Wednesday, March 15, 2017

change makes me feel cuckoo crazy...

So I know it has been quiet over here at the Tired Supergirl blog.
That would be because of all of the chaos.

Let's just start by saying that moving is not for the faint of heart.
I forgot how wild it makes you since I haven't moved in over a decade.
And downsizing from a 4 bedroom to a 2 bedroom?
Kind of like putting on the jeans that you wore in college after 10 years of child bearing.
It would be a lie to say it has not been a bit of squeeze.

After cleaning out our old house of 11 years of detritus...
I was trying not to cuss in my mind.
Because I know cussing is not right.
I am a girl who loves a good turn of phrase.
I tell the children, "You can always find better words to use than cuss words."
And yet, certain un-holy words seemed super well suited to the task at hand
as I loaded my forty-eleventh box full of crud  that I don't ever care to see again.
It wasn't pretty but we got it done.

By the end of February, we were finally packed and all ready to move into our new rental.
But due to some renovation wasn't ready for us.
Jesus, hold us close.

So for the past two weeks we have been staying with some wonderfully hospitable friends,
escaping for a couple nights at a hotel via some dear friends' generosity,
dropping our kids off with cousins and living out of suitcases.

For those of you who are homebodies like me,
you will understand it has been unnerving.
I have been un-moored.
I told my friend, Marty, "I thought I had dealt with all my control issues."
Nope. They were just in hiding. Waiting to be revealed in all their glory during this move.
(Say a prayer for Scott and the children. It's been getting real over here.)

And then there was the fact that I couldn't find my underwear.
Scott had packed up our closet the last day and they vanished in the melee.
My boys couldn't find theirs either. Which had me calling out,
"New underpants for everyone!"
Because you can't be sleeping on the floor and not have underpants at the same time.

This past Saturday we moved into our new little house.
And finally could take a deep breath.
Then I realized that the bedrooms
were so packed with boxes and furniture that it looked like a hoarders episode.
That laid me flat out. Like a pancake.

Our marriage has been stretched.
That is a nice way of saying that Scott and I DO EVERYTHING THE OPPOSITE WAY.
and this tends to increase tension.
There have been some emotional moments searching for Addie's lost ukulele
and toothbrushes gone rogue.
Some tears and more hugs than usual have been needed.

The IKEA triple bunk for the boys almost did us in.
At one point the ENTIRE family was working on trying to put it together.
We gave up after two days.
We could not get the screw holes to line up on the frame.
Will worked for hours trying to adjust the frame with an Allen wrench. And a screwdriver.
And then back to the Allen wrench.
Jack is studying Dante's Inferno in school.
Scott and Jack agreed that one of the rings of hell is surely occupied
by people putting together IKEA furniture that never fits.

But, by God's grace and the help of our friend, Juan, all three boys slept in
the bunk last night.
A high and heady victory. A path has been formed from the living room to the kitchen.
I found a candle to light. I even located my underwear yesterday which was a special bonus.
Hope of clean bedrooms and curtains being hung
are beginning to round out the corners of these crazy days.

Change is exhausting. Anyone who says different is lying.
Anytime you are ripped from your comfort zone, things are likely to go awry.
Transition reveals all your soft vulnerable spots and your rough edges.
I have realized how much further I have to go in being like Jesus.
REALLY SO VERY FAR. Not until heaven, folks. Not until heaven.

I have had to apologize repeatedly to the children as my emotions have gotten the better of me.
"Yesterday when I said I would try to do better and not yell at you, I meant it.
Right up until that time that I yelled at you today. Can you forgive me....again?"
There has been a great need for grace and snuggling as we have all felt out of sorts.

This seems both ironic and right with Queen of the Universe coming out.
A book I wrote for moms who need encouragement.
And me being an angry mom who is pulling all of her hairs out.

I was supposed to be facebooking and emailing and promoting the book last week.
It would have been great to be able to say during book launch week,
"Hey, I have this mom thing figured out even when life is crazy. Nailing it!"
But mostly I should just say, "I am completely un-nailing it."
Falling apart. Undone.
Jesus, take the wheel.

A lot of times the high and holy call of mothering takes place in complete chaos
with us being imperfect and anxious and wanting to cuss.
That is why we need Jesus so much. We can't actually do it on our own.
This is what real life looks like. Messy. Unpredictable. And full.

And we stumble our way through and Jesus grabs us up in His arms and
reminds us how much He loves us in spite of the mess.
And tells us that even though we are a mess, He is not leaving us there.
He has a plan. A path. A way to bring us closer to Him.
He has our family in a vice like grip even now.
I can feel His peace coming on even when I don't know the location of my deodorant.

I know that Jesus has something for us to learn in this year of small house living.
I am beginning to think it is trust. Trust in His love. In His timing. In His provision.
Trust that even in the midst of change...He can
And that....well that changes everything, doesn't it?

Monday, February 20, 2017

shine your light over here, please

Yesterday, Addison and I were walking Flash, Addie's dog, around the block.
We were arguing over who would have to pick up the poop and who would carry it.
Because clearly, I am emotionally immature when it comes to poop.
(Not my dog. I shouldn't have to carry poop. That's all I'm saying.)

Our conversation veered into former job aspirations that I have had.
(There is no rhyme or reason to our conversations. Clearly.)

Addie asked, "Mom, have you ever worked in a nursing home?"
I said, "Yes. For one day."
"Only one day?"
"I thought I wanted to be a nurse so I signed up for a nurse's aide course in high school."
"What happened?"

"My first day an elderly woman asked me to help her.
She was upset because she needed help going to the bathroom....
she started crying. I didn't know how to help her. So I started crying with her."
Addie said, "You are the worst nurse ever."
"Yes. Yes, I am."
"What else did you want to be?"
"Well, I thought I wanted to be counselor."

Addie laughed.
"Mom, you would be horrible at that."
"Why do you say that?"
"You had to get off of Facebook because you couldn't stand reading sad things."
Funny how he would know that about me in two seconds
and it took me four college semesters of psychology to figure it out.

I didn't tell him I had also crashed and burned as a short term missionary in college.
Living overseas is no joke. Missionaries are rockstars. That's all I have to say.
Nursing. Counseling. Missions. Not in my wheelhouse.

"I have always wanted to help people. It just took me a while to figure out how."
"I encourage people."
"Oh." He didn't look impressed.
"With my writing."
It was clear that I was making no impact on him with my words.

But I felt like I had an epiphany somewhere between fighting with him about dog poop
and him telling me I would be a horrible counselor.

Sometimes we have to try a thing or 12 before we realize, "Hey, I am horrible at that."
Sometimes we have to recognize what we aren't before we can embrace who we are.

We all have a certain kind of light to bring to this world. Light that only we can bring.
I bring mine with blog posts and humiliating personal stories and talking about Jesus.
I bring it with baking scones and teaching Sunday School and laughing with friends.

It may take us upwards of 40 years to figure out how to shine best...but we should keep at it.
It is a life long journey of learning how to shine.
And I am still figuring it all out.

Others bring their light with knitting or dentistry or auto repair.
I can't do any of those things. But I so need all of them in my life.
Especially the knitting...I love cute scarves.

We are each created with innate gifts and a purpose.
Each season of life seems to invite new ways to shine.
God wants us to spread all that light and creativity around.
We need each other's brightness and beauty.
This life is too dark without it.

When we step into all that God has for us and let Him use us? The world gets better.
There is less crying. More goodness. Less hurting. More helping.
More clarity. More provision. More sharing. More joy. More loving.

I need all that good stuff that you bring to this world. We all do.
So as soon as you figure it out? Shine that light right over here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

welcome to the crazy train

Kay Warren says that in the journey of life, the tracks of joy and sorrow run parallel.

It is not so much peaks and valleys.
She says that we experience the highs and lows of living simultaneously during this amazing ride.
There is so much wisdom and truth in recognizing that.

But I think there might be a third track. It is neither joy or sorrow.
It is the crazy track.
That loop-de-loop that comes at you out of nowhere, flings you up in the air,
whirls you head over heels and leaves you feeling undone.
Its not either happy or is the unpredictability of real living.
It leaves us breathless and with crazy hair. And sometimes unkempt eyebrows.
Maybe that is just me.
My personal grooming skills always take a hit when life is crazy

My third track right now is this looming move into a smaller home.
Our move date got pushed back since the kitchen at our new house is still being renovated.
So I am living with boxes for another month. And papers.
I would like to have my life sorted before we move.

This is my kitchen table right now. And a representation of what I feel like inside.

I will accept your pity at this time.

I have tax papers.
Insurance papers.
School papers.
Animal license papers.
A gift box to be sent out.
Organizational bins...that are clearly not being used.
Some plastic cutlery. In case I want to picnic.
The essential coffee cup.
Mint extract. Just because.
And some rice crackers. For snacking.
Because I need to nosh while I feeling wild inside.

Craziness comes in all shapes and sizes.

For my sister, Jenny, right now, it is sleep depravity with a one year old toddler.
She can't stop yawning. Or wanting to lay down.
She told me this week, "I can barely stay awake in the afternoon at work."
I have two words for her. Coffee. And Jesus.

She has both. Her Keurig is holding her mornings together.
And she told me that she regularly prays, "Help me, Jesus."
It is the only prayer that she can formulate.

But she takes it one step further and encourages herself, mid-loop-de-loop.
Immediately after she prays, she reminds herself,
"He IS helping me."

And He is.
The first line of Psalm 118:7 says, "The Lord is with me; He is my helper."
He is with Jenny. He is with me. He is with you.
In the craziness.

He is helping us. With His goodness. His love. His mercy.
And His unfathomable resources. With His light. With His grace.

He never gets off the ride. No matter how crazy.
Arms wrapped around us as we get ready to somersault through life,
He is saying, "Don't forget. I've got you."

And I feel He is unconcerned about eyebrows.
I think mostly He wants us to remember, no matter what loop-de-loop we are facing,
He is right there.
And His help? Makes me feel...hopeful.