some days, you know?

Yesterday was not the best of days.

I was stuck in my head, attempting to fight my (piddly! greedy!) frustrations with the truths that I have it really good and I should just be grateful already. Usually I am grateful, humbled by the blessings God has given me and our family. But yesterday I couldn’t shake the stupidness in my head.

As I finished up a load of laundry I looked around the bare walls of our bedroom and got unduly frustrated that I couldn’t make a decision already on what kind of art to buy from Society6. Choices overwhelm me.

I decided: This is the day! Let’s do this thing! So I marched myself upstairs and grabbed my laptop, armed and ready to sit on my front porch in the beautiful weather and buy a piece of art that is fine and good, even if it’s not perfect. And the laptop’s battery icon showed the charge was critically low.

Grrr.

So I looked in the entertainment center drawer for the charger. No charger. So I looked in all the drawers. No charger.

Grrr.

Daphne came in the living room and asked what I was doing, When I told her she brightly offered, “I will find it for you, Mommy!” As I got annoyed that she looked in all the same drawers I’d just looked thru, I realized: Girl, you’ve got a problem.

I attacked this problem as well; I texted Shannon and told him I was taking a night to run errands alone, because my crankiness was at a dangerous level. When your daughter sweetly offering to help causes you irritation, it is best you keep yourself from the people you love.

After Shannon picked up the kids from me in Wichita later that afternoon, after I completed my tasks with lightning speed, I thought, “I should get a glass of wine!” But then I wondered how a solo woman grabs a glass of wine without putting out the vibe she wants to be hit on? So then I thought, “Cocoa Dolce has wine! And surely no one looks at a chocolate store as a place to pick up the ladies.” And then I realized I was thinking about wine too much and freaked myself out. So I gave up on the wine and headed to No Mercy for their cherry crisp, sat myself at a far off table where I wouldn’t be able to gripe at anyone, and ate dessert for dinner.

It wasn’t the perfect solution to my piddly and greedy frustrations, but it helped. Time alone, with sugar and gluten, in the sunshine… It helped.

Then I came home to the sun setting on my kids and their lemonade stand. You can’t find anything more adorable.

Today I’m better. Today the frustrations are more under control. Lots of prayer, lots of knowing my limits. And sunshine + cherry crisp helps.

yeah…

I remember once walking into a QT and almost tripping over a teeny little girl with an enormous QT cup filled to the top with soda in her hand, straw in her mouth, big brown eyes on me. I was incensed. I fumed as I washed my hands in the QT restroom, as I purchased a plain tea for myself, as I walked back out to the car and sat in the front seat next to Shannon.

“DID YOU SEE THAT LITTLE GIRL?”

Shannon grimaced. “I was worried you saw her.”

“YEAH. Who gives their kids that much sugar? SHE WAS BARELY BIGGER THAN THE CUP.”

I cannot remember if Gideon was yet a part of our lives or if those were the pre-children days–the days when I had lots of hard and fast rules about raising children, rules that were as yet untested. But if Gideon were in our lives, he would have been no bigger than a teeny baby in an infant seat.

My kids used to eat really healthy. They truly, truly did. But I’ve kind of let things slide lately.

daphandsugarYou guys, those are all her treats.

Thursday night we watched the WSU game with some mentor friends of ours. After the game–as she prepared lots of to-go containers for my family in her kitchen–my older, wiser friend complimented me on how much sugar we let our kids eat. “I mean, you just let them eat it, don’t you? I’m sure you make them eat healthy at home, of course you do, but it’s great how you let them eat sugar here.”

I gave my pat, erudite response of, “Uhhhh…” as I nodded and thought back to all the sugar I’d seen my kids eat out of the corner of my eye: the rocky road popcorn, the cookie cake, the single cookies, the pop. Lots and lots of sugar.

I don’t have a good way to end this post, except to say sorry to that little girl’s mom and all the judgment I threw at her all those years ago.

again

Every once in a while I wondered if I should have posted links to my columns each week as they were published. But with my infrequent postings on here it sometimes felt insincere to only use this blog as a way to advertise myself. Now that I’m finished writing for the Times-Gazette I feel differently; now it’s fun for me to look back at what I wrote, how I was feeling over the last six-and-a-half years.

So to begin! Since I didn’t write a column or a post on mine and Shannon’s wedding anniversary this year (13 years, baby!), here’s a column I wrote for our 10th wedding anniversary:

“To me this anniversary is momentous, as if Hubby and I earned the right to brag about our accomplishment in making it this far in our marriage; to not only still be in it, but to still be joyful.” On our 10th anniversary.

when fear surrounds me

When Shannon was rushed to the hospital last month, the only reason I didn’t break into a panic is because of Jesus. A constant prayer flowed from me to Him, the words varying as the situation changed:

“Lord, keep him safe.”

“Lord, please help me to keep it together in front of my kids.”

And so on.

As the kids and I drove to the hospital, as I calmly answered their questions without crying, as I didn’t scream at the drivers who were driving way under the speed limit, as I dictated lucid texts to Mia in the seat next to me so that our family and friends could stay apprised of the situation, I totally felt God keeping me calm. I hadn’t broken into tears, my mind was not going to the dark places of Shannon having possibly punctured a lung or severed a major artery.

(Both possibilities when the 3rd rib is completely broken. It says so on the Mayo website.)

I think nearly from the time I talked to Shannon on the phone and knew it was serious, the Oceans song kept playing through my head. When the kids and I were on east Kellogg, just past the new Costco but before the turnpike overpass, I felt a gentle but firm nudge from to turn on the radio.

And there was the song.

Right as I wrapped my mind around what I was hearing, the lyrics that had been playing through my mind were coming through our speakers.

“Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.”

God is so good.

Trials will come, but He is always there. Loving and helping us keep our emotions under control and nudging us to turn on the radio right when the lyrics that have been playing through my mind are about to come over the airwaves.

*****

This past Sunday I sat with my family in service and we sang that song, after a morning of my church family coming up to me and Shannon to check on him and give encouragement to me about my final column. And then there was that song again.

Full circle.

And I stood and I sang louder than usual, praising a God who notices me, who sends me big love notes of the Bible and little love notes of songs on the radio and songs in worship.