Recently I went out with someone I used to be close to. It had been a while since I had seen her and the change in her was really hard to take in at first. One of the things that she made clear was that she wasn’t happy that I had one of my children along. She wants older friends who aren’t still in the raising young children stage, which is fine I guess but obviously does not include me. Anyways, I was really saddened by the whole thing. My children mean so much to me and are a part of who I am. When we got home I asked my daughter if she would like to go for a walk. As we walked she chatted away about this and that. We pointed out the different things we saw, tossed acorns at trees and then a game began to form. ”Let’s jump over the leaves mom!” I laughed as she clung to my hand, jumping every time we came upon a leaf in the road. Before long we were both jumping and laughing so hard our sides hurt. She was thrilled and I thought ”Thank you God for these moments. For this chance to be her mom.” I don’t want to rush this time away. I don’t want to push them aside so I can be “me” without them. I love my kids and they are a big part of me. If being my friend means leaving them behind all the time as if they weren’t a part of my life, I can’t do that. I’m not interested in doing that. I am a mom.
When I think of how I feel right now it makes me smile. I am happy, contented. I have enjoyed the different stages of my life as mother and wife, but this time it’s different in a way. I enjoyed being home with my children, I enjoyed working outside of the house…but each had it’s own drawbacks that kept it from being perfect. This year, my kids are in school and I am home most of the time. I have a couple of jobs that I do one to two days a week; the rest of the time I am home. And I am loving it so much.
The children are in a new school this year and doing well. They love it and are learning so much. One of the biggest stressers of my life back when I was a stay at home, home shooling mama, was the knowledge that I wasn’t able to give them what they needed educationally. I tried, but they needed more and it’s hard to teach what you don’t know yourself. I used to lie awake at night worrying about their education and feeling like I was failing them. That burden is gone now as I watch them learning and know that they are getting the education they need.
Then there is our church. I feel like we are finally home. I love our church…and for anyone following my journey, you know that’s been a long time in coming. I look forward to Sunday every week, the worship speaks to me, the sermon encourages me in my walk with God. And the people. They are in all different stages, from new believers to elderly saints, but through them all the love of God shines. There’s a frankness, a realness among them. It is refreshing, rejuvinating and welcoming.
For the first time in a very long time I feel like life is good and I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this point in time and I thank God for it.
So there are three of us treadmill loving gals who all end up at the gym around the same time in the morning. Unfortunately, there are only 2 treadmills. The first two to arrive get the treadmills, the last one get to work out on this other machine that is sheer torture to workout on. Today, I was the unlucky third arrival. :-\ Pinning a smile on my face I brave the machine, praying all the while that the first lady doesn’t stay too long (she always gets there a while before us so only had about 10 minutes left when we arrive). 5 minutes in I was just about at the point of being ready to beg her to leave. lol She finally stopped talking and left nine minutes in. By then my legs were killing me. I stopped the machine, breathed a sigh of relief and said to the second lady “whew this one is hard”. She laughed and replied “Yeah, I did 15 minutes on that the other day and thought I was going to die!” I nodded and said “I used to like this machine. When I first started coming here it wasn’t so hard to do and I used it all the time…but then I found out that’s because it was broken”. She burst out laughing. ”Yeah” I said “Then she fixed it and…” She laughed again as I gratefully climbed onto the treadmill. It’s the machine. It is NOT because we are out of shape. It is definitely the machine. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Well, I wasn’t expecting to go offline for such a long time! The funny thing is that my last post talked about how I was taking back my house and I could post the same thing now. School is back in session and I have been busy “taking back my house” again. It’s looking nice now and I’ve got to tell you, I am loving being home What a difference it makes being home while the children are in school! My house is clean and organized, we’re eating better, I exercise regularly and life just feels a lot less stressful.
A lot of people have said to me “What are you going to do with yourself all day?!” and “It must be nice to have all that free time” but it’s not really like that. I don’t stop, despite the fact that my daughter thinks I lay in bed and read all day while she’s in school. lol I think I’m just the kind of person who could never be bored because I’m always finding things to do and I’m always busy…it’s just a different kind of busy now because I can focus on different things. I always have projects going.
And speaking of projects…I tackled a big one this summer, which is why I’ve been off-line so long. It took much longer than I was expecting but it’s beautiful and I’m really happy with the way it came out. What was it? Our bathroom. Our teeny, tiny ugly bathroom got a transformation this summer Here are a couple of before pictures:
It was awful and tiny, with no linen closet. We gutted it and started from scratch and I’m still amazed at the difference. We didn’t make the room any bigger but yet it is SO much more spacious! Here is what it looks like now. I have a linen closet!
I LOVE my new shower so much!!
(The trim around the window doesn’t match the rest of the room yet because we are going to replace the window so I’m waiting until that is done to change the trim.)
The toothbrush cubbie:
Notice that other than the ironing board cover that I still need to replace, there is no blue in the room? I was SO happy to get rid of that horrid blueness!
So that’s is some of what I’ve been up to. I already know what my next project will be and it involves moving walls….this is why I’m never bored. lol
I’m taking back my house. Oh yeah! And I’m loving every stinkin’ minute of it. My house is far from perfect but still…these past few months have seriously pushed the limits. I have no idea how people manage to work full time, care for their kids, put heals on the table and keep their house clean. I never succeeded. Throughout each week my house has ranged from messy to unbearable and back again. But I never had time to really clean it the way I wanted to – and how I used to when I was home. So now that school is out I have been taking back my home, one room at a time, and I gotta tell you…it feels good! I’m loving being able to walk through my home and have things neat, clean and organized. We even tackled the kids rooms. Uh huh. Things are looking good! Now if we can just get some much needed summer heat, my carpets will get cleaned. I am really loving being home.
I was talking with a friend this morning when she asked me how my Mother’s Day was. My response? ”It was great…we started the day with a big fight…” She burst out laughing. I wouldn’t tell that to most people (well, unless you’re on here reading my blog ) but I knew she would get it. We talked about how some people we know have proudly stated that they and their spouse have never argued…ever. They wear it like a badge of honor but I don’t think it’s healthy. No two people are exactly the same and if you never have an argument, someone is getting run over. My friend shared how her relationship with her ex-husband fell apart when they stopped fighting. Why? Because they were no longer talking about what was important to each of them. The relationship became one sided and unhealthy. Stuff was walled up and not dealt with, left to fester and grow.
It made me think back over our years of marriage. We have certainly had our share of arguments…and not always calm, quiet ones either. I don’t mind them because they always draw us closer in the end because stuff gets aired out and dealt with. We work through it. We no longer let it sit like we did in the early days of our marriage when we didn’t know what to do with our hurt feelings and different opinions. Now we talk it through. We take the time needed to calm down if we’re really upset and then we come back and talk it through. We listen to each other and let each other know we care and want to understand their side as well as share our own.
Communication is so important in a relationship. I know everyone says that, but it really is true. Jonathan and I both come from families that don’t communicate well so we’ve had to really work at it. It’s so worth it though. He said to me recently “I really like that we’re talking more now” and it’s true. We’ve fought for what we have. We’ve put a lot of sweat, tears and prayers into our relationship and it’s paid off.
And as he said tonight “It’s always better afterwards, have you noticed that?” It’s true. We are peaceful, happy and in love. Nothing has been left to wound and fester. We have each been heard, understood, affirmed and valued. We love and are loved in return. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
As I shared in a previous post, I think we may have found a church. This has become more and more clear over the past couple of weeks. Jonathan recently went to a men’s conference with a bunch of guys from the church and came home excited and refreshed. He got to spend most of the ride talking with the pastor and shared some of our painful journey with him. The pastor told him “You now have a place to rest” and “I’m glad you are here. I don’t know how long you will stay with us, but for however long that is, we are glad to have you here.” I’ve got to tell you, it feels good. And he’s right. We feel like we can relax and rest there. It’s peaceful.
This past week as the weekend drew near I began to realize that I was eagerly waiting for Sunday to arrive. I was actually excited about going to church! It has been so long since I have felt like that that I had begun to despair of ever enjoying it again. Even the children are beginning to get excited again. And after church I found myself listening to some teachings online while Jonathan read his Bible. I feel like we’re getting hungry again, hungry for God, and it makes me so happy.