my fightin’stance

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Sometimes it’s a gradual descent into darkness and sometimes it just hits you out of nowhere.

A girlfriend of mine and her teenage daughter came for coffee and showed me a video of the teenager at a self -defense class. There was this tiny little wisp of a girl standing on the mat, her eyes closed in total darkness, in total silence as her attacker silently crept around her. She couldn’t hear him, or see him until that very moment when he jumped and attacked. My insides started shaking just watching her! And I knew it was a class, knew she was just fine as she sat and showed me the video! Dressed in full pads and face mask, suddenly he threw himself at her and grabbed her from behind. I couldn’t help but laugh as she fought him so hard that he called it….called it because her hit had broken the face mask and cut his face. This girl used what she had learned and fought. Fought back against an attacker much bigger and stronger than she…not knowing where it was coming from….trained to be ready.

My last post on this blog was about letting go, when my youngest little boy turned 6. Since then, my oldest turned 20 (yes, that’s a whole new mama crisis). But in that 5 weeks in between I was in a bad place. Mary calls it a funk! Slowly the attacks came, pulling me down gradually, almost to a point where I didn’t see how far down I was. The thing was, it wasn’t anything that was a life changer…as I sit here typing life is back to normal (as in the normal craziness of mamahood…it feels like it shouldn’t be the norm, but we all know it is). It was little things.

My 3 youngest got sick. Not the kind of sick where we have couch and a t.v. day for a day or two, but the kind of sick where I wore a hole in the pavement going back and forth to the doctor for 3 weeks…strep, ear infections, horrible viruses, migraines, bronchitis and asthma attacks. One after the other….after the other….and then again as soon as someone got better. The hubs was traveling for work. Life was still going with all its responsibilities.  Finally healthy, I threw out my back and ended up with muscle relaxants that turned me into…let’s just be nice and say a different person.  I don’t do medication well, and between the constant pain and then coming off those every morning…my family was ready to run for the hills. Now, I know any mama reading that paragraph has been through something like this, numerous times…you get it!

Many times, the attack is much worse…

A phone call that leaves you on your knees

A road of sickness

A broken relationship

A rebellious child

A situation completely out of your control

A loss that brings perspective you never wanted

 

I’ve had an experience like that as well. As have you.

I was thinking about that video. She was prepared and ready. Ready to fight!

Psalm 144:1-2 says, “Blessed be the Lord, my Rock and my keen and firm strength, Who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight– My steadfast love and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I trust and take refuge.”

It’s in Him that we find strength for the battles. It’s in His word that we find hope in the darkness.

Psalm 18:28-39 says, “For you cause my lamp to be lighted and to shine, the Lord my God illumines my darkness.

For by You I can run through a troop and by my God I can leap over a wall.

As for God, His way is perfect! The word of God is tested and tried: He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him.

For who is God except the Lord? Or who is the rock save our God.

The God who girds me with strength and makes my way perfect?

He makes my feet like hind’s feet [able to stand firmly or make progress on the dangerous heights of testing and trouble]: He sets me securely upon the high places.

He teaches my hands to war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand has held me up.

You have given me plenty of room for my steps under me that my feet would not slip…

You have girded me with strength for the battle…..

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Ephesians 6 talks about the armor of God…being ready for the battle. In verse 10, it says, “Be strong in the Lord [empowered through your union with Him] draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].  As for me, I need this every day. Every day can seem like something comes against us. His word is what brings hope and light to any darkness in our lives. My sweet mama friends, this is what we need to face whatever our day brings. In the devastation or the annoyances, it’s His grace and strength that brings us through. Will you look to Him today with me? He loves you. He sees you in whatever you are facing. He is pleased with your faithfulness in doing this mama thing, day after day for His precious little ones. Look to Him. Lean on Him. Let’s let Him train our hands for the battle and be ready to face whatever comes our way.

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Spring and Slumps

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Spring is such a fresh and energizing time of year. At least, in theory it is….in reality, for the homeschool mom it often is a time of burn out and feeling depleted. I’ve been pondering why that is and one thought is that it’s a form of exhaustion that happens after the holidays. The fall brings the slow train ride up the hill to Thanksgiving, with December feeling like you’ve hit the top of the hill. All the shopping, prepping, and events that go with the holiday season are like a giant culmination of fun mixed with some stress. Then that slow train starts speeding down the hill to January and February. The train comes to a stop and it can be a mixture of “gee, that was fun, what now?” and “I’m whooped, and brain fried. Can we just get to May/June?” ….and “Where’s the sun?” (but that’s a whole other post).

My train came to a sudden stop in January, and ever since I’ve been rethinking our days and dissecting my feeling of burnout. I’ve come to the point where I decided I could either keep feeling fried, or I could do something different. Change is my new remedy for feeling blah. In my mind, I decided….change something, what have I got to lose? I could make some low risk changes and hope for some high return on my risk investment. First, I made a mental list of the things that were not bringing me joy or were pretty much sucking the life out of our home (and home school). Then I gave myself some self talk to stir up the courage to do something different, even possibly go the opposite direction. As soon as I did that…figured out what was weighing us down or holding us back and made new choices…. I felt more like myself. Truly, when you figure out the way YOU should go and go in that direction, many other things just naturally fall into place.

With that being said, I wanted to share some ideas for changing things up…..

1. If you’re feeling sluggish or bummed out…exercise in any form could help. For me, walking has done wonders.

2. Look over your schedule (your kids schedule) and determine what is absolutely essential. What things are important for the greater good of you, your children, your family, and keep those things. Let go of the other things. They may possibly be time and energy suckers. It’s better to do one thing great than several things mediocre.

3. Is there something in your school work line up that has been driving you and the kids crazy? Maybe the way you teach or the way they learn? Figuring out your teaching style and their learning style can make a big difference in home school joy. One year, I realized that our home school style at the time was causing us to hit a brick wall daily. Once we tweaked things, everyone felt more peace.

4. Move some furniture or organize a room. Those that know me well know that I love to move furniture. I’ve been doing it since I was a child. It brings me joy and makes things feel fresh. Just decluttering a drawer can make you feel like you are moving forward and changing things.

Moving forward….I guess that is my ultimate hope. When burn out and slumps set in, change could be a simple solution. Keep moving forward {and cut yourself some slack, you are not alone in feeling that way}.