I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts for almost 4 months. I was wanting to be honest and real in it, but not commited enough to actually publish it. It’s time to be real 😀
I was torn on what to call this post. I have so much I want to say, and cover in it…
I quit. These are the words I said to my husband when he came home from work last Monday. I had tears in my eyes, and children running wild around the house. It had been a long, rough day on the home front. The oldest wasn’t minding well, and I had had to get onto her so much that it broke my heart. (I am not great at discipline.) The younger two… I don’t know if they weren’t feeling well, or what, but they had been screaming most of the day. It had been loud. And long. And hard.
Have you ever had one of those days?
I said to my Precious, “I quit. We can put them in day care, mother’s day out, public school next year… I’m done.” Then the tears started coming in full force, because I felt SO GUILTY for even thinking these thoughts, let alone saying them out loud! (I am shame-faced now, just sharing them with you…)
So with tears streaming down my face, I asked my (shell-shocked) husband to please take over, and give me a few minutes. I went and laid face down spread out across our bed and just sobbed. And prayed. “Dear God, I LOVE those children. I don’t know what came over me today, but please Lord, give me Your strength. This is my calling, and I know there will be hard days. Help me, Lord. I cannot do this on my own. Forgive me for my failings. Forgive me for wanting to give up. I love them, and cherish them. Help me!” After about 10 minutes I washed my face, and feeling somewhat refreshed, and feeling my burden had been lifted, I returned to my family. I apologized to my husband. I pulled my daughter into my lap and apologized to her for being grouchy that day. I used it as an opportunity to talk about how mommy makes mistakes sometimes, and I had to ask God to forgive me, and now I needed to ask her to forgive me as well. She said “of course!” – She truly is the sweetest thing there is!
That night, I spoke with my husband about the details of the day, and apologized again for my behavior when he got home from work. He, of course, was kind and loving to me. While talking to him, I realized the day (while loud, and chaotic) hadn’t really been that bad. We are blessed with 2 great kids, and a bonus child I get to keep during the week. I really do love them, but like most women, I tend to deal with things on the inside. They build up… so that when I ask my daughter to clean her room for the 20th time – even break it down “first pick up your books, then we will decide what to do next” – and she still doesn’t do it – I snap and my first reaction is to just grab a bag and put all the toys in it. I need to act in love. I wasn’t very loving.
So after prayer, and repentance – both to God, and to my family – we went along our way. Me still a little shell shocked from the day, but knowing that God was working on me. Tuesday went much better! We had a great day!
Then Wednesday came. Our morning started out great. My husband even called me that morning to let me know he loved me, and that they were “giving away tickets to that mom conference” [I had been talking about for months] “on the radio”. I listened but you had to be nominated, and I didn’t want to seem desperate (even though I was!) and call in and nominate myself… So we went to Bible study, then came home from lunch. By then the little ones were starting to get worked up again. (I hate when our schedule gets out of wack – don’t you?) On this particular day, I had even offered to help a friend who had just bought a house, by keeping her little 2 year old, while they moved. (I am sure as my friend reads this, she is probably thinking – yeah, never making that mistake again! LOL! I promise, all turns out well, I’m not crazy!) As I’m in the kitchen doing prep work for dinner I learn that they are going to give tickets away again – 2 tickets! All you have to do is be caller 7! So I listen for an hour waiting for the cue to call in – and it finally arrives! I’ve had the number typed into my phone for the past hour, and made sure the screen didn’t lock, so that I wouldn’t have to go through the process of unlocking it… I call – “Hey you’re caller ONE!” Well, fiddle sticks! Try again – “Hello, who is this?” “Amanda, what caller am I?” “Number 7, congratulations you and a friend are going to the dotMom conference – this weekend!” – At which point I start crying like a big baby! I immidiantly call my husband, who thinks something is wrong because I am crying and blubbering into the phone – plus he doesn’t get good service at his work – I finally make things clear, he congratulates me and says we will talk about it when he gets home.
Then the process of who to invite with me? There were so many people I wanted to go with me! (Have I mentioned that I had been wanting to go to this conference since I found out it was coming to Texas? I even asked for tickets for Christmas. I had sent messages to my friends trying to get a group together to go – not a single one responded. I had considered going on my own, but what kind of loser would I be then?) So I called the person I thought would be most likely able to go with me first. She couldn’t because she had to work. (She works like 4 days a month!! What were the odds that this would be one of those days!) So I call the next person I thought may be willing to go – but they had plans (kids last ball game for the season, can’t miss that!). On to my best friend – whom I knew already that her husband would be out of town, so she would need help finding someone to watch her daughter, and that she would need to bring her breastfeeding baby with her. I felt bad for even asking her, but I knew she would love it! I just hate putting people out, does that make sense? Of course she is ecstatic and wants desperately to go with me! So she gets busy trying to arrange everything so she can meet me there Friday afternoon at the conference.
It turns out, it wasn’t her year to go. It was my year to grow and mature a little more though. First I had to drive by myself through the Big City – BY MYSELF. I had to stay in the hotel, by myself (not going to complain about that though. I rather enjoyed the king sized bed, and quiet, lol!) And it was time for me to sit, and listen to God, by myself. To be quiet and hear His still small voice speak directly to me. It was a time of growth, maturity, education, and singing praises to my savior. A time to thank Him for loving me. Loving me through all my faults. When I feel like a failure, and I’m ready to quit, He still loves me and is there to pick me up, guide me, and lead me through the tough times.
I came home at peace. I came home ready to fight for my family. Will there be hard days? Yes. Will there be times I want to throw in the towel? Yes. But I know that my God is Jehovah-Jireh – my God will provide. He knows our needs, our hurts, our hearts. Those things we don’t want to talk about, because it’s hard, or it would make us seem vulnerable, or imperfect… He knows and He loves us anyway. He knows when we are having a difficult moment, and He provides. Sometimes, He even provides tickets to a conference, so you can learn and grow. Come home refreshed and prepared for the task He has set before you.
What did I learn at the conference? Well, I’ll get into that in my next post, but let me say, that you have already seen a sneak peak. I’ve been completely honest in this post. Taken off my mask, and shown you that I can be a mess some days. It’s not always peachy and rosey in my house, but that is ok. It’s time to be real.