I long desperately for the moments of empowerment and the feelings of “I got this,” to creep back in and stay.
They come and go at different points in each day, but the last couple of weeks they have been so very fleeting. I’ll feel them for mere seconds before the next minor or major crisis breaks through the calm.
But this… this is me trying.
I alternate between ignoring my Weight Watchers online page and zealously counting every point. I have dreams of meeting my husband as a smaller wife, but my lack of consistency makes the numbers bounce up and down like a slinky. At least I’m getting a good weekly dose of endorphins through Zumba.
The ways that my parenting has been inconsistent have become glaringly obvious–I see how disrespectful and hurtful the girls can be to one another and to me. I see attitudes rage that seem unexplainable except that I observe myself not addressing them when they come up.
So… I recommit to 1, 2, 3 Magic and pray for some of the magic to come back. I cling to the go-to script that it gives me so that I can stop the head-butting and overly emotionally talking at them. I need the script so that I don’t yell at them, or worse… whine at them in desperation.
Desperate and malnourished of encouragement I drag myself to the Word each morning for a crumb to sustain me. I crawl like a parched woman in the desert to the oasis of our new church to put myself under the teaching of someone who points people to The Source of all encouragement (and I gotta tell you… I’m pretty sure you’d have to be dead to not be lifted and loved and learned up by the preaching that happens at this church).
The days are hard and long. I wish it wasn’t this way. I wish I was one of those women for whom it seems that life continues on placid and unrippled when their husbands have to be away, but I seem to be landing smack in the middle of those who are grasping desperately to hold aloft even one plate of the seven spinning around me.
Believe me, each day I think, “Today is the day that I’m going to write the perky happy blog so that people who read here (including my husband) know that it’s not all gloom and doom and feeling sorry for myself (gosh, I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself. Really I’m just needing to acknowledge the hard… Apparently several times a day). I don’t want to be that whiny girl… the person in your blog favorites that you quit reading every day because it’s just so darned ugly over at her place lately.
This is me trying.
Even on the days that I’m met at the Sunday School door with, “Val, she is just so sad. I know you have a lot going on right now, but she was just so sad today,” and I’m left at a loss for what I’m even supposed to say in response.
Even on the days that the 1, 2, 3 magic leaves both girls in time out more than they are out of time out.
Even on the days that the knots in my shoulders and neck make me feel like I’m walking like a hunch back.
This is me trying. One foot in front of the other, grabbing at anything and everything that has ever worked before… Desperate for help that seems like it must be on par with the miraculous from God.
And maybe the hope is in the desperation… Maybe this constant feeling of desperation and this intense knowledge of my utter fallen apartness that I exist in instead of the ‘togetherness’ I’d at least like to appear to have… Maybe it’s that desperation that will ultimately save me here. I can’t rest in my pride at how well-adjusted my kids are at home or in public because they just… aren’t right now. I can’t rest into the satisfaction of a clean house because it never gets that way. I can’t rest into the feeling of accomplishment of keeping ten pounds off, because so far they haven’t stayed off.
But maybe if I stay desperate enough, and keep on trying, and leaning, and showing up, and letting it all unfold… I’ll find rest in God…
And maybe that will be better than any kind of ‘together’ I could muster up on my own.
So if you see me at parent pick-up or in the hallway waiting to pick up my unhappy child from Sunday school, or in my sweatpants because I’d really hoped to squeeze in a work-out this morning, or with my kids with their hair all askew because I still haven’t figured out what the heck to do with girls with long hair and we’re too tired and rushed for time every morning for me to get them to look as cute as they really are…
Just know that I sure as heck KNOW that I don’t have it all together and I can’t even begin to pretend that I do, but that somehow or another in this place of fallen apartness, I keep on trying…
And in my leaning and desperation and trying to fall forward, I’m finding hope and hopefully eventually some rest and restoration in The One who holds me and all of His creation in a kind of ‘together’ that is cosmic and true in the “all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well,” kinds of ways.
This is me trying.