faith and reality

In general, I feel like I've dealt with my normal moving hormones much better this time around. I have tried to remain patient with all the changes we've endured and are still discovering, but there are moments when reality hits me square in the face, and I find myself sitting on my bed staring out my window with tears welling up in my eyes.

Reality hit me again yesterday afternoon as I hung up the phone with my dear friend from San Diego and drove my normal 50 miles to pick the kids up from school. The car was steaming hot. Elle was fussy because I forgot her binkie. And the gas gauge kept lowering, reminding me how many miles I drive a day just to drop off and pick up the girls from school. After I hung up the phone, I felt like changing all my plans and heading west to sit in Ashley's living room one more time. It's amazing how having just one good friend changes everything, and I would've given anything to sit on her fluffy couch again, trying to hold a decent conversation while managing any number of kids at the same time.

But that would not be my reality. My reality was listening to Elle scream for the last ten minutes of the drive because I couldn't find the right Mickey song. I finally calmed her down just as we retrieved V from school, but the tears returned when V was able to pick something from the school treasure box and she wasn't. I wrestled her into her carseat with sweat dripping down my nose and V clinging to my right leg. Elle kicked me in the face as I tried to latch the final buckle, and I found myself struggling to maintain patience. I asked V to get in her seat, but she refused. She wanted me to do it. So as I tried to squeeze my hand between the two carseats to secure the buckle, Elle grabbed my hair and pulled so hard I thought I'd cry. I managed to get away, and I composed myself outside, wiping the sweat from my forehead and nose and rubbing my aching head before I joined them in the car (don't worry...the a/c was on the whole time). We drove to Mya's school--me fuming, Elle crying, and Genevieve singing songs to herself. Elle's tantrum lasted 20 more minutes, making it impossible for me to get Mya, and just as I calmed Elle down, Genevieve started crying because she wanted to sit where Elle was sitting. Genevieve threw her shoes at me and banged her head into a glass cabinet at the front of the school, and it was all I could do not to just throw my arms up in the air and say, "I give up." Because in reality, I wanted to give up.

I drove home with all three kids crying about something. V was still mad because of the stroller. Elle was just plain angry. And Mya was sad because she said I wasn't listening to her, but I couldn't hear her over the music she insisted on listening to at a very high volume and the sounds of the freeway. As soon as we arrived home, I stuck them all in time out just so I could find the last shred of patience left in my body. I'll be honest--it was extremely hard to find, but I found it. I went and talked to each child individually and forced apologies out of them before they could leave their rooms.

And that was my reality yesterday, which was very different than the one I imagined in my head, but such is life.

The sadness of my current reality seeped into every moment of my evening yesterday. I couldn't shake it. The strawberry/banana blizzard Tim treated me to didn't shake it. And talking things through with Tim didn't shake it. The sadness felt overwhelming, and hope seemed so far away in my horizon. As I listened to Tim's gentle snore (thankfully it was a gentle one last night ;)), I started to talk to God. I was honest and real, and I asked for just an ounce of wisdom regarding my current situation. I sat there silent and felt this impression come to me, "Have faith. Lift up your own heart for awhile."

I've been thinking about the impression all morning. Sometimes it's hard to have faith when reality seems so dark and dim. I'm in that place right now. But I know faith is attainable if I can let some of the dark things go from my life. As a natural born pessimist, I tend to hold on to the dark things a little too long, but I need to let a few things go if I want to give my faith a chance to grow. And that's my current state at the moment. Enough reality for one day? I think so.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley