Tug of War

My body is sore from the tug of war of life.  Work grabs this hand and pulls one way.  My family has my heart and pulls a different direction.  The dust bunnies wrap themselves around my leg and keep me stuck where I stand.  The volunteer opportunities/obligations on my plate pull me forward. The words in my head that need to be given life pull my fingers toward the keyboard. Hurting friends, though not a one is asking out loud or making demands, have my mind going with each of them.  My need to be still and reflect on God and spend time at His feet doesn’t pull or tug, but it calls from deep within.

Some days I feel ripped apart.  Like no one gets the whole of who I am.  Only small parts of less than an effective me.  I don’t like functioning this way.

What’s a girl to do?  I take a deep breath, lower my head and push on.  Like a traveler walking against the wind and rain, I tuck in and move.  I keep telling myself that it won’t be like this forever.  Soon the things that tug on me will be small in number, and I will miss the pull.  My body will ache missing all the tugging and pulling.

So I try to rejoice in it. I try to be grateful that I am well enough, that I am wanted enough, that I am capable, and lucky enough to have all of these opportunities.  And I try to offer myself grace.  I remind myself that I am one person.  One imperfect, broken, limited person. One creature trying her best to give all she has to make today better.  Better for work, better for my family, better for my house, better for those I’m serving, better as a writer, better as a friend, and better for my loving God.

I wrap myself in a blanket of His peace, and I cover myself in essential oils. I put coffee in my cup and a smile on my face, and I take one step in any direction.  Because whatever direction I step, there is work to be done!

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How Can I Be Grumpy?

As I go to bed on Friday, tired from the week, I think of how awesome it is that tomorrow is Saturday, and I can sleep in. No getting up early for me!  The sweet slumber of a Saturday.

And then, before the sun has fully awakened herself, I hear the ringing of  jingle bells. We have bells hanging from our door so that the dog can tell us when she needs out. Again.  Ring, ring. Again. “Hold on, I’m coming!”  See, the dog doesn’t care that it’s Saturday. All she knows is that she has to pee- now!! UGH, I want my sweet Saturday slumber! I think I might be grumpy.

My initial thoughts are to open my eyes just enough to take her out so that I don’t really wake up and can come in and go back to sleep. I just want to go back to sleep. Sweet Saturday slumber.

But then, as I walk to the bathroom to get my robe, I pass a cat that starts purring loudly just because I came into the room. Purring, giant excited purrs just because I’m here and got close to her. Purring in anticipation that I just might pet her.

How can I be grumpy?

Leashed up and ready to do her business, the dog and I step outside, and as we do her tail is going a hundred miles a minute, because, well, living. Because she knows there are a thousand new smells to check out in the grass, and maybe, if she’s lucky, some sort of treat left by nature (aka “chocolate” rabbit droppings 😩).  So excited at the possibilities of this new day. My eyes open, because while sleep is great, maybe I don’t want to miss this excitement either.

How can I be grumpy?

As I walk around the house, I’m greeted by the most gentle of breezes. Softly, it wraps its arms around me in a hug of the most perfect temperature. I breathe deep and my lungs fill with the sweetness of the morning. I open my eyes wider, sleep can wait.

The sun, having risen to just the right place that it doesn’t yell, but quietly whispers “good morning,” touches my face. Kissed by Heaven itself, my cheeks feel the warmth of the embrace. Eyes closed, not because they are sleepy now, but because they want to absorb every beam of love, I lift my head to savor all the kisses.

How can I be grumpy?

Moved by the beauty of another day and the potential that it holds, I decide not to miss the stillness of the morning by crawling back in bed. There are bird songs to listen to- concerts of gratitude for another chance and another day. I have a front row seat in the chair of the guest of honor, if only I’ll sit long enough to enjoy it. After all, it is Saturday.

How can I be grumpy?

You Are Amazing!!

To all you moms out there that get up each day to get yourselves ready for work and your households ready for the day- YOU ARE AMAZING!! For real, I’ve always had a deep respect for working out of the home moms, but over the last two weeks that respect has been amplified.

Until earlier this year I’ve spent most of my post-children work doing direct sales that allowed me to work my own schedule. Never more than part-time, I had so much flexibility to work when I chose. And it was awesome.

Several months back I took a part time “real” job- one with set hours. And while that was an adjustment, it was doable. Recently they’ve been having me work full-time.  Based simply on the measly few days I’ve done it, I’m here to admit- I am a weenie!!!  I have no idea how you amazing ladies do it.

I am fairly certain that if I had to maintain that pace for very long, I’d fall out- face first, smack dab in the middle of my desk in a giant puddle of drool. I can’t even imagine what you’ve endured or where you’ve gotten the stamina for all of these years.  I applaud you!!

I know we are all created with different gifts and for different purposes, and I am feeling so grateful that mine hasn’t been the exhausting dance of full-time work while also juggling parenting and volunteering and housework. (Well, who am I kidding, we all know from my previous posts that not much of that has been on my list.)

So today I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that you are amazing, I admire you, and keep up the great work. And tonight, order dinner from out, because holy cow, it’s been a LONG week!!

Do You Hear That?

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of empty. It’s the sound of quiet. It’s the sound left behind by two kids, one teen and one tween,  when they begin the new adventure of another year. High School and Middle School gain two new students today, and our house loses their constant summer-time presence.

Do you hear that?  The sound of peace.  The sound of no fighting.  The calm of no television blaring, no video games sirening.  It’s the sound of space where I can fill it with the things I choose.

And I rejoice!  I rejoice that they both were excited to go. I rejoice that they are able and well. I rejoice that we live in a place where education isn’t just a possibility, it’s a given.  I rejoice that my years of stay-at-home momming have helped get them to this new milestone. I rejoice!

And I mourn! I mourn that another year has started and will, too soon, have slipped away. I mourn that this is the beginning of the end. That, like I’ve heard many times, the closer you get to the end of the roll of toilet paper, the faster it goes. It’s true in life too. So I mourn. Four short years with one, seven with another. More than half-way there. I mourn that my hourglass of time with them here at home is half over. I mourn the quiet. I mourn the ache that I feel as the distance of days spent at school and evenings spent at activities create. I mourn!

Do you hear that?  It’s the sound of a mama’s heart breaking. Breaking open with pride and joy for the accomplishments and potential of her children. Bursting apart with anticipation at all they will do and learn and be. It’s also the sound of that same mama’s heart splintering into a thousand little pieces with the weight of her short time left with them. Cracking at the sound of the quiet they leave behind.

Do you hear it too?