Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Serving in Frustration

This may not be my morning. As I look at the clock I can see that it's only 8:41 am. My body aches, my head hurts, and I'm about to dig into the Coldstone Cake Batter Batter Batter ice cream with only a spoon. At least I've managed to retain enough of my civilized manner to use utensils, right?

So, my day started long before the alarm went off. Dominic headed to work at 4 am this morning, and I never really did go back to sleep, so I'm functioning on not nearly enough rest. I feel kinda cruddy because Reagan shared a cold type virus with Quinn and me, and I'd like to go back bed . But of course there are diapers to be changed, breakfasts to be made, and Ciaran has to get on the school bus. I gave the girls the day off from homeschooling. But Piper took Reagan's Nintendo DS to the bathroom and dropped the stylus in the toilet. This apparently necessitated not one but two girls tearing through my house, screaming like their hair was on fire. They sure don't lack dramatic flair those two.

Now that Ciaran's off to enjoy his class, the girls and baby are fed and happily playing downstairs and I'm filling myself full of cake batter ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough and brownie pieces (give me a break, I'm pregnant!), I'm free to reflect on how I want to take this day.

I could, very easily, spend the day wallowing in self pity for not feeling well and extending the tone of the morning. But I don't want to do that.

We've been focusing a lot on service around here. Doing unto others as you'd like done unto you. Showing love for one another by putting the needs of others first. When arguments come up I'm often taking each child aside and asking "how can you serve your brother/sister in this situation?" or "how can you put your brother/sister's needs first?" and then, when they both have an idea of how to help one another I let them figure it out together, and it's working really well. But service also has to be modeled.

I could encourage my children to engage in self pity or I could show them that even when we don't feel good, or have a bad day, we can make the best of it. The bible says:

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

Not only is a good attitude good for those around us, it's good for us too. I can't control the way my body feels, but if I try to have a good attitude, and serve the needs of my family, I can feel better. Being a mom means a lot of sacrifice. No one understands that better than a mom. But a life spent serving the needs of your family comes with many rewards. Believe me, I work with the elderly every day. I see those rewards reflected in the faces of concerned and loving families and on the faces of men and women holding grandchildren, or great-granchildren lovingly in their arms. I hope to have that one day.

For now, I have a date with a spoon, and then I'm going to lay down on the couch with my kids for some good old fashioned cuddling. When they're not screaming like banshees, they're actually really good medicine.


  1. Thanks for capturing, with words, a picture of life when you don't feel so well, and for remembering through it all to stay on course.

    PS - I enjoy Tim Horton's coffee, and will have to try this ice cream soon.

  2. Just discovered this blog a couple days ago. And how refreshing, and encouraging, to find one that neither pretends motherhood is a series of gorgeously lit photographic moments, nor torture to be survived until you can ship kids off the school. I'm sorry your post of a couple days ago (the one that sucked me in!) about being in a mommy rut was deleted.

    Anyway, thanks.
    Ann G.

  3. Ann G. I found a few of my blog posts on a cached page and so was able to restore them. So, I lost the comments, but the post is back!

    And thank you, that's a very gracious compliment. Motherhood is a mixture, a balance, and we're all trying to stay afloat in a job that we love more than anything else and can be more challenging than anything else. We're not perfect, but we're trying really hard, and putting the rest in God's hands.


  4. Thanks a lot for this post. I really like the service-focus you are trying to instill in your family, especially between siblings, and I'm going to try it out with my family. I appreciate the courage you have to just put it all out there, even though there is still the internet anonymity factor to some extent, it still takes courage! I learn a lot from your blog. Even the points we don't agree on, I enjoy learning your perspective and thinking more about my own. Oftentimes, these are topics I may not really be thinking about if I hadn't read a post of yours. So, enjoy your ice cream! :)


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