Monday, May 07, 2007

Sick and Tired

You hear that phrase a lot. I don't personally like it, and don't generally say it very much. Although I am guilty (what parent isn't?) of resorting to it when my children have pushed the boundary too far.

I am sick and tired of... fill in the blank -
clothes on the floor.
dishes being left out on the counter.
cleaning up after your messes.

But right now, I must tell you, that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. This particular pregnancy has really wiped me out - and we are only in week 11! Seriously, I have never experienced morning sickness like this in my life. I have never been this fatigued, this exhausted, this unable to consistently cope with the affairs of my household. It is epidemic.

Why am I sharing all this? Well, besides the subtle, and maybe not so subtle cry for prayer, understanding or encouragement *wink*, I am learning that I can only be responsible for what God calls me (often through my husband) to take care of, and not what anyone else thinks I need to be doing. It is a liberating freedom to know that I am not responsible for managing the expectations of everyone in my sphere of acquaintanceship. The problem is that I continue to battle laying hold of this truth and walking in it. So rather than taking the nap when I should, I push myself to take care of something less important, become stressed and irritated, feel lousy, and bite my children's little heads off. YIKES!

In our society this is what is said about moms... They should be able to:
~~make 4-course home cooked meals every night.
~~keep all the laundry pressed, folded and delivered to each drawer and shelf in the home in a timely manner (that means Caleb's favorite shirt should be clean every day).
~~plan spontaneous outings while simultaneously manage to be organized for every foreseeable circumstance.
~~sing 3 originally composed lullabies for the baby every day.
~~read great works of literature to older children, and explain all the nuances of plot, vocabulary, context, and larger life applications for each sentence.
~~sew a minimum of 1/2 the households clothing, or if this is impractical spend countless hours searching second-hand and clearance marked racks at stores to always bring her family the deals.
~~maintain personal beauty and health through regular visits to the gym, hair salon, manicurist and beauty supply store (spending a total of $10 per year).
~~be willing and available to meet every need within her children, relatives, husband, friends and the local girl scout troop trying to raise funds which, incidentally, will cease to exist without her help (well, maybe the cookie drive isn't that hard).

Did I mention stay sane?


The list could go on and on. Moms working outside the home, moms home educating, moms with sick little ones who need special care, moms running a home without a husband, moms trying to keep it all together.

One of the blessings I wanted when I met Christ was the, "my burden is easy and my yoke is light." Do you feel that way regularly? A book I am reading shared an invaluable insight about this struggle, in women particularly. Jesus was alive for about 33+ years. He died before Rome was overthrown, world peace attained, and all the crippled, blind, broken people healed. That is quite a laundry list to leave for tomorrow... especially as a perfect man capable of doing all those things in a single breath. So what gives?

Very soon before Christ's arrest, and final crucifixion he says to God, "I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do." (John 17:4). WOW. So God didn't intend for him to take care of all the things that were left undone, even when his own disciples thought he was not nearly finished.

Whose expectation am I fulfilling? Am I caught up in people-pleasing and not God-pleasing? What is more important, a calm and rested spirit with a few things to do around the house, or an immaculate home with an irritated attitude and sad little children? I know the answers to these questions. But subtly it is easy to see how others, while believing the "right" answers too, still place expectation on you to do it all.

Well, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. And since there is not a dern thing I can do about being sick and tired physically, I am going to do whatever I can emotionally, and spiritually to stay healthy. And that might just mean you get to come over and see my laundry sitting in piles waiting to be folded. I am not going to feel guilty any more! *wink*

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