Sunday, August 28, 2011

Remember Me???

Remember this post?

My grit is spent.

I am not in the business of comparing crosses and I know that life throws curveballs with completely objective equality. But I am not above saying that this curveball stinks.

I've been a high school teacher now for a couple of weeks and have two whole days of teaching under my belt. They went fairly well, but the chaos of getting kids to school/preschool in the morning, packing lunches, making meals, teaching, grading, prepping, being enthusiastic about spanish, picking kids up, making a dinner, spending quality time, and then prepping to do it all again rendered me completely useless this weekend. And somehow I'm trying to squeeze exercise into the mix. What a mix it is.

And then my four year old says her throat hurts. And I break down. It isn't that I think she is really sick. It is that I have to worry about getting a sub, and I can't just stay home and keep an eye on her. I've never realized how much I have loved being home with my children. It is a precious gift. It is exhausting, draining, repetitive, thankless, and messy. But, now that someone else is spending 8-9 hours a day watching my little girls laugh, twirl, and play, all I can feel is loss. It is breaking my heart.

I generally can take it all one day at a time. If I think about the next ten months of this single working mom gig it knocks me over. So, I won't. I will pray. I will try to trust God and stop asking why our family has to go through this. I've given up anticipating any sort of change. I keep thinking that each time I have a sort of clarifying revelation, that I would have learned that magic lesson this was all designed to teach me. And so it would end. Daman would get a job down here and we'd be able to live together as a family, and while it wouldn't become magically easy, it would get much closer to happily bearable.

And still, I am thankful. I am thankful that my children are alive, active, and healthy. I am not sitting by their bedside in a hospital. My husband is distant, but alive and well. I believe God is in His heaven and feels the pain of our little family. I do not feel abandoned. I feel confused, strained, and pulled. But, I do not feel despair. Gratitude, I believe, will get us all through this. And get through it we will. What choice is there? The home-cooked meals might be few and far between. My laundry pile might get awfully large. But, we will pray together. We will not give up our faith. I might lose my temper, my patience, and large chunks of my mind. But, I will not lose my faith. And I will not lose my family.

Maybe I haven't lost my grit after all.

Monday, August 8, 2011

An Unlikely Peace

Yesterday was a very hard day for me. The reality of the path set before me sort of settled in and a sharp sadness followed. Another ten months of living separate from my husband, my children in childcare and going from being a single mother to being a single working mother felt a bit overwhelming. I was sad, weak, and tired. But, through it all, I continue to feel a settling peace. I believe that is a language only God can speak. Satan can duplicate all sorts of emotions, and we can sometimes convince ourselves of a variety of responses, but only God can deliver a true, constant, peace. And that is what I feel. I feel at peace. That doesn't mean I don't feel sad about it. And I don't think sadness weakens faith. Perhaps it only enhances it. Perhaps when we are sad and are still willing to move forward, we earn an even greater trust with the Lord. I hope that He trusts that I will do what He asks. Perhaps with shaky knees and a trembly heart, but I will try. I will try.

And on the flip side, I am SO happy about someone else potty-training Emma. That is a serious bright side.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

decisiones y preguntas

It looks like I am going to be a teacher. A Spanish teacher. Como? I know. This is quite a turn of events, a turn I certainly would never have anticipated, but one I seem to feel oddly at peace with. I can't really explain this sense of serenity I have about a direction that in some ways seems to make no sense. I mean, I have my Masters in ENGLISH Lit, right?

But, the thing is, there are so many English majors and they all seem ready and willing to teach high school. But suddenly, up popped an opening in the Spanish department at my old high school. It will take some work and prep to pass a big competency test in October, but I interviewed today with the principal and it looks like we are a go.

This means daycare for my kids. This means ten more months of not living with my husband. This means I have no idea what God has in store for us. But, it also means some income, some productivity, and I get to have a taco party with a bunch of high school kids and enthusiastically help them learn the hacer verb and all it can do for them in their lives. Glorious.

So, will this be a blessing wrapped in another character building experience that makes no sense? I have no idea. But, I really do feel good about this. I have never wanted to work full-time. I really do love staying at home with my kids. Is there guilt? Of course. Good grief I cried almost every time I gave Lucy a bottle when I couldn't make breastfeeding work. But, the moment that changed that whole I-am-a-terrible-mother-for-filling-my-child-with-demon-formula mindset still holds true today. As I was letting my sweet girl sup her artificially contrived beverage, I sang to her. I sang "Teach Me To Walk in the Light of His Love." And suddenly I realized something very vital.

That song does not mention breastfeeding.

I realized that there are so many beautiful, powerful, and loving ways that I care for my children, that I raise them in light and truth. And that was the last time I felt guilty about not being a decent jersey cow for my kids. I give it my best effort, but I am happy to accept that said effort is good enough.

I think that principle applies now. I am realizing that as many children as there are in this world, there are that many good ways to raise them. Every single person learns, parents, serves, guides, and progresses in their own unique way. I stand in judgment of noone. This little path of mine isn't what I envisioned, and I probably wouldn't have picked it out of a lineup. But, it is mine, all mine, and I plan to run it in the best way I know how. And I have a funny feeling that everything will be just fine if I do.