Today, Sarah and I picked up Joy from working at MOPS in our neighborhood. She has us in stitches telling us stories about the 2 year olds she was taking care of today. There were stories about all sorts of body fluids--a little boy whose mom said he was being potty trained but had no diapers--only underwear--who eventually cried, sobbed, screamed twice when he has accidents and soused his clothes again and again, with Joy to clean it up. Joy was wondering if this was what most moms called "potty training." There were other stories about nose junk, bottom junk. sucking junk, kids sneezing on her, hitting each other, hitting her, screaming--and by the time we got her, she was exhausted. She has been working at MOPS for 3 years, but has just been recently assigned to one of the most challenging groups. Did you go through all of this with us? How did you make it. (Don't really know how I made it, but somehow muddled through.) I told her just to be sure not to have 10 2 year olds at once.
Life as a woman, mom, wife, can sometimes be gross, stressful, overwhelming, exhausting, boring and demanding on many levels. Sometimes moms feel guilty admitting the variety of feelings they have. Feelings are neutral--they neither define who we are or take away from our righteousness. They are just a reaction to the situation we are in.
I remember so many years when I just obeyed what I was supposed to do without feeling like doing it. Because I loved my children, I made decisions to cultivate what was best for them. Because I was committed to loving Clay, (and loving God), I acted, as a choice of my will in the best interest for Clay, by faith, not by feelings. As I look back, I am so glad that i learned to put one foot in front of the other, because usually my feelings would follow and I am grateful the Lord kept me going in the right direction by the convictions I held and followed. If I had followed all of my feelings, the results would have been disastrous.
But there are just times in life or parenting or mothering or marriage that seem overwhelming and too depleting to handle. A few years ago, Clay and I decided that when we got to this point, we needed to call a sober club meeting. It stands for:
Sober-sick of being responsible
There are times that we all just have to take a break! On our sober club nights, we always do something that we want to do that is just for us--sometimes we even ask friends to join us--go to dinner, a movie, a walk in the mountains, a drive to see the city lights--music blaring, windows down--just cruising and trying to relax. We do something different--go away from the stress, from the kids. We do not talk about any of the problems or money or stress or ministry. We just relax, have fun, get away and lighten up.
With friends or my girls, it will include going to some fun cafe, buying something little or fun thing that I enjoy (Joy bought me a small package of a warm vanilla sugar candle, lotion and perfume this week on a day of our meeting! Sarah bought me a piece of dark chocolate with almonds. Sarah suggested going somewhere for a massage, stealing a few dollars from our little drawer where we put away dollar bills each month to have on "rainy" days.
The principle is like Sabbath. Get away from the responsibilities. Go to a park when your kids are driving you nuts. Stop having school and go do something fun. Take a nap. Watch a movie instead of doing one more chore, buy some flowers when it is snowing for 10 days straight--just shake it up a little. Life is still there tomorrow after the sober club meeting, but we all blow off a little steam and then can face the responsibilities with a little bit fresher outlook.
Sober club met today after the flurry of the conferences. Tomorrow I will get back to responsibility--but tonight I am just going to go to sleep and snuggle up in my covers.
Two More Great Mom Heart Conference Blog posts!
http://afieldsday.xanga.com/740733701/item/ (This one has beautiful pictures!)