"Today, I woke up with a smile on my face. I bounced out of bed and greeted the day with a boisterous 'hello' and thankfulness for what it would behold.
I woke up early, not to early, just enough to collect my thoughts, make some coffee, consider my day, start some laundry, prep for breakfast and then, most importantly, pray.
By the time my cherubic four year old pitter pattered down the stairs and into my lap I greeted her with the warmest hug, the biggest smile and the BEST 'how are you, I love you, what can I get for you' mommy voice there ever was!
We sat together on the couch for a while and talked about the morning and about nothing and then I got up to fix her some breakfast and do a couple of "chores" before the day got too busy...
The rest of the morning seemed to follow suit...calm, peaceful, joyful...Ava said nothing but sweet and supportive things to her sister all morning and their wasn't the minutest inkling of a whine anywhere to be found.
I took Ava to tennis and to the library, and then we came home and all happily ate lunch. I had some work on my mind, but felt peaceful because I had a well thought out and perfectly plotted week written on paper and knew that I would inevitably get to each task...and if not, so what?!"So here's the deal friends...that's not exactly how my morning went. While some of it is true (I did get up a little bit early, though not enough to get all of that done, Ava did snuggle with me on the couch for a couple of minutes and I did take her to the town tennis lessons and to the library), there was plenty of whining, no laundry done, and most importantly, and perhaps most discouragingly, I was not a peaceful momma this morning.
I actually ended up on the floor in my closet crying for about 182 seconds...at which point I heard Ava crying downstairs that mommy was crying upstairs and Scott was yelling that she should stay downstairs and leave mommy alone upstairs, which made her cry even harder...
...at which point I started picturing her in her therapists chair in 15 years talking about her mother on the floor in her closet and decided that I needed to buck up and get back to being momma...my motto always being you can cry for a couple of minutes and then 'ya gotta get on with things!
So, while I was reading the book "Spilling Ink" in preparation for my upcoming creative writing class to 4th, 5th and 6th graders, and came across the following prompt for young writers, I figured it was the perfect writing prompt for me as well:
"I DARE YOU...Rewrite a scene from your life. Think of something that happened today. Something that wasn't perfect-- maybe even something that was downright mortifying--and rewrite it as you would have wanted it to happen."I gotta be honest...that was the cheapest therapy I've received in a long time! It felt pretty good to re-write the day...to re-create it the way I would have liked it to go.
But, I've gotta be honest about something else as well...in the process of "re-writing" my morning I realized that it actually wasn't half bad to begin with. There were a LOT of little moments in my morning that were actually quite wonderful. Ava did snuggle on the couch with me. I had a casual and lovely cup of coffee with my husband out on our new patio while Ava played and Ella was still sleeping. I got to watch her joyfully bounce around a tennis court with a bunch of other pre-schoolers while they skipped over tootsie rolls and threw balls to each other. We went to the library and the power went out while we were there and the librarian had to write all of our movies and books down by hand...it was kind of cool and mysterious...Ava thought it was great!
It was my anxious mommy heart that got in the way of it all when we got back home...I've struggled with anxiety issues for a number of years now...maybe I'll share more of that story one of these days...the short of it, for now, is that sometimes I get pretty easily overwhelmed...more than the average Joe...or, Josephina (since most of you are women!)...I don't mean to do it...it's not something I like a whole lot about myself...and yes, I've seen counselors, taken medication, read books, prayed about it, and everything you can imagine in between...it seems to ebb and flow...and sometimes the waves of tasks involved in mothering, along with attempting to precariously balance my desires to write, and read and run just get to be too much and the tide pulls me under..
.....and I end up in my closet on the floor in tears...
But, part of the process is getting back up and back in the game...I suppose that is how we literally get to re-write our days...we can't take anything back, but there is an abundant grace offered from our ever-present creator that allows us to say "God, I need a little help here" and He says, "Lis, I know. Get up, I'm with you", and then we walk downstairs and hug our children. We tell them that everything is o.k. and we move forward...
I'm not beating myself up about it. It's part of life. When I was growing up I attended Eastern Hills Wesleyan church for most of my formative years. It is a wonderful local church and many of you also know Pastor Eastlack. I will NEVER forget him saying one Sunday..."I got problems. You got problems. ALL God's people got problems."
Ain't that the truth?! That little statement of truth has pulled me out of pitying myself on many a day.
All of this to say...none of us are perfect...but no one is expecting us to be. So when the tide of your own expectation starts to pull you down, remember you can cry for a minute, but then ya gotta get on with things...and start re-writing the rest of your day.