Friday, June 26, 2009

Summertime Blues?

Alan Jackson sings "there ain't no cure" for them. I don't know for sure, but I hope he's wrong!

At any rate, I got 'em. I'm just so overwhelmed lately. Some things that are overwhelming me...

--Cleaning the house. And keeping the house clean. I know it's terrible to complain about such a thing when there are thousands of people who don't even have a house. It's just been a lifelong (or so it seems "lifelong") dream of mine to get the kids "on-board" with helping CONSISTENTLY around the house. We instituted "chore auctions" last year, where the kids can collect tickets for doing routine chores and redeem those tickets at a monthly auction for prizes such as "trip alone with Mom" or "open gym with Dad" or "dollar store treat". It worked great for a while, but then the older kids lost their interest in it, and now it's like pulling teeth to get them to consistently help out. I guess they want more money. Not gonna happen!

--Not getting enough time to write. Here I am, trying to get one or more blog postings done per week to keep the thing alive. I do this blog primarily for posterity, and I'm afraid if I don't stay at it, I'll let it go too long and eventually it will die out. I don't want that to happen, but it's so darn tough to write when I am constantly being pulled away to chauffeur kids to summer activities or feed them. And the blog is the LEAST of my writing goals. I haven't worked on writing a book for my business in like two months. I haven't worked on marketing my business, either! (Sorry Meg; I'm letting myself down and I'm letting you down. You're a great mentor!) I just can't get enough time in the day to string together more than five minutes toward a decent thought. I'm also writing my memoirs on Story of My Life, and my goal to write one story a week is in serious jeopardy as it is Friday and I have yet to make an entry this week. Saturday is usually complete family day - and we've got the lawn to mow. Which brings me to the next entry here.

--Keeping this place looking decent. My husband is outstanding in this area. He does 99.9% of the landscaping, planting, watering, gardening, etc. I help in some ways, but let's be honest--it would look like crap around here if it weren't for Mark. I like keeping things simple, and he likes to keep a fairly elaborate landscape. Thank God that Mark takes such an interest, but it gets really overwhelming to me because I look around and see all of the buildings/window frames/etc. that need painting, in addition to the general upkeep of the interior of the house. I just never seem to find the time or money to buy the materials needed to get it all done. It's all I can do to keep the INSIDE of the house halfway decent!

--People who bug me and threaten my contentment. I know, I know, "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." Thank you, Eleanor Roosevelt; you are absolutely right. The thing is, I have a really hard time NOT consenting to them sometimes. There is one person in particular whom the very thought of causes me to get a sick feeling in my stomach. I pray about this person and my view of this person on a daily basis. I pray for peace and for understanding, but God hasn't helped me out with this one yet. I know it's in His own time, but it's so hard because meanwhile, I feel like my kids are getting exposed too much to this person's negative influence. Call it the maternal instinct to protect my kids. Call it petty. Call it whatever; it hurts and I hate feeling it. I have to remind myself of how tough the apostle Paul had it when he wrote "Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may know God's good, pleasing and perfect will." The people who really bug me are most definitely of "this world", and I am fighting so hard to not be part of it...and I want our kids to fight that conformity, as well. I feel like God is calling me to protect our kids and show them the right way to act and treat people. I know I can't shield my kids from every negative thing out there--that would be weird and unhealthy--but it is hard letting go. It's so hard to know when God wants me to fight, and when He wants me to stand back and watch.

--Dreams. Besides growing the book business, I have so many dreams that I want to accomplish someday. I'm afraid to talk about them here, for fear that months or years from now I'll read this and have proof that I STILL haven't accomplished them in the future. (Does that make any sense? ) I don't want to leave my comfort zone of not admitting what I really want to do. Although my thirties are wayyyyyyyyyyy better than my twenties were, in so many personal and spiritual ways, there was a certain level of creativity I had in my twenties that I wish I could get back. I do not regret staying home with our kids and leaving my job for one second, but I do regret that I haven't found a way to channel my thoughts and ideas into some tangible products, not much anyway.

--Our Vacation Bible School coming up in a few weeks. VBS is something I helped start in this town, and I am proud of what so many people have come together to do every year for our kids and for His glory. The thing is, this year's lessons are based on a curriculum by Answers in Genesis, and it's mindblowing. I can't really explain it all here--it would take too much time and too many words--but it's basically creation and the "young earth" mindset of a Christian worldview. I have been reading all kinds of adult books and research to back up the curriculum, and I am just amazed at what God has revealed to me through it all. I have been looking for ways to "prove" His existence and Creation, and even though I really don't have to prove anything to anyone, I feel like it's our job as Christian educators at this VBS to "know our stuff" and be able to answer controversial questions that may arise from the kids or their parents. I am a big proponent of public education (my husband is a teacher and I have been one B.C.), but my eyes are opening to the secular, evolutionary worldview which has brainwashed many of us since before I can remember. So many of us want to be followers of Jesus, but we don't know how to explain how this world started. So we think we can pick and choose what is in His Word that is "true" and what is "not true". Jesus warns us, "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" How can we truly believe and rely on Jesus, if we don't believe what God the Father has done for us since the beginning of time? You either accept and believe it, or you don't. I know I'm getting deep here -- He is speaking to me a lot lately, and I am just overwhelmed by it all!

--Body image and aging issues. A direct contrast and contradiction to that which I speak of above!! See, I am telling you--I'm human. I succumb to self-doubt, to hating the flab around my middle, to wondering if I'll ever run that marathon or start the 30-Day Shred DVD I bought last month. (Another excuse here is that I'm still looking to scrounge up enough $ to buy the dumbbells and exercise mat.) It's hard to break out of my treadmill routine. I need the cardio but man, is my middle softening up. My back has been aching lately, and I know why--I need to strengthen my core. And then there's the issue of my wrinkles and my hair which is too long and whose highlights have grown out. I know that true beauty is from within, and that the joy of the Lord is my strength, but I still have thoughts of depression at my appearance and wishing I could improve in this area. Nothing major, but I think God wants us to look our very best, doesn't He?

--Good people dying. I know that it's bad when anybody dies, but when a good person dies it is just so hard to take. I'm thinking of the boy scout leader and boy scout from Iowa who were broadsided last weekend by a motor home that veered into their lane. Going to a scout trip, high hopes for fun and male bonding...crash. And Ed Thomas, the beloved legendary high school football coach from Aplington-Parkersburg (Iowa) who was shot and killed by a former player who walked into his weightroom Wednesday morning. My husband actually talked on the phone and exchanged some football defensive stuff with him. It really hits home--it could have been my husband! This one is even tougher to comprehend than the car accident because the person who caused the death MEANT to do it; he wanted this man dead. This man who was loved and respected by thousands. I am saddened and my heart goes out to Coach Thomas' family and community friends. Thank God that he was a devout, public Christian. So I pray that his influence will continue to point people to the only One who makes any sense at all.

Well, I better close. The kids are calling, and I have extended my "coherent thought" quotient for the day!

On a brighter note, Mark and Cy just returned from their first fishing excursion of the year! Their first one EVER as father and son. Mark just learned how to fish last year, and he is so awesome about finding time to do the little things with the kids that mean so much to them. I need to work on that.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."--John 14:6


Blogger Astrid said...

Oh my. I totally understand what you're saying. I'm going to write my own Summertime Blues post.

June 29, 2009 at 6:31 AM  

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