Friday, September 30, 2011

The Lone Ranger

I love my family.


I love the chaos, noise, the piles of shoes.  Sometimes, though, I can’t help but feel like I’m being suffocated.  Everyone needs me.  Everyone wants something from me.  I can rarely complete a task without being interrupted.  It takes lots of time to keep up on the house, laundry and cooking plus squeeze in quality time with everyone. 

Even though I love people and activity, I’m a little bit of a loner.  I do like some time to myself.  That has been nearly impossible to come by for the last decade, except for a midnight trip to the grocery store.

When people hear Maren is in preschool they usually ask me, “What are you going to do with yourself?”

Let me tell you, I have some ideas.  It might be nice to take a ride and listen to what I want on the radio.  Park where I want, go where I want, eat what I want. 

Wednesday during preschool I did the mom thing.  Errands and baking and housework.  Yesterday, I thought I should whoop it up a little.  I had it all planned out.

It involved these


and this


and  this.


I wanted to go jog on the Lakewalk.  It’s my favorite place, but no one in my family shares my desire to go there all the time!

It was not meant to be.  The weather was rainy, windy and cold.  The last place you want to be on a day like that is on the shore of Lake Superior.  I pouted a little.

However, I spent a nice afternoon in my quiet house.  It was so peaceful.  I did use my shoes and iPod and hopped on the treadmill.  However this view,


could never match this one.



I’ll find another nice fall day to go to the Lakewalk.  And have a cup of Caribou.  But even staying at home was a nice breather today.  Just a little time to myself.  Time to think.  Time to recharge.  Time to be alone.

They key is to find a way to reenergize myself so that after a little bit of time to breathe, I am ready to go back to my crazy, suffocating, full life and love it. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Seasons Change

I love the change of seasons.  Even though at times I want to hold on to the heat of summer.  And I dread the coming of winter.  But to be sure as summer heat gives way to cool evenings and leaves burst into brilliant colors,


the seasons change.  There is no way to stop it.

So it is with life.  Time marches on, things change.

Today was Maren’s first day of preschool.  She’ll be gone three afternoons a week.  I’ve had babies and toddlers in the house for 13 years.  I thought the day would never come when the last one would have somewhere else to go besides here.

She packed her backpack.


Chose a dress and did her hair.


And happily walked out the door.


Her Dad and I took her to lunch before her big day.


We picked up her friend.


They walked up the stairs and into a whole new season filled with teachers, friends and school.


There was no clinging or crying.  Just big smiles.  Which was really nice after the last time I brought someone to preschool!


She found her name tag.  And some friends to play with.


I left and walked into my own new season.  I went to the grocery store alone.  And it wasn’t midnight.

I’m driving a big empty van.


There was no one to fight over who got to lick the beater of cookie dough.  So I did.


She came off the bus beaming and talked about school all through dinner. 


My favorite season has always been fall.  I love the cooler weather and beautiful colors. But I hate what comes next so I started to rethink if I should love fall after all. 

Every season has a beauty of it’s own: the new growth in spring, the warmth of summer, the colors of fall and the coziness of winter.  I can’t keep it fall forever, so I may as well embrace and enjoy every season as it comes. 

In weather and in life.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Don’t Suck It Up

I’ve been known to tell my kids to suck it up.  Not in those exact words, but the message is the same.  When one of my kids came home complaining about some things on the bus the other day,  I told her to get over it and make do because she is on the bus for all of five minutes.

I was having a conversation with someone last week who has been married way longer than I have.  She was telling me about the difficult times they have struggled through over the years. 

She commented that sometimes you can’t change the way things, or more specifically husbands, are.  You have to just accept it, live with it and make the best of it.  She patted me on the knee and said, “You know how it is.”

And I thought, no I don’t.  I don’t know how it is.  It’s no secret that we’ve had our issues in marriage.  But I realized that day some people might think that we’ve just decided to make the best of it and live with it.  It is what it is.  Maybe they want to sympathetically pat me on the knee and figure Mike and I are just sucking it up. 

I feel like I need to shout from the rooftops that is NOT TRUE!  We aren’t just making do because it’s the right thing to do, or for the kids or because it’s easier or because God would want us to.  Although there is some truth to all of that. 

In fact, me sucking it up led to problems.  Our false belief that it would be easier not to deal with issues and let it be, led to bitterness and resentment.  Those are a lethal combination in marriage, or any relationship for that matter.

So why are we still married if we aren’t just doing the right thing? 

We’re happily married because we are redeemed.  God redeems us from our sins by paying the price for us through Jesus.  He redeemed our marriage through forgiveness.  We aren’t just making do, we’ve been made new.  There is a big difference.

Our marriage has been bought back through God’s grace.  It’s better than it was.  It’s deep and real.  The “it is what it is” mentality is shallow, but choosing to forgive each other is deep. 

I am thankful and thrilled to be married to my husband.  I hope he feels the same.  When issues come up, we work at handling them with grace, not avoidance.  We work together.  We help each other.

What good is it to be celebrating a milestone anniversary if you are obviously unhappy?  When you still woefully recount all the wrongs that have been committed?  Or try to punish your spouse for past wrongs?

That is not redemption.  When we are redeemed we are bought back by Jesus Christ.  We are made new. 

So don’t waste your time sucking it up.  Let Christ redeem it.  There is peace and joy and contentment in His redemption.  It’s deep and real. 

Maybe you still need to be redeemed from your sin.  Jesus is waiting for everyone to come to him and accept His sacrifice.  He wants to buy us back from a life of sin.  Then He can redeem our relationships as well.

There’s a better way.  Don’t suck it up.


Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

Isaiah 51:11