Monday, October 10, 2011

More in the Home



In Part Three of this series on Living for More, we look at how to Live for More in the Home. And to be honest, it’s where I struggle the most.

I set the hair straightener down on the dresser as I hear Brad preparing to hop on his motorcycle to go to work. He is flying today and I want to send him off with a kiss. We chat for a half minute and out he goes.

I turn back to finish what I was doing. What was that? Granola is cooking in the oven. Laundry is spinning away in the washer. Evan is cleaning up his toys. I touch my half-frizzy hair. Oh, yeah.

And then the scream. It’s my little girl and I run throughout the house until I realize she is in my bedroom. The hot hair straightener has fallen to the floor and she is sitting next to it, crying.

I check her body for red burns while the guilt sears into my heart. I can’t find the mark, but it’s there—that mark of failure, of falling short, of not getting it right. Again.

In the home, I know this need for More the most. More of lots of things—from both myself and my family. More patience. More sleep. More understanding. More energy. More patience. More second chances. More obedience. More balance. More time. More patience.

And the list of words goes on and weighs me down and shows me how I am less than others need me to be. And the conflict of my names—of being a good Wife, and being a patient Mom—war in the constraints of this life.

Kissing my husband meant pain for my daughter. It represents the balance that rocks back and forth like a see-saw. And my other names—writer, friend, reader, daughter, one-who-needs-sleep—get lost somewhere in the middle. And I feel all upside-down.

The formulas and books and theories and “simplicity culture” and “need for balance” and all the other advice add chaos and don’t ever completely fit or always work or keep their promises.

And this role of parent is perhaps my biggest yet—the weight of being my kids’ only mom heavy. And I struggle with the knowledge that even if I get everything right every moment of every day, there is no promise that my kids won’t turn out to be drug addicts or some other Worst Fear.

My soul screams my frustration, the burden searing my flesh.

But then I remember the More that I really need.

The One who is both Word and Name. The One who is more than an example, more than an unreachable standard, more than a coach, more than even a parent or a spouse. This God who can be the Most to my husband and kids that I cannot be.

And the amazing thing is that He is not a list of rules or a Sunday school lesson or a distant judge. He is in me. I don’t have to strive to become better at attributes, or be burdened by the “Mommy” name. I can just give the love that God gives me to my own kids. Overflowing from His patience, His understanding, His energy, His time. He becomes what is missing in us.

And when I forget? Or get it wrong? He gives me what he does best—His Grace.

I let God search me for the marks of the heat of life and give me the salve that restores—More of Him.

What roles make you feel all upside-down as you miss the mark? As you struggle under your most heavy burdens and expectations, do you agree that God can love through us, and become what is missing in us? If you disagree, if you think I’m wrong about all this, please email me at borneowife@yahoo.com .

photo credit, perfecto insecto

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