The crazies were back this morning...
No, I'm not talking about my kids, they're coming back tonight (more on that in a minute).
The crazies are the 17 extra voices that occasionally come to visit in my mind making me feel a little nuttier than usual.
I know, I know, some of you are thinking...whoa, this girl has LOST it...crazies? voices? in her head? this CANNOT be good.
No worries my friends...I'm alright. Really. AND, I bet the crazies visit you sometimes too, don't they?
You know, when you wake up in the morning and the internal conversation sounds like this...
Oh my...sigh...oh dear....there are piles of laundry sitting in the basement probably starting to mildew...piles of donations sitting in the front hall that need to go to the salvation army...piles of pictures stashed in the chest in the living room without photo albums, which means I need to buy albums and Oi! actually put the pictures in the albums...there are piles of coupons needing to be cut and sorted....and actually...used! which means looking through ads and finding good prices, and OH LORDY how do those super coupon ladies do it? Oh, and I've yet to make a meal plan for the week...what am I going to feed my family...I'm such a bad mom/wife...a woman should have a MEAL PLAN for goodness sakes...
...there are piles of papers, my notes, my thoughts, my LISTS that need to be sorted through... piles of the girls summer clothing sitting on the table in the basement that need to be sorted and put in the proper sized bins...a pile of my old clothes that I want to take to a consignment shop because they are never, ever, EVER going to fit over these child bearing hips and boobs EVER again...and how about the piles of books I want to read, and those darned magazines I should stop subscribing to...AND....
Well, I'll spare you the rest...and yes, there was more! Do your brains get like that?! My heavens I hope I'm not the only one.
Here's the kicker ladies and gentlemen (if there are any gents reading this rant!)...my kids are NOT even home this morning!
That's right, you heard me...my husband and children have been gone for 3 full days already, not to return until 7 p.m. tonight!
So, for all of those mommas who were thinking "if I could only have one or two or three or four days, I could really get my life together..."
Ha! The jokes on us!
It was kind of like when I went to Bermuda six weeks ago and thought I'd catch up on all of the sleep I've lost, and get rid of the gray hairs and the extra 10 lbs. I've gained in my 4+ years as a mom. I had a lovely time, but none of that happened...
So what in heavens name is going on here if 4 days in Bermuda with my husband, and 4 days in my house by myself aren't enough to help me catch up on life?! I've now wished it, and gotten it and am living to tell you it is not the answer...it's not the WHOLE answer anyway (I can't lie and say I haven't enjoyed either of these stretches of time...it's just that they didn't fully meet my crazy expectations!).
(In case you were wondering where I shipped my kids off too...and I KNOW that you are! Scott met a buddy to go rock climbing in Kentucky this past weekend and asked his mom if he could drop the girls at her house in Columbus, OH on his way...his mother graciously, and hopefully happily (Nance?!) agreed...allowing for him to rock climb, the girls to have some great one on one time with Nanner, and me to have some momma down time at home. They left Friday night and will return tonight.)
So, to tell the truth, the time has been good. The house is SO quiet...I've realized that the girls (and probably just children in general) bring a certain level of activity and energy and movement to a house that never really settles even while they are asleep. Perhaps it is because when they finally go to sleep you are still moving to pick up after the winds of energy that have blown through your house all day (kind of like picking up your yard after a wind storm...only every day!).
That said, the house has been still. Still. Still. Still. Odd, but nice for a short period of time (you do actually start to miss the noise after about 36 hours...I swear it's true). I pick things up and they don't find their way back out of drawers, or baskets, or off of tables...they just stay, well, right where I put them.
Because I'm not constantly picking up after a wind storm I have also had extra energy...energy I thought had long been sucked away by the hands of time never to return...it's still there, it just need a little boost of silence to encourage it to come out of hiding.
And, I have gotten some things done-- just not as much as I would have thought.
So, this morning, I drank some coffee, cleaned my bedroom and sat down to spend a few minutes in quiet time and prayer...this is what I said to God...
God, what's the deal-- my kids are gone, the house is quiet and I'm STILL not peaceful. What is going on? God, I'm sorry I'm so anxious. I don't want to be. Really, truly, my deepest desire is that I would be able to create a peaceful home (physically and emotionally) for my children and my husband. That I would give them the tools they need- the swimming lessons, the Bible studies, Sunday School, MOPS meetings..it all feels a little frenzied, but I'm not trying to be frenzied...I'm just trying to do the right things...and then the writing and the blogging and my desires in those areas-- Lord, I truly just desire from the depths of my soul to use the passions you've give me to encourage others...If it's all good, why does it all seem so chaotic God.
Want to know what God said? He said,
Lisa, slow down. Take a breath. You ARE doing the best you can do. It's NOT all going to be done today...the housework, the cleaning, the tasks...perhaps it doesn't even matter if it NEVER gets done...fix your eyes on me-- my strength, my plan for your life-- is there ANYTHING I will not provide for you in the midst of the tasks I have given? If you are trusting in my bigger plan than what little thing do you have to worry about?
And then this verse came to mind out of nowhere:
Isaiah 26:3-4: You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.
Wow. I could say SO much about those words right there...but I'll let you interpret them for your own life.
I wrote that verse down on a 3 x 5 card and stuck it up on my bulletin board...
My slightly quieter mind remembered one more thing. Something Anne Voskamp (yes I'm quoting the book again!) said in "One Thousand Gifts"...words from her own prayer time with God when her heart was in a similar place. I'll leave you with them:
" Anxiety has been my natural posture, my default stiffness. The way I curl my toes up, tight retreat. How I angle my jaw, braced, chisel the brow with the lines of distrust. How I don't fold my hands in prayer...weld them into fists of control. Always control-- pseudopower from the pit. How I refuse to relinquish worry, babe a mother won't forsake, an identity. Do I hold worry close as this ruse of control, this pretense that I'm the one who will determine the course of events as I stir and churn and ruminate? Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is.
True, certainly, there are organic, biological causes to anxiety, and there may certainly be underlying chemical issues that warrant medication. I have filled prescriptions. this has been right. All anxiety is not spiritual. And yet I know and haltingly confess: Much of the worry in my own life has been a failure to believe...a wariness to thank and trust the love hand of God...If I deep trusted God in all the faces of my life, wouldn't that deep heal my anxiety, my self-condemnation, my soul holes?
The fear is suffocating, terrorizing, and I want the remedy, and it is trust. Trust is everything.
If fear keeps our lives small, does a life that receives all of God in this moment grow large too?
I light candles and slice bread for dinner."
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Trust and be still...perhaps the gift of this weekend was not to get 72 things checked off my to-do list, but to have time to remember what stillness looks like, time to ponder God's work in my life, time to simply sit at Jesus feet...and that brings me to another verse:
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”