I have come off some busy crazy weeks just dealing with my primary job of being a mom.
It’s kind of sad that when your kids are babies we try so hard to get them to talk. To say “momma,” and “dadda” and then later to “use their words” instead of throwing a temper tantrum to get what they want.
My kids are older now. I’m tired of hearing their words.
It’s exhausting! They want to be fed all the time. This is especially true for my nine year old daughter who I suspect is hitting a growth spurt. I think she eats nonstop from the moment she gets home from school to bedtime. “Mom. I’m hungry,” are words I hear too often.
“So? You’re hungry? Didn’t I just feed you?”
“Yes, but I’m hungry again.”
Of course it is never for leftovers in the fridge. It’s always something that requires me to get up and prepare it for her.
I swear if tragedy comes upon this family, my kids will starve to death rather than get their own food, or refill their water bottles.
What kind of kids am I raising?
So why am I telling you all this?
Because life is full of what a friend of mine once called “the dailies.” The daily stresses we all have to deal with. Throw in demanding children, head lice (yeah, really), science fair projects, regenerating laundry pile and financial worries and the dailies begin to feel too much.
My pastor talked on Sunday about how we have an adversary as we seek to persevere in our faith. Ironically, as he finished his message that was when the adversary whacked me upside the head. Depression is a vicious weapon when aimed at a weary soul. The message?
“Would anyone even miss you if you weren’t here?”
Sounds a bit like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” doesn’t it? Ouch. My heart cracked as my brain sped into overdrive reciting all the things I do to use the gifts God has given me to honor and glorify him. As if my value is tied up in that?
Why would the enemy think he can use that line of attack? Because fellow believers have used it too, only with subtle changes in wording. The enemy doesn’t have to work too hard sometimes to defeat me.
So my day was spent spinning my wheels. I journaled a prayer, tried to watch a movie and couldn’t write. I repeatedly fed my kids. I gave up all attempts at productivity and sat down to read a novel. I started it the day before and struggled to set it aside. I read the last 300 pages of it. Done. Finished. LOVED it.
I wish my heart had a reset button. My computer has a reset to a previous version of a backup. If it gets corrupted, I can reset it and maybe lose some data but overcome perhaps another more damaging issue.
I prayed. I journaled. It wasn’t until I lost myself in the adventure, courage and perseverance of faith of someone else (yeah, fictional people, but still) that my heart recalibrated.
I’m still tired, but not as beaten down as I was earlier. The power of great fiction can be used by God in so many ways we often never realize. What an honor it is to be part of the business of putting stories like that into the hands, and hearts, of readers. Maybe it’s a selfish thing though, because I get the blessing of those words before the general public does.
I guess my train of thought is back on the tracks now. Whew!
What a great perspective. Even ‘light’ fiction can be the pause that refreshes for the busy, stressed mom who can’t escape any other way. Thanks for the reminder that writing is important and we should take it seriously. And, not to be the advice-giver, but have you ever let the kids go hungry till they figured out they could get something for themselves? Some stuff we are necessary for with kids. But we do them a disservice when they— a) think they are helpless without us and b) don’t develop the honor that is due the parents. It really hurts them in the long run if, as they get older, they see you as ONLY put on earth to meet their needs. And lest I sound haughty—I have been guilty of this too often, and still am even with my adult kids.
I have refused at times. I even told them that they wouldn’t starve to death if I didn’t feed them. They’ve gone to bed “hungry” because of that. They are still alive to plague me the next day! Amazing how draining the demands can be. Sometimes i give in to just shut them up! Duct tape would probably be easier though, right? (Joking!)
Some times you just need a day off of ourselves…