And not just here at my miniscule carved out spot in bloglandia.
I have not been speaking, really speaking, to anyone really.
At the end of 2014 it became very obvious why I have never encountered a woman who homeschooled and worked at a job. Ever.
And yet that was what I was doing September till the week before Christmas.
That pretty much explains the absence.
Despite the fact I work only a few nights in the evening (though that increased to 4-5 days come black Friday) this back to work entails…being under another set of commitments, another authority who dictated what I do, and how, and when, and for how long, another set of unspoken social rules and mode of communication to observe and learn and hope I did right, another thing to be running late for!
And so I juggled.
I was constantly behind.
I was constantly stressed.
I consistently had a rising level of panic ebbing and bobbing as I went from task to task in a whirlwind, hidden just beneath my breastbone.
For the first time I fully understood what the phrase “troubled waters” was all about.
Something had to give because Mama was falling apart.
And we Mamas:
we carry a lot,
we impact a lot,
we alter those around us a lot,
not even knowing that we do.
And so, one late evening when everyone else was in bed and I was cleaning,soon after Thanksgiving when the extra burden of Christmas performance and cost nestled its way into the tempest within, I found myself sobbing in front of our open basement door. Why? Because the laundry basket that is supposed to go right there is still atop of the washing machine upstairs full of clean thoroughly un-folded laundry, and had been for days, so just a mass of strewn dirty towels, socks, and shirts stood heaped on the landing instead, along with an assortment of old battered tools: A kind of domestic stew of unclean and unorganized and unkept.
And right then at that moment: That Sight Was Me: dirty and out of control and shameful to look upon.
Face to the planked floor the question rose above the waves of despair quiet in my mind:
What am I going to do? Something has to give doesn’t it?
And instantly I saw the three responsibilities in my life that were negotiable bob to the surface:
For a moment it felt like God was asking me to put these in order in some neatly labeled box, as to what mattered the most to me because that would dictate my answer:
And that is a truly terrible, fearful, guilt-inducing, question. So I dismissed it because that is not the voice of the Spirit who gives life, truth, and peace, that is the voice of the Enemy who prowls outside looking to get in, and the voice of my own insecurities that plague me within.
And I was done with all that. After all, I am sobbing over laundry.
Breath starting to steady, and mind clearing, the waves settled and I kept seeking a concrete answer from my unseen God because this is a crisis, and I am not getting off this unswept floor till I have an answer.
It’s so quiet I can hear the tiny ripple of sure answer:
I have to stop homeschooling. And I am not choosing money or church activities (the very two things I have for over a decade tried to advise young mothers to not be swayed and seduced by) over my children. And now the cool decompressing of truth and common sense and perspective and remember child what I spoke to you? pushes down and its like someone pulled the plug on the dirty bath water and only a sweet aroma, like incense fills in the space.
It did not instantly get better, or easy. Emotionally I was still a wreck, despite my clean answer. It works that was sometimes. Knowing the path, does not remove all those obstacles.
This Monday one girl went back to 6th grade elementary to a familiar school and one girl went to 7th grade middle to a new, scary, culture-shock school.
Six months earlier back to public school than planned does not equal failure or giving up.
Not having enough volunteers for the ministry I started and so back to the drawing board and wait, does not equal “The Lord really didn’t speak to you”.
Actually liking work and am in a better mood when I drive away from my house to yes, hang up and fold clothes and answer people’s incessant questions, (like I do at home) but at $8.50/hour does not equal unsatisfied wife and mother.
I have been working this all out up in my head.
Have made drastic changes in my diet because crying on the floor over laundry was not ONLY because of outward stress.
Have been hiding from human interaction except for the most generic of small talk because it’s so complicated and riddled with doubt and shame I can’t even bring it up, and dread someone asking.
But I have been consistently looking and asking. Even when Jesus seems distant and out of touch.
Always the looking for answers, for peace, for joy, and space to breath and just be.
And He who walks along the road with me, and calms the storm and then tells me to walk on water even though every one knows that is ridiculous and crazy, and, not the way it works, gave me just enough of an answer, a present peace, and joy and space in crammed trials to continue in expectant hope.
All that to say:
I am speaking and listening to people now.