Today was a special kind of hell on earth. Decades of trying to raise children to be responsible, thoughtful, kind human beings, against their will, has finally taken me down.
Parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances. My circumstances are less than ideal. I'm completely burned out after four decades of constant child rearing (two of those filled with the added burden of being told I'm to blame for everything wrong in the world). My husband and I agree on only one thing---our hopes and dreams for our granddaughters. We differ greatly on what we think it takes to get them there. And there are outside influences that go beyond the usual things parents are forced to deal with. I'm not sure we're getting anywhere. Or at least nowhere I want to go.
So I'm faced with this choice: Continue the struggle for another five+ years with the hope that in the end the kids turn out okay, and when the hardest part is over (parenting never really ends), if we're lucky and we live that long, maybe my husband and I can find our way back to each other. Or do I give in to defeat, knowing I gave all I had to give but it was never going to be enough?
The kids already hate me. My husband is getting there. And I'm tired. So very tired.
Is this all there is? Being mocked, laughed at, disrespected and judged incessantly by the children I sacrificed my best years to raise? And all because instead of taking the easy way out and giving them whatever they wanted to keep them happy, this tired old lady rolled up her sleeves and tried to teach kindness, responsibility and the difference between right and wrong.
I've been told I'm doing a horrible job. So I can only assume they will be glad to see me go.
Monday, January 25, 2016
I've written before about the major detour my life has taken and the toll that detour has taken on my psyche. Before I get down to business, here's a brief recap:
My husband and I planned our lives carefully. We had started married life as a family of three since I already had a five-year-old child, and we added another daughter soon after. From the beginning our lives revolved around the needs of our children (which was, of course, as it should be). But as we approached the dreaded milestone of turning 30 (in hindsight, it wasn't the big number we thought it was), we decided our little family was complete. And truthfully, we were already envisioning entering mid-life with only ourselves to take care of, and the freedom to do what we wanted for a change. Maybe we were already tired.
But before we had a chance to catch our breath, we found ourselves raising our two granddaughters. To say I haven't always been happy about the decades of added responsibilities is a major understatement, but contrary to popular belief I've always loved these girls beyond measure. I just had a lot of resentment regarding the circumstances that required this change in plans.
As the saying goes, we make plans and God laughs.
Of course, we now see that His plans are, indeed, better than anything we could dream up in our tiny human brains. Our granddaughters seem to be on the right track. They're smart and funny and capable of having bright futures if they continue to make good choices. Most importantly, they've chosen to follow Jesus. Hopefully, they'll always look to Him when the darkness of this world tries to overtake them.
But back to the purpose of this post.
God is clearly using this Titanic-sized alteration of my life plans to teach me a thing or two. I'm learning to think in terms of what God placed me here to do, not what I want out of this life. I'm learning to turn to Him when life gets too difficult or my insecurities threaten to consume me. I'm learning to forgive...slowly. And I'm learning to embrace joy even when happiness eludes me.
I've been trying to explain this last concept to my husband for a while now. I haven't felt that I was getting through. Or maybe he wasn't listening. Either one is possible. And I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my marbles. I mean, really, can a person be unhappy yet filled with joy???
Yes. A thousand times yes.
And today, I heard this idea clearly stated on the radio station K-LOVE, so it's no longer just my own delusion. Someone else thinks the same thing. And from past experience I know that as soon as someone else says something I've been saying for years, all of a sudden my husband thinks it's a valid point.
Here's a link to the article, just in case you, like my husband, need to see it written by someone else before you're ready to believe it's possible: How to Get Joy and Keep It
Yes, a Christian can be sad, depressed, and disappointed yet still feel immense joy deep within. Jesus can do that for you. I'm hoping that eventually, as I learn to let go of my will and accept His, I'll start to find true contentment even in the midst of disappointment. And maybe my life can reflect just a tiny bit of the love that God has shone down on me.
Monday, January 18, 2016
I combined a few different ideas from Pinterest to create this wedding card. The birds and heart were cut using my Cricut Explore. I created the wreath by cutting a large number of branches from a Martha Stewart punch, then gluing them into the shape of a heart. The white background was embossed using my Sizzix Big Shot and a folder from the Cuttlebug Decorative Tile set. I tied some sheer white ribbon around the bottom before attaching the completed card front to a kraft paper card base.
Thanks for visiting!
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
I've been a mess lately.
Raising teenage girls will do that to you. Raising kids for decades without a break will definitely do that to you. But God continues to carry me through from one crazy moment to the next, so here I am to share something I made when I wasn't busy sharing my angry thoughts on the World Wide Web.
I love the Cricut cartridge Chalkboard Fonts, especially the font called Extended because to me it's exactly what I picture when I think of a fancy chalkboard font (and the primary reason I bought this cartridge). However, trying to piece those tiny bits together from cardstock is not my idea of chalkboard font fun. So for this masculine birthday card, I decided it would be the perfect time to let my Cricut Explore write the sentiment with a pen instead of cutting it.
After the Explore had cut a rectangular card front and written "Happy Birthday!" (yes, just like that all by itself like magic), I punched a design across the bottom with a Martha Stewart border punch. I then added a couple of layers of washi tape above the punched edge and tied black twine around the middle of the card front. I cut a slightly larger rectangle from black Core'dinations cardstock to create a mat, ran it through my Sizzix Big Shot inside an embossing folder, then sanded it to reveal the blue core. Finally, I adhered the card front to the mat and attached the finished front to a black note card.
I'm sure tomorrow will bring a new set of challenges, but for now I'll try to be thankful for the good things God has provided. (Although He didn't bless me with massive amounts of creativity, He did provide me a little time during my day to pretend I'm creative, and for that I am truly grateful.)
Thanks for visiting!