I have been sooo tired lately. Tired physically, tired emotionally. Life just seems to be going at a pace that is out of my control. Sleep feels like a job that I fit in between everything else I have to do. And even when I lay my weary head to the pillow, rest often doesn't come.
Our evenings have been full and my days have mostly been spent trying to play "catch up" - whether it's on housework, school stuff or ministry work. I feel like my relationships are taking a beating and I know my commitment to exercise and bible study is.
Whenever a day off seems to be coming up on the horizon, it inexplicably gets filled with something. Have you ever felt this way? I'm sure I'm not alone. It seems as if almost everyone is running not walking through life anymore.
For me, I'm relieved to say that these are just phases in my life - not the norm. I strive hard to slow things down for I'm the kind of person that loves activity maybe two days a week, and a slower lifestyle the rest of the time. Oh if I could only dictate my own daily schedule! But alas, we are moms - are we not? Our schedule is often not our own, especially awaiting a new baby!!
I found myself a overhwelmingly sad and stressed last night. I hate when my agenda is reliant on someone else's co-operation and then they don't. Like could we JUST finish the conversation from Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday? Could we JUST??
Paul is feeling a neglected and overhwelmed, and wants me to fix it. My children are needing me in ways they haven't in a long time, and I am trying to find hte balance between helping and supporting, and rescuing them from their lives. This young adult parenting isn't any easier than the other stages of parenting!! I'm feeling neglected myself, and knowing I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Sure, sometimes I am. But often I am not.
I was having a long conversation with God over night, when I couldn't sleep. It came to me that I need to be intentional about respecting Paul. I do no respect him at all. None; well, ok. I do respect his work ethic at work. He doesn't do anything to earn my respect and continues to throw himself headlong into the victim role, regardless of whether that is a reality or not. But I cam called, commanded even to respect him. I'm pulling out my 10 Love Agreements book and using it as a tool to help me cultivate whatever respect I can. Also, to be empathetic. This is hard for me because I don't ever, have never, viewed myself as a victim. I realize I see it as a huge weakness to have that worldview and I think that's a big reason why I don't respect Paul.
It's been literally one full year almost to the day when Paul announced that he was going to be more intentional about recovery and our marriage. What has changed? Nothing that I can see. After telling him I wanted a divorce, he started counseling and doing his LIFE work more. I guess that's something. A year. Either I choose to accept a surface, superficial, small talk marriage with conversations on his terms and about him, or I continue to live in this frustration and become bitter. It won't be another year. I will not be here blogging in January of 2009 that nothing has changed. I'll leave before that happens.
I was reading devotion and some words struck my heart. It said, "When you become a servant, you always give up something you could have kept for yourself - time, money, energy. But the greatest cost of all is yourself." That's ME, I thought! I LOVE speaking to and mentoring moms. It makes me feel like I'm giving back to the world in some way. It makes me feel like I can make a difference. It makes me feel like I matter. I LOVE doing things for my children. I want them to remember having a mom who was involved in their lives and joyful. A mom who loved to do things with and for them. It was at that moment that I realized that these words were speaking completely about me. It's my choice. If I'm behind on housework because I was doing things on the computer for moms and women - it's no one's choice but my own. And it's MY choice to give up my time, energy, and money for my children. How can I expect to not give anything up if I want to serve them? (And I really do!) When we expect to serve someone - whether it's our children, a ministry, our spouses, friendships... whatever it is, we are wrong in not expecting to give up something in return. We can't hold on to all of our time, energy, and money if we are willing to have a servant's heart. It's just not possible. We fight ourselves and we defeat the intent and purpose of our hearts when we get frustrated over things when we continue to expect things to conform to our situations or circumstances. I think God is showing me that if I want to do something for Him and say that I'm doing it in HIS name - then I need to consider what I must give up in lieu of that, to be worth the price. I know that the Lord knows what is important to my heart and if I still desire to fit other things in, He'll provide a way for me to do that. It just may not be to the degree I'd originally have wanted,; but something's gotta give. And if something's gotta give - I'd rather it be my heart. So, I may not learn this lesson quickly, but I'm going to try to remind myself every time I see a somewhat messy house or am a little low on sleep - that I'm giving up some things for myself sometimes so that I can invest in something (or someone) else for eternity. It's what I choose.