Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter time struggle...

I am feeling extremely convicted, and I guess this post is to just share my struggle. 
Winter time is always a battle for me.  I have in the past had battled with depression, especially in my teen years, and over time things have gotten a lot better.  Last winter I did fall into a bout with depression that I didn't even recognize at first, until I was in the middle of it, with the kids being sick almost all winter, and Nick's vacation time being used 3 out of four weeks last year with sick Mallory, children, Nick, me. 
In a way this year I feel as if I have been waiting for the shoe to drop.  Not nearly the amount of sickness as last year, it has been a breath of fresh air.  In December I started anticipating Nick's two weeks off in excitement.  Ready to really spend some quality time together. 
Then, the first full day we were all home.  He was quite content to stay in jammies and play games with the kids...  frustrated, I didn't quite know what to do, but I guess we could do something the next day.  But as each day came and went I saw our Christmas vacation slipping by quickly and us not doing anything as a family.  I started beginning to get embittered to Nick.  Didn't he understand?  I have had school all year, and it is really hard for me to take all four children out to do special things with our school and naps schedule right now, but with no school for two weeks, and with two on four, I felt like we could conquer anything! 
Expectations.  That is what I had placed on our precious two weeks together.  But instead of cherishing each moment, regardless if we were out and about or at home, I started fretting about all the time that was passing and what we weren't doing, and about school starting back up again... 
then came hate...  I found a reason to not be grateful for all His goodness, but complain in my heart about everything.  Hating our school schedule...  frustrated that Mallory has fussy fits every day we stay home on Tuesday and Thursday for home school days.  Hurt that Ava wanted to spend her whole vacation at home with Nick and didn't want to go and do things with me.  Dreading the thought of Nick going on two business trips totaling almost 3 weeks in a 4 week period this coming month.  Irritated at Mallory and Lena that they would sleep in until 7:30 on the days we needed to head out for school, but on the days at home, they would wake themselves up at 6am... I could make the list go on and on...overwhelming waves of depression hit me again.  But these weren't circumstantial.  These were self inflicted, by me and my pity party at home.  Where was my survivor woman mode - "I am a mom of four kids!  I can handle it!"  It was not coming. 
Because the truth is, I cannot handle it.  I in my own flesh was failing miserably.
I am trying to get back on track again.  This morning I prayed for strength, recognizing I could not do it on my own.  I listened to Diane Comer's Heart of Grace message from her web link.  I prepared myself for this day.
And I still failed.  I yelled at my daughter, I set a bad example of shaming instead of pouring grace onto her... 
I made so many mistakes I wish I could redo.  At the end of the day I talked to my older two about my weaknesses, apologizing, and sharing that I was not the best example to be following.  My oldest reminded me that only God could be that for us.   I am so grateful.  Tomorrow is another fresh start.  A chance to try again.  To grow to learn, to grieve my mistakes and be grateful for His forgiveness, and pray that my children and husband and those I encounter will only see Jesus in me, and not my yucky flesh that makes it's appearance a little more often than I would prefer. 
I just need to remember Lena singing Matthew West's song...  "I can do aahh fins foo Cwis who gis me swen..." with Mallory doing the back ground "Stwon ENOUG!!!!!"  Because it is only through His strength I can pick myself up on these dark winter morning and try again.

Amazed at the way God works :)

I am beyond amazed.  The details that God allows to happen when we aren't even expecting or looking.

First, I have some exciting news to share.  Paul and Rachel, the couple that adopted our 8 remaining baby embryos (we call them baby snowflakes) gave birth to twin boys, on January 6th.  They named their boys Taylor Adam (Adam in honor of our last name, and Aiden James.  Rachel was amazing and did the birth as natural as possible with carrying twins.  I just read her birth story, and she is a trooper!  Definitely be praying for a good recovery and for rest for her and Paul as they adjust into life of being parents to two little boys.  :) 

Tonight, I got a text from my beautiful friend Monica Albaugh (if you are into blogs, hers is an amazing one to read - as she has four beautiful children, the youngest one was diagnosed at birth with Miller-Dieker Syndrome) that said that she just bought her ticket to accompany me to the Sally Clarkson conference in February.  The Lord gave me a companion, and I know I will be blessed by her presence on our trip :)  A whole weekend to glean, to listen to the Lord, to talk and see how God will direct us as we both seek His will to raise our families.   I am just so beyond blessed through that... 
as if that wasn't enough...

Back when I registered for this conference, Rachel and Paul invited me to come visit them while I am down there, and to meet their twins.  I messaged Rachel tonight, just wanting to see if it would be okay for my friend Monica to tag along on the visit.  Not only were they okay with it, they asked if I would go to church with them on Sunday Morning.  Aiden and Taylor are going to be dedicated to the Lord that morning, and they are going to share a little bit of their testimony.   The timing of this - God knew what He was doing when He told me a few months back I should go to California for the conference this weekend.  I had no idea all the little gifts He would be planning to shower me with while I am down there. 

Anyways, I just wanted to share all this joy that I have swelling in my heart.  Thank you for taking the time to listen :) 
I hope to write more in coming weeks...  my family comes first, but when God tells me to write, I do obey :) 
May God bless you with even the smallest surprises today!