OK, I read it this morning too. The sweet but inspiring post written for us moms with babies entering Kindergartner in the fall. And I’m feeling the twinge. Probably more than I’d like to admit. But overall, I’m anticipating the fall with some….well, the word “glee” comes to mind but it’s not quite strong enough. Those moms who started the summer announcing to Facebook how excited they were to be at home with their kids for the next three months? I wasn’t one of them. I love my children, but they are aggressively engaging, infinitely energetic 3,4 and 5 year olds and I am an introvert.
Sure enough, we’re starting the countdown to preschool and kindergarten and I feel like the fairgrounds the day after everyone has packed up and gone home. In fact, this almost literally describes the scene you might witness if you drove by my house right now: Dust covering everything, litter blowing in the wind, garbage repositories overflowing, manure…I won’t get too graphic, but you’re getting the picture, right? It ain’t looking too pretty around these parts. And the worst part is, I almost don’t care.
As I described yesterday, it’s been almost impossible for me to enjoy many parts of motherhood this week, including the sweet little snuggles my daughters seek from me when they get hurt. I’m just so burned out. Usually, I’m one of those moms who carefully maps out her children’s plates with each of the food groups. But the last few days, here’s the basic meal “plan.”
Breakfast: Toast or cereal
Lunch: Nachos. Not even the kind where you sneak some vegetables on top or toss on some salsa and call it a vegetable. Solely tortilla chips with a can of black beans and some cheese sprinkled over the top, heated up in the microwave.
Dinner: Eggs. Just eggs.
Deep from my somewhere inside, I’ve had a rumbling– remarkably like a stomach growling when it’s empty–growing louder and louder announcing that my body needs something. I know what it is, but I’ve pretty much been ignoring it for…..oh, probably 6 years: A good old-fashioned break. Instead, I have been listening to that voice in my head that tells me that the good moms, especially the ones who have God in their corner, just kind of fly through motherhood facing any strong winds they encounter with the grace of a movie star on the deck of a fake ship– head on, eyes forward, hair gently blowing in a way that perfectly complements dainty features, chin up, Buttercup! Instead, every moment of motherhood lately makes me feel a lot more like this:
Each time a I hear the whining warning in the distance, anticipating the arrival of someone to tattle about her sister’s latest minor offense,
Each time someone announces she’s bored with a face full of expectation that I’m going to remedy that for her,
Each time someone stumbles towards me proudly toting her overflowing bucket of “grass soup” which is splashing all over the clean laundry I’ve finally managed to complete…
I’m whimpering inside.
I can hear the Count whispering in my ear, “I’ve just sucked one year of your life away.” Every single one of those moments feels as powerfully life-draining as his creepy invention.
I just keep praying and praying for God to give me rest. I’m imagining that I’ll experience this supernatural surge of energy sweeping through my body and mind and spirit, refreshing me like God himself has breathed new life into me. But, to be perfectly honest, I’m just not feelin’ it. And I keep wondering why. What am I doing wrong?
Reading through Acts this morning, I got to the story of Saul’s conversion to Paul. You remember probably, Saul literally had a supernatural encounter with the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus. He was blinded for three days and then Jesus, through a vision, sent a man named Ananias to the house where Saul was staying so that Ananias could lay hands on him. He did and immediately there fell from Saul’s eyes something like scales. He could see again! He got up and was baptized. But here was my favorite verse from the passage I read this morning:
And he took food and was strengthened. (Acts 9:19)
Huh. There had just been a series of miracles performed that would shape the church for millennium to come and what is the first thing Saul does to strengthen him for the work ahead? He eats food. As simple as that. He took something as bodily and earthly as possible and he used it for the very practical purpose for which it was intended. It wasn’t a meal that was supernaturally granted, the result of a miracle or the culmination of 40 days of fasting and prayer and worship. Saul probably just grabbed some bread and put it in his mouth.
So this morning, I’m thinking of all the natural, bodily, earthly blessings of God and realizing how often I’ve taken them for granted. Too frequently I’ve neglected to receive them as the gift I needed in the moment while I was waiting for something else much more miraculous to come along. So friends if you are hungry, eat and if you are tired, rest and if you need some affection, find someone who will give you a hug and if you need to hear from a friend, call one and if you are looking for something meaningful to do with your life, bring a meal to the lonely lady on your street or call up your local foster care agency and ask how you can help. Stop waiting for the supernatural and accept what God’s already put right in front of you in amazing abundance. (Preaching to myself big time on this one!)