It’s a Thursday afternoon and summer break is just beginning. You have barely made it through week 3. How in the world are you going to survive 2 more months of this? You have sworn off pointless outings as it costs money and sometimes the kids just need to learn to do things at home and you need to get stuff done too (although you probably won’t. It will just get pushed off until tomorrow…).
On this day, the rain is relentless. No end in sight. Your plans to shove them out the door at 8am, until forced quiet time after lunch, is now ruined. There is a small piece of your soul that is quietly excited for the rain because that means you won’t have to haul out water to the garden later but your big picture plans for today are SQUASHED! Now what? Play with them? I’m not that desperate! Enjoy and appreciate them? Let’s talk about who should be enjoying and appreciating who here (ah-hem).
It has been weeks since you’ve had a break!! In reality… days. Remember when you got a chance to hit the grocery store alone to grab the milk you forgot? Oh and remember you got a chance to get out and have a nice dinner with just you and hubby last weekend. THAT’S NOT THE POINT. Weeeeeks I tell ya! Or so it feels…
Where is the magic button in life that allows us to bottle up those moments of rest and disperse all the happy and relaxed feelings we have in those times of absolute chaos and stress in the tough and dirty days of parenting. How amazing would it be to feel the euphoria of a nice warm cooked meal made by some stranger at a fancy restaurant served to me by someone who didn’t ask me to wipe the cheese smeared on their cheek or clean up the spilled milk that I knew was going to get knocked over (Why don’t I ever use cups with lids?) when I am in the midst of feeling like I am at my last ounce of patients for the day as I change the 5th pair of pee pants? I just want to reach into my happy feelings bag, with my fist full, pull them out and fling them into the air like a glitter party raining down on me in all my favorite shiny colors. As the flecks of gold, pink, purple and blue fall to the floor they grab the floating particles of frustration, anger, fear, condemnation and guilt and replace those feelings with joy, gratitude, gratefulness, patients and a smile.
Then I think, God created something even better. He created prayer. He created the opportunity for all of us to be forgiven of our frustration, anger, fear, condemnation, guilt and sin. He created us as parents and knew we would face really really bad days. He knew on those bad days we’d question why we were even a parent in the first place. He signed us up for that role because He knew on those days He would be in our corner getting us through it. Instead of reaching into a happy feelings bag, hands are folded in prayer. Instead of glitter falling down on us taking away all the bad from the day, we get a Savior who already took away those sins and feelings when He died for us on the cross.
Now I can’t lie and say that the image of glitter raining down on me doesn’t sound like the coolest day of my life! But it’s in those moments of loneliness as a parent, feeling like I am the ONLY person on this planet that has wiped up a whole paper towels roll worth of pee and it’s not even noon, I can turn to God in prayer. Take a deep breath. Take another because you and I both know we need it, and so does He. Close out the noise and just focus. Asking forgiveness for trying to do it alone. For getting upset. For letting the enemy take control. Then asking for help. I cannot do this alone. I am weak without my God. I need His strength to remind me of the good in this day. To take my focus off all the bad and point it towards the good.
Take a moment and close your eyes mama (yes that is you reader!). Tune out all the distractions around you (internal and external) and take as many deep breaths as your little heart can handle. Remember who helps you remain in control. Remember who is on your side. If you want to throw a little glitter in the air, do it! You got this girl!