Striving and Failing.

I am sitting at my father's desk with a horrible headache. It is what I would imagine a hangover to feel like. I've never been drunk so I wouldn't know but my head is just killing me. So I'm here trying to post because I realize wow, I haven't posted in a while. That's what happens when I'm not at home.

Mike and the kids and I are still in VA. Mike is working for my dad for a week or two to make a little moolah and then we'll head back to PA. He starts summer Hebrew on the 29th or 28th or something like that. Okay, on the 28th. Samuel sees the geneticist on the 29th and then we're driving to Boston for my cousin's wedding which is on the 30th.

I got angry with Libby today. She willfully yelled at me "NO!" when I asked her to obey and I disciplined her. I wasn't so mad about that but I got angry because of my stupid mistake. I put Samuel on the couch so that I could spank her and right after I spanked her and she was crying Samuel fell off the couch and started crying. So the three of us ended up crying for a while. I apologized to Libby, consoled Samuel and thought, "Damn. I'm such a bad mom!" Moments before that episode I was thinking to myself, "I love parenting. Aren't kids fabulous? So sweet." I was thinking of parenting books and how I wanted to read them all this summer and be the best parent ever.

Yesterday I was sitting with my Aunt and telling her how I need to laugh at myself more. How I need to know it's okay to make a mistake. Please don't confuse this with being okay with sin or thinking it's okay to be a jerk and not repent... it's just at times I take myself too seriously. I expect perfection. i strive to be perfect and to have it all together. I want to be the pefect woman, wife, mom, daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend, etc. You get the picture.

I need moments like this morning when I realize that I have a long way to go, but there is grace. And I realize that I need my Daddy more than ever. I need to rely on God's strength and not my own. I need to accept the way God made me and recognize my humanness and cling to God. I was listening to a message by keith Breault yesterday and was affected when he said that we can run and cling to Jesus. I need to cling to Jesus. Yeah God is Holy. He is awesome. He is other. Jesus was made higher than the angels but when He became human he became lower than the angerls. Don't ask me how that all works. He has condescended Himself and came down and became man... and He knows my failings, my weaknesses, my tendencies. He knows my sin and yet bids me come!


GRiEF.

There is this gorgeous picture of my sister on my dad's wall. I'm looking at it and am overwhelmed with grief. at times I used to think that I wished I had died. I thought she would have been a better mother than me. why did she die and I lived? I realize now that I don't need to compare myself to her. Her death and my life is not about who would be a better mom. But she is the lucky one. She's in Heaven with her son and I'm down here sinning and screwing up and struggling. she's free of sin. But she and I share something in common. We both serve an Awesome God. She can see Him face to face. She can truly be in the presence of God. and I can sit here at my dad's desk with tears pouring down my face and feel His spirit. I know that Jesus loves me and cares for me. He gave me His Spirit to comfort me. She may see Him face to face but right now I have faith, I know that I don't see face to face but i will oneday.

I went to her gravesite on Monday. I didn't feel any emotion at the site but when i walked away and got in the car and drove for a while I started bawling. I thought I had pulled it all together by the time I reached Starbucks. I walked in the door and walked up to the counter and one of my brother's friends was working there. He told me it looked like I had had a long day. I told him, "I went to my sister's..." and that's all I could say. I wept. He came around the counter and gave me a hug. He had known Libby. I don't know if you've ever seen someone really cry. I mean the kind of cry that children give when they're hysterical. they are heaving and crying and hiccuping and can't pull it together. It was that kind of cry. I felt frustrated at not being able to keep it together in a public place and angry that I had to try to control myself when I desperately needed to cry like that.

A Side Note.
/spreaking of grief,I found an amazing book yesterday that I want to share with you all of you. It just came out! It's about how to practically help people who have experienced loss. I've only flipped through it but I'm ecstatic. I think everyone should have a copy and read it because it is chock full of practical advice, wisdom, and ideas of how to help people, what to say, etc. when someone has experienced loss. I don't have the title with me but i will find it and post it soon.

So there are my random thoughts in know particular order. The clouds are dark and it looks like rain, but I know that the sun is still there. So even in the moments when it looks like there is no hope, the storms are present I know that my God is still there. He will never leave me or forsake me. He is my refuge and strength. And even when I fail... I know that He never fails... and that because of Him I made righteous. so when it really counts and really matters, He stands in my place, He takes my failings, and I am covered by His victories, by His blood, and am made right before God. thank you Jesus.

Comments

Emmy said…
I really liked you're post today...I think you are a great cousin! I had fun watching Samuel yesturday!! Maybe the kids can spend the night while you're here. :]
Sara of Sweden said…
A song from the 70s I came to think of while reading your blog;

"Love Him in the morning when you see the sun arising,
Love Him in the evening 'cause He put you through the day,
And in the inbetween time when you see the pressure coming,
Remember that He loves you and He promises to stay."

Love you friend!
Michelle said…
Tut tut, it looks like rain. (random thought back at ya).
So my friend, what is the name of this wonderful book that will practically help me love people that have experienced loss. I'd love to read it.
Judy said…
Jennifer,

I love your blog. Thanks for being so honest...

I know what you mean about the, "Damn, I'm a bad mom" feeling. I've experienced that a lot lately, trying, trying, trying so, so hard, telling myself I am going to be the best mom there ever was, then failing. Then being angry at myself... Then somehow tying in my recent miscarriage to my failure as a mom, as in I got what I deserved.

I appreciate how you are so open. I look forward to reading your posts. :) Thanks Jennifer.

Judy
Jennifer said…
Judy, I just need to comment on your post. God doesn't punish us for our failings. he doesn't say, "Oh, Judy is a bad mom...so oops, let's deprive her of a child." I'm so sorry for your loss. I cried several times reading your blog. May you feel his peace and know his approval. God is for you and not against you. and even when we fail, he loves us. He doesn't fail. That's the good thing. He clings to us, upholding us in all our frailty and brokenness. May you feel Him near you.

To the rest, thanks for the encouragement!

Michelle- the book will come. Should I start taking orders?

Love,

Jennifer Leigh

The crazy one.

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