Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Writing

The past few days have been very odd for me. I have had trouble sleeping for like three weeks now and my brain has been very fuzzy, but all of the sudden- even though I had horrible trouble getting out of bed- on Tuesday morning I grabbed my laptop and started a story. A fiction story. I wrote all day. Somehow, I'm not exactly sure, the kids were pretty compliant with my neglecting them. I mean, I didn't neglect them completely. I fed them, made sure they were clean and dressed and all of that. I took a few breaks to interact with them minimally- "Yes, you can watch a movie." "No, you can't go outside right now; it's too hot." But that was it. No chasing after them through the house, no reading any stories. At least the first day. I wrote 5,000 words by the end of day one. As I read them to my husband in bed that night, he asked, "and then what happens?"

Ahhh, the perfect words that every writer wants to hear. "What happens next?" I was elated. He seemed excited to hear what would take place in the coming pages and not only that, but he didn't seem bored while listening. And, no offense to him, but he's not exactly the type who would know that's what I want/need to hear so I took that as a good sign.

The next morning- yesterday- I woke up again with the need to write. So I continued writing. Another day sort of neglecting my mommy duties. But I did manage to get some laundry done at some point and straighten up the house, not to mention move furniture around in the living room. I think I called it quits for a little while around 4 to do so. I did read some stories to the kids somewhere in there but really, the whole day is much of a blur as I immersed myself in the fiction story I am writing. Fiction. Me. Writing fiction.

I'm sorry, I just have to laugh at myself for a second. It's really not like me to write fiction. The last time I wrote fiction was when I was like 8. I used to write cute/stupid stories about horses and all kinds of fun things. But somehow I got away from that...I think in my teen years, when I became that melancholy person who filled journal after journal with my sad poetry and suicidal thoughts, something clicked over to reality and I was unable to write anything that might inspire a smile or laugh from anyone, including myself.

So here I am, writing fiction. I have no idea if it's good. I'm pretty hard on myself so I'll just take the plunge here and say it's probably garbage. But at least hubby likes it.

Today I haven't written yet. I powered down my laptop last night around 11 with 18,347 words staring at me from the screen. I can't believe it really, but again it could all just be garbage. The thing is, I feel so differently than I have in a very long time. Like it was all just sitting there waiting to come out. And whether it's good or bad, it doesn't really matter much to me because I just needed to get it out. It makes me feel like I have been neglecting a certain aspect of my personality for too long- my creative side. I write on this blog sometimes and I had been working on a nonfiction piece for awhile but those aren't the same as this.

The only similarity is that I do just kind of spill it out, my hands flying over the keyboard without my thinking too terribly much. The little child inside every writer- which Anne Lamott writes about in Bird by Bird- is hard at work in there. She's handing me things I don't even have time to look at before they're already on the page. Pretty soon I'm staring at 18,000 words of hopefulness. Hopefulness because I have no idea what these words mean for me. They could sit in my laptop for a hundred years and never grace the shelves of the literary world in the form of a published book. I could peck at them for the next 10 years, twisting them and erasing much and shaping what's left into what I think sounds best, the way I did with my nonfiction work. But whatever happens, it matters not because I'm writing. And writing does something to me I've never been able to really understand. It's who I am and I guess in a way I finally feel secure in it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BUT WHY????

I have HAD IT! I can't stand my six year old arguing with me about EVERYTHING! I don't understand why she can't just accept a 'NO' and say 'OK' and leave it at that or even just walk away. I just DON'T GET IT and I'm about 2 inches from going off the ledge into crazy land. I can't stand it anymore!! Who does she think she is?? WHY does she feel the need to question everything I say to her? Is it the age? Well, no, because she's done this her entire short little life. Is it me? Am I a push- over and have I let her get away with it for way too long??

I just got angry with her for asking me yet again 'why?' when I told her 'no!' to something. I got in her face and said "when are you going to just accept that I say no and not ask me why? WHEN???!!!" As soon as she left the room, I felt awful. No, the moment we were in that exchange I felt awful. But I don't know how to react in a normal way anymore. I used to be patient. I used to just ignore her arguments or give her an honest reason for my saying no. But as she got older and it occurred more often, I just kept getting angry. The truth is, I don't even know what to say to this. I don't know how to explain to her the wrongness and disrespect in her questioning me that way. I want to be that really patient mama who knows all the right things to say to guide her children's hearts and help them learn to be content with whatever. I want her to just accept things I say and not question me about them. But she doesn't. And I don't know what to say to that. I don't know because I am the same freaking way.

I don't like to just accept things. I want to know the 'why' about everything. And to an extent, it's a good thing. But when it comes to stuff like this, the authority of a parent or higher authority (i.e. God), there is no questioning. It's disrespectful. Especially if the parent tells the child to do something and instead of doing it, they just ask why they have to, or do the total opposite of what the parent says.

I think about my obedience to the Church and how along my way, I have questioned a lot of the reasons we do certain things. But it's been out of a trying-to-understand perspective, not from a defiant stance. I think it is very important to understand the reasoning behind things in order to be able to obey. But in all things, there is a time and place for obedience first and questioning later. For awhile I struggled with this when it came to procreation. But the entire time, I obeyed what the Church teaches and when I finally came to the understanding of WHY the Church teaches what she does about procreation, I rejoiced in the fact that I obeyed first and then sought the answer to 'why?'.

I think I'd be a little more calm about this whole thing if Angelina would just walk away or do what I say and then later come to me and ask me, if she must know, why I made a certain request or decision. If she's curious and wants to understand, that's one thing but total defiance of what I am saying is a completely different thing. I'm tired of it. It zaps way more energy from me to battle this sort of thing than to just figure out what the right thing for me to do in this situation is, and do it. It's like I know the answer, I just don't know how to articulate it to a stubborn 6 year old who thinks everything I say doesn't apply to her. I cringe at the idea of having to explain to her why God created sex for marriage in a way she will accept, especially in a world that teaches the exact opposite. This whole 'why she can't have anymore food after the large lunch I just served' scenario seems like such small potatoes compared to that. *shudder*

So, along the path of God's design for our relationship with our children, of teaching them to have hearts for Him and following His will for their life, what say you, all you wise mamas out there, about this situation? What do I tell my Angelina (and the others) about the proper way to react to a response or situation they don't like or don't understand, especially when it comes to my authority? What is a good way to articulate the reasoning behind them reacting in a positive way instead of negatively? I know there are tons of Bible verses about this. The commandment to honor they father and mother is a great starting point, I'm sure. But at this age, I have to explain what that means and WHY! Is 'because God says so!' a legitimate answer for a child this young?

A little help?! Thanks!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My mind is gone and I have nothing to post

To be honest, I've got nothing.

I have started a few posts and there they sit, in my list of other posts, needing to be finished or scratched altogether but really so quiet that I forget they are there. They're not begging me. They're garbage.

Sometimes I get into my deepest dark place of nothingness and find that I feel like a big fat loser. When I was younger, there was so much I wanted to do and be. There was a lot I was doing and being that wasn't right. There was always the desire to be different, better. I knew in my heart God was calling me but up until I became pregnant with my first baby, I had no clue what He was calling me for. Some days, I'm not even so sure I do know the real reason and wonder if it's just that I wanted to run with the situation of my messy moment at that time, and so I pasted my label on it- "God's Purpose For Me."

And run with it I did.

So here in this darkness I am thinking a million things that probably aren't right, a lot of them are whisperings of the devil himself, lies I am letting him tell me, fears he's magnifying with his evilness and hate. But then there are a few small ones off in the corner which I know actually have some weight to them. They are the ones that tell me I need to get back to a routine that helps me conquer my day with patience and calm and even gusto. The ones that afford me quiet moments to myself which I can spend writing if I want to. But honestly, I look at these and think they're lies too. Because I can't find quiet in my tiny home where every. single. sound is heard no matter where you are in the house. And I am not a calm person. I've always been a little high-strung.

And even if I could have a quiet house and be a calm person, my mind is gone. In its place it left a different mind which has become my enemy and will not release much more than a bunch of garbage that has no meaning and no relevance to my life..or anyone else's for that matter. Yup, that's right, we have a hostage situation going on. My mind has helpless prisoners it will not let go; important "personnel" that I need...dare I say...to survive? And all it will send it out is fluff. A mirage. It's a hostile scenario, one I live on a daily basis and still can't figure out how to make it go any different. I send in pizza, even chocolate...sometimes wine. To no avail. My mind is making demands as if it has a right. More money. Vacation. Land. A bigger house. And until I meet all of its demands, nothing - NOTHING - is coming out. I'm a terrible negotiator and I'm gaining weight.

I ache to write. There is so much roaming around up there in my head but when I try it just doesn't come out right, as you can probably tell in recent posts. And most of the time, it doesn't come out at all. I have a lot of material - being in the presence of 4 little children every day gives me enough for a lifetime if I could just wrangle it out. I feel like it's a hopeless cause. I mean, I pray about it a lot and still nothing comes. Nothing is different. I have not changed. I'm backed into a corner and I feel like the end result of this horrible scenario is going to be some sort of casualty. My sanity? (What's left of it.) I stare blankly into the darkness, wondering what my future is and how I'm even supposed to get there when I feel paralyzed a lot.

So I cling to this passage in Jeremiah: (29:11): "For I know the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope." And this one in Proverbs: (19:21) "Many are the plans in a man's heart but it's the Lord's purpose that prevails."

Because I really have nothing else.