Loveys, my house is a mess.
Not a little one either.
A big fat mess. With boxes that are sort of packed (by packed, I mean stuff crammed into them without rhyme or reason). So the week before we move, the dishwasher breaks. Have you washed dishes lately? By hand? Holy macaroni I've forgotten what a chore that is and I'm grateful for that genius who invented dishwashers. Seriously, having to wash dishes every day was soooo not on my list of things to do the week of moving. So this morning, I'm trying to motivate myself to go into the kitchen (which looks like a tornado hit it) and wash dishes like Suzy Homemaker. Where is Blanca Brumble when I need her?
Here's a truth. I'm a teeny bit tempted to put them all in a box and just go use the dishwasher at the new house. Jeff says that's not allowed yet.
Anyway, so I'm surrounded by chaos. Nothing went as planned this week. We were supposed to close Monday. Didn't happen. They ended up needing to redo the floors on the first floor of the house. And move light fixtures. These things needed to be fixed, but it meant closing on Friday instead of Monday. Which makes me twitch since we need to turn in the keys of our rental bright and early Sunday.
And this house looks like yellow tape should be at every corner. And I need to pack and clean, but first, I must wash a million dishes.
Chaos and I don't live well together. I need order. I just function better with it. I'm like my dad in that way. I like things to be put away. (P.S. I just looked up from my computer and saw a vase of dead flowers that I forgot about.)
Picture me sighing and pushing up the sleeves of my purple robe and thinking that coffee would be good right about now.
On top of a chaotic week and a messy house, I've been feeling frail, which never helps. Especially during weeks when I need to be superhuman mom. Frail gets nothing done. Frail is weepy sometimes. Frail can't motivate herself well.
I normally think of women as incredibly strong creatures. We do amazing things like push other 8-pound humans out of our bodies. We are so many things to so many people. We run households and sit in business meetings and comfort crying kids and listen to stressed husbands and put gas in the car and sign homework sheets at night.
But sometimes . . . sometimes we're frail. Or, at least, I am. We cry over things we can't change. On Tuesday I dropped Ashtyn off at school, and suddenly I felt my heart ache. I drove as slow as possible through the drop-off lane, craning my neck to see her until she disappeared into the school. Walking with her little backpack, the tiniest person heading into school. I'm crying now again, thinking of it! Good grief. I'm frail this week, loveys. It would be a good week to curl up and wrap myself in a blanket and watch marathons of Downton Abbey, sniffling the whole time and drinking tea.
But I look at the chaos covering my house, and I know the big move is Saturday, and there's no time for frailty.
I wish I were stronger.
But I'm just me. I can do a million things, but sometimes I can't stop feeling frail. All I can do is try to tap into that source of strength that's not my own.
I've been having insomnia. It's really uncool. I wake up every night from about 2-3 or 3-4 a.m. And I can't sleep. Before we went to bed last night, Jeff asked me what I do when I'm awake during those hours. "Oh, I pray for the people in Gaza and Israel," I told him. "I pray for the children being trafficked. I pray for the children who are hungry. For the parents who are out of work. For the people who are abused and hurt and neglected. Children in orphanages in Russia. I pray for my own kids. That sort of thing."
Jeff reached over and touched my arm. "No wonder you can't sleep, Bran," he said softly.
It occurred to me that I'm probably not the only one feeling frail.
But we keep going. Because the boxes aren't going anywhere. And neither are the dishes. And the moving truck is coming. When I was a kid, the Secret of NIMH was my very favorite movie. I think of that mouse, running, yelling, "Moving day is here!"
Loveys, here's what I know to be true: It's okay to be frail. It's okay to feel broken sometimes. It's okay to know we're not the strongest. It's okay to push through when you're not sure where the strength is coming from, because you know you ran out about twenty miles before.
God doesn't need us to be crazy strong. He just wants us to be His. He'll do the rest. He's the crazy strong one. I'm the frail one.
He's the calm, ever-present one. I'm the weepy mom who doesn't like washing dishes so much and is easily distracted.
He loves us even in seasons of chaos and frailty. Maybe especially in seasons of chaos and frailty.
I don't know about you, but I needed to remind myself of that this morning.
It's alright to cry when we need to. It's alright to be frail and let God be strong. When the crying is over, we pick ourselves back up and keep going. Sometimes even amid the crying.
And even when I'm frail, my mother tells me that I'm stronger than I think.
She's right, I suppose.
But if you're feeling frail this morning, like me, you're loved. You're okay. What needs to get done will get done, the rest can wait. One breath at a time. One step at a time. Frailty and chaos are part of life. For people who think they're not--those people must easily forget that life is made up of different seasons. And when we cease to empathize with those around us--that's a tragedy. There are a lot of hurting people. Hungry people. Desperate people. Pray for them, lovey.
Jeff just told me he'll be back in about an hour, bringing me a cappuccino.
Excellent. He loves me.
Love makes all the difference.