Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Please don't weed-eater me...

Some people will tell you that the unexpectedness of life scares them; I think not knowing what's around the corner helps me get up in the morning! I woke up this morning to Laken, our 4 month old lab, barking in her kennel, ready to be let out for the day.  I was pleased with her timing; It was just after nine, and for once, I would get to wake my daughter, Hazel, instead of her waking me.  I climbed from bed feeling ready to take on the day.  Already lists were forming in my head as I led Hazel downstairs and greeted my 4 year old, Julian, who was scouring the kitchen for breakfast.  After feeding the kids and eating a fiber bar myself, I sat down at the laptop to begin organizing my life.  I started with my school work, and then I moved on to creating a plan for keeping the house in order.  Here is what I came up with:
Monday: Tidy the Bedrooms, clean the bathrooms, and pay bills
Tuesday: Sweep and mop my floors, clean the windows and sills, fold laundry
Wednesday: Tidy the yard and porches, clean up the cars, fold laundry
Thursday: Catch up on phone calls and belated emails, fold laundry
Friday: Vacuum floors, dust house, tidy bedrooms
Gosh, I felt liberated!  It's so easy! My simple little list for keeping things in order.  Somewhere I would need to squeeze in school work each week, but I decided I would create that plan when my new classes start next week.  I was on cloud 9; why hadn't I done this sooner??  How hard can order and precision be??
And then it happened.  The smoothness of my day started to crumple up around the edges.  My classes for next semester aren't showing up on my schedule, my kids are miserable and fighting, and the Army Family Event scheduled for this Friday is a mess of confusion.  The latest was the one that really had me nerved up.  I felt that I wasn't in control of the situation, felt like I could have handled it better, felt like people were going to be mad at me for something I had nothing to do with.  I was pissed.  In the midst of making phone calls, conducting chat sessions, and  scripting emails to try to resolve what I somehow thought was my business, my house turned into a potty.  Hazel peed twice on the floor, pooped on the couch, and then peed and spilled her milk on that same couch; Laken peed once on the kitchen floor just for good measure.  Hazel did decide to randomly pee twice in the potty, for which I was very grateful, but it somehow seemed dimmed by the fact that my house smelled like poopy urine.
Finally, everything began to come together and I silently ridiculed myself for being so dramatic (I have a bit of a flare for the dramatic...not by choice).  I put Hazel to bed and decided to take out my aggression on the back yard, which desperately needed mowed; I somehow managed to break the strings on both lawn mowers and only mow a very small patch.  Heaven sakes.
My wonderful husband, Daniel, arrived home about that time to take over.  As he was readying to go outside to finish (and practically start) my task, my son jokingly called out, "Please don't weed-eater me!"  I felt like the day already had...
It wasn't that the events of the day were all that awful.  Instead of handling the few strangling weeds with grace and patience, I allowed them to turn me into something akin to a venus fly trap; I was ready to devour in ugliness and anger anything that got too close.
Once again, it was my son's little words that brought me back down.  He randomly said (as is his nature), "what was your favorite thing at miss amy's last night?"  You should first understand that everything to Julian is "last night" (the bible study was actually Sunday night), and on the night in question Julian was a little tyrant.  I think this question was his way of making certain that the quibbles of that night were long forgotten.  When he asked about the bible study my mind didn't go to my battle with him that night, but thankfully went to the lesson of that night.  A particular point stuck out in my mind like a rose among the weeds - "Am I conversing with God all throughout the day?"  If only there had been a hole big enough for me to crawl into!  What if I had conversed with God through my frustrations of the day?  What if I had settled in His patience and mirrored it myself?  What if I had comforted myself in His peace instead of lashing out in anger?  I can promise I would have been a better witness.  I can assure that I would have gotten a lot more accomplished.  I can guarantee the day would have seemed a lot less dramatic.
I would like to go back and start the day over, doing it right this time.  Instead I'll allow it to strengthen me and not let myself be "weed-eatered" tomorrow.

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