This Thanksgiving I wasn’t very thankful. In fact, I was pretty grumpy. Me and Husband did turkey day at home, with the kids, which was pretty stressful. He cooked and started cleaning. I shopped and finished cleaned. But it wasn’t so much the day that sucked as it was the weeks leading up to it. I was sick and tired, no… more like exhausted & hadn’t had any sort of break from the kids or homeschooling in months. Husband watches the kids while I take Saturday to lesson plan at the library, but time to myself is few and far between. Getting hit with a nasty illness and no time to sleep and recover just heaped frustration on top of defeated. I was hating everything.
It became apparent on Thanksgiving Day that I needed a break. Grandparents live thousands of miles away on the east coast. Other grandparents have been out of town for about 2 months with a day in town here or there. Telling the kids to stay in their rooms and be good while mommy gets better isn’t an option. I watched the yellow buses drive by my home on the way to the school a block up the road day after day and it started to get tempting to send these kids away for the day. Not because it would be the best thing for my family, not because my kids aren’t thriving at home, but because I wanted time to heal and to sleep.
I was feeling sorry for myself. I felt hurried and angry and absolutely no thankfulness. I felt alone. And I decided that whatever it takes, I need to find my center. It was time to stop waiting for someone to help us and to take my mental and emotional health in my hands and make it a priority to change. So this weekend I declared a week of peace and love and rest. And that means taking a break from homeschooling and cooking. Simple two-pot meals/salads for several days instead of dinners that take an hour to cook.
This week my only desire is to love my kids, love my husband, and love my community. I want to help others and be at peace with my responsibilities. We are going to create works of art, construct crafts and spend time together decorating the tree, reading books I have felt too busy to read, and do everyday activities with them.
My husband took four days off this week. I gave us the week off of school. I have one doctor appointment (today actually, in about 2 hours) and then no more appointments for the week. I already started reading, and writing, and coloring, and clearing out my desk. My desk was cluttered and filled with supplies I no longer used. My head was cluttered as well. I had my hand in everything. All the clutter had to go and be replaced with peace in the Lord. He’s always been there. I needed to stop and recognize Him, His voice, His presence. Although the days get busy, resting in the Lord has created a posture of gratitude for the moments that creep into the normal everyday. My little one has begun developing a personality that makes me laugh and smile each and every time we are together. Every single day he brings me joy and I grin even as I type this. He’s so cute and feisty and hilarious. My middle child has been screaming and hitting himself more than he actually communicates in a “normal” way these days, but when I got him alone for a few hours the other day… he was sweet and gentle and held my hand. He was kindhearted and gave all of his money (meant for shopping) to the Salvation Army bucket guy. I love seeing generosity in children, especially one that I had wanted to murder for weeks. Yeah, it’s that bad. Judge me when you have your own special needs child… And my oldest, he’s an anomaly. In his spare time he studies the Vietnam War. He makes lapbooks and reads about them and asks us a million questions about what our library’s DVD collection calls “Obama’s War.” When I am frustrated about a mess, he’s the first one offering to lend a hand. He wants to help out all the time and he has taken on “big boy” responsibilities joyfully. I am very proud of him.
I have noticed that during my day, when I stop everything and the world continues to spin around me and I ignore it, but I stop everything to connect to the inner Spirit within me and breathe His name in and out, and take comfort in the moment. The presence of the moment and knowing I am alive in the gift is all that matters in those seconds. That’s the posture that I walk in. No longer angry. Still tired, but thankful I have such a full life that I become tired.
One important therapeutic letter I wrote this past weekend was one to myself. It was a kind letter in which I only wrote uplifting and encouraging words. Anytime I began to instruct, judge, or feel sorry for myself, I erased the words. Only an encouraging word from the one who knows my life best. Me. Writing down all of my blessings and what I have to be grateful for does a soul good. I highly recommend it.
Off to that one appointment of the week, so no editing today (plus editing is boring and stresses me out when I’m on a time crunch). Have a good week friends. And don’t work too hard 🙂