It always happens like this, just when I feel the desire to start writing again, a friend will mention to me that they haven't read any new blogs from me lately. Which, is a blessing, I guess. It confirms to me that I need to sit down and journal my feelings again. Not because I think the world waits with baited breath to hear what I have to say...just the opposite, actually. But, it's a confirmation to me from God that this is something that he has blessed me with to enjoy, while hopefully bringing glory to Him through my weaknesses.
I haven't blogged in quite a while, and the reason for that is...writer's block. The truth is that I've struggled with a lot of thoughts about my blog. Thoughts that I know are not from God, but they still mess with my head. I felt like I had nothing to say. Nothing to be inspired by. I've been in a rut...in a lot of areas, probably all areas of my life, lately. For the last six months, I haven't been the wife, mother, friend that I know I should be. The reasons behind this are many. Jon started a new job late this summer, and it was a big change for our family and the schedule that he's had for the last ten years. His carefree days of being able to take us to lunch, or pick boys up from school, or just work from home, are over. I kept telling myself, "Stephanie, this is normal to most stay-at-home moms. You need to suck it up." But, it still didn't make the transition easier. Jon's new job is great and we know it was the right move for us, but I'm still getting used to the fact that now, majority of raising the boys during the week falls on me. There were months that Jon left when the boys went to school and got home in enough time to eat a late dinner and put them in bed. After the boys' bedtime, he either continued to do some work, or went to bed himself out of complete exhaustion, and it took a toll on our marriage. I've been lucky to be married to my best friend. We have had a really easy relationship for almost 15 years, it just came natural to us. When people would mention how much hard work is involved in marriage, I really couldn't sympathize. We communicated easily and often, we scheduled time for date nights and romantic evenings, and we made a great team in raising our kids. But, when I had to step up and fulfill this new absence of Jon, we began to struggle. Don't get me wrong, we weren't fighting or on the verge of divorce, but it was just...harder. We went to bed at different times, there were weeks or even months without date nights, and we started to make decisions for our family separately, instead of together. I became resentful and lonely, and Jon become obsessed with success in his new job.
My kids were adjusting to the new routine, too. So, most times, their behavior reflected mine. When I was tired and short tempered, they seemed to fight more. When I was stressed with my list of things to do, that's when they seemed to really disobey and push my buttons. When I was feeling defeated, they seemed to prove to me that I was failing at my job of being a good mother. I love to blog about the orneriness of my boys and the funny mischief they get into. Sometimes, a person would come up and ask me if I had any funny stories about the boys recently, and all I could think was, "Nope. It's not funny these days." I'd lost my joy in the everyday moments of life. Let me tell you, when you're exhausted, and feeling down, "ornery" isn't funny, it's an annoyance. It's another mess I had to clean up, another brotherly battle I had to settle, another discipline I had to take care of...alone. I was uninspired in my marriage, in motherhood, and just in life, in general.
I'd pulled away from God, also. It was harder to find time to do my Bible study or have a quiet place to pray, and so I didn't. When I'm not spending time with God, I find it hard to do my job, and do it well. My source of strength, hope, perseverance, comes from Him and without spending time with Him, I was relying on my own strength to make it through. At the end of the day, we all survived...dinner got cooked, laundry eventually got done, bills paid, groceries bought...but, it was done begrudgingly. It was accomplished while yelling at my kids, and hurting feelings, and not meeting the emotional needs of my family.
So, all this to say, that I haven't felt joy or fulfillment, or growth in my relationships and therefore, I was uninspired to blog about them. Since then, things have gotten better. Jon's settled into his new job more comfortably and we've set boundaries on him bringing work home. We been better about having "in-house" date nights after the kids go to bed for us to catch up on each other's lives. We're working on goals for our family spiritually, and trying to make more time without distractions. I've learned that meeting the emotional needs of my children is way more important than making sure the project list is done for the day. And, God has given me inspiration again, through my friends, through my kids, through my marriage. He's still working with me and changing me all the time, but during certain seasons, the process is just slower than others.