at the end of the day...

What is it about hormones that dictate so many things about our bodies?  I'm not just talking about women, but men too, but mostly women.  Too little estrogen--difficulty getting pregnant.  Too little progesterone--difficulty maintaining a pregnancy.  Too much or too little whatever it may be--cranky, unbalanced, raging mood swings and feelings, headaches, droopy energy levels, weight gain, blotchy skin...geesh!  Is this just part of God's design of a woman?   Is this what happens after bearing life--seven times?

I don't know how else to explain the unannounced tearful outbursts over...nothing at all, for no apparent reason?  Yesterday afternoon I found myself with this clenching feeling in the middle of my chest.  I've felt it before.  It is anxiety.  I wouldn't say I'm an anxious person...stressed?  Maybe.  Anxious?  Not really.  Yesterday I was.  I wouldn't have been able to tell you why.  Tim came home a little early and we had a chance to sit and talk while I folded the mountain of laundry.  In no time at all, the tears came, and the source of my anxiety revealed itself--sort of. 

In a nutshell, I have a beautiful, healthy family.  I live in a home that is more than comfortable.  We send our children to a private school.  I have amazing friends and loving family memebers.  My husband has a good job that allows me the privilege to stay at home with our children.  We can often afford the "extras" to offer our kids opportunities and conveniences.  Somehow, that gets a little overwhelming.   Somehow, I think of the "what-ifs" that don't even exist.  I remember several years ago, a statement made by one of our godteens regarding their parents:  "They have no idea how hard it is.  All they do it get up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner and then watch TV.  I have to do homework and keep my room clean and keep up with all of the other things going on in my life.  They shouldn't expect so much of me."  My response was simply that they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.  What things are worried about and planned for and sacrificed.  I don't think at that time that even I really had any idea.

What if we decide to move back to Lincoln?  How would we even begin to prepare our house to sell it?  What if we found the perfect house in Lincoln and couldn't get this one sold?  What if I finally decided that I am content being where I am?  What if I miss what acerage life has to offer us so much that I can't find contentment being back in the city?  What if Tim's job starts to demand more of him?  What if my grandparents get too tired while they're driving all the way to Lincoln with Joshua?  What if my brother and his fiance set a July wedding date right during baseball tournaments?  What if Jakob doesn't get the "OK" to play football from the ortho doc?  What if it rains when we're supposed to have our already rescheduled baseball party for the team Tim coached?  I don't have the answers or the ability to control them.

What if I want to be the kind of wife who welcomes her husband home after a long day with a smile and a cold drink and the kids all quiet and cleaned up?  What if I want to be the kind of mother that calmly corrects her children, consistently showing them the love of Jesus in all of my actions? What if I want so much to have another baby, but I can't begin to understand how I can adequately manage the seven I have?  What if I want to feel on the inside like I think I make it seem like I do from the outside?  HOW DO I DO THESE THINGS that seem so easy for other women I know, but almost impossible for me?

(Photo from our 2009 Christmas card. )

God bless my husband, who gently reminds me that it is not my job to take on all of these worries.  It is simply my job to let them go and give them to God.  He reminds me that when we look back over the last 15 years, we can not find a spot where it appears God has abondoned us.  He has provided for us always.  He has given us circumstances to challenge us spiritually and physically and emotionally that result in the affirmation of our love for each other and faith in Him.

Tim reminded me that it isn't just me in is "us".   If there is a wedding in the middle of baseball, we'll be at the wedding because family is more important.  If Jakob's arm still isn't healed, we'll hug him and remind him that he is young and there are lots of years of football ahead of him.  If we move or if we stay, we do it as a family, and regardless, we start to unfold the next chapter of our adventures.  He reminded me that my previous week was a busy one, and that it is probably catching up with me.  He acknowleged the level of difficulty involved in being a stay-at-home parent, and that he understands when I'm frazzled instead of fashionable at the end of the day.  And then he reminded me that I am a good mom and a good wife and that he loves me, and at the end of the day, isn't that what matters most?