On Misery, Gratitude, and New Beginnings

I don’t have any good habits, save one. I’m radically grateful. Today I’m thankful that my screaming baby is alive to scream. I’m thankful that my willful child who is always questioning me will likely do the same to his friends when they try to pressure him to do wrong. I’m thankful that we’ve been able to pay rent thus far. I’m thankful for credit when debit cards get declined. And I’m thankful that fall is coming, that soon the open window days will be here, and I can drown my sorrows in warm, spiced apple cider.

Misery loves company and is evicted by gratitude.

Nap time is coming, and I make a point to tell Champ and remind myself that Nap Time is a chance to start fresh, like pushing the reset button on my 1985 NES. No matter how many times he went in time out, or faced special consequences, or threw a fit, after nap, he gets a second chance. Sometimes I take away a toy for a while, and he doesn’t get it back after nap. Sometimes he’s still suspended from watching PBS. But no matter what he’s done, no matter how angry I’ve gotten with him, when he goes to sleep, he knows I still love him, and when he wakes up from nap, he knows he can start on a clean slate, without bitterness radiating from his mother.

How do I get rid of that bitterness? I forgive. I forgive even when I’m not asked for forgiveness, because I love my son. I practice thankfulness. I wouldn’t be able to do any of it without God’s grace. I love because he loved me first. I forgive because I know I am forgiven. On days like this one, when I want to sit in my garage with my forehead resting on my steering wheel, tears flowing freely in the dark, I come broken to the Lord and he gives me strength.

This isn’t a blog about faith, it’s a blog about my life as a frazzled mom. And my faith is what gets me through that life. So sometimes, that faith will unapologetically shine through my posts. Other times, it’s still there, it just might not be called by name.

On Misery, Gratitude, and New Beginnings | Diary of a Bewildered Mother

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. 1 Corinthians 15:10

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2

MISconceptions and Mr. Style

It’s one of those crazy summers—the kind where we have no idea what is going to happen in two months so we are planning, planning, planning, but all we can do is wait and trust. The Lord has always taken care of us, from when LT and I were best friends trying desperately NOT to fall in love with each other, to a long-distance courtship and engagement, to a wedding during a blizzard in Minnesota, to finding out we made a honeymoon love child, to surviving our first deployment, and most recently facing infertility, joblessness, and homelessness.

It’s been a crazy ride, that’s for sure. You can imagine the stress as we try to figure out where we are moving, what we will be doing, and where we will be living. All this planning and praying doesn’t leave much time to blog about the mom life, especially when most of my thoughts over the past nine months have been about everyday failures at being a mother and housewife, not to mention being depressed about not being able to procreate, especially since it was too easy the first time.

Our faith has sustained us. Since the first day of our marriage, we prayed that we would have children in God’s timing, not ours. His timing seems to always be different than ours, yet we do not regret our prayers. His timing and his will are infinitely greater than ours. What would I do without Little Champ brightening every day? He is my little sunshine—what a blessing he is.

Mr. Style combing his hair

We look forward to meeting another blessing in God’s timing. Through many months of failed pregnancy tests and false pregnancy symptoms, I’ve finally learned to surrender. Christian surrender is not like the surrender of the world. Without faith, my surrender would lead to hopelessness. With my faith, my surrender leads to hopeful trust in the Lord.

My prayer for other couples trying to conceive is that you would surrender to hope, trusting that if you love the Lord and are faithful to him, he will give you what is best for you. When I get what I want, things turn out okay. When I get what God wants for me, things turn out perfectly.

My prayer for others who face a big, convoluted chaos of a summer—that God would lift the clouds of confusion and bring you clarity so you can see just enough of his plan to move forward.

Dear reader, expect my posts this summer to be few and far between. This fall, I hope to pick up again and give you updates on our new home and LT’s new job (LT will not be an LT anymore!). I’ll try to get back to posting once a week, either tutorials or updates or photos. If we buy a house, expect to see lots of before-and-afters! If you really miss Little Champ and Wifosaurus that much, be sure to subscribe so you will be notified of our life changes when they occur, or Like Bewildered Mother on Facebook, or follow me on Pinterest.

Note: This post has taken a Christian turn! I do not hide my beliefs because it is a major part of who I am. This blog is primarily about being a mother and wife. It isn’t a blog about Christianity, but one might consider it a Christian blog simply for the fact that a Christian is writing it. I do occasionally blog on biblical topics here.
If you are not a Christian, please be assured that I will not try to force my views upon you—if Jesus didn’t shove religion down people’s throats, then who am I to do such a thing? I’ll do my best to be loving no matter your background. I ask that my readers would be respectful to each other, even if you disagree on politics or religion. Disrespect is not allowed on my blog, and I will take action to remove or block comments if necessary.