Can I just tell you how NOT together I have felt lately? These last couple of weeks have been an excellent reminder of how much I am NOT in control here. If it’s not a suddenly unfillable prescription, it’s a runaway dog. If it’s not one son needing extra help at school it’s another one struggling with friendships. Throw in a husband who got picked for jury duty and was off random days in the middle of the busiest time at UPS, and I tell ya it’s a party! I started writing this post in my head over a week ago, and I’m glad I didn’t sit down and write it just then. It would have come from an unsettled heart that was struggling to deal with being overwhelmed. To be honest, it still is, but with a little more perspective on why that’s actually ok.
It all started on a Tuesday. I was headed out the door to do errands and noticed our dog wasn’t outside like he usually is. I called him for a few minutes, but sometimes when he’s asleep he doesn’t hear me, and since I was running late to meet my mom and still had to stop at the pharmacy, I gave up and went on my merry way. One of the boys was almost out of an important prescription, so I stopped at the only pharmacy in town that I could find that carried it, confidently walked in and handed over the paper to the somewhat polite clerk. For this particular medication, each refill requires a new prescription, so you can’t just call it in whenever you feel like it. She took one look at the paper and said “I hate to tell you this but…” and proceeded to explain to me that a law that had passed years ago, but hadn’t been enforced was suddenly being cracked down on. Instead of a box to check, there is supposed to be something to circle, and my doctor didn’t have the right prescription pad. Um, what? Our doctor is 45 minutes away, and doesn’t do that whole e-script thingy, which meant this was about to get a whole lot more involved than I was prepared for. Fantastic. Long story short, upon calling the doctor, they had never heard about this law and had to re order all new pads to be compliant.
Trying not to go into panic mode, I shopped with my mom, completed my errands, picked up the twins and headed home. Still no dog. I called him some more, but was genuinely worried now. We have a wireless electric fence for him, but he has been finding the dead spots, so I had a sinking feeling he had gone farther than usual and was either lost, contained by someone somewhere, or the third, more permanent, option which I really didn’t want to think about. A call to animal control gave me the relief of knowing I wouldn’t be breaking my husband’s heart, but I was not super thrilled to be going by myself to bail our dog out of doggy jail. $54 later he was free, and I was faced with the task of getting our untrained 80lb dog into his crate in the back of our car. Just me wrestling the crate into the car was a scene worthy of the Three Stooges, but this proved to be more of a dramedy. We have three acres, so we don’t have to take him for walks, and haven’t needed to really take him anywhere other than the vet, so he isn’t used to the leash or car. We made quite the spectacle I’m sure as he drug me around the parking lot by the choker leash they loaned me, and I tried unsuccessfully to talk him into hopping in. After about ten minutes of feeling like the biggest idiot, I was ready to cry. Two of the ladies in the office took pity on me and came out to help, thankfully, otherwise I’m pretty sure I’d still be there trying to get the big chicken to jump up.
To continue the “lets mix things up” trend, the next day my husband had to report for jury duty and, to his delight, ended up getting picked. Having him home by 5:30 on a weeknight when he isn’t on vacation was something I was unprepared for. IT WAS AWESOME! For the first time I really understood how these families with kids actually do stuff during the week! On a typical weeknight, he walks through the door between 8 and 8:30, which means he misses dinner, bath time, and sometimes makes it just in time to kiss kids goodnight, but more often than not they are sound asleep when he rolls in. It gave me a glimpse at what life could be if he didn’t work for UPS…which wasn’t exactly a good thing. Sigh. Ah, thankful for a good job, not so thankful for the hours. Ok Lord, I’m working on it.
A whirlwind of a weekend that included visiting family, and a long rehearsal for the Christmas production at church brought us into a busy week of 3 parent/teacher conferences, more evening rehearsals and more jury duty. Somewhere in there was the 13th anniversary of our first date, which we almost forgot about, haha. The life we have built together over the last 13 years keeps us a little busy!
Teacher conferences were wonderful, and rough, and encouraging, and heart breaking. It’s a hard thing when one of your kids needs help, even more so when it’s three of them to varying degrees. I was lamenting to a friend about everything, and she pointed out “you have yet to have a teacher who wasn’t 100% in your corner and all in for your kids. That’s pretty incredible.” Truth. I am extremely thankful for their teachers who see them for who they are, genuinely care about them and want to help them be the best version of themselves they can be.
Following the hardest conference, I had to take all four kids to one of the evening rehearsals for the show. Trying to have it all together I determined to make dinner in advance (even though the church was providing dinner…apparently I’m a sadist), which after I finished, none of my children wanted to eat it. Bless their hearts. I held it together until Franz got home and then let out all the pent up feels I had been carrying since I left the school. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I cry a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Every emotion seems to be hard wired to my tear ducts, and I can cry about pretty much anything. I’ve learned to accept it.
The next day brought another round of jury duty, and Christmas rehearsal, this time with my baby daddy along for the ride, which made it so much easier. Plus I had learned my lesson about dinner, and the boys were excited to eat the “church food.” You would have thought they’ve never seen Cheetos and cookies before.
Did you see it? Have you noticed the pattern yet? All those moments that almost broke me but didn’t, followed by all those moment of grace, and reprieve, help and encouragement? That’s who my God is.
News Flash: I am not in control. But I have a loving Savior who is. He knows what I need, and He knows when I need it. Sometimes, what I need is the reminder that He is there and in charge, and that I am like that 80lb dog who won’t go where I’m supposed to because I’m scared or just plain don’t want to. All of the moments when I thought I had reached my limit, but didn’t, and instead grew a little more in patience and perseverance, were not a coincidence. He has a purpose for this life of mine, and he will behave like a loving parent and do what He needs to do to help me get there.
I recently saw a post on an Instagram feed, and the simplicity but profoundness of it made me catch my breath.
As a mom I tend to try to carry all the worries about my people on my own. Take on every problem and feel like I’m supposed to solve it, and like I’m the worst human ever if I fail. But…I am not supposed to run around fixing all the things, and making all the people better, and finding all the right things to do. I am not the savior. I don’t have to write the “perfect” blog post that makes all the people happy. I am not the savior. In the midst of being overwhelmed, I don’t need to be the one who saves the day. I am not the savior. What a freeing thought!! I am not the savior…but I know who is.