The Pen to the Paper

Sometimes I don’t write for a couple of days, and I really want to.  Children waking up an hour earlier than normal, an alarm clock malfunctioning, someone coming to the door as I sit down–life is full of distractions.  Other times, though, I want to write about an idea, but the post won’t gel in my mind.  I have this instinctive feeling that I shouldn’t write yet, even though I want to get my ideas down.

Some ideas are better recorded in my own personal journal, but sometimes I even feel a pull from recording my ideas there.  The last couple of days I have felt this tension.

For two nights I have gone to bed under a fog of depression and feelings of inadequacy.  Those previous days I was having difficulty parenting, not with issues like keeping my kids from peeing on the floor or from sticking their hands in the sugar jar, but with issues that were a little bigger.  I was comparing myself to people that I don’t even know.  Yes, I did compare myself to Almanzo’s parents in Farmer Boy. Don’t tell me that you’ve never done that!

Their children never questioned them, wouldn’t dare think of it.  Of course, they also didn’t allow their children to speak unless spoken to, and Almanzo knew that if he defied his parents he would get a beating out in the barn.  Matt and I have not created the same environment as the Wilder family, so I don’t know that it was fair to compare myself to them.

Yet I did because if there is one job at which I do not want to fail, it is parenting.  As a teacher, I saw the results of failed parenting.  I want to raise children who love God, who are productive members of society, who are respectful to others, who write thank-you notes…

…and I felt God say that I will fail because I’m not perfect.  And they will fail because they will never achieve perfection, no matter how excellent I parent.  Those words should have felt freeing to my spirit, but they didn’t.

I was too caught up in my feelings of fear, and I wanted to write down everything that I feared, but I couldn’t even make sense of my own feelings.

So last night as I was trying to form the words in my mind, I felt God whisper again.  Two days after my initial feelings of depression, the situation looked a little different, not quite as bleak.  And two days later, because I didn’t have those feelings recorded down, they had no permanence; they were fleeting.

Because sometimes parenting takes faith–faith that the effort I put in now will not be in vein.  Sometimes marriage takes faith–faith that feelings that come and go will never take the place of the foundation of love that is there. Sometimes facing every new day takes faith–faith that the strength needed to overcome any obstacle or challenge will not fail. The prayers I utter every night do not fall on deaf ears, and I will see those good desires come to fruition, for “he who began a good work in [me, my children, my husband, and] you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

I am prone to worry, but sometimes, I have to let my worries go.  Sometimes I have to trust that God loves my family more than I do, and if I want the best for them, He does all the more. Sometimes I have to wait a couple of days before taking my pen to the paper, giving truth and permanence to feelings that will fade with the next sunrise.

And sometimes so do you.  Give your children two more days.  Give your marriage two more days.  Give your circumstances two more days, for we should never write our future before God is finished with the present.

*words in bracket and emphasis added to Scripture reference are my own.

16 thoughts on “The Pen to the Paper

  1. Great post Jennifer. I loved the simplicity, yet profoundness, of the give-it-two-more-days thought process…this really hit home with me. Thanks girl.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Yes, I'm learning that I have to let go of my feelings in the moment because they paint a very skewed picture. I'm horrible at doing this, though.

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  2. Wow. I so needed this.
    Even though it was a rather good week in our household, I thought I was losing my mind! You're so right about giving it a few days, and not seeing everything we feel in the moment as permanent in our lives. "Feelings will not take the place of Foundations…" Love that.

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  3. Your emphasis is on faith and that is where it should be. I gave a message at Mountain East Community Church before it split and it was pertaining to FAITH.. I'm sure the Holy Spirit spoke to_me at that time because this thought kept coming into my mind, "Without Faith, there is no Hope." I know your faith is strong and because of it much that you desire will come to fruitation. Keep believing that God is in control and He loves your family and friends more than you do.

    Love,
    Dad.

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  4. Hi Jennifer… I just found this post from Gather Inspirit. I love this "2 more days" thing… I'm going to try this the next time I feel defeated and worried!!!

    Thanks for sharing and being so vulnerable with us all! I know many more than just me needed to hear this message. This was my favorite part, "we should never write our future before God is finished with the present."

    All I can say is a big 'ol… AMEN!

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    1. I'm finding that my struggles as Mommy, wife, etc., are not unique to me, and we can help each other get through those struggles if we're honest and share what we're learning. And I have a lot left to learn! Thank you for commenting!

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  5. You express how every parent feels sometimes and do it so beautifully. God is forever faithful!
    You are a role model for parenting and live the Proverb 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
    The 2 day rule is great for every situation. How did you become so wise?
    ♥ Mom

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