Stretched

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There isn’t a doubt in the world that the season of life I find myself in has me feeling stretched. It’s hard to articulate, because I find no greater joy in this calling as pastor’s wife, mom and teacher to my children, but I’ve never known anything harder. I hit the pillow at night – never with concern that I won’t be able to sleep – waking up wondering if I actually slept at all!?

I’ve wrestled time and time again over the fact that, perhaps I can’t really do this alone. One child….than two…seemed easy and manageable for me and then came three…and I started to feel the stretch….and blessing number four had me surrendering – staring my inadequacies and just-plain-limitations in the face. It’s simple: one person can only do so much. And I’m a fool if I try to handle this season on my own because something will give. I was  so encouraged to come across this article finding hope in others who are experiencing similar stretching…

Yet in my heart I knew homeschooling was for us. So I began to read and study the opinions of other home educating authors. Many of them, women I deeply respect, expressed that homeschooling is a chance to die to ourselves as mothers. A chance to choose a lifestyle of service over comfort. As a Christian, I could appreciate their point.

At the same time, on weary days, it didn’t appear like I was of use to anyone. A mom with burnout is never a pleasant or joyful mom, no matter what facade she presents. Most of us vacillate between the mountaintops and valleys, visiting seasons of both in our attempt to cultivate an intentional life.

Enter surrender. It’s a beautiful thing to surrender – to cry UNCLE! at the top of your lungs to a God who is greater than your shortcomings. Although I’m still learning what this looks like, and whom I need to invite into my life for help so that I can best serve my family and fulfill my calling, I know it’s ok to be weak and to trust in a God who is strong.

As I experience and embrace the blessing of God’s stretching hands upon my life, I am humbled and deeply thankful for those people who have lifted a burden by taking my kids for a morning to let me rest, stopped by with a coffee to say “hello”, given their time to let my husband and I sneak away for a quick dinner together or sent me encouraging scripture and articles to help brighten my day….because I know I cannot do it alone.And even in the still, quiet times when it feels like help is miles away and the stretching too painful to bear,  I know I can count on the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free for it is in suffering that our keenness is sharpened to the mounds of grace stored up for us.

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3 responses »

  1. i hear you tara! though we are not homeschooling yet, i can totally relate to the feeling of being stretched…giving up more and more of my agenda to meet the relentless needs of my family. it really is a privilege, albeit an exhausting one! that reminds me, i wanted to see if ellie could come play some morning soon so you can hit school a little harder with the big girls…maybe in a couple more days we will be hopefully done with this nasty virus…

  2. Tara,

    Thank you for this! I just want you to know that you are such an encouragement & role model of a mom to me. I love reading your blog and the encouragement that you give as you point me to Jesus in my everyday life as a mom of two & hopefully more…

  3. Thank you for your transparency with what you struggle with. God is so Faithful, and extends us such Grace. I am praying for you, but I honestly believe that you are such a wonderful example to me of what a Mother should look like. I look forward to learning from you in every way I can. Thank you for everything you do.

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