Friday, July 13, 2012

Bit of a messy day...

Today it all got to be a bit much.  I found myself waking up from a nap, my heart hurting, tired, weary. Frightened that the kids aren't seeing enough good in us.  Afraid we're losing at showing them how to be grateful, let alone gracious.

For real.  I thought I was going to cry if I heard Ryan ask for something for his birthday again.  His birthday was in May, but he will not stop asking over and over for this train and that track.  Then Richie starts to model Ryan, even though we tell him it's not a good idea.  We ask them instead what they'd like to get for others for the next birthdays coming up, trying to help them get more into giving than receiving.  Then Maelynn wails because I tell her that no, she can't have more milk until lunch.  Or because Richie sat in her chair.  Or breathed her air.

And I'm grouchy.  I show my frustration.  I draw impossible lines in the sand with the stick of desperation.

Then I feel bad because I wasn't Mrs. Perfectly Perky Mom.

Then my husband comes home, knowing I didn't sleep so much last night, and gives me nap time.  I toss and turn, then wake from the nap heart-sick at getting up and trying again.

Eric comes in over and over, piercing the silence... "Honey, are you ready to get up?"

How is it that his faithful sweetness somehow makes me feel worse?

Then I get up.  Slowly.  Drag myself to the kitchen table.  More than deflated... vacuumed. Collapsed.

Eric and I begin to talk, and slowly I realize that there is one thing bothering me, but I'm so used to it that I didn't think it needed addressing.  But it did.  It was huge. I was attempting to stuff it, but it needed speaking, confessing, admitting I can't handle it.  Because I can't.

I need the resources God has given.  I need His Word.  I need my husband.  I need the fellowship of other believers.  I need confession, even when the only repentance is to remember that I need help.  I need to reach out even when I think it'll take all the energy I have.

And especially when I don't want to.

Then I had a visit from our sweet J, joining us for pizza here at the house with the new guy she's dating. And I felt my soul re-inflate.

At the end of the evening, as Eric had the kids outside playing in the pool, as I bopped around the house cleaning from the day, I remembered something I learned from a Beth Moore study years ago.

Pray that God will protect your mind.  Your heart.  Your emotions.  That He will keep them in check, protecting you from yourself.  When acceptance and contentment seem out of reach, I must pray.  I must ask for help.  But this time?  This time I didn't.

He helped anyway.  He sent me the gift of my husband to talk to, the friends to visit and laugh with.  The porcelain-faced, curly golden-haired boy to ask me to show him the Caillou website.

Then I remember, once I'm restored and up and running again, that I've been rescued.  And there's the thankfulness I couldn't muster before.  The contentedness I usually have.  The appreciation for the fact that I do have it all... and I am living my dream.

And I realize I'm a lot more like the kids than I want to admit or even realize.  When things get to be too much, or they're not going my way, I fold my arms.  The entitlement sneaks in.  That nasty vine of self-pity grows fast, choking out the smiles and the good.

Pray your pain.  Don't ignore it.  And I don't care how crazy it sounds... ask God to protect your mind! We pray for everything under the sun, so why not?  Emotional pain is real.  God cares.  Moms and Dads have a lot to deal with.  The battle of advocating for a child with autism doesn't stop... it's not just something we do at school.  It's overwhelming at times.  And that's just the first thing that comes to mind.  We all have so much fighting for our thoughts and worries and concerns.  So much jockeying for our energy and time.  Take a minute to refocus.

But do it.  Get up again, and keep going.

Now I'm going to go do something I wouldn't have thought possible at about 3:00 this afternoon... go enjoy a movie in on the couch with my husband.

Thanks be to God for rescuing me even when I forget to ask.

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