Lately, my life seems to be a comedy of errors...I only wish I thought it was funny. Some days I'm pretty sure I'm losing it and I may never 'have it together' again. Today might be one of those days. Let me tell you about my last week or week and a half...
First off, I misplaced (OK...lost) a sizeable check. A check to a local ministry that I have a heart for...and I felt sick. It was replaced, with the promise that if anyone finds the first check it would be torn up. So...everyone makes mistakes, right?
Secondly, after a meeting at our church last week (for our church's orphan care/adoption ministry), I may or may not have been part of setting off the church alarm. My first instinct was to run (that would have made for a good story!)...my second was to call one of our church's pastors who lives nearby -but no answer. I decided to text our senior pastor, he told me how to turn the alarm off after giving me a hard time. We shut it off , waited for a few minutes in case the police showed up, and then I headed home. On my way home, he texted back to tell me I needed to return to the building to turn the alarm back on...so, of course, I did. And guess what? Yep. The police were there. The policeman was walking the perimeter of the building looking for the 'suspect' (I guess that's me), and so I explained to him what happened. He was very nice, went on his way, and I proceeded to go inside and turn the alarm back on. Crisis averted.
Fast forward a few days and I'm at our church's indoor playground with my kids, except my oldest, Haley, is at home. She texts me asking if she can make some lemonade slushy while I'm gone. Of course I respond that she can, and go on to play with my kids. When I check my phone again, I see that I've received a text from Don (the first pastor I tried to call the night of my church break in) that reads something like, "No, it's not frozen yet. It takes about 30 minutes." HUH? I think to myself, "This is either for someone else, or he's losing it." Turns out, the person losing it is ME. Somehow, Haley's text to ME was forwarded to HIM...and he gets a text thinking that I am asking him to make a slushy. Who's losing it now???! (He hasn't admitted it, but I'm pretty sure he's going to be watching me very closely now). I mean how weird is it for a grown woman to text a man she hardly ever texts with to ask permission to make a drink?? Loco.
The next incident isn't so funny...today, my kids and I were in a minor car accident. Minor in that no one was hurt - only our vehicles. But the accident was my fault. I looked down for what seemed to me like a millisecond and cars were stopping in front of me...I braked and swerved, but could not miss the car in front of me. At the time, I felt calm and focused...checked on the driver in the other car, called 911, kept my kids out of traffic and eventually to the side of the road. I was so blessed to have two friends witness the accident and stop to give us rides home...you know it takes two "normal" vehicles to transport our family. I was fine until I got inside my home...and I lost it. I'm talking the uncontrollable ugly cry. What just happened? What could have just happened? What kind of mom am I that I wasn't paying enough attention and could have caused my children harm??
If you read my last post, you heard me be transparent about some of the challenges of adjusting to being a family of nine, and some of the inadequacies I've felt. These mistakes - funny or not - pile guilt on top of guilt and leave me feeling ill equipped to do a good job in my role of mom. I mean, am I really losing it? Forgetting and losing things, not to mention breaking into the church, and now running into stopped cars? I've never thought I was a candidate for 'mom of the year', but I used to feel like I could hold it all together...these days, it's all being held together by a tattered string and I'm holding on as tight as I can.
After the accident I was blubbering (and I mean that in the most literal sense - sobbing) to my friend Kim about how inadequate I've felt lately...how exhausted I am...and how I just want to have it together again for my family. I rambled through many scenarios and examples, and also began to tell her about school registration for Grace and Aleigha and the parent sign up sheets that were out for this or that. I shared that I could have cried at the thought of putting my name down and signing up for one more thing...I just couldn't. But then, of course, I felt like a disappointment because I wasn't doing those things. I mean, I'm the mom who is at home and can do all of those things, right? Shouldn't I be? She very clearly said, "Let another mom do that...one who has less on their plate. Others haven't signed up for what you have in having 7 kids and newly adjusting to bringing 3 home five months ago...Let them bring the cupcakes this time." Through my tears, and half laughing, I responded, "But it's easier to just bring the cupcakes!" We both burst out laughing...
It's true. It's easier to just bring the cupcakes than to sign up for what we have. I'm not looking for sympathy here...although I am needing a little grace at times. Grace for friends who haven't been called in a while, my family members I informed of a dance recital at the last minute,and a husband who doesn't get as much of me a what he needs. Someday I suppose I'll look back at all of this with a different perspective. Right now, it's hard to see.
Earlier I was talking to my oldest daughter and telling her than I knew I wasn't always on my A game lately...and I apologized to her if there were times I had let her down. Her response (in as dry of a tone you can imagine): "And when was that, Mom? Stop making stuff up." Another moment of laughter...it does help put things in perspective. I guess they are maybe going to all survive my parenting after all.
So, here's my new slogan: It's easier to just bring the cupcakes!
God apparently thought I could handle more than a few dozen cupcakes. I have days of wondering if he was right....but as I tell my kids, he doesn't make mistakes.
We are a family of ten...striving to live the lives that please God...getting it wrong a lot of the time, but trying nonetheless. We have eight beautiful children...three were given to us through birth and five through the miracle of adoption. We feel blessed to be living the life we've been given.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
~ One in ten children die before their first birthday ~ One in six children die before their fifth birthday ~ 44% of the population is under 15 years old ~ 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition ~ The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years old ~ 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world) ~ There are roughly 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia ~ Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa ~ Half of the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. ~ 88% will never attend secondary school ~ Coffee prices (Ethiopia's only major export) declined 40-60% from 1998-2002 ~ Ethiopia's doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000 ~ Severe drought struck country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)