I keep getting robbed.

No bandit, weapon, or police report necessary.

It is a sneaky ugly thief that lies seemingly dormant in my mind, like some swamp monster from a grainy old B-movie:

it’s ridiculous, you see it coming from a mile away, and yet you get sucked into its trap of murky water of vague assaults on my character, my perception of others could-be perceptions

I told you it was vague.


It started on a rainy Saturday morning.

The romantic, kid-free, you have your day wide open, kind of rainy Saturday morning.

And then it was robbed.

Spirited away by that swamp monster in my mind.

It made its first blow in the backyard:

Mud, hundreds of walnut shards littered and staining everything I don’t want to be stained, our summer-long pool project not quite finished {lumber, tools, extension cords, paint rollers bleeding out its crusty paint in a dirty pool in the grass}. This despite we have sweated nearly every weekend this summer trying to finish it. And then of course there was the poop and hay and bloated rabbit pellets; a bag-full destroyed and spilling out caused by hard rain and errant squirrels.

Filling water bottles for seven rabbits I can’t stop looking around at my surroundings.

My eye can’t rest in all this saturated brown.

Gulping, I feel it.

The beast growls and stretches its long claws lazy, just waiting, I eventually sink down to him quite well without him having to do anything but wait.

My breathing actually gets shallow, the muscles in my face tighten, I am aware of this, where it leads, but proceed further down nonetheless.

The first thought, an arrow shot out of the bushes, finds its mark:

“we look so poor”

and continues,

“this is what F#$&ING trailer parks look like!”

Then the scale gets tipped.

All those understandable irritations of:

destroyed wasted rabbit food,

the ugliness of mud and walnut shells covering everything,

and the frustrations of projects that always cost more and takes longer than expected

morphs, pivots in my mind, just enough for the shift to happen:

the swamp monster has me

“what are we doing wrong in our lives”

“I would be so embarrassed if someone could see this backyard right now”

“its just stupid to try to have hobbies, life is work and I am married to this house and clearly I can’t keep my shit together”

This conversation spills into the kitchen where an unsuspecting husband last saw his wife seven minutes ago completely happy, and now is in a furious, negative mood.

Thankfully, I have a husband who will continue to talk and poke and challenge.

Thankfully, God is faithful to those who diligently seek Him and I have learned over years and years of repeat sinkings to force myself to think true thoughts.

We talk in the kitchen, quiet in that strange childless way about many things.

One subject that comes up is how possessions which we pursue to increase the quality and enjoyment of our lives, in actuality seem to create more stress and lack of enjoyment that comes from REST, because whatever you strive to get, it must be maintained. Maintained just a notch above what it currently is, and out of your means and/or ability.

New bathroom?

Why didn’t you upgrade your ancient shower too? {i think it was installed in the 70s!}

Beautiful wrap around deck?

Wouldn’t that new line of deck furniture at Lowes look so much better than the used mis-matched stuff your mom gave you?

Your garden is finally filling in?

Don’t you think just a few more mature perennials and some edging would make it really stand out?

Your daughter has a real talent?

Why aren’t you signing her up for additional lessons? After all in a decade it could mean a scholarship.

Then the train of comparisons, usually of people you really don’t spend all that much time in their homes to really know what their lives actually look like, begins.

It’s out and out sabotage.

Rainy Saturdays mornings.

Homes we love.

Pastimes we enjoy.

People we like.

Children we tolerate {that was a joke}.

Their simple enjoyments are lost, and if the attack is prolonged long enough, without counter attack, loses its blessing.

And that is tragic.

Suddenly the minimalist approach of Buddhism was a lot of merit in my mind.

If I was not convinced that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and alive, and they changed their stance on not drinking I would probably convert { i already have the yoga mat}.

But I don’t convert.

I talk it out.

I pray those same prayers again to that risen Lord who is never surprised and nearer than we think.

I admit that yesterday was a really stressful day and stress has a way showing up the next day, I have not got good sleep lately, have been eating too much crap this week, and getting my period soon, and that it is okay.

I make a spinach fruit smoothie instead a handful of Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips and more coffee.

I buy new boots and cute socks on sale.

I write it here.

Because I know I am not alone in my battle against the swamp monster and everyone knows monsters can’t stand the hard light of truth.







One thought on “Vague

  1. “Suddenly, the minimalist approach of Buddhism has a lot of merit in my mind. If I was not convinced that Jesus Christ is the son of God and alive, and they changed their stance on not drinking, I would probably convert {I have the yoga mat}.”

    I completely understand as one who wages war everyday. You are not alone. We are the courageous ones willing to speak up and not let the monsters stay in the dark. Praying for you and me and all the others.


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