A follow up to last week…here are some photos of what I did while Dwane was away. He got home around midnight last night, driving almost straight through from Colorado to here, so he is taking the morning off again. Hope you don’t mind if I share another thought with you.
I did plant herbs in pots on the porch though!
King of the Hill vs. King of the World
Besides these small home projects, I learned a lot about myself this week and how I function on my own. It was good for me to have to think through situations on my own, see how I re-acted, take all my needs to Christ and recognize that since God is still on the throne, some things need to be given to him and let go. Some of you may already do these things, but since Dwane has never had a job that requires travel, these are areas that have never been developed in our daily functioning. This song came on the radio several times this week and then I listened to it more:
I don’t know about you, but I take being a good mom and a good wife and all that goes with that, (not to mention a good friend and christian too) seriously, sometimes too seriously. Taking it that seriously can equal burden, guilt, shame, fear, being paralyzed, frantic…Do you ever forget that God is King of the World and He is still there making the sun come up, the birds sing, your heart pump, the details of each life come to be? I do. I forget that the weight and responsibility of raising kids and navigating the ways os this world does not rest completely on my shoulders. I need to give those burdens to God and rest in him. Believe me, I am not the person who should be telling you this. Usually you want to hear, encouragement from someone who has figured it out, mastered it, or at least lived it and has some experience. That is not me, this whole “giving it to God” practice and resting in Him are new to me.
(Maybe Dwane and I are similar in that way. He is a great Latin teacher (well, he is more than just a great Latin teacher, he teaches well on many topics and could teach more) and has put 20 years in, but one of his strengths is that he is a student, just like your student. He is constantly studying and learning, so the advice, practical helps and learning hints that he gives are based on what he is actually doing and finding useful. We are both learning and figuring it out as we go, just like you are, is my guess.)
Since our son, Jackson’s accident in April of 2017, I have been learning more and more about this. I could do nothing to help him survive… to make him live. I could rest in the knowledge that we had tried to give him a foundation of good nutrition, good exercise, good mental and spiritual practice, but I could do nothing to improve or alter the outcome. I could only pray and rest in God’s goodness, either way. In physical needs, this makes so much sense and is clearly seen, of course, I could not change anything, but isn’t it the same spiritually?
This is what God and I have been wrestling about since then. Mom’s, I am sure that you, just like Dwane and I, have done your best to give your kids a good foundation of mental and spiritual practice. None of us can change the outcome to their souls, their jobs, their college (or not) experience; we can only Pray and rest in God’s promises, his goodness, his covenant keeping, his finished work on the cross.
2 Corinthians 1:17-20, Deuteronomy 6&7, Hebrews 4:14-16 and 11, 1 John 5:14, Ephesians 6:10-19
These kids really are His and He loves them even more than we do (hard to believe, but true). I have found that verbally giving my kids and my husband by name to Him on a daily basis help me to keep perspective better.
So, here is the other side of this that I was completely blind to for…forever. I was mistaking King of the Hill for King of the World. You probably do not do this, but for anyone else out there that struggles in this area, or has never thought about it, like me, let me explain. My habit was to depend on Dwane to guide, solve, lead, encourage, and otherwise bear the burden of the family’s spiritual direction. I was putting him in a position that is not His. As a wife and Mom, I was taking the easy road out and just giving all the issues to him and, since he is supposed to be the leader of the family, waiting for him to lead us through. This puts huge stress and burden on a husband on top of the stress and burden that he already feels for providing and being an example and leading in the way that he is supposed to. I was not putting in my own effort for prayer, systems of operation, creative problem solving or solutions. Basically, I think I was really dumping and keeping The King of the Hill (Home) stuck at the bottom.
So my point here is that as a Mom, I have to take responsibility to pray for wisdom, pray for each child and give a lot of the mundane issues to God and leave my husband out of it. i.e.: he does not need to know that the sink was left full of dirty dishes, again…he does not need to know every little squabble, he does not need to be asked about every purchase, he does not need to know details of the weekly calendar (0nly the parts he is needed to play), he does not need to approve of every movie, he does not need to know every________…you get the point. The result of this is mental freedom for him and more energy to focus on the things that he does need to do for the family. This week, I learned that all of these smaller things that I was used to talking to Dwane about, I could practice silence about, take to God and let Him hear me or call a friend who is likely experiencing similar things. Husbands should be King of the Hill (or Home), but they should not be “King of the World”.
As the wrestling continues, several books have been a huge help. The one I would recommend along the lines of giving everything to God and resting in Him is: Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. This book (along with many others) helped me re-shape my focus and image of myself and God. My prayer is that taking the burden off of myself and my husband will improve the mother and wife that I am.
Could you use the same relief? God is still King of the World, what comfort and peace that brings.
*Now, will ya’ll send this right back to me next week when I forget? My daughters would say that I skipped a whole lot of levels just now and went way too personal, so sorry, if that is true for you. I like the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, you only become “real” when you are well loved and worn. Many of you have been students, readers, followers of Dwane for a long time, so I feel as if we have been in the nursery together becoming “real” for just as long.
Blessings All, Have a Great Week, Dwane will be back next week!