Monday, December 10, 2018

Scarf

A simple crochet scarf for Reuben. He requested orange, so orange we did!



Hopefully it will keep his neck warm for years to come.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Mother-Servant

Several times this week I have been at the absolute end of my rope. I have thought to myself I can't do this anymore. I can't get up and make breakfast when I feel so wretched. I can't listen to another whine when I am worn out to the absolute threads. I can't think another thought or plan another plan when the shroud of misery is suffocating me. Life can be so disparaging at times.

My chair is my refuge. In it I curl up, listing all the reasons that I can't go on. I'm alone. Brian is working late, again. My mother is busy working and barely able to visit me. When she does, I know she is unhappy and worried. My sister is a single mother of four, she has no time to help. My friends are all exhausted mothers like myself. I am alone.

I don't know what I need. That thought further annoys me. Not only am I grasping at proverbial threads and running on fumes, but I don't know what I need. I don't know what kind of rope could pull me out of this pit. I don't know what to ask for even if I knew who to ask. I'm lost, adrift in a churning sea whose dark waters will soon engulf me.

Motherhood is so hard. Marriage is hard. Life is hard. 


I'm glad I have God with me. If I didn't have Him I know I would give up. My strength runs out, His endures. My nature is full of pompous self worth, but He is truth incarnate.

Whenever I am at the end of my rope I always read Luke 17:7-10. Nothing puts me in my place more than those few short red sentences.

“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'? Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterwards you will eat and drink'? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'”


Three things stick out to me. First, “serve me”. My goal on this earth is to serve God. Through tantrums and marital fights. Through sleepless nights. Though housework and drugery.

Through cancer or blindness come my way, still my ever present thought should be...to serve God. Even through the loss of a child, or the loss of a loved one. Serve. God. Not complain. Not give up. Get up and do the purpose I was created for. Serve.

Second thing that sticks out to me is my own inflated self worth and how important my own comfort is. I am an unworthy servant. It's so true. Nothing I did secured me a place in heaven. I can do no good without Christ. Jesus shed his blood and God wrote my name in the book of life. Those things cause me to go to heaven. If my own life were of any weight it would only condemn me to hell. Jesus paid the price for my sin and only by that act can I be redeemed. Yet how quickly I sneer when my comfort is jeopardized. I must don the mantle of servant and contemplate my own unworthiness. Only then can I truly know what it is to be the bride of Christ.

The last thing that grabs at my heart are the last two words. “Our duty.” What is my duty? I like to remind myself of my duty when I get lost. Pointing myself in the right direction helps clear the mist and re-orientate my wandering compass. My duty is to Christ and Christ alone. My job here on earth is to glorify him. And that means wiping poopy bottoms, making meals, disciplining my children and loving my husband. It also might mean dying of cancer or dying in a car wreck. It may mean loosing my sight or the use of my arms. But it does not ever mean giving up my joy or forsaking my community with Christ. I am here to do his duty, but my flesh is weak. God knows what is best for my life and dishes out his will to us. But I so often, in my humanness, think I know better than God. And that is where the problem begins. That is the very foundation to my frustration: I, the servant, at times, try to usurp my master's will. And there is no peace, no joy, no fulfillment in a life run by own measures.

Tomorrow I will wake up, and upon my lips will not be the curse of drudgery or a sigh of discontent. But the beat behind my steps and the melody of my head will burst forth only one mantra: “Serve God. Do my duty. Be a servant.”

Thursday, November 29, 2018

On Vacations

I don't pretend to understand life. I like to think I have good intentions and pure motives, but the truth is I muddle things up on the best of days and it irritates me.

Last week was thanksgiving vacation. We had a grand time. We watched Star Trek, went to the park a lot, ate copious amounts of apple pie, and had marital arguments. Oh, those vacation arguments when you and your spouse are closeted in the same space with small children and no eight hour work day to separate your focus. One of our arguments was over a pan. Yes, a pan. I won't elaborate, except to say that I am a fool and my husband is equally as foolish.

It seems on vacation we have to learn how to coexist together all over again. Our routine is thrown out the window as daddy stays home. I want to rest but still have two small children whose very job, it seems, is to toss kinks into my well-oiled cog of a family machine. Husband is off work and also wants to rest on vacation. The only problem is that adult naps, with children, needs to be scheduled and bargained for.


I will say that we both did achieve a measure of peace. I have a loving husband who makes great sacrifices for me. I hope he would say the same of myself, but given the condition of my patience meter his report might be opposite. I napped, I knitted, I showered alone with hot water and read a few books. It was not a bad vacation. I just stress over the tension, the balance and the time. Vacation, like decadent chocolate, slips too easily through my fingers.

I wish I could curb my own vacation expectations as well. We both became annoyed multiple times during our week of freedom. It seems marriage has taught us how to uniquely exasperate each other without much effort. Reuben also has a masters degree in achieving epic tantrums at the most opportunistic moments. That last sentence was heaped in sarcasm. Nothing like two angry, non-communicative married adults struggling to understand one another over the sound of a toddlers full-blown screams.


Well, I have learned many things in six years of marriage. That is the main thought foremost in my mind as our week together came to a close. Time has taught me that my husband likes to go-go-go on vacation while I desire to stay home. So this year I rested at home for four full days before Thanksgiving so I would feel more inclined to adventure. Husband also compromised by taking Reuben out and leaving me home with Becky. I've learned a bit about give and take, even if I have a long way to go. Six years of marriage teaches me remotely, as time passes, even if I try to pay attention.

God is good. Our vacation was good. I still have a lot to learn.

And I need more pie.

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