Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

I feel like I'm caught somewhere in the calm before the storm.

I can see the thunderheads off in the distance, feel the winds starting to tug at my body, getting more and more forceful with each minute that passes.  The skies are getting darker, as if dawn never quite peaked its way over the horizon this morning, and I can no longer pretend that the storm isn't headed directly for me.  It's on its way.  I know it is.  And it will be upon me in a matter of days.

Okay.  Enough drama.

The truth is, every fall feels like a storm to me, as I'm sure it does to every mother preparing her family for another year of school.  Having a teacher-husband along with a houseful of children adds greatly to my back-to-school chores.  We spend hours at the store scratching items off supply lists, looking for sales, comparing fat and skinny markers, and discovering the merits of purple glue sticks versus the old-fashioned white ones.  We search for the perfect backpacks, scour clearance racks and second-hand stores for treasures, and try on dozens of pairs of shoes.  I try to get all my fall and winter clothes shopping done and out of the way in preparation for those unexpected freezing days that are just around the corner.  And I'm not done yet.  I still have a lot to do.

This is also the time of year that every summer-hibernating activity seems to start back up all at once.  Gymnastics.  Ballet.  Piano lessons.  Wednesday night church.  Kids' choir.  Bible study.  School functions.  Etc. etc. etc.  Why do they do this to us?  All at the same time?  As if we didn't have enough going already in this two-week span of time.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit, though, that this year it feels like a lot more than a typical thunderstorm headed my way.  With the decision to homeschool Miss M having been made months ago, the darkness (and yes, depression) has been creeping up on me for the entire summer, getting darker and darker as the weeks have gone by.  For the last few weeks, I've been struggling just to wrap my mind around what God has asked me to do, and there have been times when I just want to give up the idea entirely.  I feel so unprepared.  So unwilling.  So...sad.

In typical fashion, Satan has been "beating me when I'm down", pouring salt on past wounds and ripping open hurts that I thought were on the mend.  And Miss M has been throwing tantrums again (not regularly, but enough to make me cringe).  When she is behaving, she's been sickeningly obnoxious and clingy...making me want to be away from her more than ever.  I'm overwhelmed, my house is dirty, my chores are left undone, and I feel like I'm constantly being reminded of how inadequate I am to serve God. 

Which is fine, I've decided.  Because I am inadequate.  I'm weak.  I need God to homeschool Miss M.  I need His strength to bond with her, to love her and to snuggle with her even when her behavior is unbearable.  I can't do it, but He can.

And so I ask this of you, my friends, my family, and anyone that is willing:

First, as strange as it sounds, please pray that I continue to be inadequate and weak so that I'll remember to let God control this situation. 

It's only through my weaknesses that God's power is made perfect, and I can't wait to see what His perfect power does this year in my life and in the life of my daughter.

Second, if you are one of those that has expressed willingness to pray for us regularly, I have set up a new tab on this blog entitled "Mama & Miss M".  I'll be updating this page regularly to keep you informed and to give specific praises and prayer requests.  I've linked it to an e-mail account, so you can also leave me messages there to let me know you're part of my praying family.  I would love to know who you are!

And if you haven't already, check out our newest song release on the widget to the right of this page.  It's called "I Know Nothin'", and it is my theme song for this whole year....and this whole adventure called life.

Thank you all for your support and prayers.  We start school tomorrow.


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