Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Please tell me there are days when you feel like an absolute failure.

When I spent my days in the office, we could for weeks wearing clothes out of the clean laundry basket. “It needs to be ironed? Pick a different outfit, honey.” “No clean cereal bowls? Use some Tupperware.” “I didn’t make that phone call today, ehhh, I’ll get to it tomorrow.” As a type-A organizer who made my living as a grant writer and personal assistant to the president of a booming small college, those things were drops in the bucket compared to the things I dealt with at work. I was usually worried about a looming deadline for a multi-million dollar grant proposal, getting my boss ready for an appearance, or discretely handling a student issue. But now, those drop-in-the-bucket things-the laundry, the dishes, the phone calls- those are my job.

Being a momma is a full-time job. And if you have a full-time job on top of that…well, bless you. Yesterday I finally had to drag the mound of laundry to our bedroom because it was overflowing into the walkway of the laundry room… and because I didn’t want to look at it anymore. The dishes were overflowing out of the sink, because no one had unloaded the clean ones from the dishwasher, and the whole kitchen smelled like whatever we’d had for lunch two days ago. Yuck. My baby cried.all.day. He does not usually do this. He is high needs, yes. A crier? No. (Which, btw, should have been my first clue something was up with him.)
By about half past naptime yesterday afternoon, I was sitting in front of our little outdoor fireplace, with my bible, a blanket… and a glass of wine. Y’all, it had been a very long day. I tried writing in my prayer journal but the words wouldn’t come together. What I got instead was a doodle illustration of the word “control” in all capital letters. Because (surprise!) that’s what all my frustration boils down to. Some of you are going to quit reading now because you’re just about fed up hearing the play-by-plays in the never-ending God vs. Allysa: Battle for Control.

Do you know what? It. Is. Not. A. Battle. He has already won. Thank heavens. All control I think I hold on to is false control. The Lord already knows where my next home is, He already knows how He’s going to make our budget work for next month, He already knows what my husband’s next job will be. HE ALREADY KNOWS. And that means I do not have to know. I should place my trust in the ONE WHO IS, because He knows… and I do not. I feel like if I mull over it long enough I will come up with some answers. The truth is I can’t sell this house, I can’t balance the budget, I can’t take away my husband’s stress. But. He. Can. It’s frustrating carrying a burden I wasn’t made to carry.

I went to bed wrestling with control and feeling like a complete failure. My job is to take care of my husband, my son and my home. And as of bedtime last night, I felt that I had ruined all three of them! Dinner time felt like we were standing in the middle of the freakin’ circus. The grill wouldn’t light, the kitchen was a mess… and as he sat in his highchair screaming for no.good.reason, I saw something in Dane’s mouth. Two tiny little white lines on his bottom gums. Insert head smack here. My child has fussed and cried all day because his teeth hurt.  Mother of the year? Yep.

I went to bed thinking I wasted a whole day. The laundry that I had moved to the bedroom became a heaping pile that the dog decided to make a bed in. The dishes were still stinking up the kitchen. The dogs stink and need a bath. My husband still hadn’t done his grad school homework (not my job, I know, but I feel like I should motivate instead of enable by watching TV). After a bath and Tylenol, Dane finally nursed to sleep (and slept from 7:30pm-6:15am! What!?).

I hadn’t wasted a day. I had been pretty darn productive. I took two walks with said fussy baby and carried him until my arms ached. I washed five loads of laundry to contribute to that mound of clean clothes. I cooked a couple of healthy meals for my family which accounted for the dirty dishes in the sink. I let my puppies run free through the fields around our house which made them stinky, but worn out and thereforeasleeponthecouchandnotunderfootthankyouJesus.

It’s all a matter of perspective. A year ago I would have told you I failed by not getting that multi-million dollar grant, now failure is putting my baby in (biodegradable, chemical-free) disposables because I forgot to wash his cloth diapers. Today I know God is in control. Proverbs 16:33 (Thank you, Jaynee for this!) says “We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.” He does give me a teensy bit of control by letting me throw the dice. But, praise be to Him, He doesn’t leave my future to chance, or leave me to my own devices.

Thanks for letting me ramble. The words still seem choppy, but I think my fog is clearing.

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