Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cybermentor Mom/Lack of Sleep: Part 1

 I recall a particularly bad moment in my early parenting when I really considered running out into the middle of the street and screaming at the top of my lungs. I didn't, and somehow I made it through, but the time when I had several small children under my wing definitely had its rough days!

During our time in Michigan, our church had a mom's program that I can honestly say was a lifeline. I could not have done without it, I'm sure. For two whole hours we dropped our kids off in childcare, and joined others to be encouraged, humored, and pampered by older women. I vowed that someday, when my kids were grown, I would mentor other young moms. Our church doesn't have this wonderful ministry, and so I am relegated to being a cybermentor!  This post is dedicated to those women and men in the trenches of child rearing at its most crucial and difficult point, the newborn stage. After reading  facebook posts, I'm convinced that twenty some years later (even with the invention of the diaper genie) moms and dads still have a rough job!
 The pressure of caring for little ones, keeping a clean house, preparing food, (taking care of myself, too?) while remaining sane can lead us all to drastic measures, as recent headlines will attest. Although I am not proud of some of my worst moments, there is one habit I worked hard to develop that I am so grateful about as I look back.

Lack of sleep, especially when the newborns get their days and nights mixed up is the first real ugly truth that new parents face, and they face it with, well, sleep deprivation! I made up my mind ahead of time that the moment I heard the baby wake up, whenever it was, anytime of day or night, that the first response of my heart was going to be, "Thank you, Lord." The opportunity of caring for children is a precious trust from God, and I wanted to have a grateful heart when my babies were in my arms. After all, the baby is just doing what's natural, and not trying to sabotage your sleep! It was not always easy, but because I had decided beforehand it was easier than it would have been had I just defaulted to a kneejerk feeling of irritation. Believe me, I like my sleep as much as the next mom!

For that matter, any disruption in your day or night can be put in a "grateful headlock", because we know that,"all things work together for good to them that love God." Romans 8:28a.

The problem isn't the problem, it's your attitude about the problem. - Jack Sparrow

Monday, January 28, 2013

Downton Abbey: Season 3 Spoiler Alert

In case you missed it - Downton Abbey Season 3 - episode 4 spoiler alert!!!

The sad reality of death in childbirth shocked me out of the British fantasy world I am usually in, while watching Carson try unsuccessfully to keep all things proper and Granny rendered almost speechless.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, the rich are not in control of life and death. Nor are their capable servants. God alone holds that power. Sybil uttered a feeble attempt at faith before she died, the first I have heard of any such connection of God that was meaningful, although the trappings of religion can be traced everywhere in the daily lives of the Earl and his family. From the careful attention to tradition, church sacraments, and male  responsibility, to caring for those under the Earl's employ, to the church that owes its patronage to the Abbey itself, to the strict moral code the pervades every scene, all these elements have their beginnings in the Christian faith, the faith that a modern England has nowadays abandoned almost entirely, its cathedrals and abbeys notwithstanding.

As a person of faith, I find myself wondering as I watch what part (if any) a personal faith has in the lives of the Earl and Lady Grantham, and what (if any) changes, the death of a child will have on this. I expect a cursory mention of Sybil's eternal destination at least, after the raw grief and shock subsides. The window into DA is never wide enough for me, I suppose. Since I've got my head stuck in, I want to know everything!