By Elizabeth Behrens | Category: Pursuing God, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I’ve been increasingly frustrated with my 3-year-old lately. There are some basic house rules we’ve laid out. She knows them. She understands them. She can follow them. But daily, hourly, even minute-to-minute she chooses not to. And it makes me want to pull my hair out.
Why, oh why, sweet child would you dump water all over the floor…again. And why are you throwing a fit about what clothes I picked out on Sunday morning when you know it’s the one day a week I get a say in what you wear. And why did you escape out the back door again. And why did you dig up the plants in my garden. Why, why, why!
So I correct, discipline, love, occasionally yell, cool down, and move forward. It’s a cycle that I find myself repeating over and over again daily.
But I will admit that it infuriates me. I’ve found myself looking into her eyes and begging her to just obey the rules I laid out. They are for her good! How can she not see that?
And then I again find myself on my knees as God ever so lovingly speaks to me, “Do you not see? She is you! I am your heavenly Father. And I never cease to have to discipline you.”
And so he grants me patience for another day of looking into the mirror of my own heart. The rebellion I have learned to hide inside is so visible in the actions of a 3-year-old. But I am no less sinful than she. I’m no less rebellious.
If only I could learn to show my daughter the same amount of grace that has been shown me.
“And from His fullness we have received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16
By Elizabeth Behrens | Category: Pursuing God, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I am so excited to introduce you to another new contributing blogger (can I get a woot, woot ?) Speaking candidly and from the heart is something I treasure in others and Elizabeth is no exception. Today she opens her heart in an honest reveal of self evaluation and as she does so I am challenged to do the same. I would love to know who of you can relate to Elizabeth’s confession and hope you will feel comfortable leaving a comment. We would love to hear from you.
My name is Elizabeth Behrens and I’m the wife to an amazing husband and mother to two beautiful daughters, Evelyn and Annabelle. I began blogging when we moved to Kansas City, away from all our family and friends, in order to keep them in touch with our lives. It’s turned into my favorite place to record our family’s memories, share our struggles with Evelyn who was diagnosed with Celiac disease over a year ago, and tell the story of our hopes of adopting in the near future.
I was the kid who made up her own games at recess and was happy to play them alone. I was the teenager who hung out, quite contentedly, in her own room a lot. I was the college student who had her own dorm room instead of a roommate. And now I’m the mom, clinging to her sanity as two small children find happiness in crawling all over me, pulling at my legs while I cook, and wanting to sit in my lap while I eat my lunch.
Now I adore my children with every fiber of my being. I stare at them while they watch a movie so I can absorb the adorable reactions that cross their face. I secretly record them singing so that I can listen to it over and over again because they won’t repeat it once they realize they have an audience. I savor teaching them new things and watching the glow they get in their eyes when the light bulb clicks on and they get it.
None of these things change the fact though that God created me to be an introverted person and spending every waking hour surrounded by little people exhausts me to no end. My love for them doesn’t keep me from counting down until naptime so that I know I can have a few moments where I’m all by myself.
I’ve finally reached the point where I can openly say that I love my children; that they feel like little bits of my heart walking around outside my body, but I need time away from them. That used to induce great amounts of guilt for me. Huge quantities of it. And I would be lying to say that twinges don’t still arise from time to time. But the truth of the matter is that parenting is hard work, and that work takes on a different dimension when you are introverted.
One of the biggest moments of letting go of that guilt came during a sermon I heard where the pastor confessed that we was an introvert that loved people. I wanted to stand up and say, “me, too!” That’s me! I love people, I love spending time with them, getting to know them, entering their lives and supporting them. But people exhaust me! I need time away to be all by my lonesome.
A quick glance through the gospels shows Christ himself going off for time alone. Time to pray. Time to meditate. Time to recharge.
Not only did I not have to feel guilty about it anymore, I no longer had to see it as a character flaw either. Because it’s really, truly not. Wanting and needing to be alone in order to recharge and feel like yourself again is perfectly acceptable.
So how do other introverted mothers get through their day? Any tips for survival?