Friday, November 8, 2013

Just Keep Swimming

Sometimes I come on here to write, and I know exactly what I want to say, and other times such as this week, I find myself starting to type and hitting backspace more than any other key. Therefore, I apologize in advance if none of this post comes out making any sense. It's been an emotionally exhausting week and a half to say the least, and I'm trying to sift out the things that I want to take away from it all.

It's been an incredibly busy 9 days. That much I can say. I've spent the last week and a half trying to stay afloat...Just keep swimming has been my mantra. As much as I love meeting with parents at conferences, it drains me. By today, it's not even a question that I needed this day off, or I'm afraid I would have let the kids watch movies all day while I laid my head on my desk and slept. On weeks like these, there's so much information to process on top of the already growing list of things that needed to get done and graded. Today I don't feel like doing much of anything, and I'm not going to feel guilty for it!

In addition to just being swamped, my heart just hurts for a number of reasons. People I love are struggling with different issues, and it's hard to watch people who mean so much to you be distressed about things you can't fix or take away. Also, this past week, a precious three year old girl was taken into the arms of Jesus for reasons that could have been prevented, and while it's not my story to tell, my heart hurts for this family I don't know and the other families involved. I can't imagine losing one of my littles...ever. It's a parents' unspoken plea with God to never ever take one of their babies before He takes them. Personally, it's my worst nightmare on any given day.

And so I sit here and emotionally wrestle with God about things that I can't control. God has blessed me and cursed me with a heart that is exploding with empathy. I'm a fixer. I want to scoop up all the people I love-friends and family alike- and put a protective shield over them. It doesn't matter if the issues they are dealing with are life changing or temporarily taking space, I don't like to see them struggle. I feel very blessed that I get to see many of my girls 2-3 times a week as is, so when somebody is struggling with something, we usually have an outlet, a place to reaffirm that we're in this together, that we've got each other to lean on.

And so on a week I felt like maybe I was needed (conceited much, Mandi?), or more importantly, that I needed them, I wasn't available. Not to my friends. Not to my husband. Not to my kids. And I started to feel very drained and empty. Like I had been stretched so thin and was more or less a very useless blob taking up space. When I woke up this morning, I spent a few moments sulking about the week and what I could have done differently. Did I use the time I had wisely? Was I enough of a mom or wife or friend this week? I sure didn't feel like it.

Strangely, though, right now I feel kind of at peace with it. I seriously didn't have an extra second of time to think about any of these things until today, and I think it was God's way of letting me know that He had it covered. Sometimes I forget that God doesn't need me at all. It's so very much the other way around. He's got the protective shield. He's going to get them through it. He's not going to let them go. Struggle is part of life. We all have trials and hardships that we go through that God has used to grow us and stretch us. I would run out of fingers if I tried to count up all the times God has used my adversity for good. It's always good. We just can't always see it right away.

Let me be clear. Suffering, struggle, agony, loss, grief, and misery are not fun. Most people who are going through the most difficult moments in their lives rarely see the good that comes from their pain until most of it is behind them. Those few people I've witnessed who are still able to see God's will in the midst of it are usually aware that God's going to use their trials for good, but haven't gotten to the point of actually feeling it yet. We call that faith. What I do know is that God has placed us here to belong to one another. To love one another. To be kind to one another. To lift up one another. To be a net for one another. Does he need me to carry out his plans? No. Can his will be done without my help? Absolutely. But he knows that most of us need something or someone tangible to be His hands and feet. So here we are.

I may not have been everything I could have been for the people I loved this week. If you got the short end of the stick because of that, I'm sorry. Fortunately for grace, there's always tomorrow. I'll pick myself up, dust myself off and be better today than I was yesterday. I will allow my heart to hurt, but aim to listen more and fix less. I'll do my best to allow God to drive and not be a backseat driver. I will let go and let God.
 If God is all you have...

On another note, there have been some very great things about the past week and a half as well. I'll end with a snippet of the good stuff.

While I don't have a picture to include, let's just say that Christmas is a comin' and I'm getting a little antsy to kick off the season...... :) :) :)

And finally, here's a little dance party action to make your day complete.....

(For some reason you have to copy and paste it. Sorry!)

Enjoy your weekend friends!

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