Thursday, February 21, 2008

Attitude Adjustment

This morning I decided to wake up early so I could have uninterrupted quiet time. I awoke at 5:30, but remained in bed until 6, because I didn't want Patricia to wake up. (If you know me, you will realize that this is an unthinkable hour for me.) Before I even got to the shower she was awake and at the bathroom. By the time I was out of the shower all three kids were there. 

Now here's where choice comes into the situation. At that moment I chose to grumble and complain that I can't even get a few minutes to myself. And that choice carries on throughout the whole day. This is not just today, but everyday I find myself trying to take time away, so that I can fill some desire of... what, I don't even know. It's like I have this idea in my head that if I do enough for myself then I will suddenly be content. How flawed is that thinking?

When Tabitha was a baby I was so happy. I LOVED the idea that someone needed me 24 hours a day. I never had a break and I was perfectly content. I didn't mind in the least if I had to stop cooking because she needed to be picked up or if cleaning had to wait, because she wanted a book read to her. I had a baby that I always dreamed of and a wonderful husband, what more could I ask for?

Some where along the line I got this insane idea that I shouldn't have to serve all the time, but that I should do things for myself. Get out and do things "without the kids". Pursue my own interests, which most often happens to be self centered interests. Things that don't often involve the children. Well, here I am, often trying to attain some sort of self fulfillment. Every night I have one to three hours of alone time after they go to sleep and yet I am not content for the most part. I see that I need to change my attitude, but it's not something that's going to happen over night. 

If you think of me, please pray that I would have a servant's heart.


dave & rachel said...

This has happened to me so many times...I long for quiet time with the Lord, but if my feet hit the floor, my kiddos are up and at 'em too. I was discouraged about it for awhile, wanting to be more disciplined and wanting to have that quiet time with the Lord that I used to have.

A friend encouraged me to view this time in life as from the Lord, though, and not beat myself up about it...she said she learned to teach her children to let mommy have some time to read her Bible after breakfast and they were to play quietly near her. I don't know if this would work for you, but it has really been good for me. And an added benefit is that the kids get to see how much you love reading the Word (and often my oldest will want to hear me read it out loud). It has become a precious time for us.

I can tell that your desire is good, to spend time alone with the Lord. That is not wrong! And I know it is tempting to get frustrated when it seems almost impossible to fit it in. The Lord will fill you up though, Michelle, even if the time is not necessarily *quiet.* :) He will be faithful to His Word!

I really identified with your post, because, let me tell you, I have been there so many times! I too have noticed that I can have all the alone time I want in the evenings, but if I don't run to the Lord for encouragement at the beginning of my day, that alone time at night doesn't satisfy me. Or give me any more energy to face tomorrow! What I really need is more of HIM, you know?

I hope and pray that you will figure out a way to spend time with the Lord each day. Hang in there, honey!

dave & rachel said...

ha! That was long! :)

Michelle said...

Thanks Rachel. I should try to see if the kids will let me have time in the morning. I usually do enjoy my night time in the Word and I know that some day I'll even have the mornings.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Michelle...
Andy never believed me that kids somehow have a radar for when Mommy gets up, even at really early hours! It does get tiring to be needed all the time. Sometimes I find that just a verse to cling to helps...
And someday, they will all be gone and we will be bored with nothing to do...

Practically, sometimes I read after I serve them breakfast (the Word is more to me than my daily bread...). It works if I am in the room, but I can read a bit too. 5 am seems to work around here, although Shiloh gets up and I nurse her quickly and then read.

I love you...and will pray for you!

~Jennifer Ott

Kelly said...

Sounds like we were on the same page this week, weren't we? Both having attitudes that needed a little adjusting. Thankfully, the Lord is the perfect One to seek in these times and He is always faithful to re-tune my attitude if I ask Him for the help! I am pleased to tell you that my Friday went well, no major outbursts and I can say that it helped to think of Phil 4:8 throughout the day! Praying for you today!

Anonymous said...

Hello Michelle,
I haven't commented before as I didn't know how! But I figured it out. I will be praying for you, as well as myself. I can relate to all you wrote! Ben and I have a time to read at night together, but I find it hard to have a time alone. I read Bible stories to Ria but that is not the same as reading the Bible. We are starting to try for our second baby now so it may get harder! Please pray for us too!

Fab said...

Michelle -

I get that feeling a lot. It seems nuts that when we want time with God, we get interrupted. It's like, "C'mon God. I'm trying to spend time with you and I can't even do that???!" Maybe it's good to get upset. That way the desire to be with God gets stronger and actually fills your being with a longing for Him. God is patient and He'll do whatever it takes to make your heart yearn for Him. Even if it means getting interrupted.

Just be careful to remember that your kids don't have an awareness of your needs. They are still at an age where they think you know everything (even if they won't listen to you) and don't need anything.

Your heart's in the right place. You are seeking time with God. Sure, you also just want a long vacation away from the kids. Many people want that. Just don't put all the pressure on yourself to think that it's all in your hands to be perfect and to have perfect emotions. When you get frustrated and are ready to yell at the kids, let that frustration bring you to a desperate prayer with God. Then you'll be praying just like you really want to pray - with all your heart.