What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, February 01, 2008

Vexed no more

Ever have one of those days where EVERYTHING seems to bring you down? Where all the 'little' things that bother you are pushed down and down and down until there is no more room and they explode, all at once, right back in your face?

THAT is how my day was yesterday. I had hit my limit. Corynn hasn't been given a spanking in AGES, because she hadn't needed one. Yesterday, she was given four. FOUR. After months of having none at all!

Parenting can be such an insufferable task. I have always likened it to a rollercoaster...

Children who are diligently directed eventually learn the rules and happily abide by them. That's when you are flying, hair whipping about you and belly laughs resounding from deep within, DOWN the rail mountain. But then, children grow just a bit bigger; their bodies and minds are both more capable of experimentation so, they again start pushing the limits, trying new things, and needing (again) reinforcement and direction. That's when drudgery comes, and crawling inch by inch up the huge mountain, praying and looking forward to the wonderful thrill you will have once up there again.

(This is all an analogy of course, and speculative at that-because I HATE rollercoasters and would NOT find plummeting to your death an enjoyable activity...)

They grow a bit, become disciplined and obedient, then they grow a bit more and have to learn MORE lessons. So it goes, for years and years. Corynn and Andrew are both in the 'growing up' and testing new things stage.

Corynn broke her watch yesterday. The second watch she has broken in four months.

She was a squirmy-worm during schooltime yesterday. I mean, she didn't stop MOVING. She grabbed her sock and pulled her legs about, bounced up and down. It was infuriating. We finished early because I had had enough. My temper was growing more and more thin. I knew in my head that working at the table from now on (we were on the living room floor) would probably lessen the 'squirmies', some children need that...but in my heart I kept thinking (and still it is tucked away in a crevice where I can't reach it and pluck it out) that I am not cut out for teaching. Patience is not my strong point, and something I need to do a lot of work on.

Perhaps most importantly of all, not having a huge support network (or even large, for that matter) is also trying. I am going against the flow in staying home with my children, in the discipline of them, in not working outside the home, in not sending my kids to be socialists in the public daycares, in homeschooling, in encouraging Corynn to wear dresses and be feminine and the list goes ON and ON and ON. I feel very lonely and isolated, and like I am a disappointment to those who I am SUPPOSED to be able to look up to.

It is trying when many people think that you contribute only to your family in dollar signs. Of course, I don't have a job so I don't bring home dollar signs. I remember wailing that fact to Matt last night, "So and so brings in thousands of dollars for her family and I only bring in 50 ECB's!!! (those are extra care bucks for you non-cvs'ers).

There, of course, is a lot more to it than all that but all of it combined overwhelmed me and erupted the self-pity volcano.

The moment I put the children to bed, I went downstairs and threw myself at Matt's feet, my head in his lap; my tears cascading from swollen, red eyes and soaking his sweater nearly to the point of dripping. He kept stroking my hair as I blubbered on and on and he listened to me with sympathy (except when I wailed about the ECB's-a laugh escaped him then.). Then, when I was finally able to catch my breath, he spoke to me. Quietly and wisely. He was apologetic, he was encouraging, he was thoughtful and loving.

A friend wrote about her husband and how he was, in a sense, like Christ personified here on earth. I read her post on it yesterday and thought it was a lovely sentiment and true in essence, but only last night did I come to fully appreciate the truth in that statement. Christ refers to himself as the bridegroom and the the Church his bride. In a sense, our husbands are to embody Christ's own characteristics; meekness, self-control, leadership, forgiveness, ecouragement and wisdom (to name a few).

She wrote: Often it is the arms of my husband that God uses to reassure me that all is well. Is that not a beautiful picture she painted? Last night I was given peace, that peace came from God, but it came on the hands of my faithful husband as he stroked my head and upon the words that He spoke to me.

I am SO very thankful that I have such a devoted and wise husband. One that leads our family, strengthens our family and builds us up. One that I can turn to when I feel more frustrated than happy and who can turn my feelings around. A man that can show me how to be more Christ-like, through His example. I know just how very precious a gift that it is.

He reminded me of my high calling as a mother, he reminded me of our goals in raising our children to be godly, he encouraged me and told me he was proud of the work that I do, and he reassured me that He didn't want our lives to be any other way. He asked me why I need the approval of men when what matters most is living a life that is pleasing to God? What a blessing he is to my life and how much better I feel about my situation this morning!

Praise be to God.

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Elizabeth said...

First of all (since it is the most menial) I love the picture of you, it's the coolest!

Second, I've had those days very often and I can relate, I'm thankful you have a wonderful husband to soothe your emotions and calm your tears!

I admire you and all that you do for your family, you do a whole lot, more than most who work could fathom doing. You are a gem Rebecca, Remember That!!!

Oh, and tell Matt I LOVE the stepstool for Andrew, it is AWESOME!!! :)

Tracy said...

What a beautiful post. I have often told Verne that he shows me that God loves me. It's so true.

Hang in there, Rebecca. Oh, that I had started homeschooling when my children were in kindergarten. There are MANY trying days, but you will get through them. And you know, women who go to work have to answer to a man who does not love them, and they have trials too.

I so admire the life that you've created in your home. Keep up the good work, and kudos to Matt for loving you in the way that God intended.

Anonymous said...

Amen....keep the faith! There are others out there just like you that want to raise Godly children. Pray that you find some close by....otherwise the internet can provide you some long-distance support.

As a 1st grade teacher, I see the effects of children not raise in Godly homes. Yes, you can see it already in 1st grade. I could tell you stories that you would NOT believe. As far as working with your daughter's home-schooling maybe try working a short time, then a quick break, and then back at it. Something to think about.

Crystal in Pahrump

Rebecca said...

Elizabeth~thanks so much for the comment. The picture is a bit freakish to me, sort of demonic looking in a nice way. But Matt liked it so much he made me print one out for his toolbox, so I decided to post it anyway. I am glad you liked it...and I will tell Matt your message. ;-)

Tracy~When did you decide to homeschool? You seem to have it all together, I just assumed it came from the beginning. :)

Crystal~we only worked for 30 minutes that day. And from minute one she was wiggling! I think alot of it had to do with not sitting at the table...which I probably won't try again for a LONG time. :-)

Thanks to you all for your generous words, it's nice to know I am not alone in my occasional REALLY BAD days! :-)

Andie said...

Rebecca-We ALL have those REALLY bad days, most of us just don't post about the bad days. We (for some strange reason) think that we are the only ones who struggle, and don't want to admit it to others. But, we all have them, wether we admit them or not.
I started out today having a bad day, but I'm determined (especially) after reading your post to try to find the good in my day, not just the frustrating!
I do stay home with my children, but I also do in-home childcare for others who cannot stay home. However, I think next year is going to bring some MAJOR changes to our home and lives, please keep me in your prayers...I will elaborate more about this next Monday afte I know more.

Blessings to you my dear friend...I hope today is wonderful!

Terri said...

(((Rebecca))), boy can I relate at times. I'm the only one in my church that homeschools. I have 3 children with special needs and at times I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle.

Your dh sounds a lot like mine. It helps to have someone to go to at the end of the day for comfort and reassurance. He sounds like a wise man.

You are doing the right thing and you can do this! Does that mean you'll never have a bad day? Absolutely not. But if you are doing what God has called you to than you can press on.

Praying for you today.


Mrs. B. said...

Oh Rebecca, you are worth so much more than the person that goes out to work. Not that working is bad. They are doing what they feel they should be, but their worth is not what they think. They have daycare to pay for, extra clothing, hurried shopping so not as good of deals, extra gas for the car, and then the meals out because they don't feel like cooking. And also the extra things purchased because they feel guilty for not being with their children. It is likely that they don't bring in much extra by the time all is spent on these things.

Mrs. B. said...

PART 2 - I know you have hard and difficult days. I see Jean have hers, and mine are remembered too. But God gives us the grace to deal with things, and He really doesn't give us more than we can handle. You are a strong person. And, please, remember that your approval comes from God, not man. I have a hard time thinking I need to please my dad, even at age 52!!! But God showed me through Psalm 118, vs. 6 & 8 that it is Him that I need to please. "It is better to trust in the LORD, than to put confidence in man." It is just difficult to remember sometimes. Hope this day is going better. We love you here in Indiana! Sure hope you and Jean can meet this spring or summer. Love, Mrs. B.

Anonymous said...

I have been feeling frustrated lately too- feeling like I'm "wasting" my life by "just" staying home with my toddler daughter and newborn son. I read Deut. 6 this morning. We're admonished to train our children at all times to know the Lord and I'm reminded of how important our jobs as mommies truly are.

Mrs. Bowen

Victoria said...

Your honesty about your day is encouraging - while you're feeling alone, we are reminded that we are not alone. Keep at it, Rebecca!

(thanks for the link - glad to be a blessing to someone who is often a blessing to me!)

Dana said...

I've had a lot of days like your's recently. I'm just not brave enough to post about them. I admire you for your transparency.

Yesterday Audrey ate a glue stick. Don't ask because I don't know... School was a joke. To top it all off, I only got $9.98 in ECBs this week! UGH!


Tracy said...

Mac went to public school thru second grade. Autumn went to kindergarten. Then we homeschooled. Believe me, I DO NOT have it altogether. That's the problem with blogging. You only see what people let you see. What they WANT you to see.

I try to be very transparent, so that I'm not put on a pedestal. It's hard enough for moms. They don't need to think that they don't measure up to so and so...

I want people to know that I fail miserably, and that it's only by God's grace that there is any good in me. That's why I confess alot. Like this week!

Jana said...

I think we all have days where we want to pull our hair out and run off to a far away land! I tried to teach my firstborn pre-school and gave up in a few weeks because he couldn't be still and it drove me batty! Now he is in first grade and does a wonderful job sitting and working on his papers. Don't give up! Believe it or not, she is listening and learning, inspite of all the movement!

Christine said...

Hi Rebecca,
Thank you for your transparency! I have my frazzling days, on occasion, with my littles. Sometimes Lily gets so stubborn about learning to read, that I really want to give up. It would be one thing if she tried, but sometimes she absolutely refuses to. This season is such a busy one for us with little ones, age four and under. You are a very creative mother; you are doing a wonderful job mothering your precious treasures.
I also often feel frustrated when I compare myself with other stay at home moms. (Especially those who have their own business) I keep praying that God will lead me to a niche where I can make some supplemental money for my family, from home. So far though, it must not have been God's Will. You have such talent, Rebecca. You are so crafty; you make the loveliest things!
Husbands are such blessings, I must admit. Your struggles are so similar to mine; I totally relate. Isn't it a blessing that husbands can remain so calm and can give so much encouragement?Blessings to you, dear friend!

Mom2fur said...

Oh, my goodness, do I ever know about that roller coaster! There were times I could have torn out my hair. The weird thing is that I never had all 4 on an uprise or on the downhill side. Thank goodness--imagine 3 cranky, crabby boys and 1screaming daughter all at once! Somehow, you get through it and move on. It's natural for kids to go through annoying, rebellious stages. This is how they grow and learn. Someday, they will all be wonderful adults and I can almost guarantee the good times will stick out much more than the hard days.
And regarding contributing dollars to your house, think of this: if you went to work you'd have to pay for a babysitter, pay for a tutor (or put your kids in private school, and heaven knows what that would cost!), pay for your daily lunch, pay for a wardrobe, pay for transportation...
...get my drift? Trust me on this, if you went to work, chances are you would LOSE money. Let's not even talk of what else you would lose!
Your husband is a remarkable man. I think you should keep him, LOL!