I Just Can't Check Any More Boxes

What follows is raw honesty. I share because I know I'm not the only one. If you're looking for perfect bloggers, you've come to the wrong blog! ;)

The last few weeks have been very...emotional for me.

We are in the throes of adoption, waiting for a match.

My husband has been traveling more than usual, which leaves me as a solo parent for days at a time.

We have begun our homeschool year in earnest, with children that aren't always super happy to be following the normal school routine after a summer of fun! fun! fun!

And somehow in there a darkness has started to pervade my heart and mind. Not the cartoon kind of darkness, like when Charlie Brown walks around with a rain cloud over his head. A darkness that affects my mood and my thought processes.

I've noticed that as my patience level has decreased, the volume of my voice has increased. I have found myself having some ridiculous arguments with my husband that I can't even remember what they were about by the time we finished arguing. I've been unkind to my children and, probably even worse, unkind to myself.

I have been overwhelmed with listening to lies that I know are from Satan himself because my God doesn't say things like that. And the more I listened, the darker my world became.

This morning it came to a head and I picked a nasty fight with my husband. Just a few minutes before we needed to leave for church. Where he was scheduled to preach. Oh yeah, winning combination.

During the course of our argument some very real truths came out and we resolved the argument with me pretty exhausted from all the sobbing and screaming and crying. We got the kids into the car and he asked if I would drive because he needed to finish up his Power Point.

We were about ten minutes down the freeway when I became overwhelmed again by thoughts so negative that I was starting to cry while driving. Not recommended at 70mph. Jeremy looked over at me and asked "Want me to drive?" I blubbered out Yes! and took the next exit. I pulled over at a safe place on the off ramp and we switched sides. As we passed each other in front of the van, he pulled me into his arms and held me tight. And I cried some more. Overwhelmed by everything in my head, but also completely covered by the grace he was offering me.

The rest of the day was filled with calm discussions about the things that were brought up that morning and we talked through a lot of issues. I took a nap. We had our small group fellowship at our house tonight, which was restorative for my soul.

I am far from 'back to normal', but honestly, I don't think I want to be back to the old normal. It's time for me to let God restore me and transform me.

What's all this have to do with homeschooling?

My friend Kim Kautzer of WriteShop told me once that if they can just do reading and math every day, the rest is just gravy. She understands what it's like to homeschool through difficult times.

So, I'm going to give myself some space. I have told myself that it's okay if we don't check all the boxes. It's okay if we're not keeping up with the schedule. This week we're going to focus on reading and math. And that's it.

 Oh, and I'm going to do lots of loving on my kids and my husband, too. I can't let my crazy expectations get in the way of my relationship with my family.

If you need to hear TRUTH because your head is full of lies, go to the Bible, which is always true. My friend Candace from His Mercies Are New has a wonderful, free gift to her email subscribers which I have been reading through called Praying Through The Psalms. It is like a drink of cool water to my very thirsty soul. God's Word is living and active.

Edited to add: I wrote this post originally on Sunday night, but I'm posting it early Tuesday morning. I spent Monday with very low expectations of what we would achieve. And you know what? It was a much more peaceful home today. I spent a lot less time with that look on my face that normally indicates I'm annoyed about something. I spent a lot more time on the floor, coloring with my 4 year old and spent time snuggling with my 2 year old. I even spent time talking with my big girls in their room before bedtime instead of rushing around trying to get a few last minute things done. I feel like our relationships are stronger. And if having low expectations leads to stronger relationships, then bring on lower expectations!



I Let Someone Graffiti On My Wall

The other day I let someone graffiti my bathroom wall. As in, I handed her the Sharpie markers and told her to do it. It was awesome.

Perhaps a bit of back story might be helpful?

Do you remember reading about my bathroom walls when I talked about Homemade Art For Your Walls? Go ahead, go read it. I’ll wait.

So, early one recent Sunday my husband and I were lying in bed, just chatting before children start clamoring for breakfast. He turned his head and looked at me and said “Oh, we’re having ten extra people for dinner tonight.”

I realize this sounds like a bit of craziness, but it’s actually pretty typical for our family so he knew it was a safe thing to say. I’ll write more another time about our family and hospitality, but that’s not what I want to focus on right now.

Later that day we had some wonderful people come over for dinner, one family that we’re really close to and another family that is close to them but we had never met. The husband and wife both gave me a hug when we were introduced and I knew that it was going to be a great night. I’m an ENFP, so hugging doesn’t give me hives ;)

At some point during the evening the main bathroom was being used and our new friend needed to use the facilities so I told her to use the bathroom in the master suite.

A few minutes later she came out, a big smile on her face, and told me that she had wanted to just whip out a Sharpie and start writing on the walls! I had to remember that my bathroom walls have  Bible verses written all over them. I immediately told her that she should do it and handed her a handful of Sharpies.

She was ecstatic and ran off to the bathroom.

And now, whenever I use the bathroom, I see the scripture that she wrote on my wall and I smile.  I think of a great evening spent with new and old friends. I think of the common bond of the Holy Spirit that we find with other believers. I am so glad that God is using our house for His purposes.