Over the past few days I've been mulling over resolutions and goals, reading inspiring posts by friends on the things they hope to accomplish this year, and getting excited about what's ahead for us in 2012. And yet, in the midst of all the hope for the best year we've ever had there is a weight that pulls me down. A little thing called reality.
I could write all about everything I want to do to be a better Christian, wife, mom, friend, sister, neighbor, and church member in 2012. Goals really are important and have their place in life. But I'll save that for a future post. Today, I'm thinking about how I've failed and what hasn't gone right so far this year:
I forgot to pick my kid up from a playdate....until the friends' mom called...wondering why I was so late...yikes!
I snapped at a kid who just doesn't know when to quit
I've been exasperated and already muttered to myself, "Why on earth did I ever have children?"
I've put some of the kids' brand new toys in Toy Jail
I've cleaned up a wet bed incident in the middle of the night...waking to ear-splitting screams just as I was drifting off into a deep sleep
I've found myself overcommitted, and hating the things I had to get done one night, but feeling trapped by my schedule because I didn't say no
I've wrung my hands in despair over what to do with a baby who is in agony--unsure if she's teething, experiencing constipation pain, or an ear infection
I've reprimanded and disciplined little ones many, many, many times
I've woken up with an overwhelmed feeling when I survey the wreckage that I'm in charge of cleaning up
We've already sent one of our favorite babysitters packing (getting her home an hour later than we had hoped and rather than our kids going to sleep peacefully like we'd imagined, they screamed the whole time....)
We've had an overflowing toilet in the downstairs bathroom, a continually flooding laundry room and thus the inability to do dishes or laundry, or flush
My hubby and I got upset with one another over a garage door that almost got closed accidentally on the back of our van
I've put off some schoolwork we should be getting to
I forgot all about AWANA starting up again tonight
I haven't taken down the Christmas tree
I've had to have a serious talk with my daughter after she witnessed something inappropriate at a playdate (nothing horrible...but nevertheless distasteful)
I've listened to a friends' embarrassed confession
I've dealt with late people who have inconvenienced me, disobedient kids, and sticky fingers
I've heard my husband say that there's no wiggle room in the budget this month
I've worried about my husband's aching wrist and the kink in my back that just won't come out
I've made phone calls trying to figure out how to get my kids' healthcare coverage again--a computerized form got lost and their coverage was dropped
I've had a black-out in our house...in fact it was in the middle of typing this post...
I've had to ask a few different people for help with our flooding laundry room
I've had two embarrassing moments...slipping on packed snow in front of folks I was photographing and making an accidental faux pas with company
And though these problems are light and momentary in the grand scheme of life, especially when compared to those facing death or persecution, or those who are fighting terminal illnesses or grieving a loss, these little things still serve to remind me:
THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME
Having a wonderful year doesn't mean having a perfectly easy year.
Ann Voskamp has said:
"There’s only one address anyone lives at and it’s always a duplex:
Joy and pain always co-habit every season of life.
Accept them both and keep company with the joy
while the pain does it’s necessary renovations."
2012 is a NEW year
but I have an OLD need:
I need Him.
I need Jesus, a Savior and Friend, in this messy life...this life that will always be filled with difficulties--difficulties that both whisper and holler reminders at me that this....all of this here....this isn't what it's all about.
Since you've seen the "pain side" of our duplex, I'll now recount the joy side, lest I leave you thinking life in our household is a major downer:
I've made goals and have an action plan to actually meet them
I've read one great book already!
I've enjoyed coffee and prayer with some dear friends
I've gotten a bouquet of flowers from a wonderful friend who wanted to bless me in the midst of my plumbing trials
I've had a different friend offer to buy us dinner
A sweet elder from our church volunteered tools and time to help us with plumbing issues
Another friend called to let me know about an awesome grocery deal
I got a free coffee, thanks to a tip from a friend
We ate delicious pizza and brownie sundaes with my sis-in-law Anna to celebrate her 29 years!
(She's standing by her present from my brother)
We've played "Scum" (a favorite card game) with dear ones while eating chocolate fondue and ringing in the New Year
We've hosted fun overnight guests--Josiah's folks, sis, and her boyfriend
We met Karl, a super-sweet and godly young man from Canada who is dating Josiah's sister Kianna and came with them for the visit
We've had a movie night without kids, courtesy of my brother
We've had friends offer tools and assistance with our flooding laundry room
I had the privilege of taking photographs of a beautiful, newly engaged Christian couple
I got a good belly-laugh out of accidentally calling Karl "Uncle Karl" to the kids, providing Josiah's mom and sister with some giggles of their own!
I've watched my little girl practicing her walking with her new push-toy from Grandma and Grandpa
I've laughed with my kids, hugged them, and prayed with them
I am savoring the moments of having a one-year-old and a second little girl!
I've heard Justus say "I love you sooooo so much Mommy!"
I've discovered that Bountiful Baskets is coming to OUR TOWN this week, so from now on I won't have to drive 15-30 miles to get a BBasket!
I've read quality literature aloud to my kids
I've seen Ali get excited about reading and read for 30 minutes when she was only required to read for 15 minutes
I've heard a great sermon on priorities and fellowshipped at church
We were able to be there for a mom friend in desperate need--she had to drop four young kids off at night on New Year's Eve to head to the hospital--praise the Lord her baby is fine!
We almost had 8 guests spend the night (on New Year's Eve)--God has blessed us with a large home and lots of extra beds!
We hosted Pray and Play this week!
I got to see Karl and Kianna do Gospel rope tricks and watched him paint a Bible lesson for the 7 kids on New Year's Eve
I've actually been pleased with how a photo shoot turned out--a rarity indeed!
We got to open a huge box of goodies from my youngest brother and watch the kids squeal in delight over the toys and candy--he loves to spoil the nieces and nephews!
I've heard sweet and kind words come from my husband's lips, encouragement, affirmation, and compliments--many more than I deserve
I'm back to my winter cleaning job that is easy to do and pays a lot of money! Perfect timing as this is the time of year when things get tighter.
I got to see a tiny, precious, cute newborn baby girl at church--she was only 2 days old--this is a friend who was told that she'd never have children and this is her 2nd biological child!
My kids are relatively healthy and I was able to get them back on health coverage today...a relief!
I am blessed to see how much Katrielle loves her Daddy and vice versa
So, 4 days into the new year, this is where I find myself...counting the evidences of grace in the midst of trials here in our "duplex." Never a dull moment! And never a moment where God is not doing something, loving us, teaching us, holding us....