30 September, 2015

Silver Linings

    So after i posted yesterday's ramblings, i did a lot of thinking. I'll confess, i put Strawberry Shortcake on for the super charged littles so i could think and process. First thing i decided i needed to bless the men in my family by taking them lunch at the store. I needed to do that for my own sake, not just theirs. I needed to do something for someone and since they're the ones i know best in the area, they were the happy recipients. :-) So while i fried hamburger and chopped salad (what DO you take for a man that can't have many carbs??) i did a lot of straight talking to myself.

  This season i'm in has it's challenges and they seem rather large. I might as well face it honestly. I'm a mother of nine, six of whom are in school. Make that seven. I also have an almost 4 year old and a 6 month old baby. I live in a double wide, albeit a big double wide but still, the noise is constant with no basement to chase them down too. Add in a whole week of rain and my nerves begin to fray. Too make things interesting my man is involved in starting up a returned merchandise store. It's exciting but stressful and in some ways i'm struggling to stay connected with him as i try and adjust to homeschooling again while wanting to be that perfect wife for him. I want to whine and complain about my needs instead of focusing on what his are.

  We are also trying to readjust to simply living in America again and all the guilt that so easily happens with the richness of the American lifestyle. I love living in America but my heart cries out that i don't want to become settled in it or hold it to closely. I want to keep myself open to living in the furthest corner of the world. But lets face it, there are things that happened in Kenya on so many levels that we need to work through. Disappointments, disillusionments, death, sadness mixed with precious new friendships, laughter, and the prayers pouring in from so many believers. I want to slap a Bible verse on everything, a super spiritual smile, and pretend i'm big enough to not need other people.

  Then there are small things that feel big. Such as a certain child taking our BRAND NEW, VERY EXPENSIVE vacuum sweeper that my husband bought for me to make my life easier, and using it to suck up water from the kitchen sink. It certainly sucked up the water, along with saturating the motor.  We can't afford another like that so either a miracle is needing to happen, or we will have to make do with a very cheap sweeper and a broom.

  So i thought and prayed.......I said to myself, "Darla, you have some choices to make or you sink into a hole that will be very hard to climb out of. First of all, no self pity. At all. And yet, no self condemnation. Jesus didn't die for me to sit here feeling sad for myself, but neither did He die for me to heap false guilt on myself. Reality is, it's a challenging time. Be honest about it. On the other hand, neither will i survive this season with joy if i don't get serious about seeking God during it. And that doesn't mean i will be flooded with feelings of light heartedness and laughter. Some days i will cry and that's ok. But then turn my face towards Jesus and make that CHOICE to trust Him."

  I took my iPad to Marlin so he could fix the time so i can set my alarm and have it go off at the right time. I also took a good hard look at what i can change about my life and what i can't. The things i can change, (getting up earlier to spend time with Jesus, getting a school routine in place, learning to drive again with confidence etc) i will. The things i can't, i am choosing to lay down and trust. This is also not the time to make long term decisions on how many children we have, wouldn't you say?

  This morning was off to a great start but i've been tested already. Somehow the children haven't gotten into the same mind set and are still showing their Adamic natures, complete with whining and fighting. It's still raining, the skies are still gray. I'm still waiting on school books and still wondering how it's all going to fit. But there's a big difference. I've met with God and I've asked Him to help me. I've also asked Him to fix the vacuum sweeper. I'm hoping He'll say yes, but if He doesn't, I'm going to thank Him anyway.


  1. Now, THATS that Darla-voice I know so well! That sounds like a good, healthy perspective on reality - room for emotions, room for grief, but no room for the destruction of self-pity and judgment and accusation. Room to allow God to grow you the way He sees fit, rather than trying to grow yourself the way you THINK He wants.

    Anyway, love you muchly!

  2. God meets us where we are and calls us to come higher, then heaps hope upon our weary souls and gives our seeking hearts practical moment-by-moment direction. Feelings are real. We are made of dust but hallelujah that we can live in constant overcomer-because-of-Jesus reality.

    Thank you for sharing, Darla. Sending you love from NY.


  3. I identify with so much of this. I so understand a small house with no place for children to go and also the whole wanting to be that perfect wife in a stressful time but thinking of myself .... we are trying to build a house with my husband doing most of the work himself, does that explain enough? Thank you for sharing your conversation with yourself; I needed to hear it too! Here's hoping the sweeper comes back to life for you :)


  4. Thank you friends! And Licia, i can't help but think of all the long, heart rich conversations we have had in the past about out struggles as wives and mothers and what a blessing your "determined to love family and Jesus well" spirit has been to me.

  5. I didn't take the time to comment after my first reading of these posts, but you have been on my mind and heart since then. I appreciate your words and your desire to take up what you can and lay down what you must. I was reading with my little ones about forgiveness and shared your vacuum story with them. Sometimes it's a lot easier to teach it than to do it. I love how you started by blessing your own family with lunch. You are a wise woman.

    1. Amy, i often think of you with your large family and feel encouraged. Thanks for investing in my life as an "older" woman, altho you're not that much older than me. :-)


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