Monday, August 8, 2011

Called to be a Keeper

I meant to blog about my experience from last Wednesday well before today, however life has gotten the best of me and the post has sat incomplete for the past several days.

The entire group, including all of the women who have come to bestow upon us Godly wisdom, and the author herself, Lori Merrill.

This summer I had the honor and privilege of going through a bible study called “Called to be a Keeper.” The study is by Lori Merrill and it is AMAZING. The entire premise of the study is that as women, we are called to be Keepers. Keepers of our home, our marriage, our children… it’s not just a job that we assume as a stay at home mom. God has ordained for us to be that person. It’s a God breathed responsibility. I was really able to step back and realign this summer, and thought I'd share with you just a little of what I have, and am continuing to learn.

The study realigned my thinking spiritually. Not that I was not aligned incorrectly, but I think I had lost focus as to WHY I was doing the things I was doing. My focus was not on serving Christ but just going through the motions of every day. This lead to a feeling of a lack of purpose, it lead to perhaps many avoidable arguments with Drew and it also lead to some of the issues I have dealt with with anger towards my children. So I would say that the ability to refocus and realign myself with my God-given calling was significant.

The study realigned my thinking with my marriage. I’ve been in other studies on marriage or being a wife before. All of them stress the importance of making sure you look good for your husband, making sure that the house is well cleaned and organized, meeting your husbands needs, and being a Godly wife. I always read them, took away snippets and implemented them. What I never did though, and what Keepers really helped me do, was ask questions of Drew. The nights that I asked questions with Drew during the study this summer really helped me see that while you can make generalizations about men, they are all different. When I started asking Drew what he really wanted, and what I could do to be a better mom/wife, his answer was simple… be a mom/wife who promotes peace. His answer perplexed me. All this time I was stressing out about not having dinner made, not having a shower in 3 days, always wearing t-shirts, never wearing jewelry, having toys strewn across the house at 5:30pm when the garage door opens… and he doesn’t care about any of it. To be fair, I’m sure that if I, and my home, was a complete mess then obviously he may not feel the same way. But within reason, he really doesn’t care about all of that stuff that so many books place an emphasis on. He just wants a home filled with peace. This was really convicting because through the study I was realizing that I was more often than not , not implementing peace in my home. I was not setting a tone that was conducive with peace. This made me dig deeper and ultimately lead me to where I am now on my walk with sifting through my anger.

And finally, the study realigned my thinking about being a mommy. I love my boys. They are answers to prayer in so many ways, and have each taught me so much about God. But my life with two kids two and under is HARD. There are days where I feel like crawling under the couch and just sobbing uncontrollably. I feel like I fail more than I conquer and I am constantly haunted by my inadequacies. But what I am realizing is that God’s grace is sufficient for even those problems as a mom that seem silly. God feels my stress and He will rescue me… but I have to call on Him. The truth is that I cannot be a great mom without a great God. It just won’t happen. The beauty in the mommy tidbits I learned is that EVERY single “older” mom who came and spoke with us would listen to us introduce ourselves and how many kids we had (with the exception of 3 or 4 women, the rest of us all have toddlers or younger, and most of us have more than 1 child), and then they would smile really big and say “you’re in the best phase right now. CHERRISH it, because it will be gone more quickly than you will ever want it to be.” The statement made me laugh, and cry. Because if I am honest, right now doesn’t FEEL like the best phase of life. It feels like hell (sorry, but sometimes it really does when I have two kids screaming, water boiling over on the stove, Drew calling to tell me he’s late, and I still haven’t brushed my teeth…). But deep down inside I know they are right and it makes my heart hurt. I hate wishing myself out of the places I am in, only to look back and wish I was there. So I am trying. Trying to be a better mom and wife, and trying to relish in the fact that I have two babies that love me unconditionally, and think that I have hung the moon and can do ANYTHING.

And so I have had to sigh, uncurl my fingers around my life, and relinquish even the small things that make the big stresses. Am I “there” yet? No. And I am not sure I ever will be “there” completely. Life is a journey, one that is never complete until we bow before our Savior. I only hope that I can somehow manage my way through life with the least bit of hurt and pain bestowed by me  upon my family. Because hurt and pain will happen. I am human and I am imperfect. But God is greater. And I am called to be a Keeper by my great God.

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