Last week was what my kids/nephew would call an “epic fail” for me in trying to balance life. I tried to juggle too many balls and I dropped a big one. On top of having the worst cold of the season (in June! go figure), I was trying to work 12 hour days, during the last week of teaching school, while my son was getting ready to graduate 8th grade (a big deal in his school) and my daughter was preparing for her yearly dance recital (3 rehearsals and 2 performances in 1 week).
Where was God in all of this? I’m sorry to say that I left him outside, looking through the window at it all. I was not praying. I was not writing. I let it all go to deal with the tyranny of the urgent, and that was a big mistake. It resulted in my getting dropped from my SAT scoring project for this month because I was too overwhelmed and distracted to concentrate properly. I suppose it could be worse. I did what I needed to do (and wanted to do) for the graduation and the dance recital. Was able to enjoy it, even. My kids are pleased. My cold went away, eventually. But in my work, I didn’t meet expectations. And I do not like to fail at anything, especially at something that someone is paying me to do.
Would I still have failed if I had just prayed and let God in? Maybe. Maybe not. Prayer is not a magic bullet, don’t get me wrong. I feel like God’s trying to teach me a lesson here. It’s just not going to work without Him. Why am I struggling when other people aren’t? I don’t know. Maybe other people are struggling. I get the sense, the older I get, that most people, maybe all people, are struggling as much as I am. Some even more–a lot more, from what I see.
Maybe I have bit off more than most people, more than I can chew. I have a husband, 3 kids (with many activities), 2 jobs, writing, a house and yard, church work, and helping my husband with his business. I feel overwhelmed by my to do list every single day. When I let God in, it all works better. I can keep the panic at bay. But now I’m pondering–is it supposed to be this way? Have I, has my family gone wrong somewhere? I’m questioning it all, frankly. The football, basketball, cheerleading, dance, drama of it all. The iPhones and iPads and satellite TV and wi-fi of it all. My daughter just came in at 8 a.m. and begged for a TV show again. Since school let out, she’s having a hard time entertaining herself even though she has a bookshelf full of books, a room full of toys, and a Nintendo DS. But let’s face it–I’m not going to be able to add “full time entertainer of a 7-year-old” to my to-do list any time soon. Time to start scheduling play dates, I guess. Most of her friends are still in school until next week, so let’s hope it’s just a transitional difficulty.
I hope I don’t wreck my credibility by being transparent about my struggles. Although it’s difficult to put it all out there, I’m not going to pretend that I’m perfect. I know how I feel about myself when someone else seems perfect. It’s not pretty. I’d rather be real, and be around real people, even if it’s messy sometimes.
I guess I don’t really have any answers here. The best I can do is to say, yesterday I was just mad. I knew God was saying, ever so gently and lovingly, “I need your focus over here, so I had to remove it from over there.” He’s been saying that for a long time, and I keep resisting because of what I think I need to do. But today, I can accept it. I’m ready to move forward. I hope that’s progress. I’m sure the struggle will continue. I know I’m lost if I don’t let God be the center of it. That’s as close to an answer as I’m going to get today, I think.