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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Get It In

Six years later, this is still a lesson I struggle to learn. My biggest trial lately is just learning how to deal with the constant mental demands on my life.  The fact that it seems so difficult even to finish a complete thought without interruption.  Here is this week's throwback post about praying in the midst of distraction.

Get it It
First Published May 22, 2008

I've been struggling forever to get my prayer times in first thing in the morning. I'd like to say that it's because of my kids, or because I'm too busy, but the reality is that I lack discipline, and make choices that don't allow for me to get up early (like staying up late the night before).

This morning, as usual, I woke up late. When I crawled out of bed, I thought maybe I would sneak downstairs and get a few quiet minutes in before the baby got up. I asked Jeff to bring Stephen to me before he left, and he said sure, but asked if I'd mind helping him get a lunch together before I went down. I said "sure", and as I was working on his lunch the baby woke up, screaming. As I finished making Jeff's lunch, I desperately wanted to be upset with them, but I knew that it was my own fault for staying up too late last night and not getting up an hour ago. Jeff went in to get the baby, and discovered that he (yet again) had leaked outside his diaper and all over his sheets. Jeff was genuinely apologetic that he couldn't help me clean him up, because he was already late for work. I sang "Good morning to me!" and got to work cleaning Stephen up.

I've been battling feeling sorry for myself alot lately. I love being a wife and mother, but sometimes it can be terribly isolating. Especially since many of my close friends don't have kids yet, and I see them being able to live the same lives we all lived ten years ago, having time to do things, and just feeling like I'm always left behind. And even this morning, the fact that I couldn't get a few moments of peace was starting to make me feel weighed down. But as I changed Stephen he was inconsolable, which is not like him, and my thoughts turned to concern for him. I was not angry that Jeff couldn't help, because I was tapping into my motherly role, and wanted to be the one taking care of him. As I nestled into my prayer time with the baby, Jeff brought me down a coffee even though he was late for work - and I truly appreciated it. I nursed Stephen, who went back to sleep (which explained his crankiness), and enjoyed time to sit quietly with him, which is so rare now that I don't have the luxury of a part-time sitter for Joseph and Timothy. We laid there for an hour or so before the older boys got up and took turns cuddling in with us. I left my prayer time feeling satisfied that I got it in despite the chaos, and affirmed in my vocation as a wife and mother, despite the isolation I sometimes feel.

My first week of taking prayer times was filled with grace - I know this because I had no problem getting up as soon as my alarm went off. But ever since it's been a struggle, and I'm learning not to let excuses make me miss my prayer time all together. I'm still working on getting up before everyone else because those are the best times, but at least I know that if I do sleep in, I can still pray even if the three kids are running around my feet. And maybe I'll be better for it. No matter what, God is showing me that as long as I show up, He'll be there. And when I take time for him, He can turn my feelings of isolation into affirmation. Every parent feels this way at some point, but with God's help I can weather the storm, ignore the lies that sometimes creep up within me, and find strength and satisfaction in knowing that life for me has changed, but not ended. In fact, it's more fulfilling now than ever. It just takes a bit for me to see that sometimes.

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