To Journal or Not to Journal!

Do you journal?  Some of my friends love to journal recalling the happenings of the day.  I like the thought of journaling…I own several, most of which have the first pages filled and the rest blank.

Thinking of what to blog on this week, I picked up two very old journals of mine (from the early 1980’s).  I’m not sure where they came from but they mysteriously showed up on my office desk.  I felt like I should wash my hands after reading them, not because of the content, but because they looked like they survived the flood of 1990 which devastated our home.  They are worn and dirty.  I will share my first entry:

I really don’t know how to begin in this book.  I keep hesitating writing in it because I’m afraid of failure, I guess.  But if I don’t begin writing in it, it will remain empty and so will many of my most frustrating and rewarding moments of motherhood!

I always dreamed of being a mother and a wife and that was my goal in life.  Reality hit when I came home with my first child, Katie.  Post partum blues hit about the same time I walked in the door with her.  A child of my own totally dependent on me for everything–physical needs, material needs, and spiritual needs.

At this time in my life I wasn’t a Christian but the Lord began working in my life with the inadequate feelings I felt after having Katie.  Experiencing the miracle of life.  Once you have a baby you know there is someone, a God whom helped create the child within.  It’s too magnificent for humans to take the credit.

I wanted to nurse Katie but she wouldn’t take to me.  I was nervous and in turn she became nervous and it didn’t work out–I gave up, feeling very guilty about it.  My doctor stressed the importance of breastfeeding.  That too made me feel blue because already I wasn’t the mother I should be.

The day after I came home from the hospital was my birthday.  The last thing I wanted was a birthday party.  Using it as an excuse to see Katie I had many relatives come over for a “surprise” party.  All I wanted was time to sit with Terry and talk about how much I was struggling.  That just happened to be the night my milk came in, too.  I should have offered everyone “Boobie Juice” at my birthday party!

I really thought everything would come naturally to me–Right?? WRONG!  You learn to be a mother.  I thought I would automatically know all–WRONG!  Mother’s Instinct, Right?  Wrong AGAIN!

Then we had Jaymi when Katie was 19 months.  Another blessing from the God I did not know.  Don’t get me wrong I loved and will always love my girls very very much.  My life would be very boring and meaningless without them.  Again I tried to nurse.  Stuck it out at the hospital and came home and quit.  But then I called a neighbor and decided to try again.  She came over with her breast pump.  I nursed Jaymi for 7 days and quit because of mastitis.  Again I felt so guilty about it.

It was boring staying at home, too.  I was use to working and being with people.  I didn’t feel like having people over because had a hard time keeping the house clean and get the girls in bed.  Again, I was searching for the Lord.

Terry and I began attending Camano Chapel when Jaymi was 3 months and Katie, 21 months.  The Lord began working in our lives.  I knew I wanted my children to be brought up in church and I was beginning to see that my life first had to be an example to my children.  I knew they were going to be what I lived.  The Lord lead me to our pastor’s wife, Gayle Wayland’s, weight loss class called, “Joy In Discipline” and God began speaking to me.  For the first time in my life, I discovered scripture could be applied in my life.

Terry and I accepted Christ as our personal Lord and Savior on September 8, 1982.  In February, 1983, I heard on Dr. James Dobson about a program called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  I told Terry, “Boy, I could use that program.”  So I took down and sent for the information and began praying about it.  I had no idea that was of the Holy Spirit and that later I would become the chairman of it.

I’ll never forget the feeling of TOTAL inferior feelings in being chosen as chairman.  I was in Pastor Bill’s office with him and Gayle, Judi Seegert and Terry Kirkman.  We were trying to select ones to be on the steering.  Gayle kicked my foot as the chairman position came up–I was scared to death.  But the Lord’s grace is sufficient.  It is His strength that pulls you through.

And other than a few “too personal entries” to share, the rest of that journal is blank.  Wow, now my three awesome children are grown and married and I’m a Grandma AMA to ten amazing grandchildren.  I Praise God for His love and faithfulness to me.

I found one other entry I had written:  “At times I feel like I will never be able to get through the day–always something to do.  Feed the kids.  Now I have Michael who is 9 months.  Laundry coming out of my ears and at times, I feel like I don’t even have time to pick my nose.  I always seem to be tired–never enough energy,  back is always aching and I feel like I’m not accomplishing much.  What I’m doing you can’t see the results and I get discouraged very easily.”

If you are a mother of preschoolers, in my opinion, you are in the most challenging season of parenting.  Hang in there!  Being a mom is the most important job in the world.  It is a marathon, not a sprint.  I highly recommend you see if there is a MOPS group close to you.  If there is, attend it.  If there isn’t, you may want to start one!  You won’t instantly see the results of your hard work now as a mom, but be encouraged–it’s worth every moment of it.

Isaiah 40:11 “He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.”

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