Saturday, March 12, 2011

Starting to Give Willingly. First blog post 3-2010

Every year as long as I can remember I've "given up" something "willingly" for Lent. I can't think of a single year that I remembered to deny myself the full time. Mostly I'd give up chocolate or the occasional 4 letter word. Okay more than occasional some years. Who am I kidding?

This year something was definitely different. I didn't want to give up something insignificant. I wanted to understand what it meant to deny myself something and to grasp more fully the purpose of "Giving up for Lent".

Brad and I discussed a few things but didn't really nail anything down. Frustrating. I have made a positive effort the last 2 weeks to watch my language for words I wouldn't want Abram repeating. I.e. "Stupid", "dumb", "Hate". I've tried to lower my voice when I am angry or frustrated instead of raising it and loosing my cool.

It wasn't until this morning at our play date that it hit me what I had been trying to say and do, but just couldn't quite say it right.

Being a Mommy there are TONS of things I can't have or do. I deny myself constantly. No : traveling at the drop of a hat, no late night dinners, no alcohol, no long walks with my husband on a whim without the kids. Until recently I couldn't eat a multitude of things as they would upset Evelyn's little tummy. Most importantly to me I have given up precious uninterrupted much needed SLEEP!!! I have not had a full night's sleep in exactly 16 months. Not during pregnancy because as you other mommies know, the bladder calls at night and often. Not since Evelyn was born because God blessed me with the amazing blessing of being able to nurse her, and she wakes in the night at least once for that even now at 7 months. My friend said it perfectly today when she said: "I can't give up one more thing!" I can't give up one more thing and keep my sanity, and I don't think Brad can either. She told me she had decided to practice giving up all of the things she HAS to give up more willingly.

So here I am. For 40 days and 40 nights (give 2 weeks as I'm Late for actual Ash Wed.), and I do hope for the rest of my life, I plan to give of myself to my husband, kids, family, friends, church, community, and my God WILLINGLY! I will work at not feeling sorry for myself when I am groggy at 5 a.m. and Evelyn wants to start her day. I will not do things for my husband because I "have" to, but I will learn to "want" to. This will be particularly hard in matters of the kitchen sink. See Bradley for details if you must.

Here is my list to live by for Lent season and beyond!:

speak patiently and quietly

be an example of encouragement and tolerance

wake every time my children need me without feeling like I deserve sleep. I did NOT deserve such precious gifts as my children, but God trusted me with their care. Surely I can get up in the night with a gracious heart for a few more months right?

not loose my cool when my SMART 2 yr old a 2 yr old!

make lunches, give baths, sing 100 bedtime songs after 1000 stories with a smile on my face, and never complain of being tired

Play with my son and daughter on the floor IN the playroom without that nagging feeling that I need to be doing housework, or checking my computer, etc. etc. etc.

Put my dirty dishes in the dishwasher or wash them as soon as I'm done with them instead of putting them in the sink for a few hours. It drives the man crazy, and I love him so I will give the extra few seconds to clean up my mess willingly on his time frame instead of my own.

I will blog my way through each day as it presents trials that will no doubt knock me off track, and chronicle each way that God pushes me through and blesses my efforts with a new more gracious and willing ME!

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