Hands and house

Hands and house

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Battle

I went for a hike today to spend some time talking with God. I went up my favorite little mountain for prayer, a mile up and a mile back, it is steep but the views are glorious. It is always a spot where it seems easy to break away from my own "cycle" of thoughts and to hear what God is saying.

I headed up the hill weary, really not excited about the rain and at the same time desperate for time with my Father. You see things at our house have been...intense. We are approaching the 6 month mark with Georgia and in many ways things are breath taking and delightful but they are also a lot of work. Attachment is something that I find hard to describe. In many ways Georgia is very attached and in others we still have lots of work to do. How this plays out is Georgia wanting to be with me every second of the day and to be doing EVERYTHING I am doing. If I am in the kitchen, she wants up and in my arms...always. If I am unloading breakables or sharp things from the dishwasher she will hang on my leg and cry the whole time until it is safe for her to be up again...cooking with hot water...spraying counters with cleaner...you get the idea. As often as I can I hold her while doing these things but, there are times when it is just not safe...and then she screams, and pulls, and begs. If she is not doing this she adorably will pull my arm and point to a spot on the ground and say "sit, sit!" insistently until I do. She has lots of words but still is in need of so many to explain what she wants or needs. So if she is in another part of our little house she will yell at the top of her lungs, "MAMA!!!!MAMA!!!!MAAAAAMMAAAAAA!!!!" until I can come and help her (about a million times a day). I love this little darling and I do delight in the fact that she is attached enough to want to be up and held and loved and interacted with but at the end of the day I am weary, drained and my ears are tired. Ravenna and Parker are handling things well for their age. Many times Ravenna will actually come and distract Georgia with silly dancing or some different toy and then sometimes, she just gets frustrated and also screams :) Parker can be so very sweet with Georgia, teaching her all about recycling and axles and how the electrical system works...and sometimes he comes unglued if she even looks at him. So much of the days also involve coming alongside them and giving them clues on how to gently create space when their little sister lovingly insists on doing what they are...in the exact same spot as them (sometimes ontop of them). Doug & I are working hard at giving each other time off where we can spend time in silence with God.

So, raindrops falling, I began to hike and to vent and to pour this gunk out to the Lord. Sometimes motherhood can feel very monatanous to me...laundry, cooking, teaching, laundry, cooking until the day is done. And sometimes, the beauty just catches me by surprise and I cannot fathom how I get to be so close to the hand of God. Lately, at the end of the day, it has felt harder than normal.
As my venting began to slow, I began to quiet and hear God speaking and what I heard surprised me. "You are in a battle"...I chewed on that, "what do you mean Lord, I just clean bottoms and clothes all day."..."You are in a battle, put on your full armor."...

During this time I also noticed something funny about my hike. It was raining so the ground was wet. The trail on this favorite "rock" of mine is very sheer and made out of a mixture of parts that are concrete, parts with rock and parts with wooden bridges...all with old metal pipe for handrails. I noticed that I was very aware of my footing while on the wood, for wood becomes very slick when wet, but where my feet were actually slipping was on teh concrete. So why did I hold out my hands for the railing and step tenderly when just on the wood? Because it was supposed to be slippery. Then I started to see it. Why in five years of parenting had I not noticed this before? I am in a battle, for the very hearts and souls of my children. When we were in our journey for Georgia, it was very clear that we were in a battle, for her very life. We fasted and prayed and dug in to every truth found in Scripture and begged for others to do the same. It was so obvious what we needed to do. Yet, now home and more comfortable, it is easy to let a day go by with my mind wrapped up in petty things, distracted, dare I say bored sometimes (yes, sometimes mothers do get bored) and longing for something of more significance at times too.

I am not saying that there is an easy fix to the attachment journey...that I just buckle down and it all gets better...nothing could be farther from the truth. What I learned today is that there is deep significance in this time and where I need to be is deeply attached to my Father. I need to soak in His presence and His love because that is the source of my strength. As I take time to realize that I am loved beyond measure and to truly experience the tenderness of God (especically in my rough places)...I am then able to be more tender in the rough places in my children. When I am spent and hurting at the end of a day, it is so easy to beat myself up and believe the lies of guilt...but what if instead I begin to soak in the truth of being loved no matter what the day was like...loved beyond measure by the God of all compassion and grace...that is where there is truth and strength to pick up the battle another day.


Ginny Henderson said...

Oh Shannon I know how you feel. Ruthie wants to be held all the time and seems to be clinging more and more to me. It is such an opposite preference than when we brought her home. So, like you, I have to leave the dishes in the sink and the clothes piled up in the chair to just hold this dear one. I try and remind myself that there will be a day very soon that she will be passing through the house and I will wish that she wanted me to drop everything and hold her.

I agree that we are in a battle for their hearts and it is waged against the enemy who uses the opinions/lies of the world that so often find their way into our heads.

Thanks for sharing life with us.

Naomi said...

And what a battle it is! In all honesty Shannon, this is why we are so thrilled to be stepping down from Church planting and being the Pastor and his wife so that we can take time to really pour into our children. We have been so busy doing ministry that we have let so many things like consistent discipline in their lives slip. Yes they have been corrected each time, but we have not always taken the time with them as we should, to train them! I feel like I am just learning everything all over again! The battle is so intense for the souls of my children and I am determined to make sure that I am doing my part in obedience to God!

It is so good to know that I am not alone. I believe that there is so much God wants to show us when we take the time to be alone as you have. What a great testimony and illustration!!

Wife of the Pres. said...

No, you're not alone in this Shannon! (raising hand here in TN)

About the comment on my blog … oh Shannon, you got me figured ALL WRONG!

I don't post about the things that would dissuade you from thinking what you thought of me--the piles of laundry (I have really been praying about my loathing of laundry as I want to see it as a blessing and evidence of the BLESSINGS of children in my life!), the quick meals instead of something more nutritious and planned out, the DH being neglected in the … ahem … department, the list could go on and on and on …

And then there are the attachment issues that I really need to address on my blog. I did write a post about it over on NHBO. Still we take steps forward and back. It is much like a dance.

It is so similar to the dance I find myself doing with our Father. PLEASE HOLD ME TIGHT AND DON'T LET GO and then NO, I DON'T WANT YOUR EMBRACE! GO AWAY! The parallels are profound to me.

Yes, we need to armor up and we need to LIFT one another up as you do so well. Lately, I've really felt I'm in a battle and I've been in a personal battle with another believer … and it HURTS. I don't really know this person, but the blog world has a way of bringing us together … and I'm not proud of my own actions in the situation … but still it hurts when ones you thought were dear friends choose to make it a battle … well I'm rambling but please know you are not alone. Of course you know that you are not alone, but know you are not alone in feeling weary and battle-worn.


Bloom Where You Are Planted said...

I just found your blog through a friend and wanted you to know that your beautiful heart shines through your honest words.

My sister is in the midst of adoption and just got the picture last week of their little baby boy. Oh what JOY it was to see him!! If I am feeling this touched, I can't imagine my sister and her husband!!

I will pass this link on to her, I know that she will be encouraged by your stories!

Thank you for sharing your life with others! :)


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