Hanging by a Thread

threadTonight was exceedingly rough.  I really dislike those nights.  So instead of sleeping I decided to write.  I can’t sleep anyway…don’t want to wake up any friends…and I’ve already poured out my heart to God face first in the carpet.

I’m back to those days.

My face in the carpet days.

I don’t have a closet to hide in anymore…oh how I miss my closet.

One of the many things that broke my heart tonight was all my interactions with my littlest girl.  The transitions our family has made have been really very difficult for her.  She is feisty anyway and put a change in the mix and she’s just…well, REALLY feisty.

Unfortunately I have about 2 minutes worth of patience left at the end of the day and I can’t seem to be the mommy I want to be.

I want so much to be kind, gentle, and patient mommy, but right now I’m so blasted tired after work and staying up late to finish coursework or classwork or planning or grading or just being plain sleepless like tonight.

So I get fussy about my daughter’s fussiness and then mommy guilt comes crashing down.

I’m gone more than I am with my children.  It is yet another huge change that has occurred in my life in the past 5 years.  And, honestly, I hate it.

In my short amount of time with my children I want to love on them…and yet, this little one and I can seem to do nothing but butt heads.  According to her, I’m the meanest mommy ever.  Of course that is her response to being in trouble.

Tonight I told her that it was her choice whether she got nice mommy or mean mommy.  It sounded good in theory…at least it did about 2 seconds before I spoke it aloud.

But something seemed off…I couldn’t put my finger on it until she and I talked later.  I told her, “You have to make better choices.”  She gave me the reasons for her bad choices and all involved other people.

To which I said, ‘You can’t let other people determine how you are going to act.  Your behavior is your choice.”

Ouch.

THAT’s why my good mommy/bad mommy comment didn’t feel right.

Why does my 7 year olds’ behavior determine mine?

I’ll tell you why…I’M HANGING BY A THREAD!

Tonight as I lie in bed trying desperately to fall asleep, feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack, and begging God for something…I don’t know what…I began to pray more than I have in days, weeks.

I realized that the things that have changed in my life lately have been very good in some ways, and just so very difficult in others.  I have such guilt for working…such guilt for not providing a better situation for my children…such guilt for being tired, impatient, easily angered, and overwhelmed.

And sometimes I just want desperately to go back to life before…not even life before divorce, but life right after.  Life when everything was awful but I had perspective and peace.

I want perspective and peace again.

I know why I don’t have it though.  I haven’t made any time to pray…just those “Hail Mary” prayers I make on a daily basis.

I don’t make time to be in the Word – that would make such a difference.  I really need to do that…forgo more sleep I suppose.  Ugh, how is that even possible?

I don’t really know but that will be my first prayer…that God would provide time in the Word.

My second will be that God would provide time with my children…good, fun time with my children.

My third will be that God will enable me to handle the responsibilities He has given me with more grace and peace.  (I’m too afraid to pray for patience).

My fourth will be that God gives me perspective on my life…that I will remember that He is sovereign and I am not.  Good gravy – I have control issues.

I made decisions based on the knowledge that I had.  I trusted that God was leading me.  I did that whole step out in faith thing.  And although tonight I’m a mess, I know that God led me.

I just need to keep reminding myself that just because things are hard doesn’t mean that they are wrong.

I need to handle things better. God has given me the tools to handle things…His word, His strength, His wisdom, His peace.

I need those things very much.

And God gives them…just need to ask.

I’m asking.

Still hanging by a thread….but I’m thinking now it might be changing to a thread of hope.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Romans 12:12

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7 Comments

  1. Divorce is sooo very crushing, debilitating, demoralizing, and devastating, without throwing kids and finances into the mix!! But as I read your blog it hit me….you are EXACTLY where I was 4 years ago….making a dutiful “to do” list that only served to measure where I was failing and brought on more desperation and feelings of guilt and failure! That was, until I was given a devotional “Jesus Is Calling” by Sarah Young!! It has become the 1st thing I start my day with and helps me focus on the ONLY list item needed to get me through EVERYTHING!! If my focus is on Jesus, at every turn, before I react, before I decide, before I speak….my day may be challenging but at the end of it all I am at peace!! I even have a wrist band (wide colored elastic) on which I wrote, “JESUS FIRST!” WHEN I start to forget one quick zap of the elastic band brings my thoughts back to Him!! The elastic broke a few days ago…but the habit is almost natural now….I do not care what others think…I jokingly tell my kids, friends, whoever, that: “I’m pausing my ‘kill desire’ so’s to allow A Jesus takeover!”!!! Hang in there you ARE in my prayers! (((HUGS)))!!!

  2. Such truth spoken thru your daughter. God use conversations like them to remind us of the importance of putting him first. As I read this it is the beginning a taking my quiet time in the morning. The stack of things to be done today is overwhelming and the temptation to dive in and drive on is very real right now. Phone calls to Europe that are 5 hrs ahead and phone calls to the west coast that are 4 hrs behind. Paper work, paper work never ending. As mush as I know its importance taking time with Jesus can slip by the side.
    So great full that he is patient with us.
    Love your willingness to be transparent and am by Faith believing for the Fathers supply today for you in all the ways you know but especially in the ways you are not aware of that are providing for you and your family
    Take rest in him in all of the chaos it is only there where there is peace.

  3. God is taking the struggle you are experiencing and turning it into a blessing for others, many others. Now, as to why this is your cross to bear I can’t offer solace but know that your efforts are a tremendous blessing always. I will pray for a renewed and continued strength, wisdom and grace along the way. Thank you for helping to calm my storm, and today I really needed this exact message.

    In His Care Always – Matt. 11: 28-30

  4. So I haven’t had time to read many things lately because . . . dun dun dun, I’m also a frazzled working mom. However, I’m glad I took the time to catch up on your blog because it’s just soooo real. And in a country of special Christianese and phrases that are always overused and rendered trite, you, my dear, are the real thing. Listen, I’ve been there. This blog could’ve been written my me. I don’t have five kids, but two, and I’ve worked and was a single mom for a looong time.

    That “mean mommy” story made me laugh. Why? Again, been there. But I have these conversations with myself and then with my friends and I always come to the same conclusion. And here is that conclusion, which I hope offers someone..anyone…the same comfort it does me:

    1. Work is joy. Work is a blessing. Every single time guilt rolls around and starts making fun of me beacuse I work, I turn around and remind it that God blesses the hard worker. A child seeing a working mother is not bereft or abandoned, not at all. Believe it or not, a work ethic is being demonstrated. I was a product of two working parents, my sister worked her whole life with three kids as a single mom – and all three kids today are also hard workers who love their mom. Work is joy!

    2. Work is tiresome. Man, it lays a person out, that’s for sure. How on earth to give when everything is spent? At the end of the day, I just want to sit on the couch and not do more work in the kitchen, etc. But there is a balance that must be strictly adhered to. Am I being kind to myself? Am I giving myself the breaks and the sleep and the schedule that I need so that I can offer positive moments to my kids? Am I letting guilt rule my life by overspending my energy? If I take small kind-to-self opportunities, then I am better for it. I just took a vacation day this week and spent time at my favorite cafe reading and eating panini while the kids were in school. Once in a while, this is ok. And now, nice mommy is a bit more present these days:)

    3. All of that “supposed to be” ends up in the trash at some point. We’re supposed to be devoting this much time to this, and kids are supposed to be doing that, and I’m supposed to be this. When my son was little, I learned that holidays would never be the same for me again. I had an aging family and a small child who would spend most of the day of thanksgiving or christmas with his dad. I didn’t know what to do with myself until I said “why I am supposed to be in this norman rockwell picture every holiday?” There are tons of people out there looking for other people on holidays, and so my holidays were reinvented much like a lot of other supposed-to-be’s in my life.

    Ah, anyway, just a tidbit of my single-motherhood that got me from there to here. But from one mom to many moms, I salute you my sisters. Get some sleep, drink some delicious tea, read a good book, relax your tired feet. God loves you and so do I:)

  5. I must say….I feel like you are in my head. Thank you for writing this blog entry. I, many times, feel like I am barely hanging on by a thread…or that is may have snapped. I have a very active and feisty 3.5 years old daughter (plus 16 years old daughter and 11 years old son)….probably enough said regarding tired, parent guilt and patience- similar to your comments but I am more intensified and.frazzled by the days end. I know I am not working right now and so staying home (which I have basically done for the past 16 years) is stressful on the budget and daily life. I have been separated for 3.5 years, but we will not nor have we sought reconciliation from almost the beginning of the separation. Plus and minus to that….I did not want to be in this situation…divorcing and being a single parent. We were married and in the same home for 18 years…an active duty military family (Air Force). So many emotions still happening and working through…. Divorce has so many dark areas that can sneak up on everyone involved and hard tk understand IF you haven’t been in the situation. Thank you for reminding me to stay connect in prayer and in His Word…know that is my problem and disconnect right nkw. Thank you.

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