This post is number 775....wow. I can't believe I've actually had that much to say over the last 5 years...but knowing me, makes sense. :) My head is always turning, for better or for worse, and I've realized lately that my silence on my blog has been more harmful for me than good. Allow me to explain myself in true Alyssa fashion :
When I began this blog, I literally had NO idea what a blog COULD be...the mass potential of sharing your life and your words with others....creativity and documenting your life - literally. I started out by just sharing photos for family with little subtitles under the pictures...now when I look back at those old posts I think "ho hum, so boring." Not because my written words are just so wonderfully amazing and full of thought provoking concepts, but because I wasn't sharing my heart in any way or form.
After Trinity was born I was at the happiest place in my life i think I've ever been. When I look back at posts of the summer time and crab apple trees, my long braided hair and just me content heart...I remember feeling so peaceful and so full of life. My shopping took me to farmer's markets and thrift stores....family hikes and a clean house were regular events...I even had a Home Manager's Binder. Yes. You read that right...I actually had a notebook with pages and pages of recipes, structured cleaning routines and menus, printed out documents on the topics of mothering and being the best wife one could ever TRY to be...just to refresh myself EVERY morning what my role in the home should be. Sound a little - overboard? Maybe. But the point was....I was trying VERY hard to be what Christ wanted me to be and what my husband and children needed me to be. Might have been extreme but it was honest...it was real. I was very happy doing that....very.
Fast forward about 2.5 years to November....hmmm...I don't actually know the date today but anyhoo...fast forward a long time until you see me curled up on my grandmother's quilt in a dimly lit room....sweat pants and chopped off hair, a growing belly and a very tired mind and heart. Walk into my kitchen and notice the pile of dishes and all the crumbs on the counter...the floor that hasn't been mopped for over 2 weeks. Looking for the Home Manager's Binder perhaps? You won't find it. It doesn't exist any longer. A family walk? Hmmmm...maybe 3 weeks ago or longer? Thrift stores....that's changed to TJMaxx and scoring a ton of "deals" that never seem to be saving me money since I always have much less when I walk out of the store then when i came in. And last but not least...definitely the MOST important...you aren't going to find a happy content heart in me. Replace the smile with a frown that shows up regularly...replace laughter with a bucket's worth of tears I have shed in the last 5 months or so. That *oh so full* heart has felt drained and stomped on for awhile...and I've finally gotten to the point where I've wanted to throw my hands up in the air and just scream to the world "I quit!" I want to quit being creative....quit sharing....quit loving even. Selfish? Your darn right..I know that. There lies the problem...I know so I can't be comfortable. The other problem? Christ lives inside of me and He just hasn't been being heard lately.
So, what do I do next...where do I go with all this STUFF ...this hurt and anger? What do I do with the mountains of baggage I feel like I've been sifting through? What do I give when I feel like there is nothing left of me...whatever and whoever *me* is? I've been wondering this for weeks....crying about it finally OUTWARDLY for days...and I know why. I've FINALLY figured it out.
I put that little girl with the braid and skirts in a box one day and crossed her out. Not stylish enough...people were turning their noses up to her. The world was saying "what the heck?" and Christians were saying "she's so full of herself." I took that Home Manager's Binder and tore it to shreds...women laughed at it and would say things like "my gosh organized aren't we? Expecting just a little bit too much of ourselves aren't we" (sarcasm GREATLY implied.) I had another baby and I lost a baby and now I'm growing yet ANOTHER baby. There IS more to do now than there was 2.5 years ago...there are more people to love and there are less hours in the day. My responsibility load has seemed to triple and my energy level has seemed to diminish about 10 fold. Oh, and that lost baby? As calloused as it seems to say, I thought I was getting over him/her or the dream of them. Now, when I shower, I often look down and see blood dripping down my legs, and then I realize it is all in my head and just because it happened before doesn't mean it will again. I'm finally overwhelmed and I don't like the feeling.
Once again...people say "four kids? Oh my gosh, WE just aren't ready for that kind of responsibility and don't have the finances." I immediately think "oh gosh, neither do we." My oldest child struggles SO much all day long with everything...EVERYTHING. I'm at a loss and I have come up against something that I can't fix. I've tried for years and it hasn't worked...it's draining and it's hard to feel like I'm losing over and over and over again.
So, there's all the dirty stuff. I'm writing this now because I think I have gotten a glimpse...just over the last few days...of how to start fixing this problem. It isn't hard to figure it out once you just read all that I have written....pretty easy actually. The hard part is taking it from head to heart...from intention to action....from what I want to what I do. It's called...love and faithfulness. Giving and gratefulness. Being myself and not being a man pleaser...not caring if other people think I look like a "home school granola mom" and stop trying to impress the world. Why does it feel SO necessary to have other's approval when God is who matters. I think He was probably much more comfortable taking up residence in my heart 2.5 years ago.
How do I even start finding more ways to give? How do I start mending all of the tears and gaps in my being now that I have gone through months of stomping on myself and shredding my very core? This is the answer that God gave me last night and I want nothing more than to share it with you.
2 Corinthians 6 : 5 -8a, 10
We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God's power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
I feel like I have been beaten by a lot of circumstances in the past and in the present...I HAVE faced angry mobs (not ones with stones like Paul did...but ones with mean looks and unkind words...envision the *mobs* of people when I take my WIC folder out in the checkout line ) I am worked to exhaustion just about everyday and i as a mother to very young children have endured MANY sleepless nights over the past 5 years. Okay...let's be realistic...the WHOLE 5 years have been ONE big sleepless night. :) I haven't starved but I've definitely felt denied the kind of food that I honestly believe is GOOD for the human body that GOD wants us to eat (I think that once you know how to be healthy you need to be healthy...God wants us to care for ourselves.) And through all of this, God only requires me to be faithful to love, to be pure...to give of myself....give even more. How can I? I can because He did and does. I can because Christ lives within me. I think I forgot that for awhile...I think I forgot to actually try and "grow" so I began to shrink. God says that I have everything...everything I could ever need or want. I have a kind heart to use when I feel angry. When I'm drained I have someone I can call out to for strength....when I'm not measuring up to other's standards I need to just use His merciful tape measure and see that I am beautifully and wonderfully made...in all of my *granolish* ways. I am His.
So, my first step I think is that I need to give to Him of myself. I've been giving a lot to others and to myself...not so much to God. Today I was reading about being a cheerful giver and even though the verses were relating to money...I'm going to relate it to money AND to my actions. A verse in Proverbs says not to love sleep...hard for me to get up in the mornings but to think of actually getting up BEFORE my early rising children puts this dread in my heart that I can't quite explain....probably because it's giving more of me. I want to give that piece of me...that part of me that is "dread" to Him and let it be changed to joy. I'm going to start trying my very very best to get up earlier and spend time with my first Love. It's a baby step...but I think it's going to be huge.
I know this was long and drawn out...and if you made it to the end of this post I congratulate you. Only when you bring things into the light can they be changed....and I guess for that hope only...I share these things with you. I'm off to go have a tea party with a little princess Trin, the baby inside has been kicking his approval the entire time I have been typing and I feel joy. :)