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Saturday, September 02, 2006

I Give Up

There's no need to explain all the things that went wrong today. The picture says it all, doesn't it? She's had a day just like mine. Is this the way it's supposed to be? Am I supposed to always feel so on edge? What is wrong with me? Is this what life abundant looks like?

Oh how I struggled with stress. I tried to balance my husband, my child, schedules, meals, lessons, church, Sunday School, Women's Group, extended family, friends, birthdays, picnics, Scouts, Gymnastics...I'm stressing myself out just thinking about it.

"I need to get organized," I said to myself. That'll fix it. I bought planners, downloaded charts, and made lists. Then life stepped in and opened its gigantic ugly mouth, chewed up all that hard work and had the nerve to spit it out in pieces all over my clean floor!! I promptly retreated to my special and quiet place to have a good cry. I locked the door, flung the seat down, plopped on the toilet and buried my face in my hands.

"Mommy, there's something wrong in the living room," my son said. I heard his face on the door. I'm sure he was leaning against it with his ear pressed flat while he waited for my response.

"Are you bleeding?" I asked.

"No," he said.

"I'll be there in a minute," I said.

"But Mommy," he whined.

"I need to finish, I'll be there in a minute."

"Oh," he said, "Are you pooping?"

You're laughing at me, aren't you? As if you've never had it happen. Totally ruined the good cry and now I was just angry and thoughts raced through my head. I stomped to the living room and saw what was wrong. The screen of the TV was filled with static and my child was sitting on the floor watching it.

I thought to myself, if "they're heeeere..." they may want to go back. They did not want to deal with me today! All I needed was for the cable to go out because that meant my cable internet was out as well. How could I submit before my deadline with the cable out?

I told my son to put in a movie and I went to my office on the dining room table and tried to find the phone. We had decided months ago to disable our land line and use only our cell phones to save money. It was a good decision at the time, Okay? I moved stacks of unread books, papers, crayons, and swept chip crumbs to the floor. I wonder if anyone else had a dining room table that looks this way? Probably not.

As I spilled glitter, I realized my dear husband had my cell phone because he lost his. He drives a dump truck and works on road construction sites. He's pretty sure his phone is buried somewhere on westbound Interstate 94 just east of Chicago.

No phone. No internet. What a bad day!

I sat down hard and buried my head in my hands again. "I give up," I yelled.

"What did you say Mommy?" My son yelled back from the living room.

"I said, 'I give up!'" I yelled again.

He ran into the dining room, his eyes full of excitement. "Can I, too, Mommy?"

"What? Can you what, honey?"

"Can I 'give up' too," he said.

My heart sunk. Great. Look what I'm teaching the kid. I'm a great mom, huh? I didn't quite understand why he looked so excited, though. He just stared at me wide-eyed with anticipation. He must have seen the furrow of my brow because he explained, "God always sends blessings and stuff down to us, what are we giving up to Him today Mommy?"

So. What is it that you need to give up today?

My thoughts grew hot within me and began to burn, igniting a fire of words
Psalm 39:3

Michelle Pendergrass is a coffee-lover who lives in Knox, Indiana where she homeschools her son, Zane. She blogs at Just A Minute. When you visit, please note that her son is most definitely weaned and has been for some time now. Some names just stick.

©2006 Michelle L. Pendergrass - All Rights Reserved


Heather said...

That is me all last week. I needed to give up and I just kept holding everything down, trying to do it all myself. Even my payes were meisms. Praise the Lord that He gets us through it and, as my friend Bonnie likes to remind me, He lets us have those types of days and weeks to remind us of how much we need Him.

Cara Putman said...

Oh, I can so relate at the moment, Michelle. Sometimes there just isn't enough of me to go around. And the rest of the time...well...let's just not go there :-)

Staci Stallings said...

I'm beginning to see that God gives us tests not to see how faithful and strong we are... but to prove to us how faithful and strong HE is! I, too, "gave up" a long time ago, and it was the best moment of my life. Now if I can just remember to do it today and tomorrow and the next day, we'll be in business!

Pass The Torch said...

I recently wrote a post about stress as well:
(Schoolyear’s Resolutions)

I read a book called the Hurried Woman Syndrome, and it made me look at my stress more seriously.

Best wishes to you - and thank you for commenting on my blog!

Mary said...

Isn't that just like God? To use our children to show us Him? Great post! And totally hilarious as long as I'm not in those shoes! ;O) You'll laugh about it someday, right?

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Heather, I agree with Bonnie (is that Calhoun?) I firmly believe God allows us to experience those trials so we lean on Him.

Cara--I'm guessing you get "touched out" like me?

Staci--Amen! He IS faithful and consistantly proving it!

Kelly--thanks for the book recommendation.

Mary--I'm laughing about it now. This didn't just happen, it has been awhile. I guess it does sound like it happened just yesterday the way I wrote it (feels like it was just yesterday)