Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stuck on the hamster wheel - Part three in a series from my journal

Slaaende Lighed -Public Domain-wikicommons
Read Part One and Part Two first to get the whole story.

We left off with a second pregnancy, just after life with my first was calming down a bit. How will I react? (The birth of my second child was in 2003. But, I recorded these thoughts much more recently than that.)

We moved to North Carolina for seminary [when my first child \was 16 months old and I was pregnant with Baby #2]. Nelson was born. My expectations for Baby Two's pregnancy and birth were far more reasonable. But, I still required a perfectly well-ordered, clean house. So, I continued to push my body beyond healthy bounds. This tale of misery (that is, unrealistic expectations) and downward spiral continues through six babies. Many moves. Many churches. I tried to retain control. I kept cooking and cleaning to please me... because it seemed to be the only thing that I could control. 
Wrong. Enter food sensitivities, I can't even feed my own kids. I don't even know how to feed my family any more. I have known for years that grains were our enemy. (They produce such bad behavior, tummy issues, etc). But, now I am having to choose to feed my kids food that makes them sick - OR - kill myself learning a new food regimen. I hate food now. There is no pleasure in food anymore. I generally choose the easy meal that I can prepare without murdering a child during preparation... Once again, I am a failure. 
OK, so I know that GOD doesn't hate me. Just like with the breast-feeding, He knows all that I don't know. So, why do I feel like God sees me as a failure? The Enemy whispers - God wants women to be home-makers... and I am a failure. I can't keep my house clean enough. I can't cook special foods. I hate my failures. (Yes, of course I can see the truth twisting in those sentences. I know that God does not require a clean house.) 
[My husband] is always saying that it is my own self that I want to please. I see his point. Yet, I can't let go. If it is for me, then apparently my opinion matters more than God's. Kingdom of Self must be the Ruler. I don't know. I hate this unrest in my soul. I hate the misery and unhappiness. I have little joy. I have few pleasures... only the foods that I am not supposed to eat. (Note added for blog readers: This is a bit overstated. I was having an especially dreary day when I wrote that. I have joy... and I have struggles!) 
I have no control. Yet... I keep aiming for control. Constant misery. I can never clean well enough. I can never cook well enough. But, I don't know how to stop trying! Constant misery! Sheer torture. Where is the off switch? Where is the "I give up" button? Please, God, show me how to end this kingdom of self and take me off this treadmill of misery and failure. 

(In the following poem/song I actually see myself as a hamster in a wheel, but treadmill fits a little better.)

The Treadmill
By Bethany Woods

Every morning I step on
Each day starts the very same way
Look around, take note, make a plan

Then I try to have my way
I try to make some sense of it all
I need order, I need rhythm, I need sense

But, I'm caught on treadmill 
of my own design
I'm caught on a treadmill
I'm standing here, marking time
Never moving forward
Never in advance
I'm always here, always stuck, there's no sense
On the treadmill

Got my plans, Got my way
I need to keep control of this
But my mind is surging, boiling, miserable

Every plan is thwarted
Every road is blocked
The road map in my mind is undone

And I'm caught on a treadmill
of my own design
I'm caught on a treadmill
Just standing here marking time
Never moving forward
Never in advance
Always here, always stuck, there's no sense
on the treadmill.

I need to relinquish
all my plans my own way
There must be a plan that makes sense

I will try to watch for His way
Do His will, Do His way
Trusting that this will all work for my good.

Just get me off this treadmill
of my own design
I hate just standing here
I'm finished just marking time
Goind forward, need to advance
Praying Your Kingdom will be done
in my life.

Keep me off the treadmill.

I am going to end this series here. You can see that my mind can still be conflicted at times. But, at least now I see that I am subject to my own need to meet what I acknowledge to be my own expectations. This is a step. I have a long way to go. I have shared my struggles so that, if you can relate, maybe you will be catapulted along in your own advancement towards getting off the hamster wheel! I think a lot of mamas feel this way... especially homeschool mamas. Few open up about it publicly, but it is spoken of between true friends.
Comments are off again, because these thoughts are from my tender, private journal. I let you all read it, but I do not seek responses right now. I am not looking for answers. I usually know the right answers in my head. I just need to learn how to live the Truth in my heart!
I am making it my point every day to try to see myself through God's eyes. His love changes everything!