Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Life's tough

Life is tough. I never thought it would be easy, but sometimes I wonder just how much God thinks I can handle.

Being married is tough. I try to make him happy, but it seems that instead of seeing things from my perspective, he just sees me as a selfish, negative, complaining woman. In short, I am always doing things wrong. There's a difference between loving someone and being IN love with someone. I wonder which one he feels for me.

Teenagers are tough. There is no instruction manual, and no matter how I deal with her, it seems I am wrong. It's even harder when the child you love seems to be doing her best at trying to drive a wedge between the two people who are supposed to love and protect her.

Being a parent is tough. It's difficult to spread the love and attention around evenly. Even if I do my best to make sure each child has what they need, inevitably, someone gets their feelings hurt, and, fairly or not, the blame falls squarely on my shoulders.

The weight of the world is tough. That's what my life feels like today....like I have all the weight and responsibility of everyone in my family on me, and that no matter how much I do, or how hard I try, it will never be enough. No one will ever be happy, and it is all my fault.

What can I do when everything I do is wrong? It's easiest to retreat inside myself, but that's wrong...it's selfish and not something a good mother should do. I can talk to my family, but regardless of my comments, I am perceived as a complainer, or negative, or just plain wrong. I can yell and scream, and then be labeled a bitch...wrong again.

I pray for light in the darkness. I pray for peace in what has turned into a stressful environment. I pray for grace to see God's will in my life despite all the crap that keeps getting flung at me when I come home each day.

I pray that I will be strong enough to deal with whatever outcome is in store for me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cooking from scratch

I recently discovered two HUGE zucchini on the plant in my garden. My husband didn't pick any while I was out of town for a week, so these two just grew like mad! They must weigh at least 5-7 pounds a piece.

I grated one and froze the zucchini for future loaves of zucchini bread, vegetable soup and to give to friends for their recipes. I know I will appreciate my efforts especially once winter has set in for good.

I cut the other in half, and then cut those halves lengthwise. I combined the scoooped-out zucchini with sausage, tomato sauce, garlic, cheese, and a brown rice/barley mixture from Trader Joe's. They look amazingly good. Can't wait to try them when they come out of the oven.

I don't know what it is about cooking hearty meals from scratch (especially with ingredients I grew in my own garden), but it's like I am nourishing my family from the inside out. I make my own jam with berries I grow and pick. I made my own fruit leather this year, and will can peaches in a few weeks. After that, it is my legendary homemade applesauce. Sometimes I wonder if I should go into business and start selling my wares!! There is just no substitute for quality food. Store-bought is great....convienent and easy, but the homemade stuff just tastes better.

Gotta go....dinner is ready~ Yum.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Changing Friendships

What happens when friends change, grow apart, and have commitments that continue getting in the way of that friendship? Do you set aside special friend time? Move on? Accept that your position within the friendship dynamic has changed? Are there other options?

I am not the kind of person who has long-lasting friendships. The friends I let in my life are few and far between. They are dedicated, "get" me, and we are there for each other whenever.

It is painful to realize that your position in the life of one of your best friends has been relegated to the very bottom. It wasn't an intentional bump...it just happened because life got in the way. There were elderly parents who suddenly needed the care and constant attention of their only daughter. There was the move that, even though it was only a mile, put an almost insurmountable distance between us. Add a grown daughter returning to the nest, a son who joined the military, got married and had the friend's first grandchild, and suddenly, even the dog has a higher ranking than I do.

I used to drop in, completely unannounced and hang out for hours. Now, I don't feel comfortable doing that unless I call first. I used to feel like part of the family. Now, I feel like a guest. It's uncomfortable for sure. In short, I used to matter. Now, I am merely an acquaintance. Ugh.

That in and of itself would be fine if it weren't for the fact that I used to be her best friend. I was the only one she knew when she first moved to town. We shared meals, went to church together, spent summer days hiking, and even camped together with our families. She brought out the very best in me. Just when I was starting to trust being that close with someone, I find myself suddenly on the outside looking in. It hurts.

So, I face the dilemma of a changing friendship. Do I continue to try to worm my way into her life, even though it feels as though she doesn't need me anymore? Do I cherish what we had and accept the fact that I no longer matter? Do I ignore her completely so I don't have to feel the rejection? The bigger question is: How do I feel better again?

Maybe changing friendships are inevitable. Maybe not. What is inevitable is that change is never easy.