I struggled yesterday. It was kind of the opposite of the Beatles song where “all my troubles seem so far away”. I was hating life. I just didn’t want to be here at home. I didn’t want to be at the mercy of my family for another day. I could blame it on my anti-depressant still kicking back in or my lack of sleep, but what it really boils down to is that I was lacking the light. I had burned it out with my negativity and selfishness. I didn’t start my day out with the family or with my God in study and prayer, but stayed in bed letting LG take care of getting the girls out the door. Then when Caroline insisted on my attention just a half an hour later my resentment began and just seemed to grow throughout the day.
I put a little ditty out on facebook asking friends for advice on how they are happy at home: I got all kinds of advice, none of which was anything new that I don’t know already. When my first attempt for help on facebook didn’t work, I called a good friend and begged to know the trick to being happy. Surprisingly she said she had no idea. I was so validated by both my friend on the phone and another honest friend on facebook who told me she struggles too. I realized that I didn’t need advice, but validation and support. The validation I had received from two of my many friends (interesting how so many dished out advice instead of encouragement) was wonderful, but I knew what I really needed was the same from my higher power. I needed to chase out the darkness with light.
I thought of all the friends’ earlier advice about taking time for myself and knew that although that advice was good, it wasn’t a long-term solution to finding peace and joy being home.
I went to my room and got down on my knees. I prayed to God, “I’m really struggling today God, show me the better way.”
I can’t explain it, but I got up from that prayer with an increased desire to serve my family. I decided I would iron LG’s work shirts. Because I quit my job we don’t have enough money this week for dry cleaning. Ironing is my most detested household chores. LG needed work shirts for training this week and I could be a help to him or ignore it and make him do it himself. I was shocked at how the ironing didn’t seem to be so dreadful. With each of the five shirts I felt an increased sense of happiness and love. I was choosing this for myself and God was there to do his magic. My resentment disintegrated with every puff of steam.
While ironing I pondered on the verse, “Come unto me all ye who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I wasn’t angry that I couldn’t afford to dry clean, but I was noticeably supported and enabled.
Wow. I didn’t know it could be that easy.
I then decided to serve my kids. I normally would try to avoid Caroline by doing the soccer carpool while leaving her home with her other two sisters. Instead I took her with me and we played at the park while waiting for the after-soccer commute. She was noticeably more delightful. (Caroline can be super high maintenance) She happily played and even let me sit and read for a bit.
I smiled while watching her interact with another boy on the playground saying, “Hey kid, come and get me.” As she adventured around the cement curbing, it took me back to when I was a kid and would do the same. From where I sat, I turned around to see Abigail out at the front in her soccer drills, and I swelled with pride. I marveled, “So this is what they call joy in my posterity.” Thanks be to God.
As the evening came to a close I was actually excited to spend an hour on folding the basket-full of socks that have been ignored for about a month. I turned on a movie which touched my heart and vowed to fold socks weekly and take some TV time for myself – it was actually a break. As I walked back to my room for bed I checked in on each of the girls. As I saw them sleeping comfortably I felt a full measure of joy at just the thought that they are all mine. By the time I got to my room, I felt compelled to my knees to thank God for my beautiful blessings. I haven’t felt like that in a long time, and I certainly don’t feel like that enough when it comes to my kids.
Yesterday, God made all the difference in my life. He literally took me from a dark place where I didn’t want to be to the place where “all my troubles seemed so far away”.