He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rock Bottom

Any F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fans out there?  I confess I am a fan. Yes, I know it's crass and mostly inappropriate but it reminds me of my college days and there are few TV characters that can make me laugh out loud 'til it hurts like Joey and Chandler.  I'm just sayin...

Rachel Greene is actually not one of my favorite characters- she always kind of bugged me, but one of her quotes has been swimming around in my head lately that kind of describes pretty well where I am at this phase in my life.  It goes something like this-

"I really thought I hit rock bottom.  But today it's like there's rock bottom, then fifty feet of crap, then me..."

Oof.  Sadly, that's kind of where I've been at least emotionally and physically these last few weeks.  I mean we knew heading into the month of September that it was going to be insanely crazy.  School starting, busy travel schedule for Jason with back to back trips, meetings that we're hosting/planning/leading, birthday parties, simply just getting settled back into the school routine especially after traveling all summer.  Add to that mix some other unexpected things that only made the schedule that much more crazy.  Add to that ear infections and sleepless toddler nights (which to clarify are much more difficult than sleepless newborn nights at least in my opinion...  Sleepless newborn nights= sweet cuddles, very little crying, and a green card to be lazy the next day.  Sleepless toddler nights= sippy cups being hurled at your head, angry cries of "mommy, mommy, mommy, daddy, daddy, daddy", and life going on as normal when the alarm goes off the next morning).  Add to that raging teenage/preteen hormones, raging 6 year old hormones (yes, I'm convinced they exist), and an oh so precious 16 month old who has decided that throwing herself onto the floor in a raging fit is her favorite M.O. these days..

(and yes, she has a mommy who at this point chooses to video her rather than discipline her)

(and the video didn't work- will keep trying...)

I had great plans of transforming our family in the month of September.  Yes, in spite of knowing in advance how crazy it was going to be- I had grand plans.  Becoming a meal planner again, cooking in advance, organizing our chore charts, having work prepared for the girls to supplement what they're learning at school and filling in the gaps, and and and.  All sorts of grand plans.  Yeah so none of that has happened.  At all.  Quite the contrary I seem to find myself sort of ringing my hands, looking around helplessly thinking WHO is in charge here? And then I realized, DANG IT- it's me (and Jason of course but you get it ).  I'm supposed to be in charge and things are falling apart!  

I had 3 good days. The first week the girls started school.  My stupid alarm sang it's stupid song at 5:30 and I was out of the bed.  It was actually kind of nice to have 45 whole minutes of solitude in the Word time.  That has been my goal for quite some time and it actually happened!  Yay!  I did it!  

But then things inadvertently started falling apart. Things completely out of my control reared their ugly heads and reminded me that no, I am actually NOT in control at all and more importantly, I better stop thinking that I am the one in charge (of my household, my daily activities, my goals, my kids, my marriage) and remembering that Almighty God, the Creator of this often confusing but oh so amazing universe is THE ONE who should be directing my days.  I should not pridefully take the credit for finally getting my stuff together in a way that makes my home run more smoothly.   Because as He's gently reminded me this week,

"Unless the Lord builds the house, it's builders labor in vain."  Psalm 127:1 

And wow.  I don't want to labor in vain.  The business of raising kids is a serious one.  Molding these little people and helping them discover what God has for them.  Not something I want to mess up or even pretend for a minute that I am the one doing it.  It's ALL HIM.  The days when I find myself ringing my hands while they are running circles around me are the days that, for whatever reason, I have decided that I am in charge and have helplessly tried to dig myself out of the fifty feet of crap (thank you Rachel Greene for that visual) that I feel mounding on top of me.  

These are the days that I do things like tell Anabelle to go potty (instead of going to change her diaper- she's no where near potty trained), put the milk in the cabinet and my keys in the freezer (true story ), write 2013 as the year on my passport renewal form while at the embassy (yep did that yesterday), stare blankly at my husband when asked a simple question, completely unable to make a decision.

All that to say, rock bottom.  Yeah that's where I feel like I am.  But I've actually discovered a good thing about rock bottom.  Something that I"m certain Rachel never knew.  God is there.  And not only is He there, but He is ready to lift me above all that stuff that's piling on threatening to suffocate.  Take a walk with me through the Psalms that have been like a balm to my soul over the last few days as I've meditated on my God, my rock.  (and I have to say it...  How cool and relevant is God that He can take something pretty unholy like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and use it to lead me straight to His heart)

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40:2

I can call out to Him asking for deliverance, and even more comforting, I am not alone in my sinking feeling.  Even King David hit rock bottom and cried out to God.  

"Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters."  Psalm 69:14

And I love that when he pulls us out of the pit, the miry clay, the crap (in modern terms), he puts us on a higher place where only He can sustain.

"From the ends of the earth I call to you.  I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. "  Psalm 61:2

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights."  Psalm 18:32-33

His strength.  His provision.  A way out of the pit.  Praise Him that He is in charge not me!  

So, rock bottom.  Not such a bad place to be when my feet are planted firmly on the King of Kings.  

"He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken."  Psalm 62:6

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

"Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal."  Psalm 26:4


Our Family's Journey said...

You are doing an amazing job and being so great can wear you out, can't it? You're right though - God is above all the crap and He lifts us out and draws us closer to him. Your girls watch you through these days and are growing to be strong ladies in the Lord - stand firm and strong. He'll keep providing! Love keeping up to date with ya'll.

Kendra said...

Umm, you said crap...more than once even... ;) Thanks for sharing your heart - I'm glad He's using the Psalms to lift you up out of the muck & mire (read: crap!). Hang in there friend. Love you!

Kelli said...

No, I didn't say crap. Rachel Greene said crap and I quoted her. Several times. Just be glad I didn't quote somethign else :)