Saturday, July 12, 2014

Just keep swimming

I think this is the longest I've been away from this space. It makes me a little sad. You can blame it partly on the Braverman family who's keeping me company most nights via Netflix and partly on sheer exhaustion and mental fogginess. And I've gotten so far behind, I don't even know where to begin. It's kinda like when my house gets so messy I tend to just do nothing, which helps zero times. And by nothing I mean wander around aimlessly and occasionally throw an article of clothing from the pile on the bed to the pile on the floor and maybe toss a random Lego toward the other pile of random Legos. Focus and drive are not things that come easily to me. Take right now for instance. Am I talking about blogging? Parenting? Cleaning my house? I have no idea.
Moving right along. (As if we were actually going anywhere.) This phase of my life is called Survival. With a capital S. I hate survival mode and the guilt it induces, particularly since this survival mode has been going on for the better part of a year. When does it stop being survival mode and turn into just all around crappy parenting? Don't answer that. Or do, if you were ever in survival mode for a full year. You see, I have a lot of things working against me. An incredibly difficult season of marriage (we're working towards normalcy but it's a slow process), a husband who travels approximately a third of the time, living by a public pond with my three monkeys (ie: they can't ever go out to play alone.), a very very active and impulsive seven year old, a four year old who's recently reverted to very difficult behaviors and a two year old who cries. A LOT. But! And it's a big but. I have something far greater working for me. And that is the power of Jesus Christ. If I didn't have his grace and hope, I would surely be in a loony bin by now. Or there's a strong chance one or more of my children would not still be alive. (I kid. I think.) So I keep on plugging along, clinging to the hope that He will pull me through. And receiving so many blessings along the way from sweet friends He's recently placed in my life. I want to love like some of my friends have shown love to me.
I have several things I want to blog about-- Bennett's 7th birthday, my first solo road-trip with all three boys to my parents' in Memphis, 4th of July...but for now I'll just throw a few cute pics up here and call it a blog post. These are unedited, straight out of the camera, because it's past midnight (per usual) and I'm just going for finished, not perfection.
Bennett has always been tough to reign in due to his extremely high level of activity and lack of focus. (Wonder where he got that?) But he's always been my easiest emotionally. Up through year five, he was pretty much always happy (besides that torturous transition into being three years old). Not much could get him down. The boy exudes joy. But year six and now seven have brought lots of pouting and grouchiness and sometimes outright tantrums. Its so hard because you just want to yell at him, "Your life will never get easier than this right here. EVER. So quit pouting and enjoy every blasted minute of it!" But that probably wouldn't be very effective. So I make it a priority to end the day reading aloud to him, just him and me. It tends to redeem whatever went wrong and the day ends on a really good note. That hopefully outweighs all the other sour notes.
We were making a lot of ground with Dawson's behavior but it has severely reverted lately. Its exhausting and heartbreaking and sometimes I fee like calling my husband and asking him to quit his job so he doesn't have to travel anymore. But then somehow I make it to bedtime again and the quiet night air refreshes my spirit. 
Last night before bed he said, "How do the sun and moon go up and down and up and down and get to China?" I had him repeat his question a couple of times and then did my best to explain how the moon gets to China.  
Oh, my sweet baby Channing Jude. How does one tiny human person evoke such extreme emotions in such a short span? I go from steam coming out the ears, cursing in my brain one minute to giving you butterfly kisses over and over the next minute wherever you ask me to (I always laugh when you want one in your hair). You scream the loudest and you giggle the hardest. You are such a mystery to me still, with your extreme stubbornness, your cautious and shy nature and your tender heart. I'm hoping that the more you learn to speak, the less you'll feel the need to scream and cry. My saving grace is that, unlike your brothers at that age, you haven't learned to climb out of your crib yet. I'm keeping you in there as long as possible. But the bad news is, you're nearly ready to drop your nap since some days you don't fall asleep at all and you're having a really hard time falling asleep at night. 

I'm not sure the point of this late night ramble but to say I'm here. Surviving. Breathing deep most of the time and asking for forgiveness when I don't. The moment I take my eyes off of Jesus is the moment I feel like I'm drowning. I'll end with this quote from my Streams in the Desert devotional I keep re-reading, hoping it'll sink in fully at some point:


  1. love that quote! one moment at a time!

  2. I know you feel like you are in survival mode but from this angle you are by far one of the strongest women I know. You constantly inspire and bless me.

  3. I can totally relate to survival mode. In past months, when it seemed like survival was the hardest, I realized that I wasn't talking to God as much as I should have. Just recently, I've been making more of an effort (rather asking God for that desire to read and pray), and have been only reading a few times a week. I'm AMAZED and how God is showing up for me, and realizing how much trusting and believing in him and the gospel gives me perspective. Any little thing that came up would be earth-shattering.. And I'm talking about something small like a day of no communication between me and my hubby. By God's grace, the past few weeks have become less and less stressful. And I attribute it all to the perspective I've gained by just inviting Him in.
    I feel ya, girl. Keep on keepin' on, and keep inviting God in like you have been because grace will abound. Praying for you.

  4. You are so strong! And I'm thankful for your honesty. You are doing such a an amazing job- and your survival mode is so much more than many of us could handle. So keep on keepin on ;) and at the risk of sounding totally creeper-ish ( that's a thing, right?) I just want you to know that I've been thinking about you and praying for you. Life on the trenches with three young boys is crazy and hectic and some days when I am feeling especially frazzled I think how there is no way I could do this on my own. And then by way of those crazy chain reaction thoughts, I think of some ladies who do...and I don't know jow you do it! I admire you greatly! I hope that someday we can be friends in real life and we can let our boys run and play :) but in the meantime I am cheering for you mama!

  5. My typos are driving me crazy...ack!

  6. Those boys of yours are gorgeous!! You're doing a fantastic job. I'm praying for continued strength through this difficult season.

  7. Feeling nothing but inspired and blessed. Found your blog through IG, and I want to say thank you for writing from your heart and writing with such truth and love. Saying a big 'amen' to what you're going through in your survival season. Going through one of those myself right now. Thankful for your honest words. xo


Please leave your email if you'd like a reply! Thanks for the love.