart.

I lost it. I gathered him up and washed his hands and started the shower for him and apologized for my upset tone and demanding attitude. I held him and read books and chastised my inner self for trying, once again, to micro-manage my child and forgetting, even for a second, how precious and beautiful he is.


An hour after his tossing-buckwheat-cake episode, he was back trying to climb and jump off everything and tearing around the house and I was back to contemplating motherhood and all the parts I do wrong and thanking God for his mercy and grace, because like His child oh boy do I need it.

When I am mothering, I forget that I am not God to my children. God is God to them. I am not there to correct every little thing.

God made me a mother. He wants me to find joy in this role. He wants me to love and worship as I mother. So often I just want to get through the day and I forget that I am here, in this moment, with my kids and my goal is to worship God.

My goal is to worship God. Not the dishes. Not a clean floor. Not a carefully prepared meal or good behavior. Those things have their place, but they are not the epoch of my existance.

My goal is to worship God.
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