Wednesday, January 22, 2014

9 Days



Dan is out of town for 9 days. 
Nine days.
 He has never been gone for that long before. 
My friends that are military wives look at me like a parent looks at a child who has been whining for far too long when I reveal this.  I expect sympathy and they think “oh only for 9 days?”
They know what it is like to be a single parent for months at a time.
But for me this is huge. 
It used to be when Dan when out of town for three days at a time that I would stock up on all the groceries and supplies we would need while he was gone so we wouldn’t have to make any trips to the store. 
Like you might stock up before a long winter storm. 
Taking both kids to the store was a hazardous experience. 
Tantrums,
whining,
begging,
mom losing her patience. 
But the kids are older and I can even leave them alone for a short while to run and stock up.  So I approached this time differently. 
I am taking each day at a time.
And we have had our share of unexpected excitement in the home. 
Our own sort of adventure.
A hamster on the loose …
Ainsley our dog sniffs him out…
a safe return to the cage …  
Ainsely finds open container of fish food …
Ainsley eats fish food (yuk) …
Ainsely finds box of chocolates and eats them …  
Malcolm our other dog throws up (at three in the morning!) …  
Malcolm dog throws up again (when I am at work) …
I have a flat tire … 
(Clearly Ainsley is having the time of her life and Malcolm is simply sick.)
We are half way throw the week of Dan being gone.
What I have found is that for so many of the things I expect Dan to clean up or rescue me from that I can actually handle it. 
I suppose I knew that, I really do not like being a woman who needs her husband to do certain things for her.
But I have found that Dan and I have gotten into a rhythm.
I wash the laundry and fold it and he puts it away.
He helps the kids with homework after school and I read with the kids before bed.
I cook dinner and he cleans the dishes and kitchen afterwards.
I pick up around the house and he takes out the trash and recycling.
He takes the car to the shop and I stay at home.
He finds the babysitter and I pick the place we are going out to (or vice versa).
Being a single parent is hard!
I realize that the workload and expectations are different when you are doing it all by yourself, but it is still hard.
I have grown in my appreciation for all of those single moms and dads out there over these past few days.
It is a lot to juggle work, the kids, pets and a household.
I was embarrassed to have to call a fellow mom last night to inquire about the dress code for Harry’s school performance and the time he needed to be there.
I want to have it all together. 
But I lost the paper and I felt like a delinquent parent.
Harry often cannot remember directions and plans due to his ADHD, so I feel like I have to be on high alert, remembering for him.
So I called another mom with a second grader, and she was so gracious when I said, “I feel like a horrible mom not knowing.” She said “you’re busy, we’re all busy don’t worry about not knowing.”
They say absence makes the heart grow founder.  It is true but it is also true that absence makes for one tired mama. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Speaking Out

Today the constant that has been on mind is when is it necessary to speak out against injustice?  Only when it affects me or my family?  What about when we are in the clear and others are still facing hardships with no one to speak out for them?

How wide is my family?
Does it only include those who live under my roof or who share the same family tree?

I am trying to remove myself enough from the situation where I can discern if I am speaking out for justice or from a place of revenge.  When someone we love gets hurt, it is hard not to go right to that place of revenge.

It feels good to get someone back, at least in the moment, but often times it just feels bad.  Revenge isn't the same thing as seeking justice.

Revenge is ugly and full of anger, it can consume us and push us in a direction of regret.

Seeking justice on the other hand is like shedding light on a situation and allowing others to see what the offender has been trying so hard to hide from us.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Escape

As a mom, a wife and a pastor there are times that I just need to escape. 
It happened on Sunday evening.
I try to give as little detail about my kids, in the pulpit and on social media,
because they didn't "sign up" to be a pastor's kid.
So enough said, we have had a stressful stretch of time in our home,
you can imagine with a pre-teen middle school daughter
and a son recently diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia,
two full time working parents out of the home,
one whose job takes him around the globe,
we have our challenges.

(Did I mention the dog who ate an entire container of fish food or the other dog that decided that our cloth grocery bags were a fire hydrant in the same day?)

So on Sunday while Dan was at youth group with Eva,
Harry and I were home together and he went about doing his own thing and
I sunk into the couch and watched some recorded television and just escaped
for two hours.

It was what I needed and I did feel a little guilty that I didn't
get out the art supplies or get on the floor and play Legos with Harry.
I just tuned out the world and escaped and I needed it.

We all need it.

Especially when we heap expectation upon expectation upon ourselves.
And I find when I am stressed out that I am not good for anyone,
my tolerance fades, my perspective is null, and I tend to speak before I think.

In hindsight I am glad that I took the time to escape, and the guilt is fading.

Easter ... ready ... set ... go!

Matthew 28:1-10 About three years ago I committed to the Narrative Lectionary.   It is a four-year cycle that takes the congregation t...