Finding peace in the doldrums

IMG_9716I haven’t written anything for some time. Despite the energy and enthusiasm with which I began the first six months of my blogging adventure, I have been seriously lacking motivation since January arrived almost nine months ago.

It feels like a long time to have been in the blogging doldrums. Or maybe not. I realise others have been here too, probably for longer, so I cannot wallow.
But IMG_9885perhaps it’s time I pushed through this season of dryness.
After all, so much of writing, (or doing anything for that matter) is about showing up at the page and committing to it. Half-hearted attempts never take you anywhere interesting, and it is hard to grow if you never allow yourself to be stretched.

Part of me wonders if I have simply had little to say over the past nine months, but then those who know me well would probably chuckle at the suggestion. Especially since nine months is enough time to conceive and gestate a whole new life inside a womb. Is it possible that I have been subconciously sitting back and allowing the seed to put down some roots?
Perhaps I have needed to listen more. It’s hard to hear clearly if you are always talking.

It hasn’t felt quiet.
The past nine months have been slow, exhausting and frustrating for me in many ways.
I had some low-grade background virus in my system that seemed to linger throughout much of January and February, mostly just tiring me out, giving me occasional dizzy spells, and leaving me lacking in energy to complete many basic tasks. It was nothing really serious, but felt like when your computer is functioning much more slowly, as energy is quietly being sapped by a program running in the background.
We wondered if I could be pregnant, and hoped that I was, at least that would provide some explanation for my symptoms. But the tests came back negative.

IMG_9533In March my husband and I conceived our third child, (the third month in a row that we took a test) which was absolutely wonderful news, and we were delighted. But then the morning (or whatever time of the day it chooses to strike) sickness hit me. This time it was the worst I have ever had it in intensity, but mercifully the season was also quicker than before to pass.

We had some highly amusing moments with our daughter, who is a compassionate and perceptive girl, whilst having to dart for a sick bowl.
She would at one moment be all concerned for me, asking me IMG_9741

“You ok Mummy? You feel a bit sick?”

before seconds after it had passed, grabbing her own bucket, making retching sounds and then giggling up at us. It certainly eased my frustration at feeling out of sorts.

As I moved into my second trimester, I found that I had a bit more energy and started to enjoy late spring change into early summer. We got out of the house more, and joined the zoo meeting up with a group of home educators and their children, on a semi-regular basis.

We also spent more time outdoors and in the garden, which I find instantly lifts my mood. I have had the pleasure of watching our son learn to walk, and then take great delight in escaping round the house, or out of doors, at speed and with a focus and pleasure in his own space that would warm your heart.

In late May we went to house-sit for some friends down in Gosport, right near the beach, thereby aqquiring a free holiday, and I was reminded just how much I love and miss being near the sea. It actually made me quite melancholy, because being there brought into sharp focus something that I long to have in my life, but never realised how much.

IMG_9601It was a wonderful break.
For just under a week, we walked along the beach, drank coffee out, let the two kids go nuts at the splash park, and stop watching the television for a while. G had her first ever ice cream, a mini-milk (I was glad to see that they are still being made, though sadly no longer only 20p!) which she thoroughly enjoyed, and our son wandered up and down the promenade relentlessly, enjoying his new-found freedom. We were kept on our toes following him around, as his direction was very unpredictable.
But as usual, it didn’t feel long enough, and no sooner had we relaxed into it, than it was time to go home again.

Part of the challenge for us this last year has been the amount of extra work my husband has put in to his job, and any additional work that has come his way, to the detriment of breathing space for him, as a family and any real quality time for the two of us.
He has also had a very hectic summer, as is the nature of his job, but this time it felt too much for me, especially the week that he was away for six days. Despite having help here with the kids, it was not the same as having him home with us.
Coupled with children, who between them have not slept through the night with any real consistency this year, it has been very emotionally draining, wearing us out, and taking a toll on my pregnant body.

However, God is good. We have had many, many beautiful moments together, lots of laughter, a few tears, and so much joy.

I understand better what it means to rejoice whether or not I am feeling joyful, because even in my lowest moments when I have felt so run-down, lonely and exhausted, that I have cried myself to sleep at 7:30pm, I have known that God is close to me. That he has neither abandoned nor left me to fend for myself, but has comforted and listened to me pour out my heart to him. He has not allowed the hope that sits in my heart to ever completely go out, and for that I am immensely grateful.wpid-DSC_0391.jpg

So, my house has regularly been in various states of disarray. So, I have had a lot of flopping out on the sofa days whilst my children watch the television. So, I have thrown the dinner together with much less care than I would like, whilst my darling husband comes home from work briefly to tidy up around us. I am not condemned.

I am beloved of Him who made me.
I am loved by my husband who is so generous, and by my children whose open-hearted patience and curiousity take my breath away.
And I have some wonderful friends who I can lean on, or call up when I am having a melt-down and just need some support when flying solo during the dinner/bath/bed routine.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4-5


I don’t know if this is the kind of post which appeals to many people, or whether it is just something that I write to get out of my system, but I hope it blesses some of you other mothers out there. May you know that you are doing a great job as long as you are even trying to do what is best for your children, that everything happens in seasons, and you are not alone.

I am still tired, still under the weather, still pregnant (for another few months at least), and My new DSLR first round pics 121still alternating between gloriously creative, productive days, and those where if we get out of the house to the back garden it has been an achievement.
The work-load of my husband has eased, but we are still catching up without sleep.
Yet I know that I am not alone. My marriage and my motherhood are in God’s hands because I choose let him be in charge of it, and he is far more able to sustain them than I am.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7