Or is it one of those weeks? You know the ones, where things seem hard, where the disgruntlement level among children seems very high, where stress seems like a palpable entity in the house, where every little annoyance seems magnified, and the whole package makes for tired and unenthusiastic mother. Of course, it's difficult to really pinpoint cause and effect. Did the tired and unenthusiastic mother create the situation or did the situation cause the tired and unenthusiastic mother? In the end it doesn't really matter because the end result is the same... general household discontentment.
This is where I am today and frankly, have been all week. And like my chicken-and-the-egg question about my behavior there is a correlary of whether the post-trauma-related behavior of certain family members is at the start or as a result. Either way, the spiral has been swift and unpleasant. Once again I have been sent to my knees. There is so much in life that we just have no control over and it seems the longer I parent the more I am aware of this.
I may not be able to stop this downward spiral on my own, but I know that God can use me to stop it if I get out of the way and let Him. But that means I have to be willing to let go of my own wallowing and self-pity. This is not always an easy thing to do. And I have to seek forgiveness for taking my eyes off God and focus on the things bring discontent... asking the questions of "Why don't my children ever listen?" "Things never look like I want them to." "If only we had ______________." "Oh, this child, he/she is never going to change." "All they ever do is bicker and complain these days."
Um, and if I take each of those sentences and put God as the speaker and myself as the subject, they are just as true. It's not a pleasant realization. My role modelling hasn't been quite so stellar this past week. There is hope once I get to this point... the point of seeing my own sin and acknowledging that this is the only sin I can do anything about. I can model and love and point to God, but ultimately my children's sin is theirs to deal with on their own. Ultimately I cannot be responsible for it and that is a huge relief.
It all leads to joy in the end. Joy that we are not in charge. Joy that the one who is in charge is fully capable of making everything turn out right.
For a slightly more lighthearted look at our life, my latest article on Mental Whiplash is up at Heart of the Matter.