There are Those Days....


Sleeping Beauty by Edward Brewtnall

There are those days when I wonder if I have accomplished anything of significance. Sometimes it seems all of my children are out of sorts with me, and I wonder why I have made all of this effort to work hard, love well, teach profoundly and to please Jesus. Those days you wonder if it all really matters.

Those times when you don't feel loving inside and you hope no one will notice because you feel like if you were a good mom you would feel love all the time.

Those times when you expected to have 5 minutes to read a book or talk to a friend or take a tiny little nap--when someone finds you, needs you, AGAIN!

Those times when you know by faith that God is good, but you just aren't quite sure if you see any hope of Him answering your prayers.

Those times when you don't think you can face one more dirty dish or make one more meal.

Those times when just walking into your living room depresses you because you can't imagine that you will ever have enough strength to straighten it up again.

Those times the Christian bubble drives you crazy and you don't feel like you belong anywhere.

Yet, when I am cranky all the time, short with my children, friends, Clay and the world,...,

When I begin to feel dark inside for no apparent reason, I have learned that

A very long sleep, as long as sleeping beauty's, begins to help me feel like I might be a human being again sometime.

Hiding from the crowds, voices, expectations

Taking a long walk in the mountains at sunset

Having a massage

Being with ones I love on my front porch in the rockers in the still evening chill or the early morning quiet and just sitting, listening, time to ponder and drink in a moment of calm

playing quiet music in a dark, candle-lit room where no one can find me

a nice hot bath that covers my tummy and shoulders and soaking for a very long time

Either a cappuccino with an extra shot and 2 raw sugars or strong English tea in a real china cup with dark salted chocolate almonds.

A morning out in a favorite 5 star hotel where I can sit all by myself with no one talking

A breakfast or lunch with a sweet friend who gets me and doesn't want anything from me

To read the Psalms

A personal time with one of my children when they just want to be my friend

A drive through the country roads with music blaring and wind coming through the windows

To watch a pleasing movie with a happy ending and happy people--nothing tragic or sad.

God is in these moments of grace because God made us for a physical world-for food, drink, touch, music, beauty to see, --and it is in experiencing his graces in our physical, real, tangible world, where sometimes we run  into God Himself, strolling through the garden of our lives.

Sometimes these are the most necessary things for me to stay healthy, strong, still believing in ideals, and to try not to blow apart,

is not one more task to complete or chore to finish or way to try to be more perfect--

But sometimes all I need is a break from the pressures and duties of normal life. A sweet one to hug me and tell me they love me, again.

A grace to sustain me on this marathon life. What helps you through those days?


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Much of life seems impossible. But I had a sudden light bulb moment somewhere in the midst of my years that if I didn’t take care of myself, no one else was probably going to initiate to me in this way. One of Clay’s jobs required him to work 70 hours a week and we were far away from home.

It was when I had 3 children, 6 and under. I bought a double stroller at a second hand store and stuffed Sarah in with the boys. This is when my long walks began. We would walk around the neighborhoods, walk in parks, on nature trails. Somehow getting all of us out helped all of us to have better attitudes.

I would trade with a mom friend once a month–I would take her children for the afternoon, she would do the same.

Clay would take the kids once a month out for breakfast or to a park or nature center for a whole morning or afternoon so I could have “me” time.

I started warm baths when the kids were small–to relax after they went to bed–and when we moved, I would always look for houses that had those old bath tubs that I could fill up high with water.

What I found for myself was, if I did not refuel along the way, I would become angry, grumpy and tended toward drill sergeant mode and somewhere along the way, I knew one of the gifts my children needed from me was a happy mom.

I began to learn I was the only one who could give that to them. I did homeschool 4 children into adulthood, had children with learning disabilities, mental illness, asthmatics with emergency equipment in our home, 17 moves, six times internationally, and all that comes with this. It is indeed a long term commitment and a marathon of sorts, but to make it well, I believe a mom needs to figure out how to bring some graces into her life. May God grant you grace and peace today.