Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Struggling for Balance

Some notes from a post I wrote in June and am just now publishing:

June, 2014
I find myself not liking myself lately.  I don't have much "white space" in my life to breathe.  I am rushed at work, overwhelmed at home and crabby with the ones I love the most. 

At work it seems as if I am constantly rushing from task to task, facing deadline after deadline and meeting after meeting.  I come home to full-time mothering of Amy and part-time mothering of Heather, and I must confess, I am failing miserably as a mom because I have so little of me left to give the kids when I get home.

This past month as school wound down, I felt all I did was rush home, fix dinner and then head out the door for yet another year-end awards program, talent show, school meeting, etc.   Every time one of the kids walked in the door there was paperwork to handle, checks to write and yet another item for the family calendar.

Then, for a couple of weekends after school ended I rushed through Saturday errands and chores so Amy could have my car to go to her friends' graduation parties.  Mix that with planning and hosting Amy's graduation party and I have had enough of hurrying!

I am tired and giving 110% at work and home and not enough for me.  I don't know how other single full-time working moms do it.

I have a dear friend who recently lost her husband in an accident. This is what I posted on her Facebook page today:

"I truly mean it when I say God will get you through this is ways you can't even begin to imagine...when I look back at all the unexpected ways He has met my needs and has continued to meet my needs throughout my divorce I can hardly find the words to express my thanks."
So many things... that I feared I could not handle, God has helped me with...I can now handle health issues, car repairs, computer issues, bill paying, budgeting, etc. on my own. Everything I feared including the grief and loneliness, I have more than conquered with God's help. 

After encouraging her, I felt better.  Sometimes when I reach out to help others, I end up helping myself. Funny how that works!
Is this place in my life easy? No.  Is this where I wanted to be at this stage in my life? No.  But time and perspective have shown me I am far better off no longer married to my children's father even though it has been hard to adjust to full-time work and single motherhood.  I am also very grateful for my job and the health insurance it provides.  I am still amazed that I have been blessed with this job even after being out of the work place for over a decade.



July, 2014

"No white space…no “thinking” white space…no “spiritual white” space…no “parenting” white space…no stillness…no stopping…no mental rest. 

Most of this is my own doing.  Some is not. 

Some is simply the nature of being a single full-time working mom.  Some is from feeling I have to carry so many burdens for so long…and when someone comes along beside me to help I refuse to recognize the gift from God right before my very eyes.  I have shouldered so much for so long so alone for so many reasons.  And the “no white” space…I have allowed it to make me into something I don’t want to be…a short-tempered crabby employee, mother, girlfriend, child of God.

 Twice a year since I have been divorced I have without fail have made my way to Camp Lutherhaven or Lake Placid Retreat Center here in Indiana for a time of rest, quiet reflection, journaling and prayer.  I made the serious mistake of not retreating this spring...thinking I could squeak by without it…and everyone in my life has paid the price.

God, help me, help me, help me find some balance.  Time for prayer and study and journaling.  Time to create and craft and photograph.  Those things feed my soul, and I have to get it in my mind that “martyrdom” on my part in not taking better care of me only hurts me and those around me more.
As a result of this past week's journaling and prayer time, while still at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Cedar Campus on vacation, I got on the phone and scheduled not one but two retreats of silences this fall!  One for right before a busy band season for Heather begins and right after it ends.
I often go on these retreats thinking I know what I am to do, and God often tells me something different.  Usually the first thing I do is sleep.  Then I read.  I pray.  I journal.  God prompts and I try to listen.
The first of my retreats was grief-work over the divorce; the next was asking God "now what?"  All good things. 
I first learned this discipline of retreat from SLT (now IVLI) in 1988 while at Cedar 26 years ago.  Sadly, I denied the importance of this discipline for over 20 years!  
At Cedar I had an extremely restful, peaceful week and am incredibly grateful for the scholarship from the camp that made it possible.

I am also very happy that the medication that my colon doctor recommended has helped immensely and I am feeling much better.  Thanks to all who reached out to me with their prayers and concern.  I couldn't ask for better friends and family.

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