Friday, November 6, 2015

For the Days When You Feel Overwhelmed.....

So  what do you do when your week starts with the temperature sliding its red line right up to the top of the thermometer and you know the day is going to be spent in your tiny green frog of a car packed full of the whole family headed to town to buy food for a month?
What about if you've just settled in for a good night's sleep after a long, hot day and baby wakes crying with a stuffed up nose and a raspy throat from that little A/C window unit that's supposed to make the room cool enough for four kiddos to actually get some sleep?
And what if baby won't settle so you climb in her bunk "just until she falls asleep" and end up being the one to fall asleep, only to be awakened three seconds too late to cries of "Mama, wee-wee!"
Which means a bath for two, and stripping the bedclothes, and trundling littlest into your own bed, because hers is soaked right through, all while trying not to wake anybody else, because, really, who wants more crying kids when you're so tired you could cry yourself?
What's a mama to do when going to town on Monday means starting school for the week on Tuesday, and everybody including mama is feeling just a little bit off?
The little two don't want to sit in their chairs and so mama lets them play on the floor thinking a rousing game of Hi-Ho Cherrio! will keep them busy long enough for mama to get the big girls started on their work, until mama realizes that she forgot to write her lesson plans or print her copies for the week.
In the two minutes mama steps out of the room to see if there is any ink left to print the necessary math pages, cherries are flung across the room and a fight ensues over who gets to tear apart the spinner.
What is a mama supposed to do when the week starts badly and quickly slides to worse?
When quiet time is spent hollering for someone to please put baby on the potty because your up to your eyeballs in towels that smell like a stale public restroom, and your trying to read through Ezekiel, but it's just a mixed-up jumble of wheels and hair cuts and bones clunking around in a brain that's too tired to make sense of any of it, and if you dare close your eyes to pray, you know you'll fall asleep and drool all over the pages of your Bible?
How are you supposed to cope when daddy's got his own list of concerns, and the lights are off now more than on, and the budget doesn't match what's in the bank, and holidays are coming and it takes time to get things made here, and finding odd American food for Thanksgiving is both time-consuming and expensive and you seem to be running out of both time and money, and did I mention the washing machine clunking and the cockroaches that have all decided to move into my kitchen as we move towards dry season?
What's a mama to do?

I know the answer.
I know it not because I'm super spiritual or really intelligent,
but because I've been down this road before.
In fact, I've been down it lots and lots of times.
But sometimes?
It's easy to know what to do, but hard to do it.
In the midst of the chaos I call the kiddos to the front room, and we grab up the scarecrows and pumpkins that have been smiling from our shelves and put them to sleep in the holiday trunk. We dig out our turkeys and Pilgrims and Indians for their yearly showing.
We open our special book drawer that has a strict no sneaking policy and carefully remove our treasured holiday books. We gently fan them on the table to be read again and again during November.
We pull out our family's Thanks Box and set it in its place of honor next to our morning prayer basket. Every morning we will record one thing we have to be thankful for. It won't take long for the list to grow.
I make up my mind to grab my journal every single morning and scribble down all the things God is using in my life, thanking Him for the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's a habit that's become a part of my daily rhythm, yet there are times I rush, I forget, or my mind is so overwhelmed by the trivial that I fail to take a long look at the goodness surrounding me.

It's late now and the house is quiet.
The clock has just ticked past midnight, the fan is lazily creaking, a mosquito is singing in my ear, and the washing machine is chugging through another load.
There are bits of the day scattered about: a pair of scissors and bits of feather from my 4-year old who decided she needed to make a quill pen, hubby's brown leather shoes worn with lots of walking on dusty roads, a stack of funny papers that came as packing in our first Christmas box {all contents except comics being safely tucked away for next month}. A stack of clean clothes baskets full of items to be folded teeter behind the bookshelf, and the guitar and church bag lean against the wall, not yet finding their individual homes after an evening at church.
My life is full, and it's busy, and there are messes and sleepless nights,
and it's wonderful, and rich, and crammed with goodness and hopes for tomorrow.
Most of all, it's mine, given to me by a loving Father, and if I open my eyes wide and look with gratitude, I'll see it for what it is....
a horn of plenty, filled to overflowing with only the best gifts.


  1. I love it! We all need a good dose of thankfulness from time to time! I love the way you get back to it!