Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Keepin' It Real

The other night John sat down and actually read my blog. Yes, I know, this may not be surprising to you, but in reality, he NEVER reads my blog. He says that he already knows what happened, experienced it and even saw the pictures, so why should he spend very limited time on reading something he already knows?

But he read it the other night. As he often does when he knows I am looking for his opinion, he offered a sweet compliment as well as some constructive criticism. The compliment I will keep to myself, but the criticism? Simply this: maybe if you weren't here and didn't see our life from day to day, only read the blog, you might get the idea that our life is one big party and fun event after another, and we all always get along, and nothing is ever difficult, challenging, or stressful.

Well, I hope I am a bit more transparent than that in my writing. You all have heard plenty, especially if you've been reading my musings over time, about the challenges and difficulties of life over here, parenthood, etc. However, I do have to keep my thoughts here about our work rather general, and sometimes don't talk about it at all, but that's not because I wouldn't like to share.

Anyway, in the interest of "keepin' it real," and following my husband's advice, tonight I thought I'd share with you some things that have been challenging lately and ask for your prayers on the matter.

One challenge that is somewhat all-encompassing is that these last six months have been more busy than I ever could have imagined. We have moved to a level of busyness that we've never known in our 12 years of marriage. John has taken on some new responsibilities and though he has been cheerfully serving with a humble heart (from my perspective), I have sometimes had a hard time with his increased workload which has meant long, long days for him and oftentimes, late nights as well.

As a wife, there is a temptation to want John's help when he gets home--can you take the kids for a moment? Can you do this thing or that thing?--rather than always seeing myself as HIS helper, looking to meet his needs when he walks in the door. There's also a temptation for me to be dissatisfied with the amount of time he is able to give to me and the kids. Even when we plan special family times, or take time to go out together, I can tend to think "it's not enough," rather than being grateful for what we have! I am learning, slowly learning, to be content with our family times and not make family time into an idol, but it is hard sometimes! Do any of you wives with busy husbands out there relate to this struggle?

Also, there's just the fatigue factor. It is tiring to be busy all of the time, to always feel like "I MUST keep doing work tonight or I won't get things done by the time they need to be done!" The tyranny of the urgent has been the rule, rather than the exception, lately. And that gets tiring. It's a challenge when you don't see any light at the end of the tunnel! Or, the tunnel seems so impossibly long that you're not sure you'll ever make it out!

But, the good news is, we do see a bit of a break coming. The bad news is, it won't be for another four weeks. The next four weeks are packed solid. Packed with good things, to be sure, but packed nonetheless.

So, thanks for your prayers! Father is always so gracious and provides all we need. And I feel better already having "confessed" to all of you! Ahhh . . . thanks for letting me be real!


sandra said...

What a great post! I'm processing so many thoughts!

Since the spring, I think I've been wrestling with the idea that my blog will never be real. It simply can not tell everything. It will never have the fullness of our life.

For now, it is a place to mark memories, share photos (generally too many for most people, but never enough for the grandparents) and collect stories to be published in a family memory book. (via blurb)

We're about 3 weeks away from a break. We've never been this busy (or this hot?) either.

I have to keep my thoughts in check because sometimes I do wish this was an 8-5 job. I wish I knew when Hubs would be "off". I wish the cell phone would stop ringing!

This all came to a head Monday night at our house because there were plans with a special local visitor and then there was a "double-booking" where our family was automatically placed 2nd.

Anyway, I'm trying to make the time we do have as just our family count. The little guy and I are staying busy and having a good summer.


Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I can totally relate...and like Sandra, I am processing many thoughts. When I started my blog, I made a decision that some things are off limits to talk about. I can talk about MY failings, MY struggles, but the rest of my family are not fair game for me to discuss in that manner. Now, if my children were very young, it would be one thing, but they are teenagers or older.

Thanks for being real. :o)

Gretchen said...

Rach -- thanks for "keeping it real". :) You are so good to share that with us.

I was just talking to Sarah Peek (sis in law to Kevin and Becky) on Saturday about that idea of your husband being YOUR helper! I have been really convicted about that mindset lately! I knew it was a struggle when we were both working, but during my maternity leave, I see that mindset creep in when I am CLEARLY home all day and he is out working! :) It's so true that it really should be the other way around! Anyway, good reminder to be thankful for the special family time you have together even when you are SUPER busy. We will be praying for you! And I am glad that you have a break on the horizon, even if it's a long way off.

Love, Gretchen

The Culbertsons said...


Thanks for posting this and I can completely relate. I can get easily frustrated with all the meetings and long hours and just wish he were home more. A timely reminder that I am my husband's helper and not the other way around! I need to especially remember that truth as I'm exhausted from taking care of a newborn and a toddler to continue to put my husband first.

I love your blog and so glad you share with us!


Keith and Julie said...

Hi Rachel,

We haven't actually met, but I found your blog through Becky Peek (we met when we were in college). I hope you don't mind that I have been following your blog for a while! I have wanted to comment before, but just never got around to it. A little about me, my husband, 2 year-old son and I live in Central Asia and we have another little one on the way due in early October.

Anyways, thanks for this post! It really put into words what my husband and I have been going through the past 3 or 4 months. He also has taken on A LOT of responsibilities that take up a lot of time beyond the regular "9 to 5". There are a lot of moments where I try to justify being selfish but that just is never good for anybody. Just know, you are not the only one struggling with time and juggling home/kid life with your hubby!

I think you know how living in a foreign country, pregnant with a toddler can be a bit fatiguing. Would love to know any particular words from Dad that really helped you push through on those rough days!

We are looking forward to a much needed break and will be leaving a week from yesterday, hopefully! Flights in and out of country for us are always iffy, so we have learned to be flexible. Still working on that, but hey, we are all a work in progress.

Lifting you and your family up to Dad, that this month would be full of purpose and filled with Dad's presence and blessings. He is your strength!

Thanks for sharing,

Rachel said...

Dear friends,
thanks for all your thoughtful, kind comments. I really appreciated hearing from each of you! Julie, you asked about some verses, here are a few of them...

"The joy of the L is my strength."

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the in the work of the L, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the L." I Cor. 15:58

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. . . Faithful is He who calls you, and HE will bring it to pass." I Thess 5:16-18,24.

These verses really help me in those difficult moments! I hope they will be an encouragement to you too!


Kevin, Brigitte, Grace, and Trinity said...

Hi Rachel,
Wow, it's encouraging to read and know I'm not the only one who has these thoughts/struggles! I needed to have this reminder of being my husband's helper and not thinking "your turn" as soon as he gets home. Thank you so much for sharing on your blog.

Hmmm, I often ponder how "real" to go on my blog, too. I have kept it pretty much a place to post kid pictures thus far. But I know that sharing deeper is also often an encouragement to others as well. Will be praying for you and these busy times for your family!
(BTW, way to go on Chloe's cake! And I loved all her birthday pictures!)