Monday, July 25, 2011

Plugging along

I'm in a weird sort-of funk.

Instead of being inspired by all the wonderful writing and photography I see online, instead I feel discouraged.

Instead of being a confident mother of 5 children that other people give me compliments about regularly, I constantly question my parenting methods and belittle my successes as an adequate care-giver.

Instead of being a confident woman who can communicate openly with her husband, instead I hold my tongue too often and apologize for things I say when no apology is necessary. All for a husband who's willing to listen to me and who fell in love with an independent, opinionated spitfire but now instead lives with a pushover people-pleaser.

What happened to me? Why did I get this way and who caused it? I hate facing the likelihood that *I* am the cause of it. I can't deflect blame for my low self-confidence to an unsuspecting scapegoat. I've allowed the strong opinions around me drown out my own vision of myself.

On the outside, I seem really strong and intelligent to everyone else. I put on a decent facade. I talk a good game and when the subject turns to an unfamiliar topic, I put on my very serious listening face and nod with that knowing look, as if I'm taking it all in and thoughtfully processing it. Really, I'm secretly wondering if I have enough potatoes to serve for dinner or if I should just do Man 'N Cheese instead.

This is not what I thought motherhood would be. I guess I had NO idea what I thought motherhood would be but this isn't it.

I thought my children would fulfill me. I thought being married would fulfill me. I thought serving my family would fulfill me. I know the answer. I just hesitate to type it.

If I were focused on serving God, I'm pretty sure I would be fulfilled. If I were more focused on that, the rest of it would fall into place. Serving God is simple and yet complex. Living the Christian life is more than following a set of rules; it's understanding who made the rules and why "rules" isn't a dirty word. It's a change of attitude, a change of perspective, a change of direction. I don't choose this change, it's chosen for me and I keep plugging along.

I don't want y'all to think I'm depressed or in need of a therapist or medication or anything. It's more like, I just feel confused. I don't trust my own thoughts lately. I feel like what's natural is to recognize the beauty in everyone else while counting the faults within myself.

I know I'll get there. I'm working on it. It's more than the destination, it's the journey.

Texan Mama


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

But you are serving God.

I am too.

We can't all do it working for the church, we're meant to do it in life.

As for self-doubt, my son is grown, but I doubt just about every action I take. I think about leaving teaching every day. I have learned to reflect, to not tear myself down.

It's less erosive.

Stacy Lynn said...

I've been feeling a lot like you described, though my thinking was born out of the nest becoming empty. The bible study I'm in just finished Elizabeth George's "A Woman's High Calling." It's based on the Titus 2 woman. It was a real eye-opener for me and helped me to understand some things I've always fought against (even without realizing I did). You might find it helpful.

Gigi said...

We all have moments like that, I think. Particularly, when we are over-extended and tired. You will work through this, I'm sure of it.

Anna See said...

oh sweetie, i am so sorry. and i can relate. i think if i were closer to god (not out of guilt or shoulds, but out of love and discipline) these other things would fall into place.

Jennifer said...

I think fulfillment can come from a lot of different places. Just because have the idea that this should be fulfilling you doesn't mean it is. Maybe you need something more or something different. Instead of trying to fit you to the ideal, why not just change the ideal to fit you. There's nothing wrong with that.

leslie@gleaninggrace said...

You are definitely not alone in these feelings! We all struggle with similar feelings and thoughts.
It's something I've been working on for a few years now...becoming a more Godly, wife, mother, woman.
I've poured my heart and my head into figuring out how to be this better person.
I'm far from "there" yet; but I think what most of us miss is that there must be JOY in the journey! And that's hard because in order to have joy in the daily journey most of us take, we must CHOOSE it. What sounds like a no-brainer, really isn't! Choosing JOY takes practice, time, and lots of grace (both from God and man).
Just my opinion...
It's also my opinion that when you get past this or thru it, or whatever, you'll look back on it as a great experience in your life. One you wouldn't change if you could!

anymommy said...

Well, I don't know a damn thing about serving God ... but I think you still like me :-) But, I do feel like this at times. I think we all lose our selves a little in the grind of mothering every day and half to somehow shine a light on who we really are and what we really want. I've been struggling with it too.

ME said...

May be it's because of some changes which are taking place within your body about which your unaware of.You see mood swings? Why don't you catch up with some old friends of yours?Keep yourself occupied all the time , not with thoughts but with work, interesting work which you like.
Are You Living Right?
What is your state of Wellbeing?

Lindsey Ramage said...

Sometimes I think its the "never ending story" or the "groundhog day effect" with kids at home. I pray to get through the day and when they are all asleep I feel guilty for enjoying the quiet! But yet I get up and pray for joy, mostly praying to "enjoy" the job I most wanted to have growing up..being a homemaker, a good mother and wife. I fall short, sometimes flat on my face, but yet I read your blog and find peace that I am not alone in the struggle of lfe. I know God loves us and at these times we just have to refocus, find a moment to muddle through all the mess the world throws at us and be able to find joy in this life!