Thursday, August 30, 2012

Out of the dust

This has not been a banner week for me.

*I have managed to have a sick child, who fell ill on the heels of another sick child, only to end up sick myself (in an ugly, tight-chested, burning throat kind of way).

*I've spent the week, well, the last couple of weeks actually, maniacally flitting from one idea to another, trying to land on the perfect design for how our homeschooling year will look.  Please don't ask why I am just now doing this at the end of August.  It's hard enough just to admit this.

*I had a full-on, heavy-metal, object-flying, expletive-blasting temper tantrum in the middle of my garage-- in full view of my very frightened children and wherein I actually stomped my feet and threw things.  And yes, I turned 40 last month.

*In the midst of one conversation, in which I was sharing all of my angst about the aforementioned ridiculousness, one of my children asked me to please stop putting all of my burdens on him.  It was just too much for him.  Evidently, I've taken frugality to the extreme and have resorted to laying on the couch and spilling my guts to my children, rather than to a paid professional who is actually trained to help someone as messed up as me.  Lord help us.

*I have spent dozens of hours negotiating entente cordiale with two powers, otherwise known as my two sons.  I don't know exactly what has sent this friendship careening so far off course from the once beautiful, fairy tale world it used to reside in but something tells me it has to do with something called hormones.  And to think, I used to be thankful I didn't have girls to stand between.  Nowadays, I feel like I'm living with Bruce Banner, times two (actually, make that times three--see the example of why you don't want me to get angry, above).

I'll stop.

But I think you get the gist of my not-so-awesome week.

Today, here in the dark morning light, I am trying to pick up the wreckage of my awkward and unproductive week.  In a weird, messed up way, I'm tempted to keep adding to the continue the tally of all the ways that I have failed my kids, my husband, myself.  If I'm going to air my dirty laundry, then let's do this right. Or something like that.  This whirlpool of whacked out thinking pulls with incredible force and, left unchecked, will seek to destroy any semblance of right thinking.  And, sometimes, it's tempting to just give in to that power and let myself spin apart.

But then, in this pre-dawn quiet, this comes ...

and suddenly, my heart turns to the familiar notes... that all that I have or haven't been this week, the ways I've made a wreck of just about everything, the things that I have touched that have simply crumbled in my hands and turned to dust...
all of this
can be remade.

I know this, not because I'm some pollyanna-type who thinks that all you have to do is turn that frown upside down and things will miraculously become wonderful. No. I know this because it has happened, again and again, in my life.  

My mess, my gloriously insane mess, can be redeemed.

It is redeemed every time that I give up striving to be more than I am, or, at the very least, give up striving to be like someone else.
It is redeemed when, on the heels of my short, albeit explosive, visit to crazy town, I sit quiet in the car and ask my sons to forgive me for being utterly ridiculous.
It is redeemed every time I choose diplomacy over warfare and love over hate when my boys can't seem to find the words to communicate with each other.
And it is redeemed in the fragile darkness, after the week I would rather forget, when I lie with my Aidan, nestling close in order to hide my face in his sweetness and he says to me, "You are a good mom."

"You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us"


  1. All I can say is, I'm there too. I wrote this great post about coping with change and then found myself sobbing into my hands two days in row. There's nothing like family life to reveal to you your need for an Advocate.

  2. Yep, sounds about right. God is so, so good. I'll never cease to be in awe of how He sees me, who He says I am, and how gently He convicts me of my identity. Without shame. Just grace and truth and the biggest smile.

  3. Well Holly once again you brought tears to my eyes. Even though we've been so far apart, I've had this idea of the life you live. And it makes me feel like I've failed my own life somehow. Especially where my kids are concerned. I haven't had a meltdown like you did. I usually just sit and cry and sob my heart out. But then Amanda will call and tell me that I'm a good mom. And both kids always say they love me. But I want so much more for them. At the same time I don't want to be an embarrassment to them. And that's where it is now. But you opened my eyes to know that you can be vulnerable and sad. And have problems. But you also have courage to write about your life. I love you so much. Lori

  4. I've had a preschooler-Mom version of your week. I don't even have the wherewithal to put it into words, but this was grace for me tonight. So thankful to have discovered your space & voice here. A gift this week, really. Thank you.