Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Poor Poor Pitiful Me...

Everything in life...anything of worth, requires maintenance.

Everyone knows this...it's not some new deep thought.

I've known this for a long time...logically speaking.  But every fiber of my being wills it to not be true.  I want to work at something ONE time, maybe two and then I want it to just work perfectly...forever.

I think I'm not alone.  

I know that's not how it works...but it doesn't change the fact that sometime...many times I act as though it should work that way.  And when it doesn't, I play victim and give up, because it MUST not be fair...it shouldn't be SO HARD, right?!?

Yes it should.  Yes it is.  Time to get over it.

That's what I heard as I poured out my heart out to God this morning before finally dragging my lazy body out of bed.  I whined and complained to Him about how tired I was...about how cold it was, about how evil my treadmill was....on and on. 

It was my own answers to my complaints that hit me.    It was my thoughts on how things should feel...
  • I should be able to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and be able to pop up in the morning, cheery and ready to start my day.
  • Ditto for the kids.
  • When I get out of bed, I should step into a house that is clean...because after all, I spent TWO weeks getting it organized...it should STAY THAT WAY without me having to attend to it all the time.
  • My kids should get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush their teeth and THEN watch cartoons until school starts...because that's the routine, they know it, they just should do it.
  • I will of course have gotten up by 6 AM (cheery) and spent the time alone with God that I so desperately need.  I'd also have time to make a menu/grocery list so that I could hit the store after dropping the kids off to school.
  • I would then hit the treadmill, shower and actually have myself ready by...say...11.
  • Then, I could work on ministry stuff...all the while my house would stay clean because no one would be undoing whatever it was that I had done.
  • Supper would be planned and prepared, because I of course, had a menu and all the ingredients needed to make it.
  • Then, and this is the kicker, we would all sit down and NOT ONE CHILD would complain and refuse to eat.
Sound lofty?  Some of it is, some of it is completely unrealistic.  According to the amount of work I think I should have to put in, in order to achieve this makes it IMPOSSIBLE!

Have you ever looked at women who seem to be able to pull this off and think,  how in the world does she do it?  I'm ashamed to say, that most often, I assume that it's easy for her.  That there must be something in her life that makes it extra easy for her to pull that off.  That I, on the other hand, have it so much harder...that MUST be why I can't do it.

Wrong.  So wrong.  Truthfully, that crazy list is not really that lofty (except for the kids actually getting themselves ready:).  But it requires work, and diligence.  It requires doing what needs to be done even when I don't feel like it.  It requires no excuses.

I don't have to work any harder than anybody else to accomplish things.  Time to stop giving myself excuses.  Time to do things I don't feel like doing.  Which for me right now, means folding an enormous basked of whites...my least favorite ;)

If you relate at all to this, I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

36 comments:

  1. The spirit is willing but the flesh is WEAK!! I too want to have early quiet time, and exercise daily, but just have a hard time pulling it off. My kids & I spent hours cleaning the playroom 2 weeks ago, I went in there yesterday and it was TOTALLED. Literally couldn't walk on the floor without stepping on stuff.

    I don't have any answers, except keep trying. I wish I knew! When I was a single gal all this was easy. But as I added hubby & kids, my own time got less. I guess as moms we sacrific stuff - but sometimes we pick the WRONG stuff to sacrific. (Notice my blogs keep posting, my faceboook page is up to date, etc.) Hmmmm.

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  2. I'm right there with you.....feeling it all!
    Unrealistic, yes-- but it is what I want too -YES I DO.....I am sitting here putting off housework even as I type....gotta get to it!

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  3. yep! time to make a list... it is the only way I will get anything done today!
    whew! all this time a home and I still can't keep up!!!!! I must realize that the work will never be done... I just gotta figure out what will get done today... nope make that ... this morning! hmmm... already 9:30 ... gotta get moving!!!!! aH!!!!!

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  4. oh yea, i relate. (i hate whites clothes too) *sidenote* but, anywho, i have struggled with the comparisons for years, as my kids have grown older some of it is easier since they begin to care about their own selves a little more. but, i hate maintaining i think its stressful. that's why i pray everyday for God to help me, i just can't seem to be the wonderwoman that some are or appear to be. i think sometimes we set unrealistic ideas about who we are supposed to be as christian women. i have often wondered if Jesus could come and sit with me and talk it over if he wouldnt say...quit wearing yourself out, all i have asked of you is to love me and love others. my burden is light my yoke is easy.

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  5. I am working on loving this body. I can't BELEIVE how much I feel like I'e aged since having children. and Last night I went to join a bible study and there were two groups of women. Single 20's no kids and empty nesters in their 50's and up. I felt like a complete misfit! When did I become so minoity? Hubby then said after I got home and cried my eyes out..."Sara, the reason their were no other ladies your age with young kids is they are all working jobs and raising those kids, they don't have time to join a bible study." It helped a little, but then I thought, well WE'RE the ones who need it MOST! wahhhh.
    OK, onto your list. I am very, very into working on the last item. The cooking good meals and NO ONE complain. I went through a week of no cooking...I'm talking put out crackers or boxes of cereal. Now the children won't eat until we pray and they will ALWAYS say thank you to who ever cooked the meal...we are still working on the eating and complaining part.

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  6. Don't should on yourself.

    Having said that, I, too, fall into thinking of all the things I should be capable of doing especially when others seem to be managing all that and more.

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  7. Yeah, I have a real problem with those oh-so-quickly undone jobs. Dishes. Laundry. Floors. "BUT I JUST CLEANED THAT!!!" Seems to be a prevalent thought so often in my mind.
    I just have to remind myself it is on ongoing process. Yes, it is awesome when I get things nice and squeaky clean, but LIFE HAPPENS.
    How sad would I be if no one lived in this house with me to dirty up my floors? How awful would it be if I had no food to make my dishes dirty? And my obsession with clothes - yeah, they are going to need cleaned too. :)
    SO, I guess your post hit a nerve and I am now preaching to myself. Just a little venting
    :)

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  8. I think every woman can relate to this. We try hard to be "superwomen" but it just doesn't seem to come together as we envisioned.

    I've just started Beth Moore's new Bible Study, "Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman". This is so timely.

    Take heart, dear one. I know it's disappointing when the family doesn't fulfill your expectations. You have a big God who can do anything. He is concerned about every aspect of your life.

    According to your list, you are offering your family structure. That's good! Persistence and consistency are beneficial to children's success. Reasonable structure helps children know what to expect, and when they know what is expected of them, things generally run smooth. You know your family's limitations, keep that in mind as you work at this.

    You are following what Matthew 11:28 says to do. Keep up the good work!

    Blessings

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  9. It's so funny you are posting about this. Just last night when I was crawling into bed I was feeling horrible about myself because we picked up Wendy's since I felt like I was coming down with a cold and didn't think I could stand over the stove and hold my head up at the same time. I was berating myself for being such a bad wife/mom and my hubby gets in bed and starts thanking me for everything I've been doing. He listed how we didn't eat out a single night last week, how I've kept all the laundry up, the dishes have been done in a timely manner considering I've cooked every night but last night, how I've done some of "his duties" with Princess so he could spend time studying, and (here's the kicker that blew me away) he said I've had a good attitude the whole time which has been really encouraging to him. Needless to say I was in tears - not a good combo when you think you are getting a cold. :) And I realized how much effort and attitude make a real difference. Does my house (and meals) look like June Cleaver has been staying with us? Absolutely NOT! In fact, nothing is still up to my standard. But I know (because I've struggled with this before and will probably do so all my life) that they devil sets a level of perfection and expectation before that it impossible to achieve, and as long as I'm focused on being "perfect" it takes my focus off of God and puts it on myself. I've been consciously working on "not caring" if certain things don't get done so I can focus on my time with Him and my time to prepare for ministry. No one's going to die if the laundry doesn't get folded until tomorrow.

    I'm learning each day that in order to pour out to the fullest extent, I have to be filled up with Him.

    Thanks for posting this.

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  10. Let me let you in on a little secret... Some of those women who appear so together are really dying on the inside.

    This was me five years ago. A newlywed, brand new teacher, and a Masters' student. My marriage starting crumbling very early on. Actually, I knew soon before the wedding that I shouldn't marry him, but did it anyways because I was afraid of what people would think when I cancelled it!

    My marriage was falling apart from the inside out. To compensate, I was SuperTeacher at work and graduated with my Masters with a 4.0 GPA... All this ended with a divorce after five years of marriage. The girl who never failed at anything (for the record, I'm leaving sports out of this equation!), failed miserably at the ONE THING she wanted more than anything... To be a wife (and someday, a mother). Man, that hurt.

    We are all broken people. Some of us just put on a better show than others. Don't be fooled.

    I know you know this in your head, but believe it in your heart. Know that your willingness to share your brokenness so openly with the world both requires courage and provides inspiration to others.

    That's why we all like reading your blog so much, even those of us who have never met you. It's because you. are. REAL.

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  11. Oh yes, I can totally relate.

    It's usually my own expectations for myself that cause me the most problems. Yes, work hard and be diligent, but also, cut yourself some slack.

    I"m working on it too.

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  12. hey girl, i feel like this on a daily basis---full time job, full time kids, full time messy house, be here, be there, fix this, help with this, and then the "husband thing" which you know what i am talking about--then the hmm, you have out on 60+ pounds, but when do you have time to take care of that? but i have also filled myself with excuses and all they do is drag me down even further, it is a sad sad state...don't even get me started about when i start to compare myself to other women who "have it all together" BLAH

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  13. Thanks for convicting me about hitting snooze 3 times this morning. You need to ditch some of your expectations of yourself. Who puts those on you? You or God? I do these same things to myself all the time, then realize God created me this way and to embrace who I am and not fuss about what I am not. But that Martha seems to inevitably rise up in me time and time again.

    Don't know how that Mrs. Duggar does it. Oh, maybe it's all the teenage girls she has to help. That's it ... just have a baby every year and you'll have your own help. Then, put them to work.

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  14. Can I relate? Absolutely. I tell myself, "Things will be better when I stay at home." But in reality, I know that once I'm at home full time, there will be more excuses "Things will get better when (you fill in the blank)"

    I'm working on reading a book called "The Mission of Motherhood" and one thing she says in there is that part of life is balancing "the tension of unfinished work" with the need to be there for your family. So finding that balance between knowing when to let the laundry go so you can have a heart to heart with your child, but not letting the laundry go so you can finish that TV show you love. Being a mom/wife is not for the faint of heart. Thank God He helps us in our weaknesses! :) Be encouraged though, you are probably harder on yourself than anyone else is! And thanks for your honesty! It's so nice to know someone else is in the same boat as me!

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  15. I think we all feel the same. I definitely can't keep up with it all. Kids (even though they're teens) full time job, the house, the meals, exercise, Bible study, prayer time, etc, etc.

    Sometimes we have to just let some of it go (not the prayer and time in the Word though). My philosophy is becoming, it'll all still be there tomorrow! Also I remind myself that is what doors are for. We try to keep the main part of the house straight and just close the doors on the bedrooms! hahaha

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  16. I have nothing to add, but truly apprectiate the post. I'm right there with you. I'll be reading the comments to get ideas and insight too! :)

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  17. I think what has helped me over the years is to quit comparing myself to others. god created me and my family unique...my house is not going to look like anyone elses. My family is not going to function like my best friend's and that is okay!!! When I start comparing myself to others is when satan gets that hook and starts pulling me down. I need to know what it is that God wants for my family and the best way that we function and go from there!

    thanks for posting on this!!

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  18. Sarah:

    Your post reminded me of somthing said by Erma Bombeck. I posted it on my site. If you get a chance, take a look at it. I sent people here to read yours irst. I hope it encourages you like it does me.

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  19. I've often though that I will never live up to be the kind of mom my mom is. When we were little, she was still working full time, spending time with the Lord and running in the morning, yet she still had time to:
    -make breakfast
    -fix four girls' heads of hair
    -do a little cleaning around the house
    Then at night we had a clean house by supper and we almost always sat down to eat supper together, frequently a mother-baked meal. Most of this was done while Sam and Autumn fought and Megan and Lindy bit each other. :)
    Now that I'm pregnant, I hope I can pull that off... (not the biting thing, the mother thing - I've grown out of biting people) :)
    Megan

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  20. Ok, were you in my house this morning and I just didn't see you?

    This post actually made me a little teary-eyed because I was such a bear this morning to my kids :( I actually lectured my two-year old twins that "dilly-dallying" and "piddling" was not an option in the morning (I'm a southern gal, can't you tell?).

    Sound harsh? I was!!!! Oh, crap.

    Thanks for your reminder that the daily grind requires constant love and guidance from God. He reminds us that a mother's work is the most important work of all, doesn't He? :) Have a good day! I really enjoy reading your blog!

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  21. I actually laughed after reading your list of things that should be in a day. Just seemed pretty impossible to me, especial no one complaining about dinner.

    I always whine and lament the fact that my house doesn't stay clean. I try really hard, but the problem is that people live here. If only the house were empty, it would look SO pretty.

    I heard a man say that he was taking something home and putting next to his chair to read later. He said it was the only thing in his house that he had and that he was allowed to "mess up". That go me thinking and feeling really guilty. I alwyas get on my family for just living where they're supposed to live. Shame on me.

    All because I'm lazy.
    -FringeGirl

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  22. Sorry, me again. I just read mamma belle's comment about the Dougers...LOL!

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  23. Oh i can relate for sure, except instead of 3 kids sitting down at the table and complaining about dinner, its usually 6 or 9! I so get your post and even though I am organized, and get up early something always goes chaotic to throw the day off! Its hard to stay focused and remember that its not about what I want to do but what does God want me to do. I am learning that ever so slowly.

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  24. Just letting you know that I like thinking with you about what you post. I love reading all the comments and suggestions you get.
    Set limits on how long you will do something and try to stick with them.
    Lois

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  25. Yes, I can totally relate, especially how nice it would be to have no one undoing everything! And the whites--oh the many unmatched socks that are in the whites...

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  26. Girl, I'm right there with you! I can totally relate!

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  27. This is tricky for me. I totally agree with the need to face that there simply needs to be more trying, more discipline, and less whining. (on the one hand)

    But I also kick myself for comparing myself to "those" other women, who seem to have it all together because most likely they really don't. I'm starting to wonder if any of us really do. Some may be a little better at being disciplined, but there is always SOMETHING. Admitting we're THAT weak is a part of the humility we really need.

    I may be making no sense. I'm on my second week of single parenting (Ryan is gone for work) so my sleep deprivation is making it impossible to make sense :)

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  28. i think about this all the time...so there with you!

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  29. Oh I certainly can relate, especially with the exercise part. But last week I had a wake-up call with a trip to the ER and an abnormality found on an EKG. The bottom line is that everything checked out OK, and the abnormality has probably been there for some time. But I need to stay on Weight Watchers and keep exercising and hopefully avoid further problems.

    So I'm praying for strength to remain disciplined with the lifestyle changes I need to make.

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  30. Don't think we are ever caught up are we? The exercise for me is getting easier but the housework gets pushed to the side...its all a balance...one I am not balancing well all the time...I need Gods help with that! =)

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  31. Boy keeping up with any of it is hard for me. By nature I am not organized so I first have to fight that...Oh well, start fresh today and try again!!!

    Good luck!

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  32. I have a sign in my classroom -

    Today is a GIFT! Reach for it.

    Learning a lot from that in how I spend my time, what I worry about, how I interact with my kids (both at school and at home) ... I tend to be in a rush for tomorrow to come ... but then I realize that if I don't live today {in chaos at times} then I'm really not living!

    Anyway - just do what you can with the gifts you've been given & the rest will fall into place.

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  33. Yes, yes, yes!! I was so crabby towards the kids and down on myself all morning for the things I hadn't done/ was behind on. Then a little voice in my head said, "what really matters?" And I had to admit that while getting math lessons accomplished, laundry folded, babies fed and changed, what REALLY matters is showing Christ to my children and helping them to be filled with His Word each day. The rest will happen- eventually.

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  34. If you find a way to achieve that list - PLEASE let me in on it!

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  35. Um, thought number one was, "I don't like her [post] today." Sorry about that. Thought #2: "Ouch. That hurts." See, just yesterday I (a single, childless woman [read: fewer distractions than most!]) wondered how everyone else did it all--and usually made it look so EASY! So, I guess if I would start by going to bed/getting up on time, I might have a better shot at this, huh? {*sigh*}

    (**ALWAYS!**) In Development,
    -J

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