"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In which Eric hijacks the blog for a post...

This is Eric posting a letter that Dianna recently wrote to a dear sister in Christ who was struggling with caring for many young children.  I (Eric) thought the wisdom Dianna shares here might be valuable to other mothers of babies and young children.  So here it is: 

"I'm sorry you've been so tired!! It sounds like you are in the dark tunnel stage of having a lot of little ones! That's what I felt like after Benaiah. It's so hard! Sometimes I would go to my room and just cry and cry because I was so tired...absolutely exhausted...I just wanted to leave it all behind...I guess not really...I never actually walked out the door...but sometimes I thought if things ever got a little bit more difficult, that would be it...it'd tip the scale into crazy land for me and I'd probably end up institutionalized or something. For months, maybe even two years or so, I always felt like I was drowning with my head barely above water. Truth be told...I'd never want to go back to that stage of motherhood, but I'm so glad I passed through. God completely stripped me of my tendency towards idolatrous self-sufficiency and idolatrous way of wanting my house and my life to be "just so." Actually, I think "strip" is too nice of a word, it was more like a "ripping and tearing." It almost brings tears to even remember those months.

A few things that helped...
>getting Eric on board... I finally kept a record for a week of how much sleep I was getting and how many times a night I had to get up. Showing him really opened up his eyes (and mine...no wonder I'm so tired...duh!). He realized how, at that point, "sick" I was from exhaustion (I was starting to get continual sore throats and fevers, diarrhea and stomach aches) and he became my greatest helper in trying to get rested and better again.
>committing to go to bed (in bed, lights out and falling asleep) before 9 every night for at least a month or two to heal. This was so hard and so good for me. I had to give up many social things and a lot of "quiet/no kid time" but it was so so worth it!
>B vitamins, vitamin D, and fish oil! They are amazing energy boosters.
 >Taking a day off every couple of weeks. A few times, Eric let me lock myself in our bedroom and I literally, would lie flat on my back, drink a ton of water and eat Vitamin C and Zinc all.day.long. I would sleep whenever I fell asleep and if I was awake I would listen to sermons (but let myself fall asleep if I got sleepy) and read my Bible. I can't believe how much these days would help. It was my "mandatory" bed-rest day. :)
>hiring help...you already mentioned this...I hope you find someone! We were able to hire someone to clean our house for $30. She was a young lady and liked the extra cash. Not doing that physical labor and not having to make my kids do it, was extremely helpful.
> The book, Managers of their Homes, was very helpful. I don't live and die by a schedule, but taking the time to write out everything I want to do and putting it into a reasonable time slot is a wonderful exercise for me. I have had times where there is no.way.on.earth I could ever do everything I wanted to do. Duh, Dianna, no wonder you are frustrated and tired...it just isn't humanly possible to do it all! So about once a year, I write out a schedule and then I throw it away...it's just to double check that I'm not trying to do too much.
>Learning that if the Lord has not granted me time or energy to complete something, then it is not his will that I do that thing. Some weeks that means that the Lord doesn't intend for me to do all of our laundry, all of our school, all the possible social engagements, having people over, etc., etc. There are so many good things to do...and I must always be willing...but if the Lord does not provide the means than I shouldn't beat myself up thinking that some how I'm a failure of a mom/wife/teacher/child of God. It is so easy to walk into friend #1's house and see how neat it is and think, "my house should be like that" and then talk to friend #2 and hear how much school and fun projects she is doing and think "I really ought to be doing that if I want my kids to go to college" and then talk to friend #3 and hear how much she is doing in church and think "I really ought to be doing more in our church" and then proceed to go home, try to do it all and then drown in a frustrating, joyless, faithless pit or get angry and give the kids a hard time for being naughty while you have so much to do, because if you are going to do as much as you think you need to, you certainly don't have time to discipline properly and if your kids were as good as they ought to be, well...they shouldn't need it!!! um, yea... I've been there...haha! :P I had to learn to stop listening to the lies of Satan that said I needed to be everything for everybody or else I was a failure. I needed to listen to the Holy Spirit who was willing to give me faith, joy, peace, rest and a yoke that was light. I needed to learn to live a Spirit-led life as a wife and mother...learning to ask, "God, what do you want me to do with the next hour? Laundry, school or rest?" or "God, I have this pile left to tackle tonight, should I do it or go to bed?" I'm not intending to claim that God answers me on these questions, but he certainly at times filled my heart with peace at the thought of leaving the pile for the night. Before I would look at my piles and be filled with anxiety at all the evidences of my failures that day. Now, by God's grace, I look at the things that are left and think, "God is enough."

I hope you find the strength and encouragement that you need! I'll be praying for you! God is able!"


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I needed this tonight. I appreciate all the good ideas too.

  2. Thank you Pastor for posting this! I really needed to hear it! Even though I am not a mother, as a daughter in my father's home there seems to be so many things that need to be done and it is very easy to listen to Satan lies saying you have to do it all or your are a failure. Thank you!

    I'm really missing you especially right now! I pray that God will greatly bless every one of you as you go about your day!

    Hugs to everyone

  3. So good...THANK YOU for sharing!

  4. Thank you for posting this! I really miss our studies and the ability to open up this kind of stuff. Thanks for posting this! I am feeling especially encouraged as it has been a rough few days around here for getting stuff done. Miss you all and praying for you!

  5. Oh Dianna,

    Thank you for your transparency. I knew this in part as you went through it. I wish I had been more of a help to you. Your faithfulness and friendship saw me through some very dark times. Blessings to you as you allow the Lord to use your struggles to bless others. He is so faithful.

  6. Thank you for saying this out loud, Diana. "...but if the Lord does not provide the means then I shouldn't beat myself up thinking that some how I'm a failure of a mom/wife/teacher/child of God." I wish it were said more often.
    I would like to say I went (past tense) through something similar, but in truth I am still in the process of learning it. I'm trying to live it out for not only myself, but as an example. My daughters need to know that God is not asking them to do everything that human beings think (or they themselves think) they should do. In many ways, God is much gentler on us than we are.
    Blessings to you!

  7. Thank you so much for posting this! Although my children are grown, I can relate (five kids in six years!) and I've shared this with my daughters for encouragement and perspective. You have done a great service to moms of young children with your honesty and by being vulnerable. May the LORD continue to bless you and your family richly!

  8. never heard more truth-filled words..... all those piles and dishes and laundry and books (and kids!!!) are gonna be there first thing in the morning when they pounce on your bed and your day starts long before your body has fully rested. i have a STRICT "stop EVERYTHING at 9pm policy." only extremely rare exceptions. (sick children). There have been times i've shoved 9 loads of clean laundry to the floor from my bed (just to find my bed!) so that we could just fall into it. The "American Dream" or probably better said, the "American Facade of Perfection", does NOTHING to hard-working, well-intentioned and otherwise loving mommas and wives, except open their ears to hear satan's hiss that they are either 1- not enough, or 2- too much (or 3- possibly both at once ?) SUCH A LIE. and the cheapest, quickest trip to joylessness and depression EVER. Diana- i do the same thing-- every few weeks, scott gives me the day off and i stay in my room doing the same thing. SLEEPINGGGGGGGG. and i've learned when to expect those 'crashes' now, and he has learned to see them coming by seeing the complete exhaustion in my eyes. Motherhood of so many can be so tedious--- and isSO MUCH FUN, except when we let that perfection sickness take over our souls. Taking the time to let God RESTORE your soul--- SOOOOO worth the pay-off, to our own bodies, to our kids, and especially for our husbands..... (they actually recognize our smiles again!) LOVE YOU! tab