As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day Off

Jeff and I have just wrapped up a crazy two months in our household that was a delightful mix of crazy, exciting, fun times (day trips, concerts, birthdays, first communions, showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and WEDDINGS!) and extremely trying times (a stomach flu, colds, some other weird bug that resulted in severe stomach cramps, and a month straight of plugged milk ducts and milk blisters - ouch!)  Ballet and piano have both finished, Cubs and Beavers are winding down, and we are basking in the glow of a very full, very busy, very fun, very exhausting time in our life. A life busting at the seams with goodness.

Today, we have nothing else to do but catch our breath.  And so, I have deemed it a day off.  I told the kids that it's my day off from crying and tantrums, and that if they want to do either they must do so away from me (because it's my day off). In return I've given them the day off from shouting, and so no matter how angry, frustrated or exasperated I feel, I may not yell at them (because it's their day off).

I can hear the chuckles now, but I assure you, things are going exceptionally well.  Tantrums are not a problem with the bigger kids but the little ones - phew - let's just say they're feeling the effects of the past couple of months as much as I am.  So as soon as they start into one of those behaviors, I calmly remind them that it's my day off.  I tell them I'm not going to yell at them (too often my default reaction under these circumstances) and calmly place them somewhere until they are done.  And we are all reaping the benefits.

A day off energizes you, helps you take a breath and refocus.  For me, just having some way to acknowledge the situation before it escalates out of control, some small intervention to keep me away from that ledge, works wonders.  I think God is like this in our lives.  Too often we are so wound up, too far gone to notice that gentle, firm coaxing - I'm here. God is never far away, we just have to train ourselves to look for Him before we've lost control.  This is my biggest challenge these days, and I think, the biggest blessing of a life bursting at the seams. Only when I am so spread thin am I completely aware of my inability to make it through this life on my own merits.  Trying only furthers the point of how completely incapable I am on my own, because I'm not meant to do this alone.  God is always there, in plain sight, offering the day off I so desperately desire to get my bearings about me once more.  Not the day off from the kids, or from family life.  Just those things that make things infinitely more trying - the crying, the nagging, the incessant whining.  Things I'm finding, all too often I create in my children.

Let it begin and end with me Lord.  In searching for you, may I transfer the burden of my happiness from their little shoulders to Your loving arms, that are so ready and waiting to meet my every desire.

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