Parenting Time Management, Simplifying, Organizing

When Your Bubble Is About to Pop

So, I wasn’t going to post at all this week, but I thought about it again and realized I could take ten minutes to jot a little note to you all.  Here’s the thing.  I’m swamped.  I went on a retreat.  It was lovely.  I got back and life hit me full force.  Maybe the impact felt all the more powerful because of the contrast to my peaceful, self-paced, no-demands-whatsoever weekend away.  Whatever it was, I was bowled over.  Being the mom of a full-blown teen boy has been an adjustment.  He’s amazing.  Truly.  Still, it takes my breath away to live vicariously in the world he encounters daily.  So much comes at him.  I pray often enough to make my knees sore.  I entrust him to God.  I see fruit.  Then I face moments of disrespect, distance, communication gone awry, differing values and all sorts of other typical teen/mom stuff and I flail for a bit.

I’m notorious for getting much done – and doing it well.  Not bragging, it’s just how God made me.  I’m a get-er-done gal.  I work a part time job in another city, mentor a few women, volunteer in ministries, keep speaking engagements (which means spending hours praying and writing before I speak), write a blog and have been writing a book.  No wonder my garden looks like it’s been living through the end times!

Sometimes it all implodes on me at once.  The ducks not only step out of row, they waddle all over, quack really loudly and rush at me in mass.  {We had that experience once on a day we thought we would romantically go “feed the ducks.”  My hashtag on Instagram was #thedaywewerealmostpeckedtodeathbyducks.  Nasty critters when they want your bread, I tell you.}  Anyway, that’s how life felt this past week and a half.  I’m here for a brief moment to tell you why.

I lost my brake pedal.  I put the gas down without thinking and allowed “yes” to dominate and “no” to get lost somewhere in the dust behind the speeding train that is my life.  I looked at my {new, pretty, lovely, wonderful} planner and thought, “Holy guacamole! I’m one busy girl!”  Sometimes it takes seeing all this in black and white {or colored markers with stickers} to know, I’m in deep yogurt.  It all came crashing in on me yesterday when my youngest {being sleep deprived from too many late nights} decided it was a prime day for testing out his will.  Being easily prone to distraction doesn’t help him at all.  He starts for one thing and ends up doing something else.  Yesterday it was times ten.  Herding cats, as they say.  So, though I am only home educating one of my children these days, it isn’t all peaches and cream with bon bons on the side.  I was at my wits end by noon.  And the day wasn’t over – not nearly.  By the time my oldest son pecked me about an issue at 4pm, my heart rate was surely higher than it should be.  Oh, where were those feelings of deep and peaceful abiding that were my constant companions on my weekend away?

That word: abiding.

I pondered it as I prayed – as the Lord whispered through the din of my chaotic day: “Come to Me, all who are heavy laden and are weary … I will give you rest.”  Still, I was troubled, but the prayer did help.  By the end of the night, my son was struggling with bedtime {tired children have a harder time falling asleep – when it’s the very thing they need most!}  After he settled I was in tears over the whole kit-and-kaboodle: the day, the week, my overwhelmed life, tasks I never seem to get to … all of it.

Abiding doesn’t mean we don’t struggle.  Abiding means He is with us as we do.

I also took some action.  I sat down with my pretty calendar and took out my eraser and phone.  We aren’t victims.  We have choices.  Sometimes it isn’t the “what” as much as it is the “how.”  We can take a given load and balance it well or we can get things all lopsided and be unable to manage.  I started texting people, telling them I had to postpone or cancel certain commitments.  I made a list of what was pressing for this week.  I cleared the decks to fit that in.  Then I went to sleep.  We need sleep.  It’s not overrated.  When things are coming at you from all directions, sleep seems like a chore – “I could stay up and get some of this done,” you think.  Don’t believe it.  The best thing to do is give your mind and soul a rest so you can come back fresh the next day.

I’m back on the horse and riding today.  Saddle straight, trail in view.  God is with me.  Oh, how I need Him.

I just wanted to share with you today because I have a hunch I might not be the only one struggling with the juggling act of motherhood plus.  Motherhood plus homeschool.  Motherhood plus a job.  Motherhood plus emotional burdens.  Motherhood plus ministry.  Whatever your “plus” is, know that you can choose your “yes” and “no” answers.  You can back up and regroup.  You can choose to abide with Him and cast your cares on Him because He cares for you.  Tomorrow is always a new day.  Praise God for that.

{No photos today, just a note from me to you.}

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Barbie
    April 19, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    I love your words. They always come to me just when I need them the most. I’ve been holding on to life by a thread lately and I’m so tired of it. I want to live life to the fullest, but I feel overwhelmed. I love knowing that even when it doesn’t feel like I’m abiding I am, and that He is right here beside me.

    • Reply
      Patty
      April 19, 2016 at 1:20 PM

      Barbie,
      Thank you, sweet friend. You are so often on my heart and in my mind. You’ve been in a long season – head underwater, wondering when you get to bob up for a breath. I know you have joy in the midst of it with that sweet grandson of yours and other wonderful reminders of new mercies, but when the stressors won’t let up and the edges seem frayed it’s so challenging to feel the peace that passes all understanding. He is with you. I know He gives you glimpses. I hear it in your writing. Sometimes we want more than a glimpse. I am praying for you right now – and still hoping somehow to make it up to the Bay area before fall to give you a hug in person 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle Waldrip
    April 20, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    “Abiding doesn’t mean we don’t struggle. Abiding means He is with us as we do” – love it! I believe in the powers of down-time (and bedtime). My challenge is actually to say ‘yes’ just a little more often. Still, I appreciate the confirmation when others share the importance they’ve found in not over-doing life. 🙂 Anyway, just standing in solidarity with ya – I feel like I’ve attended a million meetings in the last 3 weeks for Gavin, while I’m trying to make sure that Justin isn’t pushed off to the side. It’s not easy, is it?! Gotta “fix our eyes” on Him. Blessings on you this week!

    • Reply
      Patty
      April 21, 2016 at 4:10 AM

      Yes, Michelle! I think we’ve been living parallel lives. I woke this morning thinking, “What about Paul?” Sometimes the youngest gets the crumbs. They seem to do well with it, though. I’ve been intentional about making points of connection (outside our time of home educating together) which helps. Still, sometimes the spin cycle of life has us so disoriented we don’t do what matters most. I was a little thrown by the number of assumed meetings we had to attend to register for High School – because we have no life outside of going there at least once a week for hours on end. right?! Maybe this is orientation by fire as to what the coming year will be like – and why many moms eagerly get their teen children drivers’ permits! They wear us down until we want our children to be able to independently transport themselves so we can resign from the role of daily shuttle-cab driver 😉 I’m regrouping after dusting off my schedule and saying “no” or “later” to much. Hope you get some breaths of relaxation in the coming days and weeks too. I always love when you come by here, read and comment.

  • Reply
    Christine Ang
    April 22, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    This is everything I feel in a large nutshell. I think I’m needing to grab my planner phone and eraser this week! Thanks for making me laugh and reevaluate. Love you!

    • Reply
      Patty
      April 22, 2016 at 7:23 AM

      You, my sweet friend, are never alone. Let’s remind one another to pull back, re-evaluate and even let go of what seems it just can’t budge. I’m committed to re-reading the Best Yes in the coming month. This is how we grow: two steps forward, one back. We’ll get better with practice and support.

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