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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lost in it all

I have been awake for three hours (four now). I'm so used to Alexis not sleeping well that once I got her back to sleep (easily) at 2:30, I could not get back to sleep myself.

Rather than lie there feeling sorry for myself and disturbing Corey I decided to get up and go to the spare room to "spend some time with God".  I'm somewhat reluctant to blog about "God stuff" in case it offends some readers, however, its a part of who I am and how I'm trying to be a good mum, so its definitely a part of my journey so it would not be right for me to leave it out. This post is not preachy though, I promise, so stay with me. It's more about how being a stay at home mum has effected what I think about.    

So I got up and went to spend some time with God, which is just Christian-speak for sit or lie somewhere quiet and pray and read the bible (or a book about some aspect of Christianity), whatever really, just "alone time" but we believe God is with us. For me personally I almost always write out what is on my heart and mind at the start, what I learn, and then how I can apply it. The aim is to take what's bothering me (half the time I have to work that out too), let it go, and move on stronger and with new direction.  Most often I go from "argh God I'm so confused/scared/worn out/overwhelmed/lost" and find peace, meaning, purpose. Sometimes it can also take me from "God I'm so annoyed with something/someone" to "ok, sorry I was wrong". When Corey has irritated me for a while over a disagreement I am likely to get to the point of "I'm not wrong but there's no point pushing the issue. If he doesn't agree with me I can't change his mind anyway so help me be ok with his decision." (It's uncanny how he sometimes ends up seeing things my way once I  reach that point.)

Tonight I didn't really know that anything was bothering me. I just couldn't sleep, so I said, "ok God, I'm here, what do you want?" In the spare room I sighed at a pile of dirty Corey clothes, a pile of dirty tissues, an old, opened, but barely drunk water bottle."Gosh he is a pig".  In finding my journal and a pen and a bible I noticed how messy, cluttered, unorganised and disgusting our study is.

The housewife in me wanted to tidy up the house. It was hard to ignore the urge.  Especially because we have visitors coming this afternoon. I am ashamed of the state of my house. I knew I needed to spend some time with God though.
             
I got my journal and started writing.  It was clear to me how much trouble I had getting focussed. I just wrote what I was thinking about. I was really fighting the urge to go clean.

From the writing, thinking, praying, reading etc, I came up with this. I feel like because I don't work outside the home everyone expects me to have the house perfect. Corey doesn't expect any such thing, he just wants clean clothes, a happy wife and a happy daughter. Far too often I'm upset by what I haven't done that I fail to deliver the "happy wife" he has requested. I don't know where this pressure has come from. Our house is always "busy", it's messy, and  sometimes it is a little sticky, but apart from the toilets its never actually dirty. It's dusty in parts, yes, but it's not dangerous. It is a home that is lived in. I don't know why but sometimes I feel like a failure because I can't get it perfect. I can't stay on top of the housework, whenever I make progress somewhere I realise I've let some other area lapse. Like that time months ago when I got the whole house close to spotless but realised I had not washed any clothes to wear to my niece's dedication.   

I read some of a book that I noticed Alexis has pulled three quarters of the way out of the bookshelf and it was just hanging there. It was about renewing our relationship with God, keeping it fresh. It's something we should do daily. We shouldn't get so caught up in the day to day that we forget to spend time with God, to make sure He is still with us, to make sure we are still following Him.  Otherwise we can try all we want but be ineffective.  We can lose sight of what's important. When God gently reminds us we are wrong we have to act on that and get rid of what hinders us.

I need to get rid of wrongfully thinking that I have to be perfect, that I have to get everything right. Then I can stop feeling the need to excuse the mess. I can rest when I need to. I can play happily with Alexis and Corey without feeling guilty, and knowing me if there is less pressure I'll start doing housework better because I want to not because "argh I have to get this done or I'm a loser".  

Even if you don't believe in God you can learn something from this. It's important to take time out of our busy schedules to  re-evaluate our goals, refresh our bodies, renew our minds and regain our passion. We need time to relax.  After this we can refocus our energy on what's really important.    

It's really easy as a stay at home mum to get lost in it all, to get caught up in the day to day grind. To let little things bother us. To get stuck in a rut. To start believing that our value is judged by how good we are at housework or how well our kids behave in public.  To start treating our beloved husbands as inconveniences because, lets face it, they seem to add to our workload rather than decrease it. 

We all need something that encourages us and challenges us. At times we all need to look outside ourselves, outside the confines of our homes, and realise that there are others far worse off, that we are blessed. For me, its my faith in God. When I am willing to meet him in a quiet, still place, He is there waiting. Maybe He is waiting for you?

If you think I'm talking smack (ie think religion is for idiots), thanks for sticking with this post anyway. That is very big of you. If you don't mind, I'd like to ask, what is it that keeps you going through hard times and gives you peace when nothing makes sense and helps you forgive those who hurt you? It's something I'm curious about and I'd love to hear some honest answers.  :)  

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12 Comments:

At April 16, 2011 at 8:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I like it.
After the Prayer group at Church last night, (Friday), I was feeling that what I had been sharing - sexual immorality in the church- really applied to me.I, too, need to just relax in God's presence and know that we are all the same and fight the same battles.
e.g. why look at the speck in someone's eye, and don't see the log in my own eye.
Hang in there, Karlee ♥
Love,
Richard

 
At April 16, 2011 at 9:15 AM , Anonymous Kristy said...

How true!! I'm not overly religious, but I do know exactly what you mean about what it's like to feel like a failure as a mother/housewife because there simply aren't enough hours in the day to do it all and try and get some sleep too (even though my husband doesn't mind the mess either, so long as he has clean underwear!) What helps me through is to have a good cry..... once I've released all the bad energy through some tears, I can generally see past the fog and get on with it.
Oh.. and, not that you need the reassurance, but your a great mum & wife!! xx

 
At April 16, 2011 at 6:02 PM , Blogger tiffa said...

I think for people who don't have faith to help them through hard times, rationality is a huge help to get through them - for me personally anyway. To rationally think about a situation and to not let emotion get in the way (even though thats really hard most of the time) helps me work through stuff - especially when there is an equally rational or possibly more rational person to talk to about it.

I'm in no way trying to put down religion because I know that people enjoy faith and some people really need it (it's not bad to need it - whatever helps you get through a situation) but I enjoy being able to get through a situation by using my own brain power and knowing that humans are capable of sometimes stepping back from it all and realising that the things they get so worked up about most of the time don't actually matter.

 
At April 16, 2011 at 7:11 PM , Blogger Waldo000000 said...

In general, I think what "helps us to forgive others" and "gives us peace" is a realisation that our problems actually aren't that important, and neither are we (respectively).

I guess for Christians/Muslims/Jews etc, maybe the ideas of "God almighty", "eternal bliss in heaven", a "greater power" and the "bigger picture" makes this life (and the problems it presents) seem *relatively* less important, or at least less daunting. Perhaps this is one reason why it feels good to believe in God. This is just a theory though...

Personally, like tiffa, I prefer a different path that avoids organised religion and belief in the supernatural, but still leads to the same realisations. I'd rather choose philosophy, that is, coming to a belief about "what life is", based on logic and reasoning, rather than faith. Then, we can choose actions that we expect will lead to the desired outcomes (personal happiness, world peace, whatever).

I've read a bit about Buddhism and I like it, because it's centred around a philosophy and logic rather than a story about a supernatural being. Reincarnation is a bit wacky so I just ignore that part.

 
At April 16, 2011 at 7:29 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

Thanks guys and gals. :). The mind truly is a remarkable thing. It's so diverse and powerful. This could either mean we were designed by a wonderful creator or we had the collective capacity to "dream up" stories about one. For me, the fact that we can reason and dream at all suggests there's something more than just the physical world.

 
At April 17, 2011 at 4:59 PM , Blogger Waldo000000 said...

"Just" the physical world? For me, the physical world is still extremely mysterious (see e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unsolved_problems_in_chemistry, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unsolved_problems_in_physics, etc.) For me, it's entirely plausible that the human brain can reason and dream within the constraints of physics.

Secondly, the "physical world" can be said to consist of "the totality of everything that exists" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_world). Hence, if there is something "more than" the "physical world", i.e. something that exists "beyond" the physical world, it is, by definition also contained within it - which leads to a paradox and thus to the conclusion that there cannot be anything more than just the physical world. In other words, if God exists, He must exist within the physical world.

P.S. Thanks for your post :)

 
At April 17, 2011 at 8:43 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

Thanks for your input Waldo. :)
It's ingrained into the bible and Christian philosophy that God transcends the physical world and time and is so great that we cannot fathom his works. It's something science can't prove nor disprove. We say God wanted it that way, so that it takes faith to believe in Him. Still there are certain signs that display His workmanship, in our opinion. I'm not the best at apologetics (the 'science' behind the creation theory) although it is something I want to spend some time looking into. I think you might have just given me the push I needed to get started.
Cheers

 
At April 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM , Blogger Waldo000000 said...

Ahhh...I've never heard it put so clearly, thanks.

So you say that God transcends the physical world. You must have a different definition of the physical world - I assume you mean "the totality of everything that exists", except for God (and maybe some other things like heaven and hell? I don't know...). In any case, the physical world must include anything we humans can perceive and interact with such as matter, energy, time, causality, logic, reason, etc. Let me know if I've misunderstood.

If God is exempted from logic and reasoning, then I completely understand - then it's all about faith and there is absolutely nothing that could lead one to not believe in God, except for a lack of faith. It would be impossible to disprove Him and a waste of time trying. Is this your way of thinking?

If God is exempted from logic and reasoning, however, how can there possibly be a "science" of God? By definition, didn't you just say that scientific principles don't apply to God? Isn't the work of apologetics therefore in vain, because as you say we will never be able to fathom his works?

Sorry to be argumentative (just ignore me when you've had enough, cause I could go on a long time...), but you're really good at putting your thoughts into words, and I'm interested to learn more about your perspective. :)

 
At April 18, 2011 at 5:25 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

You are most welcome to question. I will try my hardest to answer, but I'm way out of practice! I haven't put much (any) thought into it for years. Also I know next to nothing about physics as I didn't ever study it, even at highschool. At uni I did immunology, so quite a different field! God is excused from logic, yes, and as such we will not be able to prove or disprove He exists. This is why I had trouble believing when I was younger. I ended up looking at the life of Jesus and making my decision from there. As we come up to Easter I will try to dig around to find info on the crucifixion, burial and empty tomb.

There does exist a discipline of the "science of God" because Christian scientists have discovered things they believe to be signs of intelligent design. It is a fairly speculative science as obviously nothing can be recreated. I've got a few books SOMEWHERE, I'll look into it when I can.

Thanks for keeping me on my toes,

Karlee

 
At April 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM , Blogger Waldo000000 said...

If God is excused from logic, and we will never be able to fathom his works, then surely a "science of God" is a waste of time. Sorry.

If God is excused from logic, any evidence that might show that God exists makes it no more likely that God exists. This is key. This might seem strange at first, but it shows just how important logic is in our understanding of the physical world. Without logic, there is no rationality, no reasoning, no science.

As an analogy, it's like tracking a bird by looking for footprints. If the bird flies, finding footprints tells you nothing. If God is excused from logic, finding evidence tells you nothing.

If believing in God is purely about faith, and not logic or science, then I can accept that as a personal choice and move on. I just don't see how there can be a "science of God" if He is excused from logic.

P.S. I'm not trying to attack belief in God, I'm just defending what I believe to be science. :)

 
At April 19, 2011 at 4:13 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

There's verses in the bible such as "the heavens declare the glory of God". I used the word science in inverted commas because I don't really know. While bird footprints can't tell you much about birds, some would say that seeing a birds footprints there means a bird has been there. xoxo

 
At April 19, 2011 at 4:24 PM , Blogger Waldo000000 said...

Footprints was a bad example, then. Let's say tire tracks. :P

 

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