It is 2:30 in the afternoon and I am sitting on the couch. I have accomplished very little today beyond squeezing in a shower during Brody’s morning nap and comfort him after he woke up. He has had a pretty rough time for the last 24 hours. He woke up every 3 hours in the night. So, needless to say, I did not get up with my usual 5am alarm. I think he doesn’t feel well. But, however he was feeling this morning isn’t affecting him now. He is smiling away at me as I type.
I started reading another Jill Savage book. I was reading Bringing Up Boys by Dr. Dobson. It, so far, is a great book! It is very deep, though, since he is a psychologist. And since I am not raising my first son in the perfect family situation, sometimes I have to put it down and pray a while. (See the “about” section at the top of the page. If you want to know more, just ask.) I do have a wonderful husband that I am madly in love with. I truly believe that he is the man that God intended for me to marry all along. We just both got distracted when we were young.
Anyway, I picked up “Professionalizing Motherhood” by Jill Savage this time. I have so many books that I want to read. I think I’m just gonna have to stack them up and start at the top of the stack and work my way down. I mentioned earlier this week that I met Jill Savage last Friday. I told my mom and my husband that I met her and she is my friend on facebook now, and (at the risk of Jill or her family actually reading this :)) they both responded with, “You are gonna be a speaker at Hearts at Home someday!” Well, as much fun as that would be, that’s not necessarily my life’s goal. But it did get me thinking… what would I have to offer mothers, or anyone for that matter? Actually, I have been asked to pray about fascilitating a Bible Study at my church for young moms this coming semester. Sometimes, God can use us the most during some of the most difficult times in our lives.
Derick and I had the priviledge, once, to share with our church’s youth group, about our dating experiences. We followed what is so typical a path for young men and young women. Derick went off to college as a brand new Christian and got involved in the party scene and I, being a decendant of Eve like every woman, was easily deceived into thinking I found a Godly relationship that would last forever. Both experiences ended in disaster. In starting over with each other, we set very high physical standards in dating. Since we weren’t going to kiss and make out, we had to find other things to do. Consequently, we got to know each other very quickly. We were married 13 months after we met. And we shared our first kiss on our wedding day, September 5, 2005.
My experience with my first marriage, I don’t mind talking about, but since I am still raising a young son from that marriage and my ex and his family live in the area, I don’t like publishing details on the world wide web. Christian has a very loving family from my first marriage and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.
My most recent learning experiences obviously have to do with my life as a Navy wife, which I love and wouldn’t trade for the world. I started thinking about what I would tell other people in my situation or people that know someone raising kids on their own. One thing that a friend said to me when Derick left for boot camp was, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Sometimes it feels almost humiliating to admit that you need help. Our society emphasizes that we should be able to do it all (as mothers) and gives the impression that we are weak if we can’t do it alone. And of all the jobs in the world, the least significant is raising kids. The media basically has the attitude of “Come on… How hard can that be?!”
Well, I have 4 kids now and Derick will be gone for another 2 to 3 months and I have had to swollow my pride on many occasions not only to ask for help, but to allow people to see the chaos that is my life at home. I am a work in progress. But the thing that I would say to others who call themselves the single parent’s support system (i.e. the church) is, don’t forget about that person. It is a novelty to be the one to help in the beginning. But, 2 or 3 or 6 months down the road it is still hard and we still may need help. Sometimes just a visitor once in a while.
I have been fortunate to have an amazing church, at Northfield Christian Fellowship. When Derick left for boot camp we had not been going there very long as a family, but that was the church that Derick desired for us to call home. I honestly didn’t know if I wanted to be there without him. It was big and intimidating to me. Derick knew everyone and I knew no one. But they have gone above and beyond what would be considered the call of duty to desplay to my family the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. They have been more than willing to help when I asked and sometimes even when I didn’t. And it is never a burden for them. Or it never appears to me to be a burden.
James 1:27 says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for ophans and widows in their distess and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (NLT) This is the example that my church has set for my family and also for the community around them. I pray that someday I will be able to do the same.