8.22.2008

meekness and wisdom

I have been thinking a lot this week about my role as a mother. It's evolved, really, each day and year and keeps changing. The roles I have taking care of people, a home, the food to plan and stock the shelves and fridge with, the toiletries, the schedules, the emotional and developmental needs of the kids, the director of fun, the financial spender/ budget tracker, the director of safety, the nurse on occasion, the chef, the spiritual beacon, the friendly neighbor, the researcher, the peace keeper, the mother bear. I can't begin to count the number of hats I keep collecting. It's so interesting to me how it is this huge responsibilty to you don't ever really comprehend or know a ton about until you are doing it. You don't really go through a series of classes to learn how to do it. But it's the most important thing I will do on this earth. Waaaaaaaaay more important than statistics. And I took that class two times.

Initially, in 2004, I was slightly resentful how much was changing in my life compared to my husband's. A few weeks after the baby was born, his daily life was pretty much exactly the same. He woke up, took his morning shower, probably changed a diaper if the baby was awake, then went to work on the same train reading the same magazines and wearing the same work clothing. So much of my life turned upside down and seemed impossibly different and tiring and overwhelming. Although the pressure to provide for the family and make correct decisions at work will weigh heavy on his shoulders in a way I will never know, it seemed so unfair to me how 'easy' he got off with his role compared to mine.

I missed the days at work when I was feeling like I would burst, I could shut my office door, put the phone on forward, push away the keyboard and collect my thoughts. Get organized without interruption. Or even better, pretty much any time I needed to I could get up and leave the building for some fresh air or at the very least take a walk to the vending machine and grab a snack and take the long way back to my office. There is no vending machine break as a mom, there is no putting the kids' needs on hold. At least not during many of the moments I need and want it the most.

As time has gone by and I get the hang of this job, even when more is added to my plate and things change and I figure things out, I have come to respect and appreciate that it is my role for a reason. And Mike's role is his for a reason. We were given talents and natural inherent gifts to help us do this. Do I think Mike would have thought to be in the blazing sun yesterday combing the dirt for rusty construction nails? Maybe, if I asked him. He might not have thought of it himself. Would I have thought to lead that conference call and choose the business wording he used to land his company that great contract? Maybe, if someone told me what to say and how to say it. I might not have gotten that contract by myself. My job is to dig for nails this week, his is to be smart and logical with the right people. If we could trade when either of us needs a break from these tasks, we both would in a heartbeat. But we can't.

So my resentment has changed a bit into the realization of what it is for each of us- these jobs of ours. A knowledge that we each just needs to be understood and appreciated for our work, that it's as important as the cream cheese frosting on carrot cake. For both of us. And we have done so much better at that over the past year. That the hours he isn't here aren't supposted to be filled with frustration over what I am doing compared to what he is doing. Just that we each have hard days and we can lean on each other verbally during those days for support and comfort and love. It sounds logical and in some personality combinations perhaps that isn't so much of a learning as it has been for us. Me, actually. What I need and how he can provide that from afar.

And most weeks go pretty well, however, some weeks I could use an overall attitude adjustment. It's normally a week with far less sleep and outlandish behavior from one of the short people in the house.

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So some nights when I close up the house and get settled for bed I think through the things I could have done better. Too many moments this week when my voice was too harsh and my frustration and weariness got the best of me. And I think of this young mother who will be waiting so long to recover (I believe in miracles) and will wait so eagerly to hold and touch and see her little children again. And how badly I wish she was at her home wrestling her kids into the bedtime routine like most mothers get to do each night. How I really have learned much over the past 4 years, but wow I have so much improving and learning yet to go.

And I also thought about those people who say they open the scriptures and turn immediately to a page they needed to read right then and how I roll my eyes internally. Until this week when I opened to read this below in James 3:3. It was a firm reminder to me of the importance of not losing it, not letting my frustration get the better of me. That my kids are too important. And how confusing to them for me to raise my voice one moment in strong scold too harshly and then kneel for family prayer moments later.

By governing the tongue we gain perfection—Heavenly wisdom is pure, peaceable, and full of mercy.

(11) Doth a fountain send forth sweet water and bitter?

(17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.


******you can read the whole scripture here*****

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