Monday, April 22, 2013

Lists and Lamentations

Today I'm having "one of those days". It isn't that so much has gone wrong-really nothing has. I even have a pretty admirable list of accomplishments. Today I:

-schooled my second grader
-did two loads of laundry
-washed dishes
-put together a wreath for a baby shower
-worked on a (rather complicated) mobile for the same shower
-clipped coupons
-made dinner
-washed dishes
-baked a cake
-picked up
-showered (a pretty big accomplishment, according to some of the bloggers I follow)
-answered several different questions about VBS (I'm one of the co-directors)
-read to my five year-old
-stored winter clothes
-extensively cleaned my dishwasher door

and a million other little things, that individually seem like nothing, but as a whole consume the majority of my waking hours.

 But you see, here's the problem; when I look at that list, it reads more like this:
 -spent AN HOUR teaching my 7 year-old math, resulting in frustration for both of us.
-washed laundry, but didn't put it away, and no worries, there are still two dirty loads.
-washed dishes, and washed dishes, (that's why it made the list twice) and there are still dirty items in my sink that need to be hand washed and I am flat-out refusing.
-the wreath was a success, but I followed it up by writing a to-do list for the shower, and I still have a *ton* left to do.
-I clipped the coupons, but I didn't file them.
-I made dinner, which was good, but only because I felt so guilty for eating out the last two nights.
-baked a cake but only because I had bananas rotting on my counter.
-picked up because I never imagined that my death would be a result of tripping over things in my own living room.
-showered, but I didn't wash my hair.
-answered those VBS questions, but needed to accomplish about 12 other things in my VBS notebook that went undone.
-I read to my son, but he did not get schooled today. He is only in preschool, but he is doing really well reading, and I was frustrated that I didn't fit it in.
- I finally stored those winter clothes that had been in my hallway since Saturday. But don't worry-it's supposed to snow tomorrow!
-I only cleaned the dishwasher because I was horrified at the filth that had previously escaped my notice.

And then there are the things I didn't do. I didn't:
-work out
-send a thank-you note for one of Carson's birthday gifts
-make adorable Earth Day themed muffin tins.
-have enough paper to finish my mobile, which now has to be squeezed into another day.
-clean my basement, which is a mobility hazard.
-accomplish anything on my regular weekly chore list.
-eat breakfast
-file the basket of miscellaneous paperwork that has been screaming at me for days.
-I didn't get rid of any of the clutter that is driving me insane. Instead I pile it in the basement.
-I didn't write the cute blog I wanted to write about Earth Day. And now its almost over. And I am writing this grumpy post instead. And I certainly didn't do the other million things that every "good" mom is supposed to do.

Instead it felt like a day of surviving. Trying all day to put out fires, instead of planting gardens. And I hate those kind of days. But they seem to be so frequent now that I am almost resigned to them as "normal". And now, the day is done. And my to-do list isn't. And so, as I think about readying myself for bed, the tasks, both visible and mental, that remain unfinished are loudly screaming, "FAILURE!".

"Yet this I call to mind
    and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is Your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for Him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him,
    to the one who seeks Him;
it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord."
Lamentations 3:21-26

Lamentations. What an excellent book for mothers. I lament all my shortcomings and lack. I lament my inability to measure up to Pinterest Perfection. I lament my limitations of time, money, patience and the need for sleep. I feel like I am being eaten up by the relentless demands of my calling and my own twisted desires for the unattainable Supermom status.

But, when I stop to focus on the One who gives this seemingly meaningless life a true calling, I see that I am not consumed. I may feel threadbare, stretched beyond my oh-so-short limits, but He isn't. And days like today aren't here to make me feel hopeless, they are to remind me of my true Hope. I have more than enough, I have the Perfect Portion. When I feel like screaming for it all to stop, He reminds that I only need to wait quietly. 

So it isn't really about what is done, or not.  It isn't about how many baskets of laundry got folded and put away, or how many dishes I washed, or how long it took to do a single page of math. It is about whether or not I looked to Him to provide and enable, it every task, big or small. Today, not so much. But He promises me that tomorrow, through Him, I can *be* (NOT do) so much better.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It's often difficult to realize our own worth, but God sees it every day. I'm glad His Word was a reminder to you that you are special, and loved!



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