Thursday, February 11, 2010

Confessions of a Grumbler

One verse we have memorized around here is Phil 2:14- "Do everything without grumbling or questioning...", we usually use it in context of the kids complaining about things. But yesterday I realized that I, too, grumble a lot. The difference between my grumbling and the grumbling of the kids is that they do it out loud (emphasis on loud!) and sometimes with bodily manifestations. But as for me, I grumble in my heart, so it is not as easy to notice. Until yesterday.
The snow was falling without stop and it was becoming increasing clear that I would be stuck in the house with two restless preschoolers and a teething baby- the thought did not thrill me. Adding insult to injury was the numerous facebook posts celebrating snowdays with husbands who were kept home due to the snow. Enter grumbling wife and mother. Here's a look into my heart for a second (only a second because longer than that would not be good): "It's not fair, why can't my husband be home when it snows. I should have married a teacher. Why do people have to get sick, do they really have to go to the hospital, really? I hate playing in the snow, if Matt was home he could take the kids outside and they could get rid of some of this energy." I'll stop there (sounds a lot like a preschooler, doesn't it?). The irony (or maybe the God heart-working) was that a fellow doctor helped Matt out in the hospital so he could come home, at 1:00!! God is gracious, isn't he?
Matt swooped in, changed out of his shirt and tie, did a sink full of dishes, held a teething baby, played in the snow with Jesse and started a load of laundry. Not only that, we were able to hang out together. I was very grateful for the help and the company but my heart was still grumbling. While I was making dinner, Matt offered to do a math lesson with Jesse, who was very excited to have a new "teacher" for a change. So, Matt held Silas while he helped Jesse through his math lesson and I cooked dinner. It was great to be be able to share this with Matt, to see his face light up when Jesse completed a math problem. But underneath this gratitude lay my grumbling spirit: "Sure, if Matt were home more, I could homeschool. Most of the homeschoolers I know have a husband involved (or at least home for dinner every night). Why did I have to give up what I want to do?" And this, I think is the heart of the matter. I have been grumbling in my heart for awhile now about this and have just not acknowledged it. I have been bitter and resentful that my husband has a job that keeps him away from home a lot and me alone here to keep the house running and the kids fed (both physically and emotionally).
As I realized this I also began to think about my husband. This great gift. My husband is doing what he feels God has called him to. He doesn't want to just go to work and punch a time card, he wants to work unto the Lord, he wants to care for people, well. When we were choosing where he would work after residency, we agonized over the decision. We knew that working at this practice would mean he would be working a lot but it was the only practice where he could practice medicine the way he felt called to. And he is great at what he does- he takes his time with his patients (something that is hard to find in a doc these days) and they LOVE him for it. The nurses he works with love him because he is kind and not demanding. His fellow doctors love working with him because he is a hard worker and doesn't complain. If you know Matt at all, you are smiling now because you know this about him! And these are all the things I love about him.
So, why am I complaining? Because I am selfish. I have put myself on the throne and have lost perspective. God is doing a work in me. This homeschooling debacle has been teaching me a lot. I have had to do a lot of letting go, of my hopes and dreams, but maybe they were just my perceived hopes and dreams, maybe God has something better in store for our family. In fact, I KNOW he does. So, I am praying that God will continue to work in me, to change my heart of stone to a heart of flesh. That he would give me a clear calling and that I would be inspired by my husband to work diligently unto the Lord. Would you pray that with me?
Today, I repent and rest in God's grace. I wait on Him.


Leah said...

thank you for taking the time to share your heart. i need to hear this.

Sullivan's Mom said...

Oh yeah...I'm feelin' you on this one. Hey - we should try and plan a rendez-vous sometime, by the way. Maybe there's a halfway point you, me and anne could get to... just an idea.

emily said...

praying for you sis! Thanks for sharing your honest struggles....hang in there!

Gary said...

My heart unerstands your grief of lost dreams and hopes. Being a truck driver's wife was a bit of the same. Not what I had anticipated when I married my husband. God is still changing me and I thank Him for that as I fail so often in the area of gratefulness. Thanks for sharig yourself so openly. You are in my prayers daily.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that as the kids get older things get easier. It is hard to be home all day with 3 little ones and a husband who works a lot, but the investment you are making in your kids now is what is going to make a difference in their lives. We moms may not feel fulfilled or appreciated, after all no one ever tells us we did a great job putting that diaper on. When your kids are older you and hear the comments of how wonderful a job you did raising your kids because they are growing into beautiful young adults, the sacrifice is worth it. I appreciate that you made the decision to stay at home to raise your kids, teach your kids and grow your kids when you could have handed them over to a daycare to raise them while you followed your dreams. Your dreams will still be there when they get older and your dreams will probably change when they get older, but right now you are doing a great job (especially with diapering!) and you are making great personal sacrifices, but that is what we moms do. Don't be so hard on yourself. I may not have unfulfilled dreams (other than being on the US Equestrian Team which I think was a bit too big of a dream) but I have a job that I love, am fulfilled and am reaping the benefits of the sacrifices I made to stay at home with my kids. They are wonderful kids making their own decisions that I am proud they are making. Aunt Becky