Friday, March 6, 2015

Jen Decker: One of THOSE Days

Ok…I’ll admit it…today was one of those days…you know the ones.  The one where every single second I was needed;  #1 slammed her finger in a door, #2 feels lonely, #3 throws a fit and antagonizes everyone else.  My husband has had it, with the finances, the kids and probably me.   I have lost tickets to a show that came in the mail and have a million emails to return.  It is 10 degrees outside and we are all stuck in this house and I may or may not have just snapped.  To be honest we are all out of ideas for togetherness, and at one point I look up from my laptop, my husband is on his iPhone, my daughter is watching a show, one son is playing the Xbox and the other is playing a game on the iPad.  Connected Parenting at its finest folks.  

I have to be honest, my typical response to this would be own all of it as if I am expected to be the fix for all of it.  I must cure the injured finger, fix the loneliness, stop the antagonistic behavior and make sure my husband is happy, organize the papers (OH MY WORD, the PAPERS), respond to the emails in some magical time warp. Then create warm family experiences with hot apple cider, fresh baking bread, pajama bottoms and board games full of laughter and zero accusations of cheating.   Suddenly, the picture in my head of what I am supposed to be is a long way from the picture of what is…so then I start down this road of self-talk…  

  • This is happening because I don’t pray enough for everyone.
  • If only I were more creative about activities.
  • If only I had paid more attention to the budget.
  • My kids are reacting to chemicals in processed foods, everyone feels bad because I don’t prepare healthy enough meals.
  • If only I were more organized.
  • You brought this on yourself…you are supposed to make adoption look fun to others.
  • Why have I said would volunteer for all these things?
  • I feel fat.
  • Tammy isn’t like this…she is always organized and efficient.
So then what do I do?  I make a new PLAN.  Yep, in my new world order I will be efficient and organized.  I run to the Christian book store where I am sure to find some books on how to do this better.  I will now be able to pray better for my family, create efficient time management systems.  In this new world I am mentally creating, I will know where the ice pack is right away when the finger gets slammed. I will invest in my middle child daily for 20 minutes so that his nagging loneliness doesn’t eat his tender heart alive.   (This type of investment means feigning interest in Ninjago and Chima play by play stories, but I will do it and he will feel so loved!)  I will make sure I create constructive opportunities for my littlest to engage without being an antagonist.  My new paper system will ensure that no paper ever goes missing again. And because I am now so efficient, in my new fantasy world I will surely lose weight because I will have more time in this new system to plan and prepare healthy meals prepared with vegetables out of my own garden.  Also, my sweet husband will not have to come to the end of his capacity because I will efficiently run things so he doesn’t have to be troubled with all of this.  I will be more fun and exciting for him.

Here is the problem with MY NEW WORLD ORDER…ME.  I am the problem because I have put myself at the center of this new world order (and the last one, which need I remind you, is imperfect).  I behave as if God was waiting for me to read the right book to whip things into shape, and is powerless until I pray the right words enough and get organized!   Why do I do this?  Why do I take all of this on?  Where did I get the idea that it was my job?

Honestly those questions are not that important. The TRUTH I have been learning (notice I am still in process here) is that Jesus’ invitation to me is so simple…there are no books, but there is one book…no strategies, but there is His plan…no amount of checklists, but plenty of grace.

28Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”  Matthew 11:28 & 29

Well, this is awkward…because I have made being a godly woman about my performance as a wife and as a mother and if my husband is stressed out and my children are unhappy, uncomfortable or struggling I have put that on me but God doesn’t.  His yoke is easy…his burden his light.   If that is true, then I need to behave as if it is and THAT, my friends, is what FAITH is.  This journey we are on, requires faith.  And, when I look at my children, my marriage, my life I must believe that God has a plan for this CHAOS that does not require me to put myself in the center of the solution.  

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. For by it the people of old received God’s commendation. By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible.  Hebrews 11:1-3

Talking about faith, buying cute necklaces about faith, and shabby chic wall art professing faith are WAY different than walking in faith daily.  But if the promise is true…if what I cannot see right now (the invisible) is working to produce fruit that I WILL SEE (the visible) then I must step out of the way. I have a long ways to go…but I am confident that God will complete what he started and I don’t want to miss it and I don’t want you to miss it either. 


Jen hasn’t sat still in 38 years.  It’s a problem.  She is learning to sit at her Savior’s feet and that “doing” is not nearly as important as “being” his dearly loved daughter.  This is a hard lesson for this busy and driven mama of 3, but it is proving to be the most important one yet.   Growing up in an adoptive family herself, God gave Jen a passion for supporting and equipping adoptive families.  She, and her husband Loren, are Empowered to Connect trainers in Kansas City, where Jen is the director of an area foster and adoption ministry.  

Read More About the Retreat Sessions here

No comments:

Post a Comment