I am enough

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It has been a little over 7 months since I’ve written my last blog post.

But no, no excuses, no need for apologies and forgiveness, just life.

My priorities are and have always been my family, but sometimes even with that, self doubt begins to creep in. My house isn’t clean. I haven’t dusted for years. I’m definitely not perfect.

And then there is…

laundry at 9 PM so my husband has clean work clothes for the next day.

doing a load of dishes so that we have pots to cook in and plates to eat on, and they were needed 30 minutes ago.

burning dinner (again).

weeds and a lawn that should have been mowed 3 weeks ago.

putting on body spray because my last shower was 2…no 3 days ago…and I need to leave the house in 15 minutes.

realizing that I never got the laundry put away and all the clean clothes are gone out of the ‘clean and needs to be folded’ basket.

balancing school for my girls and school for my husband when he’s in town.

managing everything in the house, being a strong woman taking care of everything since my husband is still traveling for work and gone 4 days some weeks and working 40-50 hrs a week when he is in town.

paying bills and pinching pennies to make our money stretch as far as possible.

setting the lawn mower on fire while my husband was picking up an extra day at work to earn a little overtime. That overtime went to a new lawn mower instead of something fun.

the day when I just cannot because my auto immune diseases won’t let me.

 

Pretending to have it all together.

 

I’m a child of God, and yes that is enough in the eternal spiritual sense, but when the weight of the world is pressing in, it often doesn’t seem so. When obligations and duties pile on, it just gets to be too much.

 

A little over a month ago my husband arrived home to find a pot full of emotion.

 

He had spent the week with men only to be thrown head first into a sea of estrogen. The poor man couldn’t understand why I was crying about taking my daughter on a school field trip. But I was and at that moment, it was all that mattered.

He did the most wonderful thing. Instead of finding solutions to my ugly cry hiccup filled ramblings, he grabbed me, held me close, and let me cry and sputter on.

I apologized for crying, he stayed silent and held me a little tighter.

I apologized for getting tears on his shirt, he put my face in his shirt so it would soak them up better.

I pulled away and said I needed a kleenex, he held me in and let his shirt soak up the snot in my nose too.

I thanked him and said I was fine. Being the wise man he is, he held me longer and the tears started again.

I had been attempting to be the strong one for too long. I was trying to keep the stress of managing it all hidden from my girls. The long nights wishing my husband’s head was on the pillow beside me had taken its toll, for my best friend was not here to vent to. And when he was I didn’t want to spend our weekends adding guilt, stress, and pressure to him. I just wanted to spend our weekends together, relishing the few moments we have.

 

You could say the dam of emotions had burst and this reservoir was well stocked.

 

I had gotten so wrapped up in my failings that I forgot some of the most simple things. I was too busy running from one task to another, doing them as quickly as possible that I forgot to breathe. stop. rest.

And once I did that suddenly life didn’t seem so overwhelming.

That list of my failings? Most of it has occurred within the last month. But they don’t seem so overwhelming anymore.

Because even when living with those failings there is something much more beautiful around me.

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I have…

2 wonderful daughters who are well behaved and growing into beautiful women. What greater gift can I give them during this time of adolescence and self doubt than to show them confidence even during my shortcomings?

online friends who have become like sisters. They get me in a way that many don’t. Technology is awesome. It lets me connect, share, and cry with them when all I can manage is to move my fingers on a keyboard because my tears won’t allow words.

a wonderful friend who has loved me and listened to me when needed, but almost more importantly, just lets me be me. When I’m having that moment, she seems to know exactly what to say and what I need. Sometimes it is words, often it is just a hug or listening ear, or completely ignoring the issue so I can forget about the weight of the world for an hour.

the most amazing husband. He sees me at my worst and loves me anyway.

And the really cool part about it is that 13+ years ago, he chose me. There were other girls interested in them, he had ‘options’. My issues were different but I still had them. He saw the ugly side of me then too.

But he looked beyond that.

And picked me.

By watching his daily love for me, no matter what is going on in life, I can hold tight to one thing.

I am enough. Just the way I am.

Just a Mom

Jenifer as a mom and her husband

Some women are dream of maintaining a career while raising their children. Some women find it necessary to work to pay bills even though they would rather be at home raising their children. Some women dream of staying at home all day long.

Jenifer is that woman. She is just a mom. She’s not the stereotypical stay at home mom who is lazy during the day although I have yet to meet a stay at home mom who is.

[Tweet “Jenifer lives for her children. Her joy is found in watching their happiness and joy.”]

Jenifer is very actively involved in the education of her 4 children.

When her second daughter was ready for kindergarten, she enrolled her into an online charter school. Her older daughter did a traditional home school program that year.

The following year she decided to send them to a brick and mortar public school. That year was very difficult on Jenifer. She missed watching them learn and grow. She longed to see them learn new things but was unable to catch their excitement.

Her daughters were having a rough time at the local public school too. The first year her daughters went to public school they were in 1st and 3rd grade. Other students began bullying her 3rd grade daughter.

Jenifer longed to be more involved but she decided to leave them in a brick and mortar public school.

As time continued, the bullying worsened. Her daughter would come home from school with bruises. Soon, she was labeled a bully even though she was not. Not wanting to go to school and for other reasons, by the time she was done with 5th grade she was missing more school than she was attending.

Her younger daughter was showing signs of a learning disability. Jenifer tried to get the school to test her daughter and get the needed accommodations. Month after month, year after year, the school refused.

[Tweet “By the end of the year, Jenifer had enough. This school option was not working for her children.”]

Looking at her options, she decided to re-enroll her children into the online charter school they had tried many years before. She was ready to bring her daughters home and once again be more involved in their education.

When they began the next school year, she had a 6th grader, 4th grader, and a toddler. A few years later, she had her son.

Jenifer’s family was at home, growing, and she was loving it.

Not wanting to miss a moment, they use every excuse they can find to celebrate and enjoy life.

Living in the Pacific Northwest means lots of rain and no snow during the winter. Sunny days are rare and something to cherish. Instead of snow days from school, they take sun days. They take a day off and head to the beach or into the back yard to enjoy the weather.

Learning doesn’t stop just because it is a Sun Day. Jenifer simply takes the lessons and applies them to real world circumstances.

On one Sun Day a few years ago, her daughters were struggling with perimeter, area, and volume. They decided to build a sand box.

The kids spent all working on the box. They decided where it would be located, how big, what materials, how much was needed, and the cost. They also constructed the box. The only thing they didn’t do was push the wheelbarrows full of sand to fill it.

The following day her children were able to easily pass all math assessments they had previously been struggling with.

School is not the only thing that drives Jenifer.

When needed, Jenifer teaches CPR and first aid. Even then, Jenifer turns it into an opportunity to spend time with her children. She looks forward those times, and spending some one on one time with her oldest daughter who is the classroom assistant.

Everyone knows that the job as a parent can be stressful at times. When I’m stressed, I tend to retreat and need a little personal space. Jenifer is the opposite. She spends time with her kids.

“Nothing is better than piled on the couch and reading a good book. Even a not so good book. Sometimes we watch a move.”

Jenifer’s days are filled with her children, from school, reading together, and teaching an occasional class but she isn’t with them constantly.

They have horses that are boarded at a stable house about 45 minutes away. To lower the boarding fees, they muck stalls 3 days a week. On top of mucking their own stalls, they clean 4 extra ones.

This is a job Jenifer’s children have taken on as their own, and it usually takes the whole day. During the school year they take turns but once a week they all go.

During her alone times Jenifer still tends to her family. She uses the opportunity to make a loaf a bread, not worrying about children running through the house and causing it to fall.

No matter what Jenifer does, she keeps her children at the front of her mind.

Jenifer is just a mom.

[Tweet “Like most moms, Jenifer does whatever she can to give her children the best possible future.”]

For Jenifer, that is staying at home, helping them with their education, and being there for them all the time.

 

 

 

 

Every Thursday I share your stories on Living In Green Grass. Sometimes they are stories of faith, overcoming, or perseverance. Sometimes they are stories of contentment and joy. Regardless, they are your stories. If you would like to share your story or nominate someone else, please click here or on the “Share a Story” tab above. Thank you! Without your stories Living in Green Grass would not be the same.

 

Shared on:

Thriving Thursday

Thought Provoking Thursday

Essential Fridays

Faith and fellowship

Beauty Observed

Friendship Friday