Tuesday, March 31, 2009
During an overwhelming flood of hormones last night at about 7:30, I declared to my household “I need chocolate NOW!!” Tom, being the ever perfect husband replied “I need 2 quarts of oil, if you're going to the store.” That was all I needed. (God bless you, Tommy. You are blessed and favored among men and dearly loved by your wife.)
I got to the store, and realized that I was also low on “feminine hygiene products”, so I had to pick up that stuff, too. Now, believe it or not, I'm a wee bit shy about buying the previous stated needs, plus the fact that I was buying it with chocolate would make the statement loud and clear that I was on my cycle. How embarrassing! So the obvious thing to do is quickly think of anything else I need from the store to try to hide the obvious. Shampoo! We needed shampoo. Lots of shampoo and conditioner to build a tower around the 2 packages of pads. Suddenly, one of my children needed a pair of sweat pants (to cover the packages, of course). Unfortunately, I didn't actually need much, but I had my parcels hidden, my precious chocolate and Tom's oil. I selected a checkout stand that had a female attendant, and females checking out. I carefully unloaded my items building a castle around the unnamed packages. Towers of shampoo, motor oil, chocolate, plain yogurt and deodorant protected the packages and the pants made a nice roof. The young gal at the checkout nicely greeted me with a “Hi! How are you this evening?” I was thinking “I'm buying pads and chocolate, how do you think I'm doing?” But instead replied with a chipper “Doing fine! How 'bout you?” Then she asks me if I want the small chocolate bars in my purse. I hesitated, but then lied “Oh, no thanks, just put them in the bag.” What was she accusing me of? Did she know I was on my time? Does she think I need chocolate? How dare she!! I was quite capable of rummaging through the grocery bags in the dark parking lot to find the chocolate, thank you very much.
The truth is, I don't know what in the world is going on with my hormones, but they are about to drive me out of my mind. I've found myself fighting worse than high school acne and wrinkles at the same time. Trust me, there is no face wash for that. I get furious with the children, then five minutes later, start crying while reading to them because all of Mother Duck's little ducklings came wandering back. If they were my ducklings, it wouldn't be a wonder that they wandered off in the first place! Its at hopeless times like these that I am forced to just look at awe at my children and remember that they come from crazy female hormones (yeah, yeah, and a few from Daddy, too... I know). Somehow I guess it all really does work out for good.
I just had a “Mother's Day Off” yesterday and let me tell you what: I am a NEW WOMAN!! My cousin came down and we went to lunch, shopping and had coffee. The conversation was rarely about life and the trials there of. It was just plain fun. I had no idea how much I needed to get out. I can't tell you when I was out last that wasn't a quick meeting, Bible study, church, or groceries. I reiterate: it was jut plain FUN.
I had been feeling a bit melancholy as of late, but couldn't put my finger on the problem. I would go and seek the Lord and He did indeed lift me up to the high places, but I also know that He ordered this day off for me, and I am so grateful. It is a relief to me, too, because I always feel guilty when I feel like I need to get out. I always think of the mothers not too long ago that were rarely away from their children, and never got a “break” from life as we know it. “Tough it out” I always told myself, you don't actually need a break. Well, let me tell you something right now: I did; I got one; and I am ready and excited to get back to my housework, my lessons, and loving life. Perhaps we have to take a step back from life to realize how much we love it, even the mundane stuff. Like the wash that I get to start after my children wake up; the mopping that needs done yet again, and the school lessons the children and I get to do together. After having a deep breath of fresh air, I am excited and walking forth with joy into my new day.
Do you want to know something else? Too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway. TOM COOKED SUPPER!! I know! I was amazed, thrilled and on a high (partly because I found some really cute shoes... and a dress... and a shirt... and the cutest little jean jacket you have EVER seen!!). Psalm 55:6 says: “And I say, Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” I did fly away (for nearly a day) and I am truly rested. God knew what I needed and, as always, He provided for me.
Katy, like my older sister, Shelly, is your typical left handed/right brained, brainiac child. She is just three and a half years old, and is reading small books. Being so far advanced for herself, she decided she no longer had any use what so ever for the church nursery and needed to go to Sunday school classes with her older sister Cora and the “big kids” . I told her that she needed to learn how to write her name so when she got to Sunday school, she could keep track of which papers were hers. With her being left handed, and me being right handed, this proved to be a tricky task, but after a few weeks of diligent practice, she had it.
One Wednesday night, I saw a friend at church who happened to be teaching Cora's class that night. She saw that Katy was sad and asked why. I told her that Katy thought she needed to be in the class instead of the nursery. My friend welcomed Katy to the class, and Katy thought she was 10 feet tall. However, then next Wednesday night, someone else was teaching the class. Katy walked right in, after all, she could write her name, you know. The gentleman caught Katy at the door and said “Wait, hon'. How old are you?” “Thwee an' a half.” Katy informed him. “You belong in the nursery; this class is for 4-6 year olds.” The gentleman was looking at me, so that I would know where to place my child. He obviously had no recollection of what “three and a half meant”. It clearly means you're at least four, probably going on six or seven; one is just simply stuck in a three year old body. Duh!
Crushed, heartbroken and refusing to return to the nursery with all of the “babies”, Katy sat with Tom and I. In silent, but very determined tears, she wrote over and over on a piece of paper: K A T Y. I felt horrible. What I meant was after she was four and writing her name she would be able to go to Sunday school and be in the bigger kid's classes, but she heard “When you can write your name, you can be in the big kid's classes.” She had done the work she thought was required to go to the next level, only to be turned away because of a few lousy months.
I feel like Katy sometimes, do you? I look around at mothers like me who have young children, and we're exhausted. Then I turn my head and look at women who have older children, or their children are gone to college, and they look refreshed, wise, they're teaching a Bible study, or doing something creative that requires the time and energy that I lack. They've passed through the tough stages of child rearing, and can see their offspring walking in the way of instruction, or at least understanding the consequences of their actions and taking responsibility.
Let me finish up with a couple more verses from Hebrews 6. “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” ~ Hebrews 6:11-12 I've read this many times, but God brought it to my attention again, at a time when I really needed it. I need to press through toward the goal, and not get lazy with my children. Like Katy, when I've mastered something but don't get the result I want, I need to keep honing that skill, loving that child, seeking the Way, and seeking council from motherly saints who have “inherited the promise” of raising their children in the ways of the Lord. Motherhood is a draining task, but I need to remember to ask God for extra grace so I can minister to my little saints, and in the mean time, remember that God's word never returns void.