A Guest post from Jaimi Erickson:
I have not always been the most patient person.
Some who know me as a mom of 4 (including twins), illness who see how patient I can be (operative words CAN BE) juggling my children, may think I am lying, but I am not naturally a patient person. At the age of 8, while doing homework one night, I asked my mom for help on a math problem. At the end of her helping me through a stressful lesson, I said, “I think I will have to learn patience in my life.” At eight I knew patience was my weakness.
God had plans for me.
I make a career of waiting. I am a military wife–hurry up and wait is part of my life.
I am alone a lot.
I often wait for my husband to get home after 3 weeks away at a field operation or return from a 6 month deployment.
I wait a lot.
Add in being a mom–you know how that goes–and I pretty much have to wait for everyone. Patience does not come easily.
I wait alone.
Every evening during a deployment it is just me after the kids go to sleep. Hopefully they stay asleep because I have had quite the exercise in sleep deprivation over the last few years. I basically am alone as the only adult running the show. Om In the antrums, the spilled cheerios, and the toy mess that rivals the aftermath of a tornado–I am alone.
I find myself full of envy over friends who have close girlfriends . The kind of friends that help them in every tough situation. They got through the hard things together-not alone.
I get impatient when I cannot find that type of support when I want it. It is nice to be part of a group, to have close friends and a support system.
During deployment I often go a few days without talking to another adult. I am a stay-at-home mom, so that is not totally odd given my daily situation. I am surrounded by little people who really are great fun most moments of the day. Since having twins, I have not been able to reach out and start playgroups or host playdates as often as in the past. This is hard because I feel a need to meet other moms and be social, to not feel so alone.
It is frustrating trying to develop new friendships when they seem to take forever to grow.
Hitting a point in my season of motherhood-when I went from two children to four with the twins’ birth-where I could not even manage to find the time to host a playdate, I really became isolated. It was depressing. But my focus was not in the right place. I was being impatient.
I wanted to cling to mom friends who could be there when I needed them. Instead, I had to dig deep and cling to God.
God had me right where he needed me. I was forced to rely on the strength He provided. His words of encouragement and prayer became my internal voice. They helped me get through the tough days of single parenting.
[tweetthis]When I embrace being alone to truly feel the presence of God in my life, that’s grace.[/tweetthis]
I don’t always like that I learn to trust and cling to God more when I am alone. God knows how I learn, He knows what I need to fully commit to Him. He knows that I need to learn to wait for His guidance.
The reality is, I am never alone. There are 4 little ones who eagerly want me with them much of the day. They remind me that I have my place, and it is firmly planted on the path that God wants me traveling.
I know I am not alone.
I walk with God so I work to maintain patience while following His lead.
What do you do when you feel alone?
Jaimi Erickson is a Christian stay-at-home mom to 4 (2+twins), a military wife, and former teacher. She shares faith-based motivation for moms, frugal homeschool activities for infants, toddlers, preschool and school-age kids, and homemaking tips on her blog The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide. Grab a cup of coffee and connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Jaimi! I was so where you are twenty years ago. I was a stay-at-home, former teacher, military wife too. And the first five years were miserable. But God. I found His embrace in the lonely days and nights. Literally. Now I’m an empty-nester and my husband travels a lot, and I’m often alone again. But God. After the first few weird months of this new rhythm I decided to see the favor and opportunity of these silent days. And I got a cat. 🙂 Loved your post! Keep up the good work encouraging other mommies- especially the saints staying home with their kids. !!!!
Andy, your comment warms my heart! What sweet words and smart advice. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts here. It is such a gift to get to share on Ginger’s blog. “But God.” So true.
Thanks for sharing this, Jaimi. There’ve been times I’ve felt alone and look back only to realise that God was always there. It’s tough in the moment but remembering God’s faithfulness helps get me through to the next phase. The scripture that says ‘weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning’ is one that I turn to during those lonely times. I hope that encourages you too. Wishing you blessings!
Jami!!! I love you!!!
I, too, have twins. Although they are now 17. (I remember thinking about mom’s who had practically grown teens when mine were young. It didn’t seem (to me) like they really knew what was going on.)
Twins bring joy-filled and energy-depleting days … all at the same time. It is a crazy time. And … It always will be. But it will be so much fun when they start to do more for themselves and their personalities emerge. Each phase is full of delight.
But I understand isolation as well. I’m not from a military family, but my dad moved a lot. Usually every 18 months or so. We moved “across town”‘ in the middle of my freshman year–after football season. Oh,Mir was tough. And it seems that throughout my life, I have experienced a lot of change in female relationships.
But … God is the same…yesterday, today, and forever. So I know your heart. Praying tonight that you sense God’s presence and that you experience precious joy with each of your kids.
Sending some hugs!!
Thanks, Dianne! What wise words. My four are a huge challenge and an infinite blessing every day. I truly am grateful for the gift of them. You are right that God is always there and never changes. What comfort! It makes me so glad to read this and I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. Thank you!