Sunday, July 12, 2015


This evening I had to leave my house shortly after dinner, and I did not return for a few hours.  When I came home, Matthew had done a load of dishes, changed the laundry, and put the children in bed.  This might sound like an ideal situation to you, but to me it just felt like yet another confirmation that I am a lousy mother and wife.

I am not a natural multi-tasker.  Something I have said frequently to Matthew is, "I can do housework OR I can take care of the children.  I can't do both."  Truthfully, I do a bit of both, but I can't do them at the same time.  I simply can't.

Multiple sclerosis complicates things.  Remember that it's Matthew who has it, not me.  This is something I have to keep in mind every moment of every day, because it affects every moment, both physically and emotionally.  What does this mean?  It means that in everything Matthew does--watering the garden, doing laundry, doing dishes, taking kids to the park--he is in horrible pain.  He takes three painkillers multiple times every day, just to bring the pain down to a level where he can walk and function.  Even then he still hurts with every step, and fatigue hits him like a freight train after thirty minutes to an hour.

So apart from the obvious, what does this mean for me?  It means that every task I do counts for less in my mind, and every break is less excusable.  I load the dishwasher?  That's part of my expected duties; nothing special.  Matthew loads it?  I know that every moment on his feet was filled with pain and exhaustion, and my gratitude to him is through the roof.  At the same time, I then feel completely inadequate, because if I were doing my duty, Matthew wouldn't have to lift a finger.  (FYI that's in my head, not his.  I think.)

Every tiny little thing I do feels like not enough.  If I were really dutiful, the house would be spotless and sparkling every moment of every day, and I would have the kids in the park for at least four hours every day.  If I sit down to take a break while Matthew is working, I feel like a dreadful person, because I know he's much more exhausted than I am.  If I take a break while he's taking a break, I still feel dreadful, because he's collapsing because he has to.  I just want to sit down and not work for a moment.  If Matthew sits down and plays a game, it's because he can no longer stand.  If I sit down and play a game, I'm a lazy, slothful person who's neglecting her work.  That's what it feels like, anyway.

Back to multi-tasking.  One of the biggest things for me is that my children L-O-V-E physical attention.  It often feels like they need to be attached to my person every moment of the day.  Henry in particular was very clingy today.  I sat with him and watched a 50-minute episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, twice in a row.  During that time, Matthew walked through carrying a laundry basket.  My immediate reaction was guilt--I should have been up doing that, instead of lounging on the couch with my baby!  And yet, don't my children need my attention, too?  Where do I find the balance between giving attention to my children (very necessary) and giving appropriate attention to household duties (also very necessary)?  And where do I fit in time for my husband, and time for myself?  Do such things exist?

 I haven't found the answer yet.  If I ever do, I'll be sure to let you know.  In the meantime, I'll go on doing the best I can, because here's the thing:  I am enough.  God put me here, and when I am not sufficient, I can draw on His sufficiency.  Together we are enough.  I just need to remind myself of this every hour.

An extra load of laundry probably wouldn't hurt, too.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hospital Fun

To celebrate his 71st birthday, my dad went to an exclusive getaway where he was waited on hand and foot, getting not only breakfast in bed, but lunch, dinner, and snacks as well.  It's called the hospital.

Well, technically he went in on Thursday.  For a week he'd been having terrible pain from his hip to his foot, and he was having a lot of trouble walking--when he could walk at all.  My sister spent a lot of time Thursday trying to persuade him to go, but neither he nor my mom wanted to face the looooooong emergency room times.  Also, his leg was hurting so bad that he couldn't ride in a car for more than five minutes at a time without having to stop and stretch his legs out.  So--they called an ambulance.

The doctors initially were looking for a potential fracture or blood clot, but after numerous tests, those were ruled out.  They haven't found an official cause yet, but it's suspected that there's a nerve problem.

Today I got to go in and spend all day there with my dad and one of my sisters.  We've been trying to keep one of us there at all times so we can better advocate for my dad to the doctors.  The physical therapist and occupational therapist this morning said that in their opinion, Dad is not safe to come home at this time.  They want him to go into a skilled nursing facility.  Since we couldn't reach a care facility, due to the holiday weekend.  The therapists then suggested that he stay at the hospital at least until Monday.

This evening Rowan and I went to go see the fireworks show at the park.  He had an absolute blast!

I would write more, but I keep falling asleep over my keyboard.  I can't write more tonight, and that's a fact.  See you all later! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why I Am Neither For Nor Against Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

On Friday, the Supreme Court's decision regarding same-sex marriage sent my Facebook newsfeed into overdrive.  I saw a lot of extremely polarized views, mostly either, "OMG this is the best thing ever!!!! #lovewins," or else, "OMG this country is on a downward spiral now!!!! #fallennation."  I don't agree with either of those views, but don't mistake me for being neutral, because I'm not.  I did see a few "neutral" posts that basically said, "I don't agree with it, but as long as it doesn't affect me, what do I care?"  That's not my viewpoint, either.

Brace yourselves.  I might be making every group angry.

I firmly believe that homosexuality is wrong.  I also believe that sex between a man and a woman, outside of the context of marriage, is wrong.  I believe that greed, indifference, lust, and covetousness are wrong.  I hold these beliefs because I am Christian, and I believe God's Word.

The thing is, God didn't put me here to legislate my beliefs onto others.  Yes, I believe what God said to be true, but nowhere did He say that I should enforce His Laws onto the country where I reside.  Or, to quote 1 Timothy 4:16, "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine [emphasis added]."  Take heed to myself--pay attention to the way that I am living my life; to my standing with God; to how my life lines up with the Bible.  That doesn't mean I shouldn't care about my neighbors.  We need to pray, always pray.  But prayer is not the same as forcing someone to live in what you perceive is the correct manner.

This country where God has placed me was founded on the principle of personal liberty--that is, the liberty for each individual to live his or her life in the manner that he or she chooses, so long as it does not harm anyone else.  That means I have the right to seek employment where I choose, vacation where I choose, and marry whom I choose.  My neighbors also have those rights, even when I disagree personally with their choices.  And really, if you believe in God-given free will, you must recognize that God allows us to choose.  He allows us to choose wrongly.  He allows us to make mistakes.  He allows us to do things that will hurt us, because He loves us so much that He wants us to freely choose Him.  There wouldn't be the same joy in us choosing to follow God, if we were forced to do so.

At the same time, I believe that officially recognizing same-sex marriage is a mistake, because when "love" is the only listed requirement, that opens the door to all different kinds of love.  Incest?  Sure.  Pedophilia?  No problem.  After all, why shouldn't two brothers be allowed to marry?  It's not like we'd have to worry about their genetics when it comes to children.  And with so much push to allow young girls access to birth control without parental consent, isn't that basically saying that they already know their sexuality better than their parents?  So why shouldn't a 10-year-old girl marry a 35-year-old man?  Studies have already been done to determine if pedophilia is really just another sexual orientation.

The problem we have here is having the government involved in marriage at all.  It wasn't always, you know.  For many years marriage was a social institution, recognized by priests and villages but not regulated by the state.  The state has its claws in now, and it won't retract them easily.  Being in charge of marriage--something most adults crave--gives the state too much power.  If government were to remove itself from marriage, including all tax benefits, etc., marriages could once again be performed by priests, rabbis, shamans, or what-have-you, without needless coercive redefining.  Those who want to marry someone of the same gender can easily, in this day and age, find someone to perform that ceremony.  Those who want male-female only relationships can find places that line up with their beliefs.  And when government is removed from defining marriage, it can better protect children, which is one of its intended functions.  Of course children should not be allowed to marry, but when "love" is officially recognized as all that's needed to marry, that line can become blurred.

The point in all of this is personal liberty.  God gives us liberty.  Our Constitution is supposed to affirm that liberty.  It is not just to force an entire nation to abide by your personal beliefs, whether they be heterosexual-only marriages or love-makes-a-marriage marriages.  Get government out of marriageIt should never have been in it to begin with.

So yes, I believe same-sex marriage is wrong, but not any more so than homosexuality itself, or sexual relationships outside of marriage. The Church, however, is not the State, nor should it be.  They each have their separate functions.  Carey Nieuwhof wrote an excellent piece about this.  

Live your life.  Live it the best way you know how.  Don't force others to fall in line with what you believe, whatever side of the issue you're on.  Be kind, be generous, be thoughtful.  Be the kind of person you want to meet.  You're much less likely to be frustrated with others' perceived idiocy that way.  And for heaven's sake, if someone around you is loudly spouting a different viewpoint, don't engage in an argument.  Maybe you could offer coffee, and a chance to discuss differences in a civil manner.

Another good read:  Why Christians Should Oppose a Government Definition of Marriage