Monday, June 29, 2009

The assurance of things hoped for...

Today I was reminded that all parents, at one time or another, struggle w/ a common theme: Is what I'm doing for my children making an impact? Is what I do for them going to benefit them in the long run? Have I made the right choices for them, for our family? Never are these struggles any more piercing than when our child (or we ourselves) are in some kind of crisis. We question ourselves & second guess every move made (or at least I do).

But even in the day to day, these parent-struggles can plague our lives, sucking the joy out of our ordinary. Because after all, life is lived & true joy is found in the ordinary. Our lives are not meant to be Disney all the time. We human beings are not built for that. We can't take it - would that we could ask Michael Jackson; he'd likely agree. God rest his poor, tortured soul.

No, life is to be savored in the plain-old. That's the biggest thing I've had to learn (& the thing our society values least) from being a stay @ home mom. I've also learned that maybe it's wise to rest knowing that if we've made clear conscience decisions with all the wisdom we can muster, & given the rest to God, all will be well, eventually.

Several years ago I chose to give up my career to be that SAHM. Mind you, I'm a Master's Level educated, fully licensed professional (my ego still requires I tell you that), so this was not an easy decision: am I doing the right thing for my children? for myself? What about my education? What about our family's best interests? I've second-guessed it several times, especially when the challenges of rearing 3 very active, bright, busy children, & 'building' our home were a bit too much to carry. When we were still such a young family, shortly after the big decision, I was privileged to catch a glimpse of the Big Picture. I'll share it with you:

7-30-03 "Big boy is @ my parents. Husband, little boy & baby are all asleep upstairs. The house is quiet. It's early, but not that early. That's just it. It's not all that early, & yet I can come down in my PJ's, leave my babies sleeping comfortably in their beds. No rush to get out the door; no urgency to meet a schedule which is unnatural to our family's rhythm. Just a quiet, restful family rhythm. I love days like this.

It has been raining, which is why they're sleeping a little later than usual. ...And so it begins - Husband asks for slacks to be ironed. He has a schedule - and I help him, of course. But no such schedule imposed on my little sleepy heads. They'll have a lifetime of schedules that the world will impose, and they can choose which ones they'll abide. But not now, not as babies, not when the world is so new, not when it's my job to let them just be who they are, & grow into who they're supposed to be.

There will be times when I'll spend money more freely, move about more freely doing my own thing. But that's not these days. These days are for them; and me. These days are to be sure they're solid, secure, healthy & balanced. These days are for babies snuggled in their beds, still sleeping at 7:30 on a rainy weekday morning. I love days like this."

...because, there is a Big Picture, friends. And what JOY is found there - in the ordinary-ness of it, the plain-oldness of it! We forget so easily that JOY, because we so seldom are out from ourselves long enough to catch those glimpses.

Many times since that piece was written, I questioned - again - my decisions. I believe that's normal. And I also believe that's where faith comes in.

Faith: the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Faith: a gift from God, not of ourselves. Not sure we have enough? Pray. Ask for more. And let's be assured that the things (& people) who hold our hopes are in the hands of the One who holds us all.



Sandy said...

It's funny - I slept in with my kiddies this morning (I'm normally a very early riser) and was having some similar thoughts.

You're the best!

bluepitbull said...

I am happy for you. Given my circumstances, I don't want that to come off as being sarcastic, either.

I hope that your children understand what they have and the sacrifices you make for them, or will eventually know.

BetteJo said...

I'm happy for you and your kids that you made the choice you did. It's not always easy for people to do it these days but if you can - it's a marvelously fulfilling and incredibly beneficial thing for you all!

Susannah said...

Sandy~ I'm SO glad you're home safely! We'll catch up soon. :)

Bluepit~ No sarcasm taken.
"I hope that your children understand what they have and the sacrifices you make for them, or will eventually know."

I think maybe you just hit the nail on the head. Like DD2 said - they're Children. They're not supposed to know these things...yet. Only time & maturity gives that kind of perspective. But by then, they're not children anymore...So we will have done our jobs, no matter what 'rhythms' our families danced to, or what challenges we faced...Right?

BetteJo~ Thanks for acknowledging that it's not an easy thing to do. I have a friend who has asked me on more than one occasion, "What is it that you DO all day?"

Heh, heh... Well SHOPPING ain't on the list, I'll tell ya that! But neither is loafing around,like maybe she thinks. It's one of those things in life - you just have to be there - I guess. And, I hope you're right, that it'll be incredibly beneficial for all. That's my prayer, anyway.

Pamela D. Hart said...

These days are for babies snuggled in their beds

Susannah, I love that sentence. I miss the days when my boys, now 16 and 12, were snuggled in their baby beds. I still wake up in the middle of the night to check on “my babies.” They will ALWAYS be my babies, although they roll their eyes when I tell them THAT!

You made the right choice, dear Susannah. There is NO job more important or one that will give more joy or more satisfaction than that of Mommy. It’s the hardest job we’ll ever love.

Walts World said...

We can only play the cards that we were dealt.
In Michale's case, he would have been better off if they found him guilty and put him away for 50 years.,
and a lot of children would have been safer.

Walts World said...

Most disgusting is Obama sending condolences, and even making comments, like the molester was someone special. I guess he thinks it will get him votes, because so many people blindly worship a child molester. This action on Obamas' part is more disgusting than Jackson. How much do we hear about Fawcett who died on same day, or even problems in Iran. I cannot watch any station that is totally taken over with Jackson!!!!!!!!!!!!Hell has a good place for molesters.

Susannah said...

Pam! I'm so glad you're here! Thanks for the comment, too. Our oldest is 12, but passed me in height about 6 months ago (& I'm not exactly short!). There's no turning back on that, is there? "There is NO job more important or one that will give more joy or more satisfaction than that of Mommy." or more challenge, eh? Well said, sister!

Walt~ I'm glad you're here, too! Please don't be shy. Nobody's gonna jump on you if you tell us how you REALLY feel... :)

"In Michale's case, he would have been better off if they found him guilty and put him away..." Very interesting thought; I'd not considered that: the 'protection' of prison, rather than the sneaky cannibalism of Fame & hangers-on. Yikes.

Bungalow Bill said...

Your children are going to benefit from the sacrifice of your professional career, and yes you can remind us. You earned it.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Bless u for the sacrifices u make..ty for the words at WHT!..dont be a stranger hun!:)

Jennifer said...

I am a stay at home mom too, and the decision to do so is never an easy one. I still get a kick out of telling people (when they ask what I do) that I am a mom. They give me that blank stare but I know that peace and contentment knowing that I made the right decision.

Z said...

I'm with you...they're too young to know that part of your being there for them is a sacrifice of yours. They'll learn that later. They need to know you're there because YOU WANT TO BE.
My humble opinion, nothing else..

I love your use of 'plain olds'...that's the thread of life, that's the whole deal. My mother used to say, and I live by this now, "have something to look forward to"..that helps deal with the 'plain olds' when they feel TOO 'plain old'!, don't you think? Celebrate a birthday with a party, have friends for dinner, a date with your husband.........
all such good stuff!
Such a beautiful post, Susannah...thanks.

Susannah said...

Clay~ You know what? I've thought about what you said so much:"your children are going to benefit..." The thing is, I'm the one who's benefitting, really. They've taught me more about myself, life & God than any career experience ever did. So, I guess we all get to win! :)

WHT~ Hey & welcome! Re: 'sacrifices', see above note to Clay... I'm thinking lately that my choices have had a more 'selfish' component than I realized!

Jennifer~ Welcome! I'm so glad you've come by. What I just tried to say to WHT & Clay is what you said exactly, "I know that peace and contentment knowing that I made the right decision." There's no substitute for that, is there?

Z~ GREAT to see you here! Your Mama & mine must have been cut from the same mold. Mine says that VERY thing! There's such wisdom in that, isn't there? It goes along w/ 'life is what you make it'. Or as my Dad would say, "It's all about the attitude."

Now, about that date w/ my husband... :)

Julie's Jewels said...

I'm new to the world of blogging and I found you via another persons blog.

I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed reading this blog. Good luck to you.

I hope to visit you again soon.

Annie said...

Susannah....what you are doing is a "High Calling". Never underestimate its powerful importance here on earth....and into eternity!

Annie ~*

Susannah said...

Julie! So glad you're here! And welcome to blogging. It's a lot of fun, & there are some great friendships to be made, too. Enjoy your stay here & please come again!

Annie~ Great to see you again. Hope you're having a good summer! Thank you for your kind words & your encouragement. I know you know!!

disa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jen said...

Love it.
We like to pop corn and make blanket tents on rainy days.

Susannah said...

Jen! Sounds very cozy~ Makes me want to get out the blankets...