Almost an entire year gone. I made a decision necessary to my sanity to start writing again last year, but it lasted only a brief month. I have often thought of sitting down at my computer and processing life a bit, but something always stops me. Sometimes it’s the cries of my fighting children, sometimes its the endless claims of boredom from my daughter, sometimes it’s the hours of dicing and sauteing I have to spend in the kitchen or the billionth sweeping I have to do under the table to clean up the meal I just spent 3 hours making. But sometimes it’s me feeling too drained to be creative, too dark to give words to my current moods. This year has been a hard one and sharing the parts that don’t feel so humorous or uplifting seems a little overexposing for my comfort.
Being a mother has been such a wonderful adventure, watching the squirmy blobs that basically just cry and sleep turn into little people with very different and very special personalities. Being a pastor’s wife in a foreign country has also been a crazy adventure, always sounding like an idiot whenever I open my mouth (not that different from America I guess) and trying to mesh into a culture where pretty much everything except sleeping is done differently. But as exciting as those started out being, after the last few years it seems like all that excitement has turned into a big list of chores and responsibilities that I just can’t seem to escape from.
It’s true that the job of a mom is never over. It’s also true that being a pastor is not a 9-5 job. But can’t there be somewhere where I get to be me while I’m doing the other two? I’m trying to avoid the cliche phrase that pops up in Hollywood and broken marriages where someone says as they are ready to check out of their life, “I just don’t know who I am anymore and I need to find out.” I know who I am, it just doesn’t seem to matter much in the face of everyone else’s needs. I want to be fully engaged with my children, with my husband, and with the people around me. But I think also that there must be a healthier me to offer up than the burnt out, frustrated and bitter me that I feel myself turning into.
I didn’t just arrive here yesterday, and I’m on a journey with the Lord to find the way out. But I think it must be a common place for moms with young kids to find themselves. We try to do everything. We try to hold everything together. We try to protect everyone around us from every bad possibility. But what about us? Praise the Lord he gave us husbands so that we’re not alone in this. Josh is the rock in my life, always standing no matter what life brings. But his life is not the same as mine. Some things he tries to understand but just can’t because he doesn’t live this day after day. Don’t get me wrong, he gets a taste of it when I need a break, but it’s a taste and not the supersized menu version of it.
So where do I go from here? I keep going to Jesus. Over and over and over. And I’m listening for his action plan. I’m listening not just for this moment, for this crisis, for this situation. I’m listening for life. For life abundantly. I’m not going to the self-help section at the Christian bookstore. I’m not following a 5 step plan for stay at home moms to feel fulfilled. I deeply believe that each person is different and has a different path to go down. The end goal is the same for all of us, but finding the road is the most important part because our map is Jesus. And to read the directions we have to go straight to Him. I can’t read the map he wrote for someone else, because then my journey will be theirs. And the result will be an unfulfilled me again. I want what he has just for me, for my personality, for my circumstances, for my gifts and my weaknesses.
So I will attempt, again, to walk through these issues with a vulnerable heart so that others may understand where I am even though I’m so far away, or identify because they’re so close to where I am.