Monday, July 14, 2008

In Need of Normal

Finally, after what seems like many weeks, I have a moment to actually sit and write. I've missed writing. I suppose I have posted here and there about this silly thing or that silly thing, but rarely over the course of this summer have I had opportunity or willingness to write. My blog has lacked substance, and if ever I was able to communicate to you through my words the state or condition of my heart, let my lack of words communicate equally. I myself, have been lacking in substance.

This summer has taken it's toll on me. I do not feel myself. There have been so many wonderful moments along with some more trying ones, but I think I feel so out of sorts because there hasn't been enough "normal" to balance them out. We've been traveling with Casey, which is fun, but completely disruptive to our family routine on all levels. We've stayed home while Casey travels. This arrangement has the best potential for "normal," but it's just not. There's no one to help around dinner time. There's no one to take over when your toddler has had one too many tantrums and you've exhausted all reasonable responses. There's no one there at 11:00 at night to watch Lost with or play Scrabble with or have late night snacks with. I know that I am surrounded by great friends, both near and far, who would come to my rescue at any time, but they have their own dinner times and their own kids who are throwing tantrums, and they're all smart enough to go to bed before 11:00, so I push through it. I will say however, that during these weeks alone I have, against my better judgment, often abandoned all respectable parenting techniques to make it through the day. The park, chocolate chip cookies and God's gift to all tired moms...the television have protected me from making many regrettable mistakes. They have, in critical moments applied soothing oil to patience worn too thin.

Casey has had some weekends off and even a ten day "vacation" from camp. However, "normal" continued to evade the Cease household, mostly because it was unwisely uninvited. During the days that we have been all together, we have exhausted ourselves with self-inflicted busyness while also trying to tackle everyday household necessities. Togetherness has meant laundry marathons and pressure washing and birthday parties and traveling (you would think we'd avoid that) and shopping and reunions and other fun things and other required things, but nothing normal.

A couple things must be noted. 1. I don't at all blame Casey for our summer situation. I know he's doing what he has been called and gifted to do. He has been working so hard all summer, both at camp and at home. I feel no frustration with him. I am grateful for his dedication to us and to his ministry. 2. I am, however frustrated with myself. This is not my first rodeo. I have lived through 5 summer seasons, and so I know, or at least I should know by now, that if I do not remain faithful to the One who is constant and who is ever life-giving, the summer will be longer and harder than it needs to be. I have had some great time with the Lord, and I have had some frustrating time with the Lord, but overall, it has been a little half-hearted...just getting by. I have been blaming the craziness for my inconsistency in prayer and in the Word, but I know now, and I've known all along that the latter is to blame for the former. Time for repentance.

I mentioned earlier that our summer has been filled with wonderful moments. It truly has! Fabulously blogable moments. I am anxious to share them with you. But today I just had to get all of this off my chest. Not only do I feel better, but now I have something to refer to for next summer. I will inevitably go into summer '09 having no recollection of this summer, so it's good that I've documented my struggles. Future Steph needs a warning!

Thanks for allowing me to let it all out. It feels good to write. It feels good to be honest and share my bad with the good. Like I said, I have lots to blog about, so I should be around (my blog and yours) a lot more often. See you then. Have a blessed day.

6 comments:

annette said...

Relish the days of normal, not normal, trantrums and tears because it all goes by very quickly.

Love to you dear sister in Christ.

Mrs Annette

Alicia Z said...

Steph,

If you ever want to talk/vent feel free to call me! I for one know all about being alone for long periods of time. Although I had no kiddos at the time, 6 months of being alone and pregnant were not fun, especially with a war going on and hormonal at the same time! Don't feel bad, the military gives the guys classes when they are going home on how he and the wife should readjust to him being home, so you are not alone in the adjustments. Anyway call or come by anytime!

Love you
Alicia

Jenny said...

Oh Steph,

THank you for your honesty. My husband is a hard worker too (at work and on the farm) and I hate the little under the breath comment that wants to come out of me when he is in the pasture for the couple of hours after work and before bedtime but I know that he also takes care of the land all on his own. Now from what you have written I see that everyone has their own rollercoaster. I read another blogger/stay at home mom (though her home is a farmhouse in central france with two toddlers http://chitlinsandcamembert.blogspot.com/) whose husband travels for his work a week or two every other month and they have a system worked out that she then gets a couple of days for herself before he leaves or after he gets back. Now I know this may not be ideal for you but I know I take an afternoon from time to time to have a QT at Barnes and Noble and a movie to myself. I love spending any extra time that I have with David but that little time away where I don't have to work around anyone else's schedule gives me a little refreshment. Again thank you always for your encouragement and honesty.

carahinojosa said...

I NEVER got used to Freddy being gone back when he traveled. I know that's not encouraging, but it's honest.

...and I guess blogging for Future Steph is the next best thing to faxing warnings to Future Steph. ;)

Jessica King said...

Steph! Thank you for posting this! I know these kind of trials aren't easy, but it's a comfort to others, like me, who sometimes feel as if they are the only one goin through hard stuff! (i struggle with self pity, can you tell?!) :) I pray God would show you new depths of His love and presence during this time. Thanks for your honesty and I have to say again, you are such a good writer!

Melissa said...

It seems that a lot of us needed this post and can relate to it. We go through many long days around here too. Even if he's not out of town, there are many days that he works so late, he may as well be gone. Next week he will be out of town, so I'm planning a trip with my parents to go to Dallas and visit our family up there for a few days. Doesn't cover the whole time, but I don't think I could handle the whole week alone.

BTW... I have reverted to TV too when trying to distract G to get chores done and he is still a baby! Not so good, but it's a survival technique. :P