When a Mother’s Joy is Stolen

All I ever wanted to be was a wife and a mother. That was my dream, not some fancy degree, or a ton of awards, but marriage and motherhood. There is nothing wrong with those other things, they just weren’t what I really  wanted.

I married my highschool sweetheart (well, senior year sweetheart) just 6 months after we graduated Highschool and while he was fresh out of boot camp and starting his career with the USMC. A little over a year later, we were expecting our first child. Dream come true, so where was the joy that I had expected to feel? Instead of the fairytale I’d longed for, I had a marriage that was falling apart, a husband set to deploy before our child was even born, and so many nights spent crying myself to sleep than I care to remember.

The enemy had attacked, and I was so not ready. I was drowning in silence, I didnt understand why God didn’t just bring me home already because I was clearly unfit. Satan poured out the lies, and I drank them up.

I turned to God, and he lifted my head above the water, but I was too scared to give everything to Him. The enemy’s lies were far too believeable, it was easier to believe that I was wretched and unworthy of the blessings God bestowed on me. He blessed us with a second child, just days before my husband and their daddy left on a second deployment. Our marriage was beginning to heal thanks to God’s grace. Joy still alluded me.

I was, even after all of God’s faithfullness and blessings, still giving in to the lies of the enemy. Every form of criticism, self-inflicted, outward, percieved, imagined, I willingly lapped it up. This went on in varying degrees of intensity for a couple years. Sometimes I would start to believe God’s promises, and really believe that they were for me, and I’d feel that spark of joy. Then satan would begin wispering in my ear, and once again I’d start to believe the lies. I had seen and felt God’s presence, I’d seen first hand the growth He started in me, in my husband, and in our family. And yet I still crumbled so easily at the enemies lies.

Until more recently, this past year has thrown me far and wide outside of my comfort zone. I’ve seen God in ALL of it. Chris being sent home early from deployment number 3, the starting process of our journey to Oki starting a week later, surgery for my hernia repair happening at just the right time to give me time to heal before needing to be on the plane, my surgeon being a christian, our friends and neighbors here on Island, all sent by God.

God knew what I needed before I did, the crazy hours and busy weeks for my husband definetly put strain on our family, especially the first 6 months or so. Thank God for our friends and neighbors. Playdates and hanging out brought me out of my house, where I tend to hole-up when things get hard. I joined every activity I could, just to force myself out of my comfort zone. God is so good. He lead me once again to homeschool, I fought it, He closed every door. So, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we took a break for the summer and started back refreshed.

I have seen the enemy trying to stop me, using all the tricks he’s succeeded with in the past. This time, it’s not working. This time I was expecting it, and this time, I tuned to God before I fell down. Now, I’m not naieve enough to think that I will never fall for lies again, or that there will never be hard times. There will be, but thank God, I’ve finally found the joy! The joy of the Lord is my strength, I need only trust in Him!

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Faith and Coffee

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The Testing of my Faith

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This image that I found on Facebook this morning spoke volumes to me. Not because I have ever gotten any negative comments about me homeschooling, but because I have been the biggest roadblock in my journey as a stay-at-home mom and now as a homeschhool mom.

Yes, you read that right, the biggest thing standing in my way, and giving me the most grief as a homeschool mom is ME. The enemy has whispered lies into my ears since the moment God called me to homeschool, and I have all too willingly believed them ALL. Until now. Now, I am trying my best to combat satan’s lies with God’s truth. It’s down to crunch time now, my boy is in kindergarten, if I fail to do what I’ve been called to do, he pays the price. I have started and failed to stick with a few curriculums the past two years, I’ve failed to stick with them because I bought into the lie that if I couldn’t do it perfectly or “right” according to the picture i had in my head of what it was supposed to look like, then I shouldn’t do it at all.

I have let the enemy steer my decisions as a wife and a mother for far too long. God has shown me this truth about myself recently, ironically enough, He showed me through my lack of time spent with Him. I shared my struggle, with not intentionally spending time with God and in His Word, with a dear friend. She reminded me that God always draws us back to Him when we stray. Always. No matter how far from Him we wander, He is there. In my darkest moments, He has lifted me up. I’ve seen Him bring my marriage out of darkness, I’ve seen Him lift me out of the valley or post-partum depression. Why then, have I allowed myself to doubt His power to strenghthen me and grow me on this journey as a wife, mother, and homeschool?

The answer is simple, fear and selfishness. Those have been the leading factor in my willingness to believe the enemies lies. Fear of failure, fear of being hurt, fear of not being enough. Selfishly hating the growing process, because it is an inconvinience, it takes me to places I don’t want to go, it makes me see my own brokenness and I don’t like it. Here is the truth: I AM NOT ENOUGH. I won’t ever be enough, BUT God, He is enough. He has always been enough, and will always be enough. So, it is by God’s grace, and because of His calling, that I embark on this homeschool journey. The start has been rocky, sick child the first day, mommy having a migraine today, I’ve sure there will be something else tomorrow. Some way that the enemy will try to convince me to give up, convince me that God couldn’t possibly use a wretch like me to glorify His kingdom. I’m learning though that with God, I can. Not in my own power, but in His. Not because  of who I am, but because of who He is IN me.

Sorry for rambling, I’ll get the hang of this blog thing soon enough. Thanks for stopping by!


Faith and Coffee

Homeschooling in Okinawa

 

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Tomorrow we will have been here in Okinawa for 10 months! It has been the most adventurous as well as challenging thing I’ve ever done, until Monday. Monday will be our homeschool re-start for A and R. I say re-start, because we tried to start our school year in April when my little guy (A) turned 5. I very quickly found out that one tightly wound and nervous mama makes for a stressful school time, so we took a couple months to re-group while I waited on some materials I’d ordered.

Fastforward to today, my lesson plan is ready, but my heart, oh my mama heart, is a wreck and  has been since God called me to homeschool. I feel utterly inadequate, under-educated, not cut out for it, you name it, I’ve felt it. If the enemy is trying to get me down (and he is) he has been succeeding. Not anymore. I know i was called to this by God, I know He will equip me, because He called me, and I know that He is enough. His grace is enough to change my fearful heart. His mercy is enough to cover my home. His love is enough to work in the hearts of my children. His strength is enough to carry me through. I’ve seen Him work enough in our lives already to know that He is faithful. I know that He will grow me through this process of helping my children grow, I will be renewed in mind and drawn nearer to Him through this process. I long for the day when I feel more confident in my own abilities, especially as a homemaking wife and homeschool mom. My prayer for this school year is this: That God’s grace covers every inch of it. That He will lead us, as a family, closer to Him as we follow His will for our lives.

I’m sorry to cut this so short, there was so much more I wanted to say this morning and I ended up having computer troubles and now that it is late, I need to get some rest.


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