There are days when you have to face things you'd rather avoid. And times when you have to dole out discipline and consequences, and it's hard. Sometimes you have to admit that you have no idea what you are doing and you are hoping that you are not completely screwing everything up. You feel that you cannot change another diaper or break up another argument or deal another day with a teenager who just gets out of the car and ignores you when you say "Goodbye, I love you". And you're just so worried that things are not going to turn out the way you hope they will.
I'm with you, momma. When we signed up for this gig we thought it was gonna be all snuggles and kissing boo-boos and we would magically know all the answers.
So what's a weary mom to do?
I'm not the only one who's had those kind of days. It's as if she was drawing a caricature of me:"Anxiety is my natural posture. 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, how I weld them into tight fists of control. ... How I refuse to relinquish worry, like a babe a mother won't forsake, an identity."
Not a pretty picture. Scotty sketched this on the table at the Macaroni Grill.
How am I supposed to take this?!
Don't I know it? It's exactly what I would tell somebody else if they were having a hard day. She continues:"An untroubled heart relaxes, trusts, leans assured into His ever-dependable arms. Trust is the antithesis of stress. But how to learn to trust like that? Can trust be conjured up simply by sheer will, on command? ... If I believe, then I must let go and trust. Belief in God has to be more than mental assent, more than a cliched exercise in cognition. What is saving belief if it isn't the radical dare to wholly trust?"
Ann Voskamp has gotten into my head and told all of my secrets!
"Sometimes, too often, I don't want to muster the energy. Stess and anxiety seem easier. Easier to let a mind run wild with worry than to exercise discipline. ... Are stress and worry evidences of a soul too lazy, too undisciplined, to keep gaze fixed on God? ... I don't like to ask these questions. ... Stress brings no joy. Isn't joy worth the effort to trust?"
So, tomorrow let's just show up. It's a new day with no mistakes in it yet. Another opportunity to get it right. Let's choose to trust and look for God's signature in the middle of the mess. Choose joy. And although we like to have the illusion of control - who really can control anything in this crazy life? What else can we do but trust and believe that God is always good and that He's got this. So if you gotta cry, cry. And if you need to hide out in the closet for a few minutes, go for it - may I suggest a box of chocolates with that? And one more thing - let's encourage and pray for the other mommas who are in the trenches. We all have a hard time finding our big girl panties sometimes.
P.S. Here's the sketch I made of Scotty. Obviously he doesn't stress out the way I do!