WARNING: Deep thoughts by Kay- prepare yourselves.
There are days when we pretend that we have it all together, and then there are days like today. And let's just be honest- none of us really have it all together, so let's just stop pretending. I'm serious- aren't we doing each other a disservice by pretending? We all want so desperately to know that we're not the only ones who feel a certain way. So, I'm not going to pretend. I don't have it all together, and I don't care. And I hope that my honesty helps someone else who may be feeling this same way.
It all started with one of those "long on the eyes" days at work. I had several meetings (which were all fine), but looming underneath my to-do list was the one thing that I desperately want to procrastinate on, but can't because I'm up against deadlines that have come and gone. I'm working on two spreadsheets that total 90,000 records, of which I'm preparing and manipulating to be imported into our database. It would have been one spreadsheet, but all you excel nerds know you can't put 90,000 of anything in one spreadsheet. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about up to this point, don't worry- I don't either. It's just my job.
Needless to say, by the time I was "off the clock," my mind was spent. Now, let me start this next section off with a little background information. My husband works really stinking hard everyday- out in the sun- in this ridiculous heat. And this season is especially busy for him, so he's not able to help out as much at night with bath time, bed time, etc. He more than makes up for it on the weekends- and not getting to spend as much time with JM is really hard on him. So, don't mistake this as me playing the "I wish my husband would do more" card. He's awesome.
So, in this section John Michael enters the scene, stage left. He has been battling ear infections since March, and we have a consultation for ear tubes next Thursday. However, I don't think we're going to make it until next Thursday. We all might die before then. Just kidding, we won't die... I hope. Now, on top of the ear infections, we have hit some major milestones lately. He is crawling like a madman, pulling up on anything and everything, and I kid you not, this child is trying to walk. However, as exciting as that may sound, it is presenting some challenges for me in the bath and bedtime routines. He won't sit in the bathtub anymore... he insists on pulling up on the side to stand up. I tell him no, and make him sit back down on his behind, and then we start all over again. I finally get frustrated, and just take him out of the bathtub, dry him off, and then dread what I know is coming next. The changing table.
The changing table used to be JM's favorite place, but now it is a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. He refuses to stay on his back, which makes it super easy to change a diaper or dress him. I started strapping him in, and believe you me, the whole neighborhood now knows how much he loves to be strapped to the changing table. So, I rush through trying to change him, put his pj's on, and then I usually end up crying in the chair while I feed him his nighttime bottle. Like I said, I know I don't have it all together, and I don't care. I tell you without reservation that by this point of the night, I am at my wit's end.
I say all of this to tell you about the breakthrough that I had tonight. After going through the extremely frustrating cycle of bedtime, I found myself laying in my own bed, crying out of desperation. I call out to God on a regular basis throughout the bedtime routine to help me, but I somehow still feel so helpless at the end of it all. Enter the Duggars, stage right. I don't care if you do or don't- I like the Duggars. If you don't know who I'm talking about, then just take a quick trip over to google and find out. Well, these people have 19 kids, and little ol' Michelle Duggar is the cutest, sweetest thing- and you just watch her and think "she's got 19 kids, but she still has hair, and doesn't break down into tears at every turn- how on earth?" Well, I happened across something she wrote which really helped put things into perspective for me. She was talking about how she was up at 1am doing laundry one night, and she just broke down into tears because she was so overwhelmed with it all. And she was crying out to the Lord to help her- that she felt so inadequate and unable to do it all. And she said that a still small voice said, "Michelle, it's easy to praise me when things are going good, but are you willing to praise me now?" And she started singing "The joy of the Lord is my strength," and experienced a release of that heaviness she felt. And days later, while sitting through the kids' piano lessons, the piano teacher asked her if she was okay (because she kept dozing off). Michelle explained that she had been up late doing laundry, and the piano teacher told her that she LOVED doing laundry, and has been helping her do the laundry ever since!
So, fast forward back to my night tonight- I'm crying, asking the Lord to help me, and I was reminded of that story. So, I started singing praises to the Lord- and I was thinking of songs I haven't heard in years and years. And it was like this incredible release happened. Now, I don't think that I won't have these same challenges tomorrow, but I AM willing to praise Him during those times. And for some reason that I cannot explain, I have comfort in that. There's comfort in knowing that even the people I think have it all together- don't. There's comfort that I'm not supposed to have it all together- or else I wouldn't need Him. And there's comfort in the fact that this dream we all have of skipping through a daisy field life without any challenges is just that... a dream. And I'm finally thankful that I realize that dream would present no growth in my life.
So, here I am. Living a real life. Breaking down like a crazy woman over things that can't be helped. But coming out of it on the other side with a tiny bit more growth each time. And if that's where you are today too, rest in the fact that you're not alone. I'm right there too- but most of all, the Lord's there.
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