I Resolve to Not Fold Underwear…

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FoldingI don’t know about you, but I love making New Year’s Resolutions.  The past few years I have resolved to do three things that I’ve never done before.  This seems to be easier to accomplish than the standard “lose weight” or the like.  I have managed to do a zip line in the mountains, climb a lighthouse, ride in a helicopter, and a few other things.  All were thrilling and I’m glad I did them.

This year, I will try to keep that resolution, but plan on adding another.  I will not fold underwear anymore.  This may seem stupid, so let me explain…

The past two years I have tried to keep our house going by myself.  That, along with church, work, boys’ school, baseball, basketball, and whatever else we do became very hard.  I think that most people thought that I was doing a fine job of keeping everything going.  On the surface, I was.  If you ask my boys, they would probably have a different answer.  We are all good at putting on a happy face for others when we need to, but we can’t hide from God or those that are with us most.  The past two years, that was my boys.  They experienced my loss of patience time and again.  My stress level was high and many times, they witnessed my steam release.  It wasn’t pretty.

I was talking to a friend yesterday at my son’s basketball practice.  We were talking about having a basketball goal at home and how our boys love it.  We have had one at our house since the first Christmas my husband left for Japan.  She casually asked, “surely you play a game of horse with them sometimes?”  My reply… “no, usually if they are playing, I am doing stuff in the house.  It’s my chance to get things done.”

That response has weighed on me since it released itself from my mouth.  I was being Martha again… trying to keep everything going like a well-oiled machine while my husband was gone.  I succeeded, but at what cost?  My boys missed their dad as much as I did.  He would play with them… wrestle with them… cut up with them.  What do I do? Fold their underwear… and for no reason because they just throw them in the drawer!

Now, please know that I’m not being too hard on myself.  I know that all those other things I do must be done.  But, this year I am going to try to be in the moment… try to laugh… try to relax… try to play… try to enjoy…

As moms, we can get caught up in the tasks that need to be done.  And, they do need to be done.  We can’t let the laundry pile up; we can’t let the toilet turn black; we can’t leave the dishes undone.  However, maybe we could skip something like folding underwear to squeeze in 5-10 minutes to play catch, shoot some hoops, dance in the kitchen, or just laugh with our children.  I resolve to try…

“a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them” Ecclesiastes 3:5a

Last Night, I Cried…

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CryMy husband and I were talking last night while lying in bed.  A while into the conversation I started to cry.  I told him that I don’t think I had cried in two years (the time he was gone).  His response… “you didn’t miss me?”  My response… “I missed you!”

I explained to him that for the past two years I was afraid to cry for fear that I might not be able to stop.  I had to hold it together for my boys… for my family… for myself.  I couldn’t let the boys see me breakdown because they looked to me to be their strength.  So, I sucked it up, fought it, and held it in… until last night.

Like I feared, once the flood gates were broken, it took a while for the well to run dry.  I think I cried for a few hours.  It wasn’t a loud, sobbing cry, but more a lip quivering, crocodile tear cry.  I went through most of a box of tissue and lost more sleep than I needed to lose.  But I cried.

I cried for everyday in which I felt like I failed.  I cried for every harsh word that I spoke to my boys because I was so stressed.  I cried for every night that I begged God to bring my husband back home to his family and friends that love him dearly.  I cried for every thought of “will my marriage survive this?”  I cried for every hardship and temptation that I knew my husband was facing.  I cried for the gift of every friend that loved and encouraged me along the way.  I cried for every friend that showed up to support my boys.  I cried for each moment when I thought I could not go on, yet found a way.  I cried for knowing that God was with us all though every breath.  I cried for that happiness and relief that I felt when I finally had my arms around my husband.  I cried…

I know that there are plenty of people who looked at me as a pillar of strength.  I wasn’t.  I am just a girl who went through a trial.  I didn’t have any choice, but to get through each day the best I could.  I prayed our way through it and we came out ok.  Nothing has been perfect or even easy, but I’ve learned that good enough is good enough.

“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” Ecclesiastes 3:4

Moving On…

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Dylan TigersThis is the toughest, bravest, hard-working kid I know. And, I just so happen to be his mom.  Yesterday, he was cut from his baseball team.  After the initial sting of the phone call, we realized that we will be fine… just fine.

He had landed in a very toxic situation on his last team.  In spite of his stellar offensive numbers and awesome defensive performance, he sat the bench a lot and batted last.  All the while, taking it in stride and being the best encourager of his teammates.  I can’t say that I handled his treatment as well as he did.  It’s tough as a parent to watch your child go through tough situations.  Sometimes, our kids are treated unfairly.  We all are.  I tell my boys all the time life isn’t fair.  You are kidding yourself if you think otherwise.  There will always be someone who gets something they don’t deserve and others that deserve, but don’t get.  It is what it is and will continue to be this way.

I had been praying about this whole situation for a few months.  I felt like we were stuck with not a lot of options.  I’m sad to say that while knowing how well he performed last season, I lacked confidence that he had other options.  I should have had enough confidence in him, because he is a great player, to remove him from the situation and know that God would take care of everything.  I didn’t.  Instead, he tried out and was cut.

I can gladly tell you that after that sting, we are all relieved and looking forward to a new beginning. As I should have known, he has already been sought out by another team.  A team that will appreciate what he has to offer… one that needs what he has to offer.  He wasn’t even upset about being cut, I think he was actually relieved to not be in that situation anymore.  He can breathe again… he can enjoy the game again.  Isn’t that what kids are supposed to do?  Enjoy the game!

I didn’t have the gumption to remove him, so God did it for us.  Like He always does, God sent him another opportunity.  The lesson here is that sometimes when you are in a situation that just isn’t working, don’t try to force it to work or even accept that this is how is must be.  God has a plan, God is in control, God will work it out.  I knew that… but I just needed a reminder.

We wish that team the best.  We will miss our baseball family dearly, but we are excited about this new opportunity. Even more excited that, through prayer, God has led my son where He wants him to be.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Surprise!…

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Surprise HomecomingSo, he managed to pull it off!  He surprised us.  We were leaving church last Wednesday.  I walked outside to go to the truck and there he stood.  I screamed… I dropped everything I was holding… I held him.

Never did I think that he would be home for Christmas.  I was totally content knowing that he would be home after the first of the year.  God works things out… far better than we can even imagine most times.

When we started this whole ordeal, I decided that I would let go and let God take care of us.  I was scared of facing two years without my husband.  Could I handle everything on my own; could our marriage survive being apart so long; could by boys cope without their dad?  Now that it’s over, I can answer “yes” to them all.  All the credit goes to God for getting us through each day and for bringing us back together again.

I can’t explain how much my faith has grown these past two years, but it has.  I can whole-heartedly say that if you trust in Him, He will provide.  It may be through friends and family, it may be through prayer, it may be however He chooses.  We can’t limit God’s capabilities to ours.  If you call on Him, He will show up!

I thank each person that helped us, prayed for us, laugh with us, cried with us, and encouraged us.  We are truly blessed to be planted in this place.  We will continue to do our best to serve Him.  We have added to our testimony and will continue to share it.

“Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4