"Get back in your corner! Stop yelling. Stop fighting. Please, can't you all be nice to one another?"
I stayed in the fight, not giving up. "We can do this," I thought, "we will make it through. Maybe it's just because it's the end of the school year."
This referee wasn't going down without a fight. Besides, these trials were building character and patience in the kids and me. We had even started to work on looking at things half-full, not half-empty.
But then the weekend came, and the Other Nut got sick. I was on my own, but have no fear, because I. can. do. this. Saturday, I refereed with the best of 'em and put the kids to work. Success! One point for the mommy!
And then Sunday morning rolled around, or more accurately, it hit me up side the head. I realized I needed back-up fast. This referee was going down for the count, and I didn't feel like I would get up before the 10 seconds was over. Quite frankly, I was tired of the bickering, the disrespect, the "I shouldn't have to tell you again" moments.
I was beginning to fight the "where have I gone wrong", "man, I'm a horrible mother" thoughts. The realization that they probably learned these wonderful character traits and talking back from me was the final blow.
I could just hear the announcer saying, "and now, the worst mother of the year award goes to, Ima Nutcase, because she really is a nutcase!" So in my state of discouragement, I reached for encouragement, an "it's going to be OK" back-up from the Other Nut-and I was left with a handful of more discouragement. I did the only logical thing I knew to do at the moment-I found comfort in my bed with discouragement singing me to sleep-and I slept. All. day.
Funny thing though-my kids were instantly nice and respectful to one another, showing love to each other like they hadn't seen each other in months. They played so well together you would have thought they were simply friends. And chores? Well, they did those without any complaining, reminding, and they even helped one another.
And this all left me to wonder-why does it take me getting so discouraged that I crawl in bed feeling defeated to have them behave this way? Actually, don't answer that. I know my actions were completely immature. But that was all I had.
Throw in the fact that the Other Nut and I are having, let's just call them, lively discussions about finances, I'm spent. This weekend was just another reminder of my love-hate relationship with money. Some days I wish we could go back to the barter system, although I know that wouldn't fix it.
Oh, and don't forget to throw in a handful of worry about something else that is weighing heavy on my heart.
Mix this all together, and my patience is short, and my frustration is long. I'm feeling burned out, used up, beat down, and broken in. Disrespected, unappreciated, and discouraged. I don't know about you, but it's not the best place to be. I told my friend that all I feel like is a servant around here.
"At the end of the day, isn't that what we all should be-servants?"
My friend-always full of wisdom. She's right-servants. Isn't that what Jesus came to be and to show us how to be? He served all the way to the Cross, and I don't even want to fully serve for one day.
I have to be honest-I'm not really there yet-you know, this whole "fully serve" thing. I would be lying if I said that I was. I want to feel appreciated. I want my kids to get along even when I don't act like a fool. And I can still hear the announcer calling my name for the worst mother of the year award. I'm still spent. Tonight, I cried big sloppy tears in the Other Nut's arms, and I'm sure I have more to come. But I think crying is good for the soul sometimes.
So tonight, as I sit here with puffy swollen eyes-I'm thankful for a husband that is way better at forgiving than this here nutcase. I'm thankful for Jesus, that He loves me even when I'm so broken. And I'm thankful for undeserved grace.