Back From Maternity Leave

A couple weeks ago, I had a bit of an emotional meltdown.

And then, of course, following the emotional meltdown, I had an epiphany.

I started back to work at the beginning of the year, and I haven’t had the easiest transition coming back. I love my job and the people I work with, but it doesn’t feel right that I’m spending my days away from my babies. It’s been a very emotional return, and fortunately the Lord has blessed me with many friends (old and new) who have been so understanding and have reassured me that I am not alone in this. Being a working mom is hard enough without my own pressures, guilt, and longings to be with my kids flooding my mind most days.

To make matters worse, when I get home, I am overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” that needs to be done. Housework needs to be done, dinner needs to be cooked and eaten, kids need to be bathed, and it all needs to be done the moment I walk in the door. This is in my mind, of course. Caleb is a wonderful husband and is more than supportive and helpful–but he can’t change the things that sneak into my mind every evening.

We had a night of prayer at youth group a few weeks ago, and everyone shared the things in their lives that needed prayer. Some were needing physical healing, some were struggling with things, and I shared that I needed help managing my time. That was the only thing I could come up with to describe my constant dilemma, but it’s more like I feel the need to try and control my life, when I really don’t have any control at all.

I can’t clean my house every day. Not the whole thing… that’s so unrealistic. I need to be smarter in the way I do things so I’m not running around doing a whole lot of nothing. In the midst of trying to clean (or saying “I’d really like to get THIS done before going to bed”), I’m trying to spend time with my kids, but sometimes I get so distracted that they get even less of my attention. I’m already gone all day, and I come home and try to get a bunch of other stuff done. I can’t do it all. I hate that it bothers me, too.

I am going to try to not stress about some things in my life. If the laundry doesn’t get folded, it doesn’t get folded. I’d rather spend my energy on my kids. Until our life circumstances change, I will make the most of what God has blessed us with.

I know I’m not alone in this. I know many other moms who feel the same way. I’ve been reading Esther recently, thanks to the SheReadsTruth app (which I love, by the way), and one verse really stuck with me.

“…And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Mordecai was talking to Queen Esther about how she could be the one to save her people. Basically, no one knows why we’re put in the positions we are in, but we need to be brave enough (or strong enough, or humble enough, etc…) to accept the task God puts before us. I need to remember this as well. I may not have the role I want to be in, but God never promised I would be perfectly happy in life, based on my definition of happiness anyway. This may still very well be where God wants me, and until that changes, I need to be joyful in my position and make the most of my time with my kids. And until then, I need to pray for contentment and that I would desire his plan over my own.

 

Encouragement for the Gloomy

This week has been a bit rough for me emotionally. You know that overwhelming feeling where things don’t go exactly as you hoped? Big things and little things both defeat me. I have so many verses I try to focus on pretty much on a daily basis to keep my thoughts, expectations, and control problem at bay, but some days it defeats me anyway (usually because I let my guard down and let my mind wander). It can be the smallest thing (ahem, today was the fact that the house is dirty again. Come on, I just cleaned it) that sets me in a gloomy mood (and let’s face it, hormones only make it worse!), and I feel like I’m starting at square one in trusting God. It’s a good reminder that I’m human and I’ve never done learning.

The coolest part is that I usually don’t have to go searching for comfort or answers on my own; today, my peace came from my facebook page. I saw the photo that K-LOVE posted this morning. Click here for the picture.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6.

I immediately made it the wallpaper on my phone. I definitely needed this reminder–nothing is too great to ask God for. You may not receive the answer you want at the time you want it, but He wants us to ask, and for us to be thankful about what He has already given us and done for us. So even though I may not ask for my house to miraculously clean itself, I can ask that it won’t overwhelm me, and won’t make me overlook the important things I should be doing today, like spending my day off with Ava, teaching her new things, and observing the things she absorbs on her own.

During my Quiet Time this morning, I continued in Philippians and was further encouraged by verse 7:

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Um. Yes please! I so desire to have that peace–and not just when I’m feeling happy with how life is going and in a good mood. I want to feel that way when I know I’m about to feel stressed or overwhelmed. I want to beat myself to the punch, and not even have the chance to try to take control myself! And it’s possible! This is what I strive for.

And then the next few verses are a good reminder for the road about how we should strive to conduct ourselves in our thoughts. Here’s 8 and 9 for ya.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

There ya have it folks. That’s what I have been thinking about today. Hope it helps someone else out there too!