At Austin’s party last week, talking to a friend I mentioned how “stressful” the day had been trying to get ready for that night.
Isaac had been gone all week traveling all over Oregon and Washington (it was his second week in a row)… and I was pretty overwhelmed.
When I mentioned this reality to my fairly new friend… her response was… “it is comforting to know other mom’s struggle with this as well.”
It brought up the conversation that when we as moms get busy doing “our thing” and we don’t get out much, but then we bop around blogosphere checking out other mommies blogs… it can get discouraging. Discouraging in the sense that everyone else looks like they have it all together… because lets face it… how many people walk around with their camera ready to take pictures of their tantruming children (like I did in a previous post last year) or have a video camera taping them “losing it” because lets face it all mommies need time outs now and again. Not many! What we take the time to blog can leave the impression that we have it all together.
While we know in our heads that simply can’t be true… we can be tempted into believing we are the only ones that have struggles or “bad days.” I am pretty sure everyone would admit they aren’t perfect and would never want to portrait that falsity. However the reality remains that unless we blog about our flaws, no one know they are there or what they are. It seems almost like a “perfect world.” Share only what is good and never what is hard. Those who are naturally pessimistic can get bent out of shape about people not being real. And if you aren’t one of those type of people, maybe you are a very optomistic person and you really delight in others successes (if that is what we call them). The reality though is that I think everyone probably struggles with comparison. And when “reality” isn’t ever portraited it is easy to start feel down on yourself and maybe even on other people.
I truly do get joy from reading my friends blogs and catching up with old friends to see what is making them tick and what God is doing in their lives. I think to really gain joy and be encouraged by another’s “successes” or to be willing to be challenged by someone else’s thoughts or wisdom, I really have to be doing good with God. I have to be in his word and confidant in who he made me to be in order to be happy for others. If I am not it is easy for me to become discouraged and to believe I am failing somehow.
Isn’t that what satan wants… for us mommies to become discouraged and to become less effective in our primary roles of wife and mother.
So I have a confession to make…
I have a terrible time struggling with stress.
I have for as long as I can remember. I may have had seasons in my life when it was less consuming or controlling over me than others, but I am a worry wort. I am not paranoid, but I get stressed. I take everything SOOOO SERIOUSLY!
This stress has become sinful within the past few years.
I have known it was a problem for a while and have confessed it to the Lord and asked for forgiveness from my husband and my children over and over again. But that creepy little sin keeps finding its way back into my mind and out my mouth.

Why am I sharing this?

To break any cycle that my blog may somehow give the impression that I have it all together. Just like many of you I am sure… I struggle daily with many different things. If I take time to check out other blogs I sometimes compare myself or even my blog to others’. I think sometimes… why do I even blog… no one reads it. Does it really even matter? I lose the vision.

I think my biggest struggle with stress comes out in my daily tasks… because I home school, like most everyone, I feel like when I am working with the kids I am stressed out that I am not getting things done around the house and when I am cleaning I am thinking about needing to be reading to the kids. If I am outside gardening I feel like I am neglecting the inside house and visa versa. So let me just reassure you all that things are not “perfect” or even close to “perfect” at the Tolpin House. I do my best, but I struggle with feeling that isn’t good enough daily. The more I am in the word, the less I struggle for sure!
Isn’t God great!
The Proverbs 31 woman does many things yes, but the one verse I am focusing on these days is this:

“She is clothed with strength and dignity;
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her…”
Proverbs 31: 25-28

When stress overwhelms me I sin in the way I communicate with everyone in my household. I know that I tear them down. Everything that I work so hard to build for the Lord can be in vain when I sin in this way.

My prayer and I ask you to pray for me as well, is for the true Joy of the Lord to be my wellspring.
That I would not believe the lies of the evil one and worry that I don’t have enough time.
That I would seek peace and find it, live in the Joy of the Lord and express it.
My prayer is that my children see a mommy who, when she is tired, is filled up by the Lord.
That they would be attracted to Christ because of the change they see in me.
Lord help me to give all my stresses and burdens and worries to you fully.
Help us all Lord!

Would you partner in prayer with me to be strong in Him and grow not weary and faint. My husband is in his busiest season of the year and working diligently. I am so proud of him, but miss him and I am tired from the long days and long nights of holding down the fort.
God Bless and know that my hope as you read future posts is never to think I have it all together. I am a sinner and struggle just like everyone. I have my weaknesses and would never pretend not to. I hope that this is encouraging to at least one person and that my ramblings and confessions aren’t a waste of space/ time.