I’m No Superwoman

Despite what you all may think (haha), I’m no superwoman.  supergirl

I’m no supermom. stay-at-home-mom

Though I confess it in faith with a Supergirl keychain, hoodie and t-shirt (thanks to the hubs) and I have a nickname floating around out there (Super Suze).  I don’t feel so super all the time.  Super Suze?   More like a SUPERintendent of this crazy funny farm I’m running here.  piggies

Can I get an “Amen” from all the wives and moms out there?

Or am I the only one who feels overwhelmed, worn out and insecure about being….well, a human being in general?

Take yesterday for example:

I woke up on time (actually, for once) and had great plans to eat breakfast, take my vitamins and workout before noon.Laundry, phone calls and four children’s schoolwork gobbled up ALL.MY.TIME. in the morning.

Between 12:30pm and 1:30pm, I made lunch, helped both girls practice their piano, helped one son with his math homework, took a shower, washed my hair (after like 4 days…gross!  I was holding off until after I worked out.),  actually shaved my legs and armpits (trust me, it was needed)blog2-leg-shaving-spring-harvest and headed out the door to piano lessons.  Wet hair and all.

I drove the 1/2 hour to piano lessons and sat there for an hour and half.  All the while, working on homework with each daughter and following up on emails about cakes.  And silently dying inside because the girls had not practiced too much this week because of Passion Play and Easter.  Geez, can’t I get my act together?  Of all kids, mine should be thoroughly prepared for piano lessons.

On the way home, we drive through a horrendous downpour so bad that Emma says, “Please Jesus!  Don’t let us die!”  Of course, I was in the left lane and sandwiched between four other cars and could not pull over.   My hands resembled the claw when we finally drove out of it.theclaw

I needed to go to the grocery store, but there was no time because the ex was coming over to take Nathan to his baseball game in a half hour.  And he just called to tell me at 3:55pm.  Sigh….well, I’m thankful for the help today.  But the house looked like a bomb went off in it.  Why can’t you keep your house clean like all the good wives and moms?

I’m more Lucy.  I-Love-Lucy-i-love-lucy-17796179-359-450

Not so much June.june cleaverPssh…

Rush home.  Start screaming at kids to get ready for baseball.  Get ready for dance.  Oh wait…what?  Scott has to be at work at 5?  Oh Sweet Jesus, have mercy on my soul.

I scrounge up some bread and cheese.  Grilled cheese and pierogies for dinner tonight.  Emma complains.  She hates grilled cheese.  Nathan says to not put any yucky seasoning on the pierogies (What?  It’s just garlic salt and butter!)  The ex is ringing the doorbell.  The kitchen looks like a Febreze commercial where they blindfold the people and ask what they smell.  I simultaneously make four grilled cheese sandwiches, pierogies, load the dishwasher, empty the trash can, find baseball pants and belt from the basement, fix two ballerina buns, make a much-needed cup of coffee, feed the herd and get out the door in under 30 minutes.multitasking-meltdown  All the while, bridling my tongue and the brewing meltdown as best as I could.

For the love of God, how much can one woman take?  I had my blingy It Works mug full of sweet nectar from God, though.  blingcoffeeIt’s all about the silver lining, ladies.  Or the rhinestone one.

I dropped Scott off at work with five minutes to spare.  (Proud look beaming from my face just now.)  Drove down to Sam’s Club for the groceries I so desperately needed.  Mother Hubbard’s cupboards were, for sure, bare now.  With my tiny ballerinas in tow,ballerinas I raced through Sam’s like a skilled race car driver, even having the audacity to say “No, thank you,” to the Direct TV guy who was trying to solicit me.  Ha!  Take that sales guy!

I seriously made it through Sam’s Club with a full grocery cart in under 15 minutes.  I’m not bragging, I’m just sayin.  My time  took a major hit though when I chose the wrong checkout line.  You know what I’m talking about.  The deceptively short line with the elderly lady whose cart has just a few items.  Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue.  I chanted mentally to myself while my girls gave me crazy eyes and head nods towards the dear lady trying to work the credit card machine from her Hoverround.  Emma was beginning to freak out about being late for dance AND she had to pee and was thirsty.  Breathe in out, breathe out.

Finally, we got out of Sam’s.  The wind was fiercely whipping when we got outside.  The kind of wild wind that makes the hair on my head literally wrap around my entire face, obscuring my view.  hairfaceIt took me five minutes to find my keys in my purse.  The girls were freezing.  Of course, it was like 70 degrees when we got in the car a half hour ago and no one felt the need to bring jackets.   Mom fail.

Unloaded the cart into the back of my van.  Took the cart to the cart return.  (I did seriously consider leaving it by my van, but Joyce Meyer’s words ring in my head).  Watch this…  http://youtu.be/iedcwIxsKhE

That’s something.  I guess.

And how about this?  We made it to dance with 15 minutes to spare!  Thank you, Lord.  In everything give thanks.

Chatted with a friend at the dance school for a few minutes and arrived at Nathan’s game a few minutes late.  I missed his first at-bat. Of course.  He struck out, so that kind of saved me.  Remember, I hadn’t brought a jacket…I looked in my trunk to see if I had a blanket or stray sweatshirt.  Nope.  What I did find was Emma’s fluffy panda hat with the attached scarf with hand warmers.pandahat  I examined it and then decided against wearing it in front of the other moms.  What would they think about me?  So I got back in my van and watched the game from the hill.  My thin shirt was no match for the bitter wind.  Why couldn’t I get it together and remember things like jackets, hats and those bag chair things everyone else sits on at these games?

Well…at least it’s cold and my groceries in the trunk won’t rot before I get home.

When the game ended, it was 8pm.  The girls weren’t getting done with dance until 9 and Scott wasn’t getting done with work until 10.  So, I drove back home, unloaded the groceries, Nathan got a shower and we headed back to the dance school just in time to get the girls.  In the meantime, Lew sends me a picture of the awards ceremony dinner he’s at in North Dakota. “Call me ASAP,” I say to him.  I really just want to unload on him the chaos of my day so I’ll get a little sympathy.  I was beginning to feel weepy and pitiful by that time of night.  We chatted.  He made me feel happy.  He’ll be home in a few days.  Just keep on keepin’ on.

We finally made it home a little after 10pm.  I rush all the kids to bed.  By that time, I was beyond tired.  I wanted to get my workout in.  Yeah, right.  Who am I kidding?  Bedtime for this old girl.  I know I’ll hate myself in the morning for it.  So I went to bed.  Lily came in three times to ask me if I heard something.  No.  Go to bed!!!!  Then of course, I lie there “hearing something” until 3am. Way to freak a mom out, Lily!

Here I sit today.  FrazzledCatMore tired than before, but able to clearly evaluate what went down yesterday.  Sure, the amount of running around and scheduling and quantity of stuff I was able to get done was impressive.  Super, some might say.  But what was going on in my mind and heart all day was super BAD.  The negative self-talk was present all day long.  I beat myself up mentally from morning until night.  How and why did this happen?

I have expectations of myself that no one, not even God Himself, expects from me.

I often look around at other moms and wives and compare myself to them.  I come up short every time.

I allow the opinions of others to steal my peace.

I forget whose image I am made in. I forget who I am in Christ.

I forget that I am loved by many people.  And they love me just as I am.

Here are some truths about my life (and yours too, I’m sure):

Life is not perfect.  I am not perfect.  That’s okay.  

I am doing the best I can, most days.  

I love my kids.  I love my husband.  I love Jesus.  They love me too, like a whole lot.

My kids are alive, healthy, smart and thriving human beings who also love Jesus.happykids

My home is clean enough…there are no infectious diseases or life threatening hazards at the present time.  Everyone has clean underwear…today.

ecard

I have a roof over my head, food to eat and clothes to wear.  Every day.

I AM a good mom.  I AM a good wife.  I AM a good person.  Sometimes we’ve just gotta say that to ourselves.  

Be encouraged today, mommy and wife.  You’ll make it through today, one second at a time.  Don’t beat yourself up if everything doesn’t go as planned or if the dishes are piling up.  Play with your kids or cuddle with your husband instead.  A clean house is WAY overrated…in my humble opinion.  At least until the mother-in-law shows up.

Love yourself because YOU ARE LOVABLE.

And one last thing…let’s give each other a break too.  When we criticize one another, it just shows how insecure we are with ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Worry About It!

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”  Matthew 6:25

What are you worried about today?

Paying your bills?  Your health?  Your marriage?  Your children?  Your future? 

Are you constantly worried about what other people think about you?  

Are you worried about the safety of your husband at his job?

Are you constantly worried that your husband is going to leave you or cheat on you?

Are you afraid your children are falling in with the “wrong” crowd?

Are you worried about the health of your aging parents and how you are going to care for them?

Are you newly divorced and filled with anxiety for your future?

Does worry consume your life to the point that you are paralyzed with fear, stress and anxiety?  

Are you a person who takes medication for your anxiety?

A life full of worry, stress and anxiety is not God’s will for His children.

Jesus said it Himself…He does not want you to be filled with worry about the cares of this life.  He always takes care of His children!  Always!!!

A lot of times, we think that WE must be the avenue through which our problems are solved.  “God helps those who help themselves.”  Right?

No!  Do you know that quote is NOT in the Bible!  Nope, not in there.  We go around saying this and fool ourselves into thinking that we must “do” something.  “Doing” turns into worrying.  Worrying about everything and anything.

Do you realize that Jesus’ sacrifice was a complete act of grace for our lives…our lives for all eternity AND our lives NOW?

Jesus’ sacrifice was not only for the covering of our sins, the health of our bodies and our eternal salvation.  It was also for our peace!  Isaiah 53 says,

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,”

Jesus suffered brutal punishment and pain so that we could have peace in our lives!!!

On the night Jesus was betrayed, He left these parting words with His disciples.  Even in the midst of the ensuing chaos, His desire for those He loved was for them to be at peace.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you;  not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27

Peace is translated, “Shalom.”  Wellness, wholeness, completeness, as well as peace of heart and mind.  Shalom means having every part of your being (spirit, soul, and body) in complete and total peace.

Walking in the peace of God, just like Jesus did, allows us to be in perfect control of our feelings, emotions and actions, no matter what the devil throws our way.  Not once do we see Jesus wringing His hands or having an emotional meltdown.  Even when the storm literally raged around Him, He spoke and embodied peace.  Jesus was THE peace-speaker.

The peace we have been given (as a gift, like salvation, healing, grace, righteousness, etc) is not a feeling that is based on our life circumstances.  It is a state in which we live.

But, but, but you say. “You don’t know what my life is like.  I have so much stress!”   Being at peace is a decision you make inside you, in your heart.  By YOU deciding that you will NOT LET stress consume your life, you are allowing God to work on the external circumstances FOR you.

During the last few years of my first marriage and the divorce that ended it, I had a peace that I cannot explain.  As many of you know, having marriage issues and going through a divorce is one of the most stressful things a person can endure.  Did I feel stressed and worried at times?  Of course I did.  But, before I would let it consume me, I would do something that might seem kind of silly to some of you.  I would close my eyes, picture myself holding my problems in my cupped hands, and then would throw them upward, as if “casting” them up to God.  Peace would come over me!  It’s true!  I did this seemingly childish act many times over until it has now become a habit of mine.  When I begin to worry or be afraid or stressed, I toss it to God like a game of hot potato and tell Him, “It’s all yours, Lord.”  Then I get back to doing what He wants me to be doing.  This simple act has helped me through a divorce and every other stressful situation I’ve encountered since, big or small.

What should we do instead of stressing about all the worrisome issues that come up in life?

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.”            Matthew 6:33

Follow hard after God and He will work out all the details for you.  No worries.  He’s got this.

When we worry, we are telling God that we don’t need Him to help us.  We are saying that we can handle it ourselves.  If you think about it, we are nullifying Jesus’ sacrifice for our peace when we hold on to our problems.

Worrying is a sign of lack of faith in God.   Having faith in God, aka not worrying about things or getting stressed out, produces peace in your life.

Worry=little or no faith    Peace=total surrender and full of faith

Are you walking in the midst of your storm and not even noticing the waves tossing you about or the lightning and thunder roaring around you?  

Or are you consumed by stress and worry?  Is stress manifesting itself in your body through stomach ulcers, headaches, moodiness, and depression? 

The devil knows where to attack you…in those areas of your life where you feel the least secure.  Is your primary concern your finances?  Then, that’s where you won’t have peace.  Or maybe it’s your kids?  Then, that’s where your stress will originate from.

If you want peace in your life, refuse to allow worry and stress to come in.  Jesus said, “Let NOT your heart be troubled.”

“Cast your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for YOU.” I Peter 5:7

No matter how tiny or insignificant it may seem.  If it is causing you worry or distress, God wants you to give it to Him.  He knows what to do with your worries.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

Besides, what good does worrying do you?

“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to your stature?”  Matthew 6:27

Worrying accomplishes one thing and one thing only…it gives the devil an open door into your heart to attack you and weaken your mind, spirit and body.

Find rest for your soul in the arms of Jesus.  He paid it all for you to have life everlasting and life abundantly. Embrace His grace and trust in Him with all the issues in your life.  Refuse to allow worry to consume you. God wants you to walk in peace.

Peace is part of the package of free gifts bequeathed to YOU at the moment of your born-again experience.  Walk in peace, starting NOW!

I sang this song as a little girl…I still sing it to this day when I’m feeling stressed or worried.  It goes like this..

I cast all my cares upon You,

I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet.

And any time, I don’t know, what to do,

I will cast all my cares upon You.

What are you worried about right now?  Put your hands out in front of you, picture you problem in your hands and then throw it up in the air. Cast your cares upon the Lord.  Have faith that He is working it all out for you, for your good!  Go ahead, try it.  No one’s looking…:)

In Hot Pursuit of Peace

I woke up this morning to a frightening realization. Today is December 2! That means I have only 23 days to prepare for Christmas!!! I have yet to buy one gift, bake one cookie or put up one decoration. How did this sneak up on me so fast??? Breathe, Susie, breathe. This happens to me every year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas is a flurry, no actually, a blizzard of activity. From Thanksgiving dinner to Return to Bethlehem to the girls’ dance recital to the church Christmas programs to Christmas morning with 5 kids…then add in gift shopping, baking, all the extra rehearsals and practices for said programs and all the normal day to day activities of our busy family’s life minus my husband who is out of town for work most of the month…Oh my! Our regular life is crazy to begin with..December life is like a 5 year old after drinking a whole box of 5 hour energy drinks. Seriously.

No wonder I nearly have a nervous breakdown each year! I get stressed out, in a chronic bad mood, yell at my kids, yell at my husband, and am just an angsty ball of unhappiness that progressively builds until Christmas morning when it all comes crashing down and I finally “feel” like it’s Christmas. I have even been guilty of saying that I hate the month of December and the Christmas season (gasp!) because it is so stressful for me. What a shame, don’t you think? Christmas should not be this way. It IS the most wonderful time of the year! And, I want it to be that way THIS year for me and my family. So how am I going to make this happen? My mother says to me, “It’s too much, Suze, it’s just too much. You need to cut back on all that you guys are doing. Something’s gotta give.” Easy for her to say now that her kids are out of the house! You know that commercial that was out a couple years ago about drug/tobacco use? The one where the parents find out that the kid is using drugs (or smoking, I can’t remember exactly)? The parent asks the kid how did they become hooked on the drug or whatever and the kid looks at the parent and says, “I learned it by watching you.” That would be the situation with me and my mother. I learned to be like this because my mom was the same way!!! My dad says I am like my mom on steroids…anyway…

Sure, I could cut back on the activities that we are all involved in. That would definitely help. But, which ones? Do I tell the girls they can’t sing with the children’s choir at church or do I not allow the boys to be involved with Return to Bethlehem or do I not participate in the adult choir at church this year? Or better yet, do I not bake Christmas cookies this year or decorate my house? Ummm….no. None of these is an option for me or our family. There is no way I can say no to any of these, especially at this point. And honestly, I don’t want to say no. Christmas means more to us than just one day of presents and singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Christmas is a month-long celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus, and showing His love to as many people as we can by serving in all these different areas to our community. From Lew all the way down to Emma, December and all its activities (big and small) are a big deal for us. So how do I make this year different from all the years before? How do I not get stressed out and turn into Cruella Deville this year?

I spent some time in the Word this morning, asking God to help me to be calm during this Christmas season, to be at peace and enjoy myself. Isaiah 9:6 says this, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the PRINCE OF PEACE.” He’s the PRINCE OF PEACE!!! Are you seeing this with me? The irony? Here I am, losing my cool, going bananas, fighting with my family during a time of year when we are to be celebrating the arrival of the Prince of Peace! I’m actually laughing out loud over the ridiculousness of ME!

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” I’m just shaking my head at myself right now. When I was going through the separation and divorce of my first marriage and the subsequent trying times afterwards, God gave me this sweet peace that I can not even describe. I trusted God completely and it was a beautiful and intimate time with the Lord like no other time in my life. Now, honestly, how can the stress of the Christmas season even compare with the stress of going through a divorce with three little kids? There is no comparison.

What God has done before, He will do again. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. That’s His word. That being said, I am going to rest in Him and cast all my cares upon Him. I will find joy in every day of this Christmas season. I will laugh instead of yell. I will take a deep breath and remember what is important when I feel overwhelmed. I will enjoy my children and share in their excitement and joy of Christmas instead of being so busy with the task at hand. We’ll take time to drink hot cocoa and watch Christmas movies and build fires in the fireplace and sing Christmas carols and actually talk about Jesus and His birth. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll let the kids help me decorate the Christmas tree this year instead of allowing the crazy OCD lady to take over. The possibilities for joy and peace are endless!

So, even though it’s only December, I am making a resolution. I resolve in the month of December to be calm, cool and collected. To not allow the stress of the season to affect how I treat others around me. I will enjoy myself and be okay with whatever gets done. I will not allow others to make me feel bad for saying “no” to extra stuff that will steal my joy and peace this Christmas season. I am going to allow the Prince of Peace to fill me with peace. And just breathe…

If you see me this month and I’m not smiling, feel free to remind me of my resolution. I have a feeling this will require daily effort. 🙂

Psalm 34:14 “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” I’ll be in hot pursuit of peace from now on!

Peace and joy to you and your family too!

Susie 🙂