Our stuff is in a hundred boxes and trunks, stuffed in a friend's garage.
We are currently staying at our pastor's house while they are on vacation for a few weeks.
We each have a suitcase of clothes and shoes and toiletries. One for Brad, one for me, and one each for the 2 year old, the 4 year old, and the 4 month old.
The baby has decided to be hungry at least twice every night, so I've been up around 2:30 and 5 and then up by 7:30, most days.
The girls have either broke or spilled something every day that we've been here (Rhonda...if you happen to read this from Facebook, don't worry, we've either fixed or replaced things!;) )
And most days, we drag the girls to house showings and realtor meetings, loaded with snacks and lots of patients and grace...it's hard on them but they do well most days and we try to throw fun things in in between looking at houses.
We've made offers on four homes. We backed out of one because the inspection was terrible, and the other three were not accepted...bigger and better offers were made.
Why all the info? Well so that I can justify my erratic behavior of course!
So that you won't judge me when I tell you I lost it at the girls yesterday, just flat yelled and stomped.
Mean mom came to life for a few moments as I waved my arms and yelled and told them not to touch anything ever again, only their toys, and STOP spilling things for the love of God! Stop acting your age, is basically the wisdom I was trying to impart to my sweet but clumsy, accident prone, nonchalant girls. They really have no idea that they're doing anything wrong, they're just being themselves, and that comes with breakage and spillage and just 'hard-on-everythingage'.
Brad doesn't get stressed, and if he does, it comes out in anger, which he wisely and maturely takes out at the gym lifting heavy things or punching a heavy bag, after which he is just fine.
When I get stressed, I wisely and maturely become a big wound up mess of anxiety and stress and tears and yelling and eventually Addison actually says, "Are you gonna freak out mom?" And Brad has to talk sense into me and I have to apologize to everyone and feel ridiculous and wonder why the crap I can't keep it together.
I talked to a woman at church earlier this month, when we were just starting this grand 'adventure' of moving out of our rental without a house of our own to go to, and I told her, "I know it's going to be hard, and I just pray that it's a growing experience, and that whatever God throws my way I handle with grace." Well then. Wasn't that lofty thinking? Yes, yes it was.
For some reason, I wake up bright and cheerful. Ok actually I wake up blurry eyed and completely exhausted and unable to see up from down or make sense of words spoken to me until I've sat alone with a cup or two of coffee. BUT, then I'm bright and cheerful, even in the event that we receive yet another call that another offer on another house was not accepted. I say to Brad, "Don't worry! We'll look some more today! It wasn't meant to be! The Lord has the perfect house for us, keep up the faith! Don't get discouraged honey!" And as we drive around from house to house, crabby kids and crying baby, I sweetly talk to Addison about being thankful and admonish her that whining is not productive, nor is it pleasant to be around. I tell the girls, the Bible says to 'be joyful always, to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks no matter what!' I pray silently over and over for God to help me keep my faith. To give me patience as we go through this process, as whole days seem to be spent driving and looking, driving and looking, and feeding the baby in the car intermittently. To be a good mom and wife...patient with the kids and respectful toward my husband.
And I do an okay job during each day, but something keeps happening at night. This is where suddenly I'm spent. Mentally exhausted from trying so hard to keep it together, to stay positive, and to try and keep three little ones happy. Discouraged at all the no's we keep getting. Bummed that summer seems to be slipping away and we haven't walked Farmer's Market, gone hiking as a family, been to my parents in months, or grilled out. And just plain tired, in need of a good night's sleep.
As I typed the last paragraph, I saw it on the page. The words. Words that tell everything I'm doing wrong, and words that possibly crack the code for how to make life a little better, less stressful. The words "trying so hard." How human of me. How utterly and totally normal it is to try hard. And how utterly and totally wrong it is. How easily I sing the words in songs like "I Surrender All" and "I need thee, oh I need thee; Every hour I need thee...", but how quickly after the words spill out of my mouth do I go back to doing things myself, on my own? I read the greatest little book with the greatest friends recently, Christ in the Chaos. A book about moms and kids and freak outs and temper tantrums and hard hard days and trying hard and doing better...and about how it's not about trying hard and doing better. It's about constantly surrendering to Him and it's about grace and it's about letting go of the wheel and letting Him steer you through the chaos. It's about messing up over and over, but learning to quickly surrender over and over. And I clearly haven't put this into practice. Nor have I dealt with the past weeks with grace, like I told the woman I hoped to do.