26 February, 2012

Not giving in to frustration or dissatisfaction

Okay, so how's it going here? Well, we've had a calmer day today than yesterday. Not long after I wrote yesterday's post things went quite pear shaped with the guys. I don't really want to give you the ugly details, but it was not pretty. Thankfully I was able to connect with David on Skype after they all were in bed and off-load a little. He is great about that — he doesn't mind me telling about whatever "awful" thing happened in my day, be it with the boys or with something else like editing. He's my biggest supporter!

Got breakfast made without much drama (I never make breakfast unless David isn't here, and usually the boys complain about my poor service! So this is noteworthy!). Got everyone to and from church this morning without having to yell. And yes, that happens, but today the only reason I yelled was to stop our 6 y.o. from running into cars. We even managed to have a bit of a rest after lunch and get some piano practice done with the aforementioned 6 y.o. And now I have the two youngest ones playing card games without scratching each other's eyes out. Considering their recent history, that is very noteworthy! Some folk are praying for us, I just know it. Thank you, if it's you.

This morning was a good sermon too. He started in Job 2, but it was about what makes life worth living. He gave a number of scenarios where people begin to get unsatisfied with life. For example, when someone becomes an invalid and unable to contribute, or when an educated woman becomes a mum and stay-at-home wife (which tends to come with more expectations in many marriages in Japan than it does in Australia) and feels frustrated because  of the drudgery she feels, or when someone doesn't get into the course or school they want, or have a marriage partner or children as they'd dreamed. His point was we need to be careful when we say that life is only worth living if we achieve our goals, if we are doing something that looks worthwhile. Our life, however, is worth living in God's eyes if we're not taking life for granted and we're using whatever gifts God has given us to the best of our ability, whatever situation we're in. I think I've got that right. Does that make sense?

So for me, this has played out like this: I'm frustrated because I haven't been able to become the missionary I want to be, to learn Japanese like I want to be able to. However, God has given me other skills that I am able to use, like the ability to write, and to edit, and the ability to encourage others. Because I've chosen to use those abilities, I need to be satisfied with how God's made me, and not get so frustrated at what I cannot do as well as I'd like.

The same with parenting, I'm not as good a parent as I'd like to be. However I cannot give in to the frustration. But rather be satisfied that I'm striving to do the best I can and that God has both given me these kids (with all their foibles) and my abilities, and that it is pleasing to him that I am trying to raise them in a godly way.

Well, enough writing for me for now. I've got to get some boys through the shower-dinner-teeth-devotions-bed marathon again. Praying it will be a calmer ride than yesterday.


AlyceB said...

Hi Wendy,
I'm usually a lurker around here, reading each and every post from my Reader. You see, we're from Adelaide and are moving to Chiba in 9 or so weeks. Gulp. My husband has a job at an Institute at Chiba university. My dominant emotion IS excitement, but also extreme nervousness about moving overseas, to a country where I barely speak the language with 2 kids under 3, for up to 3 years. What will I do with myself? With my time as a SAHM there? With only the trains/eventually a bike for transport and next to zero Japanese?
This post has spoken straight to my heart. I know that this next season of our life is going to be a challenge, and that God will use this time to make me depend on His strength like I haven't had to in years. To be satisfied with a whole new lifestyle.

Thank you.


PS - any ideas on English-speaking churches in Chiba?!

Wendy said...

Hi Alyce,

Thanks so much for dropping in. You encourage me so much! To think that my little struggles can help others...well that is a writer's dream!

I can come up with info about churches in Chiba for you. I'll need to know whereabouts in Chiba you'll be as it is a fairly large area and you will not want to be dragging two under-3s too far on trains every Sunday: guaranteed headaches! Do you want to contact me at wendymarshall04 at gmail dot com and we can chat more.

You are absolutely right: God will use this to help you learn about relying on him. Be warned, though, you'll never be the same again (in the best of ways).