Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Growing Pains

We are all well-versed in the growing pains of childhood, and I mean the mental and emotional ones, not the physical ones. I remember reaching a point between my junior high years when I questioned my choice of friends, clothing, taste in music, style of hair, etc. This vicious cycle went on for years. If you went through something similar, I'm sure you can also remember the pain of those years vividly. As adults, I believe we like to think that we are over such seemingly self-destructive attitudes. But honestly I don't think we are, nor do I think we ever will be. You see, God has created us as complex beings with the abilities to reason, rationalize, and think logically (at least 90% of the time in my case). Thus we will always be striving for something better, something different; a better way, a different way. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when we recognize the opportunity for growth these situations present. I find my growing pains tend to stem from four core situations: my walk with the Lord, my role as a biblical wife, my role as a Godly mother, and my role as keeper of the home.


Sometimes it can be too easy to become complacent in our Christian roles. We may hit a point where we feel that we can not grow anymore as a follower of Jesus, or we admit to ourselves that any further growth would just be too uncomfortable. Or maybe we will encounter some crushing circumstances and waver in our faith. This might be a time when we begin to feel those familiar growing pains.

I personally have plateaued in my faith a few times. But as always, the Lord is faithful and He kept pushing me to grow. I resisted at first. Why would I want to push myself to lead a more Christ-like life, or to live my life according to the Bible when my way really is much easier? The times I've felt that way have been very painful. The one thing I've found to be a true antidote for Christian growing pains, though, is prayer. When I would force myself to pray, and to pray as often as possible, whenever possible, for as long as possible, I always managed to find my way home again. To be more accurate, my Father always found a way to bring me back.

Every marriage, I am sure, encounters its fair share of growing pains. I feel as though I am not fully equipped to discuss the whole picture though as I only know and understand my place in a marriage - the place where I am Biblically mandated to be a helpmeet to my husband. I remember stumbling into this notion 4 years ago and just rejoicing. It made so much sense! And it was God's plan, how could I question that? I read books, websites, and blogs. I filled myself to the point of bursting with all this information. I was being a helpmeet to my husband. I shifted my attitude (at least most of the time). I made sure I was submissive and let Eric be the head of our family without my interference. And I kept on reading.

Then, one night Eric came home from work to find me on the computer yet again. His dinner needed to be heated up. He needed his wife to talk to him about his day and just appreciate the fact that he was home. But his wife was busy reading. He rightly turned to me and said, "Will you please stop just reading how to be a Biblical wife and actually be one!" Yeah, ouch! He was 100% right. That was the first time I encountered growing pains on this journey to be the helpmeet to my husband the God created me to be. It forced me to grow from my comfortable research phase to one of action.

Many times since that initial incident I have dealt with growing pains as it relates to my helpmeet role. I find myself growing to overcome obstacles as they pop up, and then growing comfortable with the status quo. By realizing that this cycle will continue throughout our marriage, as it has to because Eric and I will be continually changing and growing on our own, I equip myself to face the inevitable growing pains and get on with the process of moving forward that much quicker.

I think mothering is one of those jobs where growing pains are an absolute inevitability. Each of my children will cycle through their own growing pains, and as a result, I will have to grow in my mothering. One year from now I will not be mothering my children the same way I do today. For that matter, one week from now I may not be mothering the same way I am today. Fortunately, God has well-equipped me to handle these very children I am raising as they were a gift from Him.
My home management style is always growing and changing, usually for the better. This is one area where I feel the growing pains are most easily dealt with, and the outcomes are most satisfactory. All of my work as the keeper of this home is tangible. I can see it or feel it or preserve it on paper for posterity. I never cringe when I realize I need to grow in some way as it relates to this job. First of all, the books on the topic are endless, as are the WONDERFUL blogs filled with ideas and encouragement. I see home management growing pains as a happy little bonus to being keeper of the home.

I think the number one thing to realize is that our lives are cyclical. We will never grow enough or change enough. It will be necessary for us to face growing pains throughout all areas of our lives. They will be much more easily dealt with if we are willing to acknowledge that form the start. And remember, at these times, prayer works! We are blessed by an awesome Lord. He is truly faithful and will always be the salve for our pains.
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4 comments:

lalala 10:20 PM  

Hi. I'm a new reader to your blog. I just wanted to comment on this post because it really resonates with me. I have a very worldly outlook right now, but there is a voice inside of me that tells me that I want to be so much more. I work right now, but I feel a calling to stay at home. I don't know how we will handle living on one income. I want to become so much more in the eyes of the Lord, but I struggle. Thank you for sharing.

Pennie
www.xanga.com/apennieformythoughts

Nancy 9:12 AM  

Thank you for sharing. Your thoughts hit home with me. I've been reading & praying about my role as wife and mother within our family. Are there any books you would recommend for reading?

Cajunchic 12:03 PM  

So many of your post have been hitting home with me lately. I have been reading silently from my reader on google without commenting but I wanted to stop by to let you know how much I appreciate these great posts. They have really served to uplift me lately.

Teresa @ A Life At Home 2:04 PM  

Such a great post, Kate. I can so relate. I think my husband told me the same exact thing one time about my computer time. lol

I think that sometimes it was easy for me to get caught up in a fantasy world when I read about Godly women who were doing what I wish I was. Being a Godly wife and mother was such a foreign concept to me. I was fascinated, and still am, by it. I know for me it was hard to get off the computer and go back to my reality. Reading about it was easier than actually implementing it. It made the growing pains even harder for me until I learned to take it to God.

Just to let you know, I too have been very encouraged by your words lately. Thankyou!

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