Over the course of this week, I have written around 3,000 words trying to fit a round orange slice* into the square shape of my soul for Gratitude Friday and I just can’t do it.
Summer is not for the faint of heart. It is especially not for the introverted faint of heart.
And my children, those precious people I adore with my whole, introverted, faint heart, have sucked every last bit of life right out of me.
Where once there was hope, now there is sorrow. Where once lived joy, now there is frustration. Where excited anticipation waited, now crushed dreams lie abandoned.
And I would be kidding. Except I’m not.
Instead, I am waving the white flag of surrender here. Dr. has left to get us ice cream. Two heaping scoops of chocolate chip in a cup.
And I need two scoops of ice cream like I need for Jean-Claude Van Damme to come climbing down the side of my house and bust through a window pointing a machine gun at me while searching for some cold war Russian spy because incorrect intelligence told him he (the spy) is hiding under my second-hand IKEA couch.
AKA Not at all.
(That was an extreme example. I hope you enjoyed it.)
We have a little less than four weeks left of this Summer thing. Five for Skillet. So we have reached the point where our water park season passes have lost their luster, play dates with friends are super cool IN THE MOMENT but quickly forgotten, and every blasted trip to ANY STORE involves this sentence, “No, for the tenth time, I am not buying you JUST ONE THING.” Because, honestly, y’all, if I bought them JUST ONE THING every time they asked for JUST ONE THING, we wouldn’t have room to walk around in our house because we would be drowning in…
…JUST ONE THING.
We have driven hither and yond for play dates and indoor bounce house magic and swim lessons and hot donuts and water park awesomeness and surprise McDonald’s happy meals and birthday parties and OH MY GOODNESS. We are doing all the things and none of it is enough.
The house is a revolving door of mess.
I can’t even bring myself to make a proper meal. Today for lunch, the kids ate turkey sticks, cheese sticks, BBQ chips, and a bazillion cuties. Everything on their plate was orange. And if the chips and cuties had come in stick form, that would have been all the better.
Wet towels and dripping swimsuits are hung on every door knob and chair in the house.
Dr. and I are just grabbing clean clothes out of piles on the floor because I can’t stand the idea of folding one more piece of clothing.
I need a long night of sleep where the sun does not hit my face at 6 am and the air conditioning runs at arctic levels all night long. I need a long run on a cool, crisp, cloudy day when my legs feel like they are floating on air and I don’t even break a sweat. I need my house to be neat and my toilets to be scrubbed and my weekly menu to be an achievable thing.
None of which will be happening. Ever. Or at least not until November, maybe.
But, however, and here’s the thing…
I don’t want to spend the next four weeks feeling empty and dried up and exhausted. I don’t.
And I don’t want to try and turn this whole thing around with some Jesus juke none of us believe I actually mean. That wouldn’t be fair to any of us.
So the truth is, we all get tired. We all feel used up and empty and lost. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes not that often. But this isn’t new and certainly, it’s not the first nor last time I will feel this way.
The truth is my feelings do not change the sovereignty, nor the goodness, nor the faithfulness of God.
And the absolute truth is God is big enough to handle my white flag of surrender.
It’s okay to say, “Hey, Father, I’m gonna need a hot minute here to wallow and bang out some frustration on the laptop keys and eat some incredibly unhealthy food I will never be able to run off because it is hotter than the surface of the sun before 7 am. I’m in need of rest. Physical rest. And my best guess is, I won’t get that in the next five weeks. So instead, for tonight, I’m gonna pout and complain and maybe cry and then tomorrow, we’ll face tomorrow, tomorrow.”
And friends, I’m grateful my Savior is big enough to take all of that from me and love me anyway without even a hint of the emptiness and frustration and exhaustion I feel when my own children say the same things to me.
God is God. I am not. And I am grateful.
*(FYI: That orange slice thing is a reference our Nest Builders, the subscribers, would get.)