This week in Kansas has not been what I was hoping for. I was hoping for a break...some rest... but it's been anything but that. I feel guilty even saying that. But you see I'm notoriously negative... I seem to have trouble focusing on the positive aspects of my circumstances. I tend to have a "poor me" complex. (big sigh.)
But still, the fact of the matter is I'm a mother to 4 young children. Children who, by their very nature, require a huge amount of work during a normal day at home, and even more work away from home. Away from home there are taxing new variables like new environments, late nights, heightened expectations to behave/perform, busy schedules, and extra sugar :) And I am The Mother... yes, with capital letters... I am the only one who is completely capable of caring for them (especially since I still nurse V). There is no escape, there is no break, there is... no vacation.
(I'm going to pause here to say... perhaps in defense of my doom and gloom post... that I signed up for this. I walked into this place in life with my eyes open. And I want to be here. I am thankful to be here. This is exactly what I always wanted. ... it's just hard sometimes. I knew it would be hard... I just didn't know being a mom would be this hard... and this exhausting :)
So here in Kansas, JJ hunted for most of the first two days... and then today he has been sick and slept most of the day. I feel like I haven't seen my husband in days... I thought I was supposed to see him more. I feel like I have more time alone watching the kiddos... I thought I was supposed to have extra help and a break. I thought I would get some time to do purely frivolous design projects... I've just responded to Etsy conversations and sent emails. Bummer.
Yesterday, I claimed my husband for a couple hours to help me take pictures of the kiddos for our Christmas card. Instead of being fun, the whole experience included lots and lots and screaming from Virgil, a bad attitude from Alice, harsh words from me, a very frustrated father, crying because of stickers in boots, weird and frustrating facial expressions, defiance, and a dog fight (literally 2 dogs got into a big fight that JJ had to break up in the middle of our shoot!)... It was just one more thing for me to add to my list of things that weren't going right. It was just one more thing to suck my energy and joy out of me.
But it's okay... It's all okay.
See actually that, right there, is the exact problem. It's more than okay. Nothing is wrong... I'm with the people I love the most... we are blessed beyond measure... and yet I find a way to focus on my selfish expectations. I find a way to feel cheated and to focus on the negative. Shame on me.
Today on Thanksgiving, I have no trouble saying "Thank You" to God. But what I do have trouble with is living thankful to God. Thankfulness is not something you say. It's not something that you mentally acknowledge...making a list in your head of the "good things" that you have. Rather it's an outlook... a way of living... a state of the heart. Today on Thanksgiving I am not thankful.... at least that's what my attitude and my actions are saying. After all, how can someone be thankful and have a bad attitude? They are completely incompatible.
So I've got a lot of work to do. I need to turn my focus back around....back around to the Father. I need to stop looking at what is or isn't perfect or difficult in my life and start living a life of gratitude. A life of gratitude that flows out of seeking after and learning to really know the God of the universe and his son Jesus Christ. When I gaze upon his face, his glory... I see that I am a selfish pessimistic mom who is amazingly saved by grace.... and for that I can't help but be truly thankful.
So there it is... me and my bad attitude in need of a heart change... HA!
How's your heart?
How's your attitude?
Are you living thankful to God?