Living Stones Academy

Educating by atmosphere, discipline, and life


on October 26, 2012

We watch Phantom of the Opera a lot. Either the movie or the stage production. The opening scene, when the auctioneer cries for illumination, is what came to mind.

I may say that God spoke to me. But some might be put off by that. All I can say, then, is that I thought one thing, it led to another thought, then a question occurred to me, and I attribute it to the LORD.

Stress has been a part of my life recently. With Steve’s illness, he’s unable to lend a hand like he used to. It used to be that I could give myself a break on any given day, because I knew he’d be able to handle dishes, the dinner, clean up, baths, etc. But not anymore. His daily struggle with fibromyalgia fluctuates so much. Fellow sufferers will understand. Now, on any given day, he will come home and instead of being able to lend a hand, I now have to add taking care of his physical needs to my day. I’m not complaining, just stating how it is. So with the house being out of control, a full week last week of craziness, not being able to get on top of things due to discipline issues and a clingy infant, I’m getting discouraged daily.

Today was no exception, and in fact was turning into my weekly burnout day. I managed to get out for a short time with just the baby and Makenzie, and even that was a struggle (Makenzie is no easy little girl on outings). I came home and Steve had pushed himself past his limit to do some straightening and to make dinner. Still, I felt the weight of what we still need to do to make this house functional.

Then after a negative bedtime, I had my first thought.

If only I could have everyone–even the baby–out of the house for one day, I could get it all in order. If only they were quiet for a full day, I could think well enough to plan and organize.

Then the next thought: but who am I cleaning and organizing for? My family. That means my husband and children. So I can teach them to keep house, do school, teach them responsibility.

Then the next thought: but the reason I can’t get it in order is because of the kids.

Then the illuminating thought: so if I could have a fully clean and organized home, the perfect household management binder, the perfect routine, the perfect budget . . .and no children so I could manage that, would I be happy?

The answer: no. My life would be empty.

The illumination continued . . .

So why am I emotionally and mentally making an organized home such a priority?

Which brings up the dichotomy of being a parent. Having a well managed home should be a priority for a parent, particularly a Christian parent wanting to pass on the values of a diligent life to her children. However, it should not be a priority if it means resenting her children because she can’t do it. So on the one hand I can’t let it go, yet at the same time I need to let it go.

But the bottom line is that I found that I was emulating the very attitude I detested as a child, that the ends of a clean and organized life were more valuable than my children, who were in essence a form  of chaos. And that is why I found and have found my children acting out and rebelling and not listening to a word I said. They listen to daddy pretty well. But not mommy. We couldn’t figure it out–we both maintain the same disciplinary standards, neither of us is indulgent or lax, we show the same values. But this is it. They know that I am placing a higher value on my home than on them.

Yet, they ARE my home. They are my heart. I gain no greater joy than seeing them learn, hearing their stories, witnessing their love for each other and us, observing their activity.

No grand conclusion to this. I could probably think of one if I wasn’t so tired (and the mojitos don’t help, I’ll admit). But that’s where it stands. This illumination that I pray illuminates every moment of my day tomorrow . . .and the next day . . .and the day after that . . .


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