This past half year is made up of so many mosaic pieces that fit together forming the picture of my life - home school, a graduating child, my last child leaving home, a child with weird chronic illness, connecting with a grown child, family that does not share my faith, being a foster parent, a micro-preemie, a medically fragile child, working to get a diagnosis for a child, handling feelings from abusive past, shifting from being a stay-at-home mom to something else, being a friend to hurting friends, and just plain being married. And no, the list above is not referring to seven different children - only three but each one has many branches making up their own life that is connected to mine.
Hopefully, no one reading this is thinking, "How do you do it?"
I am not Wonder Woman, although it is ironic that you will never see Wonder Woman or me in the same room at the same time (sorry...I love that joke). I ain't her but there are occasions where finding my car in the parking lot is like finding Wonder Woman's invisible jet (I apologize...again).
I'll tell you in all honesty how I do it, here it is:
I wake up and convince myself that I really do need to get out of bed. Lurching down the stairs, I remind myself that God has laid out the day for His glory and will provide all that is necessary. Somewhere in it all is usually a spell of crying, mine not the baby, and the spilling of some liquid on to my clothes - this can range from hot coffee to half-digested, mucusy formula. At some point, I brush my hair and teeth...usually. Then I carve out time to do some type of clean-ishy things in between preparing and starting tube feedings, diaper changes, therapy exercises, baby snuggling, oxygen adjustments, phone calls, and whatever random thing is going on with my daughter for the day. Then I try, I really do try, to contact several people and check on them to offer encouragement or prayer.
Very often part of my day is spent fighting off resentment from various thoughts that plague me. If I am successful in submitting to Christ to get me through the resentment bog, I am sometimes hit with bouts of frustration, lust, a lot of pride, or really ugly discouragement. My really awesome friends usually bring in the much needed correction in the form of God's Word or God just sends me a very obvious message that I need to re-focus.
For example, the other day was a very long day at doctor appointments. All I wanted so badly was to come home and go to bed which is not possible at this time. Then my husband asked me to pick up a particular food for dinner on the way home and I was irritated. Now, I know that I should be glad that I did not have to cook, that we have money to eat out, that I have car to get around in, and on and on, I could list all things that I should have been thankful for but I was not. Frustration built up about having to unload the baby and all his equipment plus keep him away from people just to get this food. I did pretend to be okay with it and called in the order.
Arriving at the restaurant, I was relieved that it was empty and there was a parking spot right by the door. After carefully removing the baby carrier attached to the feeding pump and synchronizing those movements with the oxygen tank, I went in to find that they were already bagging up my order. I paid and was back out the door with my load. Once everything was loaded in the car, I sort of fell down into the seat with an exhausted heave and that is when it happened. Scrrrrrrttttccchhh! I put my head on the steering wheel and laughed and laughed as I reached under my behind to find that my aged capris had ripped wide open.
Yes, Lord, that wake up call was needed. I chuckled all the way home and more still in the garage as they ripped further when I bent to get out all the baby's stuff and even further when I squatted to pick up the oxygen tank. God had hit my reset button. The time spent being irritated was not worth it and had only succeeded in exposing my sinful attitude - which is no laughing matter.
So, yeh...how do I do it, people? It ain't by magic or smoke and mirrors or with style and finesse.
It is done the way God wants it - one step at a time in His grace and Truth with intermingling spurts of ugliness that Christ turns into lessons of living in the Spirit and repentance. It is done with other brothers and sisters who are diligent to remind me of Truth and correct me when needed. It is done with faith that He is always with me and remembering that it is all about glorifying Him.
So you see, there's no super hero cape or cool bullet-proof bracelets or magic rope. Just an old pair of capris ripped from pocket to kneebend and Christ.
How are you doing what you do?