I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A husband, a sister, and a mother

To say my husband is supportive would be the understatement of the year. I have felt for sometime that it was time for us to begin homeschooling. He has been holding the reigns a bit wanting me to wait for just the right time. His biggest reservation being his concern for me. He knows me very well. He has seen the expectations that I have for myself and experienced first hand the defeat and frustration I feel (and share) when I am unable to fulfill those expectations. He commented recently that he has noticed how I have given up so many demands of myself in the last 10 years. I was touched and deeply appreciated that he had noticed. I thought about how things had changed some and why that was so. After much thought all I could ask was how else do you keep your sanity and raise 5 kids, 2 dogs, be a wife, friend and neighbor without letting a lot go? It is something that has been a struggle and it's been no small price that I have paid. I can tend towards the high strung set of people. It comes naturally, not something I've worked at. I like everything being just so. But how can everything be just so when you have dressed and groomed everyone an hour ago, got into the shower only to re-emerge to 5 children who appear to have been hit by a freak tornado while you were away? I look at my 5 year old with her disheveled hair and tell her to meet me at the kitchen sink because we need to do her hair again. To which she responds with the force of the afore mentioned tornado. Whhhhyyyyy?! Hmmm. Why? Well, I prefer you to not look homeless when you get to school. I know, I know. I expect so much.

Back to my husband. His concern for me has meant a lot. His support the last couple of weeks has meant even more. Just last week I told him on the way home that I would like 30 minutes in the school room when he got home. I needed some time to prepare for the next day and I feel like I am in this learning curve. He said sure, no problem. When home, he quickly ushered the kids out of the school room and shut the door. When I finished I was welcomed by children picking up in the house and dinner cooking. What a sight! I was feeling bad that I had been so busy schooling all day that I hadn't had time to start dinner. He didn't bat an eye, saw what needed to be done and got things going.

Today he came home and remarked how nice the house looked. I was thrilled, but the credit is not mine alone. For the past few months, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law have come most Tuesdays to fold laundry. It started after several conversations among the three of us. It came up one time that my mother-in-law had mother's helpers from time to time over the years when her kids were young. I brought the idea to my husband and he thought it might be a good idea to hire someone who could come in and help do laundry once a week. Take a bit of the load off. Before we had time to look for someone, his mother came to me and asked if there was something she could do to help me once or twice a week. In light of the conversations we had all been having she thought that it would be a great way for her to do something on a regular basis to help someone else and it would relieve me of a chore I didn't care for. At first I wasn't sure that I could have her just come and help me for nothing. Not to mention my big old pride that I would trip over every time I let her in. The idea took hold quickly however and my husband's sister decided to join the party. She loves to fold laundry and has a nack for detail. My husband's t-shirts have never been so happy and uniform at the same time. Having a designated day for laundry, just one menial task, has been an incredible stabilizer. When you are home all of the time and the time is yours it can be very easy to get distracted and move from task to task without every really finishing anything. But now there is my one constant every week that my schedule now revolves around. But even bigger than that is the support that I feel when they are here. They care enough to come and give of themselves to my family, to me and it makes a difference. More than just clean clothes. Laundry day. Who knew?

So, it really is no surprise that my husband is who he is. He didn't have a full time father figure in his life growing up. What he did have was 2 brothers, 3 sisters and a praying mother. He is an observer of people and I believe he watched his mother carry a very heavy burden. I am grateful for her prayers and her devotion to her family. I am reaping the benefits of her tenacity and love. I believe that my husband saw his mother carry so much alone and he does not want the same for me. Theirs is a story that could gather much sympathy and rightfully so. But I don't think that's what they want you to see. In the midst of the loneliness and pain, trials and times of little, the cry of their hearts was answered. Answered by a God who is faithful. A God who is in the business of redemption. A God who cares for the sparrow. A God who loves my husband and his family and has richly blessed them.

I am grateful for my husband and his family.

All women should be so blessed.

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