It's been a long day... week... month... start of the school year... five years. Truly. Going to three boys (five years ago) sent me for a loop, a loop that's still left me whirling.
There's this thing now that feels like anger. Before I had children I don't remember ever being truly angry. O, wait, there was the once when I was about 7, and my brother told me to "shut-up". I got so angry I swatted at him like an uncoordinated schoolgirl, hitting him awkwardly in the mouth, and ripping open the flesh on my finger against his new braces. Then he laughed at me and I got even angrier. Other than that I only recall feeling sad when I was wronged. Never angry. Then I had children. But even now, as I write this, I'm not even sure I'm angry. When I look back to the top of this paragraph I see the phrase "feels like anger". It's more like frustration stacked upon weariness stacked on dry bones, stacked upon all those expectations. You know the ones, that child-rearing was simply easel painting and cookie making with sweet tuck-in's at the end of each laughter infused day. All those things stacked upon my mothering shoulders, and I'm done by three pm each day. My Long-Suffering, is short. My Patience, is not. My Love, is spent. My Joy, is simply a cousin who lives in Arizona.
I'm aware that my lack of quiet me time, not enough sleep, and inconsistent diet and exercise isn't helping, so I am trying to sanctify some quiet anchors to hold me down each day. To ground me, so that the storms of behavior, learning challenges, messes, brother-squabbles, and unmet expectations don't drag me to that "feels like anger" place.
Today I knew that there wasn't much time for me. 24 minutes was all I could squeeze in if I didn't take a shower. So I got on the elliptical machine in the garage, gave the boys a movie for their "P.E." (yeah, I know), and grabbed my Bible and my new book "Unglued," and hit it hard. After reading through my study and writing (in awkward chicken scratch — due to the funny lobbing up and down of the elliptacle), I finally broke into chapter one of "Unglued," by Lysa TerKeurst. Within the first two sentences I felt as though I had written the book. Me, but on the other side of the weariness, where hope lives.
I wanted to share with you my favorite line from today's (bumpy) reading. Already underlined by my sweet friend who is sharing this treasure of a book.
I thought of that stuff that "feels like anger," but is really so much more complicated. And I thought of the times I most assuredly respond in anger to my beloved boys, and I made this pledge: No More. But Lysa stopped me before I could start. She went on to say that women tend to want their transformation over night when they make a vow to change. But it doesn't. Miracle that it is. It's a process. One foot in front of the other, moment to moment process that she calls "Imperfect Progress." And so I am embarking on this, imperfect journey towards an increase fruit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.