I wear so many hats it makes me dizzy sometimes.
Cutting boys' hair at 9:00 PM tonight, after a long day, I couldn't believe the emotional and mental exhaustion. After snipping the last section of hair, I felt empty.
Nothing left to give.
And then they were brushing their teeth--silence was almost mine.
One impulsive son played with a battery-operated toothbrush just for fun, earlier in the day, leaving it on the floor.
Once we found it, I had to disinfect it, delaying my much needed "break".
And I went ballistic. "That's one of the stupidest things you've ever done! You know how expensive batteries are...and how could you leave someone's toothbrush on the floor?"
I felt rushed because it was late, and desperate for alone time. My fault for starting on hair too late; I'm not good at it and it always takes longer than anticipated.
I didn't say I was good at all the hats listed above, just that I had to wear them.
Stupid is a word you should never use while parenting...especially to an ADHD child, because they already feel inadequate half the time. Lack of impulse control and poor judgement are part of their lives until they take their last breath, unless the miraculous happens.
Outside of healing, living with ADHD is a constant begging for grace...on everyone's part.
Hidden learning disabilities are tough. People who look perfectly normal are expected to act perfectly normal. Even I forget sometimes and expect too much.
Expecting too little is as dangerous as expecting too much and finding that balance makes me dizzy.
The more children God gives you, the more exhausted you are at the end of the day. That's not rocket science.
And when God gives you special-needs children, the exhaustion compounds, just as the blessings do.
What to do?
What to do when the circumstances God gifts you with render you a failure?
We have too little support. As in, almost none. My husband's hours are too long. He worked all day today, Saturday, because when Beth goes for surgery in 11 days I'll be in the hospital with her for 23 hours, meaning husband will lose pay as he cares for our other 3 children. He had to make up for that.
Twenty-three hours is not a typical stay for having tonsils and adenoids out, but she's at risk for bleeding due to her arthritis meds, even though she'll take a ten-day break from them before surgery and after.
What to do when you can't possibly wear all the hats well? What to do when you say the word stupid in the context of parenting? What to do when you know your own imperfections sometimes hurt your children, and will continue to?
I may think I'll never say stupid again. My heart may be to never utter it again.
But something else, in the future, will occur at the peak of my emotional exhaustion. Something senseless and wasteful and...well...stupid.
My face will radiate ugly and my words will sting.
It's an ugly truth.
I can apologize.
I already did.
But what more? What more can I do to erase my sins and release well-balanced, loving, giving, thoughtful human beings into a hostile world that desperately needs Jesus? How can I release children who will be Jesus to a hurting, blind world?
I'm not perfect and I can't do this well and some of their memories will be sorrowful ones.
But I want to get this right! For the glory of God I want to get this right.
All is not lost because while I'm not perfect, I can offer something that is. And you can too.
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." Isaiah 66:13
Prayers are perfect. They are perfect communion with the Healer and Redeemer and Lover of our soul. And a mother's prayers erase all the bad days.
A prayer is asking for help.
A prayer is acknowledging our failure and His sovereignty and perfection.
A prayer is an act of humility before God.
A prayer is a confession.
A prayer is a heart gone right.
A prayer is a hope, realized.
A prayer is a washing of our soul.
A prayer is a renewed mercy, a renewed grace.
A prayer is the perfect answer to life's every problem. Life's every imperfection and unfortunate circumstance.
Down on our knees, telling our innermost failures and asking that they be redeemed, that the blood of the Lamb would cover them. That God would favor us once again with His radical grace.
Favor me, please Lord, a mother in distress. A mother in over her head. Favor me, favor my children and my husband. Cover us and make something good of our messy lives.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Like the caterpillar wriggles beauty out of the chrysalis, wriggle beauty out of our hearts, Lord.
A metamorphosis of the heart. A total eclipse of brokenness. For your glory.
Always for your glory.
In Jesus name, Amen.
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31