Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Need A Refill

I hated myself yesterday.  I hated the way I spoke to my kids.  I hated the way they reacted to my tone of voice.  It was not a good day for me. 
I could make many excuses:  I just had a baby.  I am recovering from a major surgery.  My hormones are contributing to my emotional state.  I have not been getting enough sleep.  I am stressed out by everything that needs to be done before we move.  But all of those, while true, do NOT excuse my behavior.
My kids deserve a mom who is loving and gentle at all times.  They do not need a mom who gets annoyed easily at every little thing.  Especially right now.  They are picking up on the underlying anxiety of my husband and me.  My eldest is realizing that we are moving and has his own anxiety about that, even though he doesn't fully comprehend what is happening.
A friend of mine asked today, what does your happy place look like?  My happy place is my home, and it is what I make of it.  I am the one who sets the tone of my home.  If I am happy, my home will be happy.  If I am upset, anxious, annoyed, frustrated, etc, my kids will reflect that and my house will not be in a happy place.
So then, how do I become happy?  It is more than just putting on a smile and faking it (though that is a good start, you often end up feeling what you are purposely portraying).  I need to get my inner joy refilled on a daily basis by spending time with the Lord in reading the Bible and praying.  I haven't been doing that lately and my kids are suffering for it.  It is time for me to get back into the habit of daily refilling my joy and spending time with God. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Little Gift

I am in love with a new little person.  You may think, "Of course you are!  You just had a baby!  Who doesn't love little babies?"   Me.  That's who.  I don't love newborns. 

I have said it before, and I will say it again.  I am not ashamed of the fact that, in general, I do not enjoy the first three months of infancy.  It is a very difficult time learning how to get to know this new person who has come into your life.  I would find myself annoyed with my new baby because I didn't know what the crying meant.  The lack of sleep intensified the negative effects and emotions my hormones were having on me.

Those first three months were not enjoyable for me.  I was not able to take delight in my first two kids during that "fourth trimester."  I had an extremely hard time bonding with my daughter and didn't feel really connected to her until she was about five months old.

Because of my previous experience, I fully expected to have a miserable first three months with our new baby.  This time, however, God has really blessed me.  He gave me a double gift: my baby and my love for my baby.  I am totally in love with my newest son.  I delight in holding him and looking at him, in snuggling his fuzzy head.  I have the overwhelming mother love that I didn't have with my first two infants.

I am so in awe of how God has blessed me with this baby.  He is a precious gift that I hold dear to my heart.  I am extremely thankful for my little blessing of joy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Overflowing and Spinning

I'm a little overwhelmed right now, I'll admit it.  We are moving in less than a month and there are so many thoughts running through my head that it is hard to think straight.  As of right now, we don't know exactly when we are going to move.  We also don't know where we are going to live.  We will have temporary housing for three weeks at the most.  If we don't find a place to live in those three weeks, we will likely move in with my parents.  My mom is going through chemo right now, and they live over an hour from my husband's work, which will make a long commute for him.
The biggest complicating matter is that I will have a 6-week old baby.  Both he and I will be due for check-ups the week after we move.  How do you find a doctor when you don't even know where you are going to live?
My mind is overflowing with things that need to get done.  I think of all the stuff I need to take care of before we leave.  Of all the items I need to buy and all the things I borrowed that need returning.  Of all the doctor appointments we have before we leave and all the doctor appointments I need to make and find a doctor for down in California. 
I have lists upon lists in my head, on paper, on my phone.   Things are being added to my lists faster than they are being crossed off.
All of the uncertainties of our move weigh on me.  We don't know where we will live.  We don't even know when we are going to move.  Finding a church is a scary task for me; the hardest part of our move to Oregon was not having a home church for so long.  I want to get settled in as quickly as I can, but I know it isn't going to be easy...or quick.
The good news is:  I am in a better place emotionally with my third child than I was with either of my first two.  My hormones did a doozy on me the first two times.  I am not nearly as emotional this time around, which is a miracle, considering I have two kids already, I don't have any family help this time, and we are moving in less than four weeks.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Living Life Now

When my husband's job transferred us to Oregon in 2003, we thought we would be living here for five years at the most.  As of this weekend, it will be nine years.  Unbelievable!
But, because we always knew in the back of our heads that we could move at any time, I haven't been living my life to the fullest.  I've held back in my relationships with friends, which is probably why I don't have many close friends, but have a lot of acquaintances.  It has only been recently that I have felt that I can pour myself into my current living situation and live as if I will always be here.
Of course, our living situation may still change at any moment.  But just because there is the possibility that I won't be living here in six months, I shouldn't live my life that way.  It stunts my relationships.  It keeps me from being myself with people I meet.  I no longer want to hold back just because I might be moving.  I have been in the "might move soon" mode for the last eight years.  That is no way to live.
I need to live my life now.  Not in a "what if" state, but in a "this is how it is now and how it will be tomorrow" state.  So what if I am scared to reach out to people for fear that I might have to give up the friendship soon?  At least I had that precious time with that person.  Maybe that is all the time I needed with them.   I don't want to miss out on an opportunity to get to know someone just because I was afraid that I wouldn't have the time to get to know them.
I equate it to our lives as Christians.  We know that the church could be raptured at any time.  But we still live our lives as if we have many years left in them.  We make plans for the future, we don't hold back just because we might not be here in six months.  In our heads, we know that at any point in time we could die unexpectedly, but we don't live our lives in fear of that.  We live each day as if there was going to be a tomorrow, and a next year.
That is how I need to live my life.  Even if I move tomorrow to a new place, I should live as if I am there permanently.  I should put down roots and make new friends.  Find a new church and get involved in it.  We sat on the outside of our church for so long, I feel we wasted some precious time that we could have been connecting with people.
I encourage you to live your life in the now.  Don't be scared to gain relationships, even if they are short.  Live in the "now" and not in the "what if."