Agony and Defeat…

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Well, it finally happened.  I totally snapped… lost my mind… whatever you want to call it.  I finally found the straw; this camel’s back is broken.  I have been faking holding it together pretty well until lately.  My emotions have been getting harder to suppress.

The boys are home from school today.  At this point, they probably wish they were there instead.  They were chasing each other through the house and Carson got hurt.  I was trying to work when I heard “the cry.”  Mothers, you know which cry I mean… the one that you know your child is hurt.  I went running to my room.  Carson had fallen off the bed and hurt his side.  At that moment, something snapped.

I don’t know if it was the noise of him screaming or just the fact that he was hurt and I wasn’t sure how bad?  But, I totally lost it.  I started screaming… ranting on about how I just couldn’t take this.  I rattled off everything that I was, am, and will be doing for the next two years by myself.  I mentioned I couldn’t take them fighting, arguing, and (ironically) screaming at each other.  I could actually hear how absurd I sounded, but I couldn’t stop myself.

I could also see my hurt child lying on the floor crying, probably more because I was screaming at him.  All while the other child had a terrified look on his face while he was covering his ears.  Yep, totally lost it.  I could see the fear in their faces, I could see how I must look to them, but it just kept spewing out of me uncontrollably.  My brain was saying… “hello, you are traumatizing your children and your current situation is not their fault, you are venting on children… HELLO!”  But, the rest of me…

I went to my office room, closed the door, and sobbed.  I cried about what I had just done, I cried because I miss my husband, I cried because at that moment I was defeated.

I tell you all this, not to make you feel sorry for me… but because I’m positive that I’m not the only one that has ever done this before.  And… you aren’t either.  None of us can keep it all together all the time.  I rely on God to get me through everyday.  At that moment, I was being selfish… I didn’t give it to God, I spewed all over my kids.  But, you know what?  God still loves me.  While I was crying, I heard the boys laughing in the other room.  I’m worried about how much their therapy will cost and they are already over it.  Sometimes, we fail.  We try not to, but it happens.  God is still there.  So, I said a prayer, put on my other sock, and will go apologize to my boys.  With God’s help, this too shall pass…

I’m sure it’s a God thing, but I am singing a song based on this verse on Sunday.  I kept repeating it while I was trying to calm down.  He knew my needs…

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber.”  Psalms 121: 1-3

Are You Listening?…

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My day started out pretty typical.  I was trying to get the boys ready for school.  I was back and forth repeating “get your clothes on… brush your teeth… clean up your mess.”  One of my darlings got a little mouthy this morning and ended up with an attitude adjustment right before walking out the door.  Great way to start our morning!

On Thursday mornings I volunteer in Carson’s class.  I went in, did my service, and finished up early.  I hurried out so I could get back to my real job.  I was walking through the hall and heard crying.  I turned and saw a lady that I’ve seen around before, but don’t know.  Even though I had no time, I stopped.  God told me to go to her.  I hugged her, gave her some tissue, and asked her if she wanted to talk about it.  She shared that her grandmother had just passed away.  Without hesitation (because I somehow already knew the answer), I asked if her grandmother was saved.  Her reply was a tearful “yes.”  My reply was “praise God!”

Now, I’m not a Holy Roller or anything.  I truly don’t even feel comfortable praying in front of people.  But, God led me to sit there and pray with one of His children that was grieving.  I don’t know what came over me… scratch that… I DO know… God came over me!  I prayed for that lady and her family with as much comfort as an old pair of jeans.  When I stopped she looked me in the eye and said “thank you” with the most sincere appreciation.  It touched me.  I realized that I had been sitting there crying with her… I realized that there were three women standing at the door watching… I realized that God had just used me.

Sometimes, I think that we get too busy, in too much of a hurry to listen.  God speaks to us.  Maybe he shouts to you, maybe he whispers, but either way if we aren’t listening His nudges fall on deaf ears.  Have there been times when you’ve been delayed only to come up on an accident that just happened… or maybe you woke up early one morning and were able to witness an awesome sunrise?  An unexplained reason caught you in the right place at the right time or not in the wrong place at the wrong time?  I believe that God does speak to us, I call them “nudges.”  He nudges us along, ever so gently, guiding us in the right direction.  Sometimes, we stray, but if we listen… He will get us back on track.

I listened today and am humbled that God used me.  God can work through you, too.  Are you listening?

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

Showing Up…

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Click Here to See Carson Play Basketball

We have this joke in our family regarding the boys and school.  My boys both have perfect attendance.  I always joke with the teachers that we aren’t the best behaved or the smartest, but we can show up!  There is a lot to be said about just showing up.  Showing up says that you are dependable, reliable, and loyal.  These are qualities that we want our family to be known for.  None of us have ever been the straight A student, but people can depend on us.  I’m happy with that.

Lately, “showing up” has been coming at me in another way.  Not only is it important to show up for school and work, but it is important to show up for your friends and family.  The latter is much more important!

I have had a few times lately when the boys’ schedules conflicted.  I never want to have to choose between them.  I have come to the realization that I can’t be in two places at one time.  I have also tried to not beat myself up about not being able to “show up” for everything; I’ve allowed myself to fall short.  You know what?  While I have fallen short, others have stood tall… for us.  We have the most amazing friends.   We have people that actually “show up” for us.  They show up for basketball games, baseball games, to help shuttle, to take my boys to events, to go out with me on the only night out I’ve had in 80 days (yes, I counted), and to bring gifts and words of encouragement.

It means the world to us that people care so much for us that they sacrifice their own time to be there for us.  Sometimes my boys ask “why did he/she come?”  I always say “because they care about us.”  Both boys always have this look of amazed appreciation.  Sometimes it’s hard to accept that other people truly want to stand up for a family that is sacrificing for our country, especially if it’s just us.  I am in awe of the love that God shows us through our friends and family.

Life is a gift.  You can make a difference in others’ lives.  You don’t need a lot of money or experience sometimes you simply need to “show up.”

If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:10

Note: The video was taken by a friend that showed up for my #15 in my absence.  🙂