Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Snapshots and Misteaks

If we're totally honest, the last few (ok five+) months have been rough-going around here. Between pregnancy/nausea/headaches, work stuff, Caden's night terrors, ministry discouragement, and just general sad-stuff-everywhere-around-us kind of discouragement, I just feel done

I have been scarce around here because I don't want to be the person who complains all the time. No one likes that person: you avoid their phone calls, and you certainly don't want to read their whiny-blog posts. 
I literally just spend the last hour scrolling through every single instagram picture I have ever taken. Don't ask me why, because I had a million and twelve other things I needed to be doing, but I couldn't stop once I saw Jayci's tiny face and side-swept bangs staring into Zack's early-teenager eyes. I was done in, and it simply couldn't be helped. An hour later I am left slightly melancholy and more than a little nostalgic. I cannot grasp the number of days and years that have slipped by as toddlers tumble into childhood and awkward middle schoolers leap into late teenage angst. And my heart grapples somewhere between gratitude we are still here, still practicing the ministry of presence, and disappointment in where so many things have ended up so quickly. I watch my own children grow, and they are sand slipping through my fingers. 
Trust more, worry less. I know the remedy, know I desperately need space if I have any hope at patience and gentleness with my children. Time alone, and even more than that: time with Jesus. But the problem is that the daily grind keeps grinding and life swells full and I'm not sure how to do it all while I bend low over the toilet and beg the doctor for something to help with the gripping headaches which are apparently this pregnancy's newest side-effect.
I can write about it all abstractly, and concretely even, with stories and metaphors that spin circles around the heart. But I am weary and discouraged, and when we lose supporters or people tell us no, Adam and I both have a tendency to beat ourselves up and doubt everything we are doing. In fact, when we went to counseling a while ago, our counselor told us we fought so strangely because both of us turn against ourselves instead of each other. This practice remains our habit, beating ourselves up, turning inward and holding our breath taut until things get too dark and heavy to bear alone.

Life continues, and seasons shift. Spring showers fall unabated, day after day of rain and gray mist only adds to it all. My feet sink deep into the mud, and I wonder if the ground will ever dry up. Life mostly just feels relentless. Everything and everybody need so many things from me. Jayci and Caden are constantly needing to be fed, refereed in their fighting, paid attention, disciplined. It turns out small children are quite needy. The laundry needs folding, the dishwasher needs emptying, the dog needs to go outside, the knock on the door needs answering. Work needs to be done and pictures need to be edited. The boys need rides to football, and Jayci needs to be dragged out of bed for school. The neighbor needs a few dollars, and the kid down the street needs a place to stay.

For just a few days, I would like to not be needed. To sleep the entire time through, perhaps. Or read a good book without absently responding to demands and requests and tucking children back into bed. To pray without falling immediately asleep.
Again with all the whining. Please feel free to click away today, find somewhere more sun-shiny. Like outside, finally, but only for a single day before the forecasters again call for rain. The grass grows knee-high and we cross our fingers that the park will get mowed in time for tonight's football game. I try to remind myself again that it's ok to make mistakes. Try to find peace and rest even in the midst of chaos. Try to figure out a way to wrap this all up in a bow with a neat little lesson and perhaps even a tweetable saying to go along with it. But the truth is I'm tired, and I am still stuck in the mud. My only hope is that the sun is shining, and God promises new mercies every morning.

13 comments:

  1. I'm glad you wrote this. I'm feeling the same today and it's comforting to know I'm not the only one. We won't stay in this place!

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  2. I don't mind reading about the harder parts of life - it makes the precious parts all the sweeter in the end. But as another heart mama, I just wanted to comment on the night-terror comment. David had very bad night terrors. At the same time, he was having more and more "yucky poos" and pain right before. We cut out gluten and immediately not one. more. nightmare. ever. Took us a while to connect them (nightmares stopped when yucky poos stopped when gluten was stopped) but it made sense when we did. I think due to all the drugs he was on post-surgery that is what triggered his issues. Regardless, we are all the much happier and three years on he still sleeps 11 hrs every night.
    I'm normally not a "must try this" advocate (to each his own) but being Caden is David's age when we worked it out, it may just be connected.
    Keep writing!

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    1. Annet - at this point we are willing to try anything -- thanks for the tip! :-)

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  3. Oh girl, its your blog and we are here for you... whine/cry/vent as much as you want/need... we love the hard parts of your life too - thank you for sharing and being vulnerable..

    A friend used to tell me "this came to pass" when things got hard.... "it came... to pass" - all things pass, good and bad... hang in there. big hugs to you!

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement. And remembering that things will pass is such a good reminder. When Jayci was a baby a friend told me to remember that every-single-thing is a phase, and to enjoy/endure with that in mind, still one of my favorite pieces of advice! :-)

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  4. I love you on every gray day.
    (It is snowing here. Literally and otherwise.)

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  5. I don't mind reading the hard stuff either. I, too, am in a season of just trying to keep my head above water. I think James was telling the truth when he said these trials will produce steadfastness, maturity, even joy. xoxo

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    1. Thanks for the reminder about James :-) love that verse (even though it's hard to live sometimes)

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  6. The long hard days that seem to drag on endlessly will be a distant memory. You are worshipping and serving with every dish washed and every squabble settled. Press on Mama, you are doing a good work!!

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  7. ministry and support raising and raising babies turning into big kids is stinkin' hard. So hard some days. I was kindof begging God for a different path the other day, and He gently said, "This is the most painless path I could choose to bring the transformation I am wanting to bring." So I keep trying to say "yes" daily. Wish we could share some Mexican food and swap stories!

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