Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tightrope Walking

I'm always asked the question, "How do you do it?"  You know....have seven children, weigh and measure my food at every. single. meal, homeschool the children, have a blog, keep a reasonably clean home, yada, yada, yada.

My secular answer is that it's like tightrope walking....you just never look down!  Spiritually, I have to keep my eyes on Christ because, like Peter in today's Gospel, once the reality hits I'm probably going to start to sink.  I'm going to yell out, "Lord, save me!"  I do this a lot.  I keep my eyes focused and everything is doable....I can weather the storms, I can go with the flow, and I can generally keep my patience with "kid" challenges.

However, when I take my eyes off of Christ, I start to wonder,
"How is this possible?"
"Shouldn't I try this?"
"What if I'm not supposed to be {insert super-mommy task} the kids, the husband, the house."
"I shouldn't have had this many kids.  Afterall, I have {anxiety, depression, low blood sugar, I'm an introvert, etc.}.
All of these things escalate into big doubts, big resentments, and big explosions.  I have doubts about my parenting, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, marriage.  I have resentments towards the kids, Paul, having to potty train a child, taking someone to the bathroom, wiping someone in the bathroom, cleaning up yet another mess or clutter, buying one more book after I put in a giant Rainbow Resource order, or just about any slight annoyance.  I explode over little things like bedtime, laundry folding, TV watching, organizing dirty dishes in the sink, and leftover sandwiches, cookies or pieces of fruit.

All of this comes from taking my eyes off of Christ for even one. small. second.  When I take my eyes off of Christ, the enemy is right there to sow a seed of doubt, a seed of resentment, or a seed of explosion.  The enemy wants me to rely on my own power to do it all.

So what do I need to do?  Well, I took a phone call early this morning....one of three outreach calls I make each day in order to talk about potential triggers that would cause me to eat, but you could insert anything that stress leads you to.  The person on the other line knows all about large families because she has one.  The person on the other line knows about stress eating because she does that, too.  The person on the other line knows about taking one's gaze off of Christ because she is a woman of faith and has been there and done that.

This person suggested I take some time and get away.  She suggested I go here....

Pacem in Terris
I had been told about this hermitage site  years ago.  I was skeptical....thought it would be too "new age" for me.  I thought I didn't really need this type of getaway.  I also wasn't in a place to get away with nursing and pregnancy.  But now I find myself depleted, resentful at times, loathsome of having anymore children (yes, I'll be honest....I haven't always been thrilled about having another baby particularly because when I felt like I could finally walk from crawling with a toddler, I'd be pregnant again.), doubtful of my vocation, and angry (yes, I'll be honest....Anger and rage have been characterizing my soul lately for lack of sleep, lack of prayer, and lack of silence.)

So, I'm going.  On the verge of tears and staring at the website, I called and made my reservation.  I'm afraid of being alone for a whole weekend in a cabin with no electricity or plumbing.  I'm afraid of having to weigh out all of my food ahead of time and bring it all with.  I'm afraid I'll spend a good part of Friday evening and possibly Saturday crying because I'll be faced with myself and all the things I regret saying, doing, and being over these last few weeks/months.  I'm afraid to be alone with God for fear he may ask more of me....more than I am willing to give.  I'm afraid I may fall in love again and surrender and submit willingly to Him.

Are these really substantial fears?  Yes and No.  God can never be outdone in generosity, and (say it with me) He will never give us more than we can handle!

So, I really have nothing to lose and so much to gain.  There is one more fear I substantially have....I fear I'll miss them....the ones who love me unconditionally and who piss me off so much sometimes, but whom I love to love in the little ways that I do.  I really do love them and can't imagine my life without each of them.  But I am not in the place where I should be so I have to do what I can to get there even if that means walking into the woods alone.
 
 
 
 

12 comments:

  1. This hits terribly close to home for me, Grace. I am so happy for you that you've made this time for yourself. Looking forward to hearing about your time alone. Who knows, maybe you'll inspire me to actually DO something like this too! God Bless you!

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    1. Thanks, Heather. I wondered if I should be so honest in this post but decided I needed to for my own well-being. Thanks for the prayers. You are in mine, too!:)

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  2. I'll be praying for you, Grace!!!!! I was just wondering where you were.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. We went camping for the weekend....still have to post on that. I had a lot of insights on that trip which inspired this post. But I'm still here.:)

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  3. When you get there in the quiet, you will cry - but you have to forgive yourself. That is the hardest part of Mommy guilt. I wish I could have someone come clean your house from top to bottom while you are gone!

    I understand what you say about the pregnancy/nursing/toddler cycle. I still miss the little one we lost and yet I really do not want to be pregnant again. That's not something I am proud of, but you were so honest I thought I would say that, so you know that you have friends who identify.

    I pray that you are renewed and refreshed. I was reading a book about marriage to the kids yesterday - because of the Chick-fil-A publicity - and it said that God doesn't give a married couple all the grace they need on their wedding day. They have to go back to God every day for grace. This reminded me that we have to ask every day for grace in parenting - like what you said, never taking your eyes off God. When I forget to ask, I find myself feeling horrible for yelling or snapping or whatever. I have just four kids (and my husband, well he takes a lot of energy to manage too) and I fail a lot. I know you do a great job and your kids see it too - please take some time to rest. I will pray for you!

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    1. Thanks for the prayers and the kind note, MBJD. And thank you for your honesty....I often wonder if I should post that or not for fear it will give people the wrong message....and, of course, I fear what people think. I'm still working on that....living facing God instead of people. I'm right there with you and it's good to know you relate. Mother Theresa used to say that humility is honesty about oneself. I have to think that I made this post in all humility and that being honest about my fertility and pregnancy woes is something I know about my self. Thanks again.:)

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  4. This post touched my soul in many ways, Grace. My soul yearns for some quiet time away in a hermitage like this. I just didn't know where to find one. Amazingly, this hermitage is located very near where I grew up -- wonder if God is sending me a subtle message? I don't live in that area any longer but would love to visit it again. May you have a restful weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl. It is very close to where I live...not very long of a drive anyway. I'll post about how it goes...don't know if I'll be able to bring my camera, but I do like to document things visually. I'll see about that. In any case, getting some time away comes slowly...God works on our souls. If you sense a subtle message, God just might be calling you back to northern MN.:)

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  5. Hi Grace, Thank you - you are one of the only women I know who is so honest and real. I went through some really hard times after Veronica and Chris, and it turned out to be adrenal fatigue and generalized anxiety disorder. So now I take a bovine adrenal extract three times a day as well as my thyroid medicine. It really helps with the sleep though I still take either a mega-dose of Valerian Root drops/melatonin or Children's Benadryl to get to sleep most nights. But the Benadryl will make you act like an angry mother bear the next day so I go easy on it. Plus a doctor introduced us both to Gabapentin, it is a non-addictive/non-benzo anxiety med you can take as needed for stress. I feel like a new woman - relaxed and joyful like I was in my younger days. No need to have any more babies unless you are emotionally and physically ready.....of course God will lead you. Have a blessed retreat! Many blessings, Margaret

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, Margaret. I will check out the things you recommended....some I have heard; of others I haven't. God's blessings to you all, Grace!

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  6. Grace, how brave and courageous you are to reveal such vunerabilities. And, to write such truths that we all recognize in ourselves. You are truly a child of God, how else would you know where to go to find solace and peace. I don't really "know" you, Grace, but find your posts about you, Paul, and your wonderful children to be lovely, fun, inspiring, and sometimes thought provoking - although I do know your cookies are delicious ;). As sisters in Christ, we are all praying for much grace and mercy and blessings for you.

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    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Cathy. I've had so much support that I feel very much held up in prayer. I know next weekend will be a challenge, but I welcome it. God bless you, too!

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