Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why I Blew Up Over A Box of Markers

It’s a box of markers. There are ten markers inside. Each one has its top firmly in place. This is the original box for these markers. On the outside of the box there are colored dots which represent the colors of each marker. When you look inside the box you will see the markers corresponding in the same order. It’s a simple box of markers. It is an orderly, beautiful box of markers.

So how on earth did this box of markers cause my family and I such despair today? Why did it send me into a fit of rage? How did it cause me to fire arrows of angry, condemning, harsh words which I wish I could take back?  I don’t really know. I don’t understand why it was such a big deal to me when I discovered someone had been in my box of markers. I was and am at a complete loss.

LOSS. Perhaps that is what caused my over the top reaction. I grieved as I surveyed the disarray which had swept down on this small yet really important box of markers. The first three stages of grief…. Shock, anger, and mourning… hit me all at once.

I was shocked that someone would do this to me. Most of the markers were gone. The caps had been displaced on the majority of the ones I had managed to find among the muck in this place I call home. They were left out to dry. They had been used, smashed and smeared.

The realization of how my orderly box of markers had been invaded sent waves of anger all over my body. Anger and despair flooded over me as I realized someone had invaded my markers. Someone had used my stuff without my permission. They had taken the caps off and smashed the smooth points as they smeared the colors on whatever masterpiece they were creating. In the midst of this they brought disorder and corruption to the order and masterpiece I had previously designed. The fact that I had told them JUST TODAY not to touch these markers brought waves of torment over my soul.

DESPAIR. I found myself drowning under the current. As I sunk beneath the water I screamed in despair. It does not matter the words I said. It is the meaning behind the words. The message was despair.

For the heart behind those words was crying out, “Does anyone notice me around here? Does anyone see the things that are important to me? Do you value what I do? Does what I do around here count? Is it important? Am I important?

I don’t even know who I am some days. Who I used to be or think I want to be is not my reality. I grieve that loss.

I want some order. My life and home speak disorder.

I want some peace. Much of my day is full of noise, business, demands, and disruptions. A vacation is order. You know a real vacation without kids. I watch the commercials on television for the day spas and think to myself, “That is Disneyworld for Moms” I see the advertisements for sleep aids and think, “No amount of sleep aid with keep me from having to get up with a crying baby.” I find myself jealous of the actresses. I feel great discontent try to take over my heart and mind. I fight it.

I fight the desire for my selfish needs to overcome my joy to serve. I fight the feelings of how I want my dreams and my values to count for something. I have dreams that are unfulfilled. They wait. They are lost. They are forgotten. I have forgotten my dreams in order to support the dreams of others. The things I value I have dropped in order to meet the needs of others. My needs pushed aside… over and over… again and again.

I grieve what I have lost. Then I wonder things. I have questions about this life of mine.

Does what I do make a difference? Does it count? Does anyone see it? There aren’t many accolades in what I do.

That is hard for a person like me who thrives off the attention approval of others.

You know I am a creative person. Or at least I used to be. I used to have a beautifully decorated, organized, clean home and classroom. I used to have and take time to write, read, cook, shop, get my hair done, put on my make-up…..play. I expressed myself. I was heard. I was understood.

In that box of markers I had expressed my desire for creativity, order, and beauty. I had voiced my desire to keep it as such. I longed to be understood. That simple little box of markers was my way of holding on to what I felt I had lost. Yet they managed to get to me one more time because they got to it.

After I had cooled down a bit I made the unwise decision to probe my husband by asking, “ Can you SEE why I got so torn up over that box of markers? “ He replied, “No I cannot”  To which I replied, “Wrong answer. Say no more lest you dig yourself deeper into a hole.”

His response propelled me to be blinded by my tears. SEE. I felt like Hagar after she had wandered off into the wilderness to flee the punishment of Sarah. How hurt she must have been. I am sure she must have wondered the same things I did today.

Can anybody see? Does anybody SEE what I go through each day? Does anybody SEE what I do? Does anybody SEE what is important to me? Does anybody SEE how I hurt? Does anybody SEE me?

The hurtful reality is the true answer to that is PROBABLY NOT SISTER.

My children do not see it because they are children. My husband does not see it because he is a man. The world does not see it because it does not value it. However there is hope.

Just as God saw Hagar in the desert during her despair He sees me too. He is the God who sees.

He sees me when I sink into bed after a long, demanding day on my body and my emotions. He sees me get up in the middle of the night to nurse the crying baby while the rest of the house sleeps. He sees me struggle to wake, brush my teeth, shower, wash my face, and brush my hair before the rest of the house awakens with all their demands. He sees me strive to fit into clothes that my postpartum, food addicted body has worn until they are way out of fashion and form. He sees me prepare everyone else’s meal before my own and then share half of mine which is now cold with a still hungry and demanding toddler. He sees me dress and redress children. He sees me launder their clothes every day. He sees me attempt to teach them good manners,  proper bathroom habits, good hygiene, and habits. He sees me clean poop out of the tenth pair of underwear in the past two days because someone forgot toilet paper is meant to wipe their butt…not underwear. He sees me stop a chore or school lesson every three hours so I can pump and provide breast milk for my infant son. He sees how I take the time to weigh him, record how long and how much he ate, and how much I pump….every three hours… six times a day. He sees me oversee and participate in the picking up of toys, books, shoes, and clothes every day numerous times a day. He sees me buckling and unbuckling the children in their car seats and making four trips to and from the car before we leave or get back in the house. He sees me leaving the theatre and missing the show to console an unhappy child. He sees me get up from the table in the restaurant as soon as my food arrives because someone has to go potty. He sees me pleading with them to ignore their curiosity and not to touch anything in the public restroom. He sees me refereeing disagreements. He sees me scoop up a crying toddler. He sees me kiss their boo boos and put on band aids. He sees me helping a child try to make sense of place value, sharing, why we can’t eat candy all day, and why Mama got angry. He sees me through all the “do overs” “repeats” and “mistakes”.  He sees all the triumphs, perseverance, and acts of sacrifice.

He sees me run to the “wilderness” as I long to isolate myself due to my sin and shame. He sees me weep . He sees me struggle to accept grace much less give it out.

He Sees. He knows. He cares.

On days like this when a simple box of markers makes such a big impact on my life and no one seems to understand….that is all I can hold on to ….He sees me….He knows me…. He cares for me. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

I have a story to tell

Today my children broke the safety string on the inside of the shed door. It happened minutes before my husband called it quits on working in the garden . He had to make it to a deacons meeting at church. We all came inside. After he left I decided to clean up things in the house. Part of the clutter was a stack of newspapers he intended to put in his shed before layering them in the garden. I thought I would do him a favor and deliver them myself. I was unaware of the broken string until the door slammed behind me. 

Who would have thought that in less than 30 minutes of the string being broken I would walk in that darn shed and have the door blow shut? Who would have thought I would have been locked in there for a 2nd time for 30 minutes to an hour while my husband was away at church? Who would have thought that I had no way to communicate my calamity because I had no phone and all my children were in the house playing Xbox kinect upstairs? 

No one heard me banging the shovels on the floor and doors of the shed while calling for my unsupervised children. Only after I gave up making a bunch of racket and prayed something would arise and prompt my children to search for me was I found. The Lord provided by having my constipated son have a bowel movement in his pants. 

What are the odds people? Obviously the odds are in my favor...to always beat the odds by defying them. My friend Jason McCleskey says these things happen to me because God likes for me to tell my stories. So he keeps giving me stories to tell. I think he is right. Okay God..I will write the darn book! Point proven! Will you lay off on locking me in the shed? Or at least give me a doorknob instead?

I am back friends. Let the storytelling commence!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Thoughts Of A Mom With A Failure To Thrive Baby

He was eating better for a few days. Inconsistent….but better. I was beginning to wonder if we actually had any problems.

He developed a head cold and started cutting his first two bottom teeth. I took him to the doctor when his mucus turned thick and green, he coughed, and was congested. I did not want him to spread any sickness among all our family during the holidays.

The doctor put him on an antibiotic for the cold. He is a bear when it comes to taking medicine. It makes me want to pull my hair out. I wish I did not have to do it. However I am concerned about the affects on his little body if I stop giving it to him. Nevertheless it grieves my spirit to endure the battle. I have to force him to take it.

I think it is making the food situation worse. I have been told not to force him eat. I suppose forcing medicine has the same results as forcing food. Now he is refusing to eat. PERIOD. He throws his head back, cries, pierces his lip shut, and turns his face side to side. When he begins this series of events I have simply stopped trying and put the food away.

It has been difficult being around family with this burden during the holidays. Simple small talk about our children can bring up negative emotions in me. It is especially burdensome to listen to the other mothers and their comparisons between their child, other children and mine. Why do we do that to one another? How our children grow, eat, and potty train should not be a competition.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What Is The Greatest Gift A Mom Could Have For Christmas?

As the Christmas season is in full blast and Christmas Day is fast approaching I have been asked and have pondered what I want for Christmas. I have been under a lot of stress lately with my four littles. I could think of a ton of things I really want for Christmas. None of them are material items. I began to make my list in my head of what every mom of small children really wants and needs for Christmas. I thought it would make a nice blog post in and of itself. I would title it “Ten Things Every Mom Wants For Christmas” I began to make my wish list.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Hurt and My Heart About Food Issues

*What I have written in this post is the very raw feelings of a mother whose heart is broken for her son.  I was frustrated, angry, and hurting. I wrote this last night after yet another failed attempt to feed my son solid foods. I had locked myself in my bedroom closet. I was banging away at the keys on the laptop with all cares to the wind in regards to my grammar or content. I would rather pound on these keys than on the hearts of my family with ugly words and actions. I was angry because I am so tired of bearing the burden of having a child who will not eat. Some of what I said below is truth. Other things are probably exaggerated, misconstrued, or half-truths because they are my feelings. I wanted to post this today because I know there are other moms who share this same struggle. Even if you do not share in the struggle of a child who has feeding issues I know you have other things that bring you pain. I want to share in my struggles so I may encourage someone else. I want others to see how the truth of the gospel transformed my thinking as I typed. This my friends is an example of how God takes our hurting, flawed, sinful selves and uses His gospel of grace to give us strength, peace and hope in hard times.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I have not posted in a long time. My most recent post said I would be back in six weeks. Promises. Promises. I fully intended to keep my word. I did not account for some major events to occur in my life during and after those six weeks that would make it difficult for me to comprehend anything much less post. Yea folks sometimes life throws you curve balls.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My family and I have started back to homeschool. I will be taking some time off from blogging while we adjust to a new year. I hope to be back in full swing in 4- 6 weeks. Please check back to see what has been happening in my heart and my home. I am sure it will be a hoot!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Turning The Tide With No Technology

One of the things my family loves to do each year is take a trip to the beach. I long for it from the moment we get home from our trip until the moment we return. There is nothing more relaxing than watching the tide roll in and over my feet as I grasp for seashells that wash up on the shore. Some times the waves are too strong. Those waves can send "my seashells" hurling back into the ocean before I can blink. They can also send me running to the beach chair under the umbrella. I do not like being taken under the water by a huge wave. I discussed this in an earlier post Melanie Moments- Hysteria on the Honeymoon.

There are times in my home when I feel the frustrations of life hitting us all like a huge wave. We all react differently. Some of us react by screaming. A few of us isolate ourselves. Others try to run away to the computer, television, or the Leapfrog Learning Leappad. I noticed that in reality we were all doing the same thing. We were avoiding each other. You see relationships can make waves. Really big waves. Relationships are hard. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Son's Relationship With The Toilet

My oldest son just celebrated his 5th birthday. I was thinking back over the past five years of his life when I recalled an amusing moment. It evolved out of one of the frustrating things we have dealt with my son in his short five years of life. There have been two major struggles I have had with my son. One of them has been his eating habits. The other has been his relationship with the toilet. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Have Not Been Happy In My Home

So I have not been very happy lately with the tone of my home. I have not been happy at all here. I do not like living here most days. The tension can be so thick you could cut it with a knife. By the middle of the day my nerves are shot. There is a lot of complaining, arguing, yelling, disrespect, and disobedience around here. I have been trying to wrap my mind around what is ailing our family so much that would cause this to be such a house of horrors. I asked God to speak to me through His word. He reminded me of some verses.