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! ;) -Michele

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!