If you know me and follow my blog regularly, you know I am typically a very happy and positive person. My posts 9/10 times are about finding happiness and spreading that joy to others.
Well, unfortunately, I have hit that place of deployment where I am starting to feel like I’m losing my zest.
I’m not as chipper as I was several months ago when this all began. I’m tired. I’m crabby. I’m just plain exhausted!
I read an article recently and it really struck me (if you follow me on Facebook, I shared it there for you to read). It speaks of the consequences of not taking care of ourselves. It tells of how we can become easily angered, short-tempered etc when we are overtired and exhausted. Those titles are all identical to me right now! It was at this point where the lightbulb went off in my brain!
A while back, I wrote about how important it is for all of us to make time for ourselves.
You can read the post here: The Importance of “Taking a 15”. To be honest, this can be pretty darn hard to do in the midst of a deployment. During this time, I am juggling the duties of both mom AND dad. And, finding those 15 minutes for myself takes some planning. Time out with MY FRIENDS is basically non-existent and kid-free time??? Forget about it! We live in Hawaii (far away from family), so I don’t have the luxury of having my parents take kid duty so I can keep my sanity!
Because of this…I haven’t been “taking my 15” very regularly and it shows!
I feel like my relationship with my son has suffered as a result of my (physical and mental) exhausted state. The monster-mommy I mentioned in that post has made itself present and very vibrantly, unfortunately! I’ve gotten downright ugly at times. I find myself wanting to apologize for my ugliness as I’m doing it.
What is going on with me?!?!?!
I’ve always prided myself on being very close to my kids. I feel we are typically very open with our feelings and such. Being a military family, we oftentimes lean on one another for strength and because of that, we are incredibly close. However, lately, I feel that closeness slipping away. It breaks my heart.
I know deployment is no excuse. We are nearing retirement so this is no new thing for us. However, I do feel different this time. Maybe it’s because the kids are older. Maybe it’s because it’s the longest one we’ve experienced. Maybe it’s because it’s our last one. Maybe it’s because we haven’t been able to communicate with my sailor. Maybe it’s because we don’t know if we will be moving in a few months and if so, where to?!?! Who knows? But, I do have a feeling it is the root cause of the shift in my behavior. It hasn’t affected me like this before which I find so strange. I’m beyond stressed out and just need a “15.” Some time to breath and get me back to normal.
Another thing that has been lacking is my devotional time.
With my lack of zest, has come a less than committed morning routine which includes God. I decided a few mornings ago, that my son and I could use that time to connect with each other AND God. I’ve been waking him up earlier in the morning, and we sit at the kitchen table and spend time with God together.
It’s definitely helped. Not only, has God been speaking to me through this time with Him, it has provided us with time just the two of us. When daddy is home and can watch sissy, we go on regular mommy/son dates. We have only been on one mommy/son date in almost 9 months. I know it’s that time together that he is craving-we both are.
We start our devotion time by just chatting a bit (while I make my coffee! ha)
It has given us a scheduled time in our day where he KNOWS he can come to me with whatever is on his mind.
I planned this time to be early in the morning before Little Ladybug wakes up and is a distraction. He’s been able to share with me his fears as well as his joys. It’s really opened up our communication again like it was before-maybe even better because we are alone.
Part of our devotional time has included “applying the verse we are studying to our life.” I absolutely LOVE to hear him learning through the Bible.
I feel so blessed that God has given me this opportunity to see my sons’ faith grow.
Nothing melts a mommas heart quite like that! I feel it is helping me get out of my funk too. Hearing his little 8-year old wisdom speaks softly to my heart. When he says, “we shouldn’t be afraid because God will give us strength,” I feel as if God is speaking directly to me through him.
I’m reminded how strong I am because of my faith.
I’m reminded how strong I am to have almost completed this looooong deployment. Up until recently, I feel we have “nailed it” and soared through it gracefully.
I feel God lifting me up and giving me the strength I need to finish strong. He’s cheering me on saying, “you got this because you have turned your attention back to ME.”
Who would’ve thought such a simple act of restarting devotion time with my son could have such a huge impact?
I feel it is giving me the reminder I needed to look at my kids with eyes of grace, patience, and compassion…
all of which had been tucked away for a few weeks because I had let myself lose faith and drift away.
Friends, how have you been feeling?
Do you feel you have lost faith or feel a “little off”?
Do you feel you have changed for the worse?
What have you changed in your life to make that happen?
For me, it was skipping my time with God during a time when I needed it most.
What can you change in your day to put that pep back in your step?
If you find yourself feeling “a little off,” take a moment to evaluate yourself right now…
Block everything out and focus for a moment until you find what you think is the cause and do something today to change that. Who knows? Maybe it will be something as simple as spending 15 minutes with God like it was for my son and I?
Nobody likes to spend time with a monster. And, I don’t like being a monster. I’m so glad I took the time to discover the root of my attitude change and that my son and I were able to mend our relationship. I can see a change in not only myself, by my son as well!
It’s been a life lesson, to say the least!
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