Thursday, April 9, 2009

in the interest of being "real"...

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed…

How many “why” questions can I answer in one day without my head exploding? 23 bzillion? Because I probably answer that many, and somehow my head is still intact. *grin*

How little sleep can I survive on? How to make good decisions and demonstrate infinite patience when I am exhausted and pulled in different directions?

Just when I think I figure something out, something else changes and needs tweaking. Variety is the spice of life, huh?!

I have learned to listen to several voices talking or calling me at once, and somehow feel like I answer multiple questions and respond to multiple needs at the same time. Is this possible, or am I imagining this phenomenon?

How is bedtime 7, but I’m running up and down the stairs until 8? How do I teach a little one about the motives in her heart that cause her to ask for one more drink, a snack, a different blanket, a band-aid, another potty trip, a different stuffed animal…

Does my 18 month old “get it” when I correct him for certain attitudes?

Should I change a nap time? Offer something different at a meal to a picky eater?

Is our trip next week going to be smooth? Sleep issues in a hotel?

And what about when Eleanor and Will begin sharing a room? They will have so much fun…but what about when one takes an hour (a loud hour!) to fall asleep? Or one is teething and up crying in the night? Will any of us sleep?

Am I demonstrating Christ to my children? Am I helping them understand the sin in their hearts? Pointing them to the grace of God in Jesus, to the glorious Gospel? Am I training them biblically? Getting at their hearts or just outward actions?

Is there really enough of me to go around?! For my husband, my 2 children, soon a third? Scripture tells me I am my husband’s helper…why do I at times view it the other way around? God gave me the most amazing and understanding husband EVER.

Am I complaining? Is God going to think me ungrateful? Because, really, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life, my family. I love them. And I want MORE kids!! I am so THANKFUL! Todd has been sweet to remind me that the Lord knows my heart.

Will I ever have enough wisdom?

I have been reminded of my sinfulness, my weakness, my humanness, my selfishness. But I have also been reminded of the grace of Christ! He is my hope not only for eternal life, but for daily life. He can give me the strength and energy I need to take care of my family! And only He can supply my children with what they need more than anything…Himself.

Eleanor and Will are sleeping peacefully upstairs right now. I have a smile on my face already thinking of their sweet faces, and how I will be greeted in the morning with happy calls of “Mama!”, little arms around my neck. This is a sweet life.

I am not discouraged, just recently overwhelmed, and thought I’d share…in the interest of being “real.”

I've got some good posts coming...Eleanor's questions about God, Will's funny antics and new words...

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Andrew said...

Thanks for the honest post, Noelle. I keep you and the family in my prayers. Oh, by the way, I'm currently reading a book entitled "Family Driven Faith" by Voddie Baucham, and I would highly recommend it!

natalie said...

being real, being honest, your struggles as a mom, being discouraged...sharing those things don't make other worry about you, don't make others think you're crazy. those things spur others on. to pray for you, to know they are not alone in their feelings, to keep going. thanks for taking the chance on being's worth it!

Garden Girl said...

Ah, Noelle! I wish I could give you a hug - so here it goes ((((HUGS)))).
Thank you for being "real" - I believe every mother has those feelings and the Godly ones, have those thoughts ;) We indeed serve at the throne of grace because it is only by grace that we can serve. I relish the day when I can encourage a young mom, myself then being an older woman and say "I've been there, but our God is good and He'll supply all your needs - even the non-material ones."

Jenn said...

Noelle- I loved reading your thoughts. I echo most (if not all) of them. It is always encouraging to read the "real" struggles of moms. Thanks for sharing. And by way of encouragement for you, I had the same concerns about our two girls sharing a room.... and within 3-4 days of the transition, they both were sleeping soundly, regardless of the others noises. I like to think I'm training them to be good college roommates-- people who can sleep through ANYTHING. :) Good luck with baby #3!

Irene said...

Hi Noelle, I'm totally with you in this post! So many of the same questions. I am so glad that ultimately God is in control of our lives and our children's hearts. Thank you for putting words to some of my fears and inadequacies. Oh and my children have always shared a room and they love it. Somehow Julia sleeps through Elias's crying in the night and Elias misses Julia when she's not there for naptime. I hope it all goes smoothly for you!

Irene Hall

Elizabeth, The Mommy...etc said...

oh my...while I don't have the blessing of 2 little ones, I totally understand still. I love your honest post and "no" it does not sound like you are complaining about your circumestances...but just needing to dive in a little deeper and get your thoughts out. we all have those times. :-)

I love what you said about being our husband's helper though you feel it's the other way around...I SO GET THAT! Sometimes I think Esquire would make a better SAHM than me. :-(

Is Will a picky eater? I didn't think Eleanor was so I thought it had to be Will. Our decision regarding picky-ness was this: totally take it or leave it... We ALWAYS offered what our meal was. And Dr. Sears says even to sometimes not offer it on their plates but just let them watch the family eat and they'll catch on (though he was talking about a little older toddler)...and if they really are trying or even when they aren't...I did give Tulip some oatbran or yogurt or even cold cereal if I had to. I know a lot of moms are against "giving in" to their pickiness but my main focus at that age was getting food in their tummies and now Tulip eats A LOT of different things. She tries almost anything I give her and the 2ndary little meals I made are pretty much history...unless I know i'm making something way too "mature" for her palat. the day comes (sooner than later) where a 2nd option will NOT be offered...and I can see that day on the horizon...but even now, I rarely, not even 1x a week, have to offer her a 2ndary meal. AND, I also learned this the hard way...I stressed and stressed about it. Sometimes she'd eat 4-5 bites for dinner and only want milk. BUT, she kept growing and growing and developing ahead of schedule. So, I knew she was getting what she needed. So stressing about it definitely made the process worse. the more I tried to force her to eat, the worse it got. When I learned to relax...give her the food and let her deal with it, I had better meals myself. Even now, if I think she's not going to eat something or if she starts to "play" with her food. I give her a little "take a bite" reminder and look away, keep eating, chat w/ Esquire and let her obey on her own without me breathing down her neck. We really tried to commmit to meal times to not have to be constant correction and God has blessed us. My sister gave me some good experience from her 2nd daughter too...her first was a great eater and her 2nd wasn't...they used correction after correction for nto eating and realized it wasn't working. They took a step back and did what I said above...offered her their meal and a 2nd meal only after they were sure she wouldn't eat and her pickiness didn't last's just a phase that a lot of kids deal with. Tulip still doesn't eat veggies or fruits well but we're taking baby steps. :-) Anyway, long comment, sorry!...but when you mentioned picky eating, that is something I am way too familiar with...sorry for the unsolicited advise! ;-)

So sorry to hear about nighttime woes...Will having a hard time falling asleep b/c of his gums?

just keep your Godly focus. you are such a good mom and I love your cheerfulness and your realness...both are sent from God.

Miss you!

Elizabeth, The Mommy...etc said...

ps: i wanted to clarify that my sister's advice is the one that I laid out...but I think it might've sounded like it was my advice to her...definitely not, her experience is what taught me what ended up working very well. :-) Praise be to older sisters with kids! ;-)