Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The longer I live. . . the less I know. . .

Happy End of June!

After one very busy, very quick, VERY short month, I have to say. . .

I can't wait for school to start, again, so I can get a NAP!  Ha!  (with sincere apologies to my precious homeschooling friends who have their kids home all year!)

And Little Man?  The poor dude is worn slick (as the Coach says).  Fell asleep at the dinner table last night.  At 6:00.  He's missing his naps, too!

Summer isn't defined anymore by sleeping in, lazy days, relaxing by the pool (although we have fit it in once or twice) OR getting big projects done.  I miss those days!  And I have two rooms that seriously need painting!

We're too busy surviving life with our older kids going in various directions.

One of the nicest things about getting older (and I have aged since my last post (sigh),  happy 38th to me) is realizing that MY family is MY family.

It won't look like yours.  No matter how hard I try (because I think you are all wonderful!).

My marriage?  Unique.  Our relationship may have similarities to others, but it won't be the same.

We aren't the same.

My eight kids?  NOT the same.  Incredibly (and sometimes frustratingly) unique.

Assembly line parenting would be soooooo much easier, don't you think?

I used to do things just because other people that I admired did them.  Hmmmm.  I didn't have the security to do something different because I felt it was best for US.

That's not all bad. . . I did some things right because of it.  But I also did things that didn't "fit" me or my marriage or my family.  I tried to be "like" other moms or families without thinking about whether or not it was something that the Coach and I really felt was important for US.  Without realizing that my strengths and weaknesses are different than anyone else's.

Because we aren't anyone else and what works for you may or may not work for me.

It's funny. . . when I started this blog way back when, I fully intended to try to be an encouragement by sharing with you what works for the troops.  How we stay organized, plan meals, deal with laundry, coordinate schedules, fit four kids in a room. . . you know. . . that kind of thing.

But it hasn't really worked out that way.  I don't do anything that amazing or special.  Most of what I do you wouldn't want to hear about anyway.  It wouldn't work in your house like it works in mine.

That's OK.

I'm not talking, of course, about the absolutes of life. . . the rights and wrongs. . .

It's odd to me, though, how we make things that ARE NOT absolutes into rights and wrongs.

I could tell you how we do things around here.  I will, if you ask.  Usually.  But you know what?  It probably won't help you.  You have a different spouse, a different home, different children, a different financial situation.  And besides that. . . you don't want to be like us!  Trust me!

I'm all for teaching and training my kids.  But you know what?  The battles I chose with my toddlers will be different than the battles you chose (both of us had better win, though!).  The things that I make a priority will be different than the things you do.

Maybe part of growing as a parent is accepting that I will parent differently, my kids personalities will be different, our family will be different.

It may be a big deal to you that your kids don't eat between meals (as an example).  I let my kids have an afternoon snack.  Is this wrong?  I do laundry every day.  Does that mean doing laundry one day a week is wrong?  Will my clothes organizational system for eight kids work for your three?  Probably not.  Do you buy powder or liquid laundry detergent (or make your own!)?  Aaargh!

See what I mean?  We can get to the place where we think WE know best what will work for others and forget that God made us all very different!

So it's not that I'm against blogs that share laundry tips and how to save money (I read them!) and how to homeschool more effectively.  Take what's helpful and use it!  Let what isn't helpful go.  Sometimes we have to try it out to know the difference!

Trust the Lord to lead you and your family towards loving and serving Him as He created you to do.

As He created YOU to do.

Don't worry about being like anyone else.  Except our Lord Jesus.

I've given up on sharing about how things work, here at the troops.  Instead, I'm all for letting you know that we fail on a regular basis.  Way more often than we do anything right.  And our Heavenly Father still pours our His sufficient grace.

It's not about being the perfect parent, wife, home manager, cook, housekeeper, child-trainer.  It's about being totally imperfect at all of that. . . and having a Savior who loves me still.

Happy Wednesday!


Jennie Morgan said...

Wow! Very wise words from someone who's ONLY 38!!! (grin) Seriously, though, I think you've hit on a very important truth! We all just need to be "us". Works so much better that way!! And makes life a whole lot less stressful and FUN!

Love ya!

Lindsey said...

"Don't worry about being like anyone else. Except our Lord Jesus." Love that!!

As a single woman, it's easy to compare myself to married friends and feel less than... but when my heart is truly focused on God and learning to love as He loves, I feel complete and have so much joy in Him!

jo said...

I love hearing your honesty. Hubs and I just had a similar talk this week. It's so easy to try to operate as we believe is expected of us in certain circles or how we imagined we would "hold out" in a situation. It's ok to fail. It's ok to try something and then realize...... well, that wasn't a good fit. Time consuming yes. but ok still. We're learning as much as the kids are.... more I hope. Thanks for sharing. I miss my lazy summers too - what happened???

Zimms Zoo said...

Since we are the crazies and no one wants to be like us I never have to worry about giving out advice! hehe

amber said...

just sayin i LOVED this.

that's all. :)