Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Homeschool kick off year 8!

Someone asked me how I can be a supporter of both homeschool and public school... I've been thinking about it this week. A few conclusions: I have confidence in our decision for this season of raising kids, I know we are doing what works for us. Therefore I'm not living for your approval; I'm not doing this to impress or gain status. I've got nothing to prove other than we're choosing this (because it's our choice to make) and aren't worried what other people think whether good or bad.  

BUT I also have confidence and support for your decisions, even and especially if they are different from mine! I support families, and raising kids IS NOT a competition. We can add richness and perspective to eachother's lives by encouraging and supporting, not in comparing. Each path holds its benefits and challenges. What a gift we can bring to relationships if we can learn to be a life giving source of support, encouragement and a different perspective. We can add new possibilities, enhearten through the challenges, and celebrate together the complete joys each path holds! You don't need my approval, but I'm wholeheartedly giving it.


School on families, school on!!! Hope it's a great year no matter how you're doing it!!! And in the spirit at trying this NON COMPETITION raising kids, what's your FAVORITE part of the path you're choosing? Mine right now is having the privilege to teach a new concept and see their minds click as they catch on.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

When the idol of sleep gave me the green light to sin

Motherhood and sleep deprivation go hand in hand. I "knew" this before I became a mom, but I didn't realize what it actually feels like to experience in real time. I looked forward to middle of the night tending to my newborn, and when setting up the nursery I remember sitting in the rocking chair with that deep longing to hold that babe in my arms. Truth is, I didn't mind so much the actual tending to the baby part, but the effects of night after night of very interrupted sleep was more wearing than I realized possible.  

We moms have this thing, we get together and catch up... a very common topic being a badge we wear about being tired. Almost a tone of bragging. We ARE tired so we get together and talk about how tired we are, we listen with our head tilted sympathetically to the side, nodding in agreement, to how tired our mom friends are while sipping coffee and feeling run down. Busy and tired. The top go-to topics in any mom circle. I laugh when writing this because I wonder how many people I have told over the years just how tired I am. "how are you?" 

"So. Tired."

My friend first challenged this pattern of thinking in her own characteristically sweet way one day by just responding to the routine question on "how's the baby sleeping?" with a very uncommon answer... "Oh, you know... well, I stopped expecting sleep" Or something along those lines.

Wait, what?  (gasp!) Sleep is this thing we all work towards, we all look forward to... we all strive for! and you stopped expecting it? What does that even mean?!  

The sleep idol.  This was a biggie (really) in my home.  Partly because it's not like sleep is a need or anything (note sarcasm) we need sleep to live, function, recharge and survive. So how can a real need become a real idol in my life? Well, it crossed the boundary from a need into idol territory when I allowed it to dictate my following day: my mood, my emotions and my behavior. Night before I was interrupted 3 times, cue selfish attitude, green light to be grumpy, my crutch to allowing the following day to be bad, because after all, "I was sooooo tired" 

me. me. me. 

idol. idol. idol.

Lack of sleep, being really really tired, not feeling my best, is NOT a green light for selfish actions. I don't get to be a grumpy mom just because I didn't get a certain number of perfect, preferred sleep hours. IDOL=SIN

Her gentle way of speaking to this issue (and she probably didn't even realize it at the time) really was used by the Holy Spirit in my life to do some convicting, and launched my "fake it in faith" morning routine. I didn't FEEL top notch, I didn't feel rested or recharged or good to start my days after pulling all night hours with little ones. The sin nature in me wanted to use it as an excuse that I had quite the pattern to green lighting myself grump status. The selfish side in me was TIRED. To take down this idol I had to break some pretty set in place habits (SIN).  I started a catch phrase that I would repeat to myself those mornings... "fake it in faith" what it really boiled down to was I was determined to take those actions captive, those attitudes, emotions and feelings that had overtaken so so many mornings and really truly repent... They weren't going to dictate anymore.  In faith I would smile at the boys, and give them a genuine "good morning, how are you today?" In faith I would meet their needs of snuggles, breakfast, sock finder, fight resolver, milk spill cleaner-upper, and attention giver without being a jerk. In faith I would read the Word for a true source of strength and give my day to God no matter how I felt. The sleep idol was torn the heck down. 

And you know what, looking back at this period of time where I committed to using God's strength and victory the cross offers us, I really saw His hand of faithfulness.  He took my "in faith" choices and started to work on my raw and real underlying feelings.  He took my choice to do what was right even when I seriously didn't feel like it, and He changed me at the heart of things.  He used my "fake it in faith" mornings and honestly reprogrammed my emotions, He helped me submit my green lights to sin, and gave me the strength, grace and ability to do it differently. and to actually BE different.

Do you wear the "tired badge" proudly?  Has this tired mom thing stepped into idol ground? Take notice. Take action. Fake it in faith, and see how God works!