Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kids, man.

Kids, man. They'll kill ya. At least it feels like that tonight.

This morning I listened as my girlfriend told me, "You know, when you're pregnant, you wait for the day that the little person will call you 'Mommy' and then a few years later when you hear it yelled in the car, in the house, on the way into the get to the point where you hate it." She laughed as she
said it, but I knew what she meant. It's so hard when you stay home with your children 24/7. There's no break.

The move has been hard, too. Each move we've done gets progressively more difficult, even though each time we've moved the distance gets smaller and smaller. We're finally home, but because we have three children now who were very much accustomed to their schedules in Cleveland, it has been difficult to find a groove here this week. We are staying at a home my parents own. It is a two bedroom. The oldest two are learning to share a room and that has been awful to put it nicely. I guess I didn't come here to complain, though. I have a glass of wine, three-ok four- Dove chocolates nearby, Big Daddy Weave in my headphones and my keyboard in a desperate attempt to not curl up in the fetal position and die tonight. I just had to start writing because as I was attempting to catch up on my emails, I had to stop. Abel's new speech therapist wrote to me and suggested some mother's day out programs and preschools that we could take him to so that he is around much more language than he encounters here between Kinley and me. I started researching the schools and I was overcome with the urge to cry because as much as I want to pull all my hair out during the day (and most of the night), I can't bear the thought of other people getting to see him (them!) the majority of the time. They tell me socialization and school is what is best for him as a cochlear implant recipient, but as his mama, I just want him with me. But then I think back to him opening the fridge eleventy billion times today after I asked him not to and it's a little easier. Not much, though. Look, I know my identity is wrapped up in these kids. I love them fiercely and the reason I get so upset when they're naughty is because I do care so much about them and the young men they grow up to be. I want to be the one who shows them Jesus. I want so desperately to be a good mom.

Truth is, I'm just as human as they are. I never struggled with anger until I had children. There are days when I raise my voice until I'm unrecognizable. There are more days than not I am mad, so mad, that Abel is deaf. I'm selfish. I say things I don't mean. I'm just a big child, a sinner. "For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do" (Romans 7:15). I am in a constant state of asking for forgiveness, for help, for guidance. And it makes me wonder- is this just how it is?

I can't help but believe it's not supposed to be like this, but then I hear Kinley having a pleasant, warm, intelligent conversation with someone and I know I must be doing something right. I watch as Abel, my deaf son, responds to situations with words- "Uh-oh!", he says as his younger brother drops a toy. "No!", he says, as his other brother does something to provoke him. I can't help but feel a little pride because I'm working so hard with him. I want him to talk and so I work with him, I take him to all his appointments, I try. And I think I must be doing something right. Then I look at Merit and kiss his sweet cheeks over and over and he giggles as his face breaks out into the most perfect grin and I know I'm doing something right. I think that one thing I might be doing right is that I'm desperately running, chasing after a relationship with my Heavenly Father. He is the only thing that is unchanging. He is the only one who can make me new. Through Him, I will keep pouring myself into my children even if it kills me. They're worth it. Every day.

"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands  have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate." Proverbs 31: 26-31

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Race Recap

I signed up for the Scenic City Half Marathon thinking I'd have plenty of time to train. I've never trained for any of my races. I just wing it usually. The only other experiences I have with half marathons are from two I did while I was in college (and pretty out of shape) in Nashville, the Music City Half. Anyway, between the wintry weather, sick kids, a husband gone on business, trying to move houses, and another surgical procedure for Abel, the training did not happen. I barely got out there and ran. Those are my excuses anyway. Still, I didn't do too shabby. Although, if we were basing the race on the photos the folks at the race took, then you'd think I almost died. They're pretty hilarious and sad looking. This is the best one:

First off, it was cold. I wanted to quit before I started. Still, even with snow on the ground, I knew I'd be mad at myself if I backed out of the race. That's my step-mom beside me. She is a fitness machine. She actually enters races and wins (ha!). I was grateful to have her by my side, especially around miles 9 & 10 when I really would have stopped running and mostly walked the rest if she hadn't been there.

On the last mile, we had a bit of an uphill trail and I thought, "Really, people who designed the race. Really!" but we kept plugging away and sprinted the last little bit to make my official race time 2:21:36 and my pace 10:49. That is definitely a PR for me. The other two halfs (should I say halves? haha) I've done, I walked a lot. I don't recall my time but it was much closer to three hours. We were doing great for the first 6 miles or so, keeping a ten minute mile or under, but then the hills and additional miles slowed me down a lot. Julie could have kept going without me, but she ran alongside me instead. I loved having this time with her. This was our second race we've done together.

Now, I'm scheming when my next race will be and how I'll beat my own time. I think I'll take a break from halfs (again, awkward) for a few months, but maybe I'll sign up for a shorter one soon.

It sounds silly, but a couple times I was drawing strength from scripture written on race shirts I saw or that one guy I was behind for a time. His shirt said "Never give up." I'm going to rest my foot which I hurt while running and then get right back to it.

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