I wish I knew what to do. I am a planner and an organizer by nature. In fact, if I had my way, I’d have my whole life mapped out the way I map my curriculum. But I have learned that life doesn’t work that way.
I could blame it on the kids, on work, on my family, or my husband, but the bottom line is that LIFE seems to be a crazy ride that doesn’t include a lot of solitude. It is just the way it is. There is never a time when I can say, “All is well with every aspect of my life.” It just doesn’t seem to happen.
I long for it.
There are times when all the children are doing well and there are short time spans where my husband feels good. I hold my breath through the first two minutes of every phone conversation and brace myself for what I might hear. I fear break ups, health problems, loss of jobs, animosity in the workplace or in the family. I beg the kids to just get along, to let things go, and am constantly reminding them of certain fundamentals. I am constantly giving gentle (and not so gentle) reminders to attend church and to make God their priority because no matter what life throws at them, they have the promise that God will always be with them. Everything else is just temporary, but their relationship with their Maker is eternal. I always remind them to stick together, that no mater what, they will always be siblings. Friends come and go, but family is forever and nobody can take that away. I worry that hard feelings and frustrations with one another are going to rob them of a beautiful friendship and support system. I adore my siblings. I don’t always agree with them, but I love them to my core and I hope they know that.
I’m so blessed to have a close relationship with my children. I am so proud of the adults that they have become. At times they drive me absolutely bananas, but I couldn’t ask for more passionate, faithful, and caring individuals. I am so blessed.
When my family is doing well, I am doing well. It’s just the way it is. The kids learned through their teenage years that if I said, “It’s a Mom thing” to drop it. It wasn’t going to change. I was going to worry regardless of whether I vocalized it or not. When the children come home for a visit, I slip right back into Mom Mode. I can’t help it. I can’t sleep unit they are home. I worry about bills being paid on time, cars being properly maintained, whether they are getting enough rest and eating a balanced diet. I always wished that I could raise my babies in a bubble in order to protect them from LIFE. Never ever ever, and still ever, do I want my children to experience tough life lessons. But…they have and are, and will and that makes me feel helpless. I wish I knew what to do, what to say, and how to make it stop.
I wish I knew what jobs my children should have and what career they should be seeking. I wish I knew whether they should uproot or stay put, or just retreat to the house on the hill. I wish I could solve the health challenges and make everyone feel so much better. I wish I knew how to make just a little more money, so that we all could pay off our debt, fly to the Bahamas, put our toes in the sand, and forget about LIFE and it’s inevitable upcoming challenges. I wish I knew how much longer I have with my sweet baby and whether we will make it to our 30th Anniversary in 2017. I wish I knew what I will do with myself when I am alone. I wish I knew why bad things happen to undeserving people and I wish I could make everything all better for everyone.
But, this is what I DO know. I know that God will never leave me no matter what. In my final breath, it is going to be just He and I. That brings me comfort. I also know that all things work for the good, for those who love God and who are called according to His purpose. I believe that God will use these events, and weave them together in order to produce what He knows to be the very best for me. Somehow, in some way, the events in my life will make me more usable to God because I do know that he uses the broken- the people who have been there and done that, to guide and to encourage others. I want to be used by Him. I don’t want my life and all the challenges that has come with it, to be a waste.
So for today, I am trying desperately not to dwell on what I can’t change and to stay away from negative people and sad stories. I have removed myself from informational and “support sites” on the internet that give me more information than I need right now. I can’t hang out in other people’s pain or listen to other’s complain. It isn’t helpful and it makes me so sad for people I don’t even know. If I need to know, I’ll ask. I am going to read for pleasure, walk in the rain, listen to Christmas music and sing loudly, and I am going to drink as much seasonal coffee as I can. I am going to eat a little better, exercise a little more, and laugh a little harder and try desperately not to worry about the things I can do nothing about. I can’t promise that I still won’t hold my heath for the first 30 seconds of each phone call, or watch the clock until the kids get in, or stand in the shower an extra minute while I ramp up courage for the next challenge. But the bottom line is that if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have gotten this far and I can’t stop. I have to keep going, for them and for me.
One day at a time….