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Monday, February 5, 2018

zero percent delight

I was driving home from the library, about twenty minutes ago, feeling 100% stressed out. Grayson was, once again, crying because he had not obeyed at the Library and so could not go to the park.

Grayson LOVES playing at the park. If you get within half a mile of the park he knows it. He just turned two but he knows when we are near the park and when we are near my favorite Starbucks and also whenever we are near somewhere that he has eaten French fries.

So I am just about in tears as I drive home, each one of my three boys had not listened to me during the trip to the Library, a major trigger for me, and each one had walked (or run) away from me. I realized that I was internally overreacting but still... I just want to go to the library, one of my favorite places in the world, and not walk out feeling like I have been beaten up by my kids. I'm feeling insecure and I'm doubting myself. I think about my word for the year - delight. Ha. Yeah, I'm seeing zero delight on the horizon.

We get home and the kids instantly start picking on each other and I scream. Nice-mommy has left the building and momzilla has come to mop things up and send everyone to time out, including myself.

Delight has been nowhere in sight lately. I have been trying to embrace the sunshine when it comes and trying to find the silver lining but I am failing. When your kids are sick, and you're frustrated and stressed and emotionally exhausted and feeling inadequate and embarrassed delight feels more like a slap in the face than an invitation.

I open up my blogger page because I know that there is something in the middle of this mess if I can write through the chaos of my hurt feelings. As I type about my lack of delight I remember a thought I had while I was driving home - maybe sometimes the path of delight begins with a few steps of desperation. Desperate is a word I can relate to right this moment. I do feel desperate. Desperate for a few minutes of connection with my husband, desperate for my kids to listen to me, desperate to figure out what I'm doing wrong as their mother, desperate for perspective, desperate for some calm in my soul.

Desperate isn't inherently a bad place. It is hard and it is tricky yet in the moment of desperation I have a choice. I can choose to react to my desperation - I can lash out, I can blame, I can freak out, I can feel like I deserve to be punished because of my kids' bad behavior. I can also choose to try to zone out to my desperation - I can avoid my feelings with busyness, or Instagram (guilty!) Netflix or food. Or I can face my desperation and use this as fuel to chase after delight, which is just another way of saying seeking God. I can react or zone out or I can turn towards God with open hands and ask Him to help me.

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper (Psalm 30:10)

The Lord is my helper, I will not fear. (Hebrews 13:6)

Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life (Psalm 54:4)

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation." (Isaiah 12:2) 

My heart and my flesh may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalms 73:26) 

He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress I shall not be greatly shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock my refuge is God. (Psalms 62:2,7)