This past month has been...hard.
Really, this entire year has been a struggle. It's difficult to be employed in ministry. To attempt to meet everyone's needs, to listen as people explain how I've failed to meet theirs, to smile and know that they don't understand that my failure to meet their needs is directly related to the fact that I'm barely meeting my own.
My babies aren't little anymore. I mean, sure, relatively speaking, they are still quite small. But they don't require the constant care that they did for roughly a seven year block of time collectively. I no longer worry that they'll drink chemicals or drown in the bathtub--although I suspect that either of those is still technically a possibility. Now they require shuttling from sports to scouts to school and back again. My energy is spread thin as I attempt to make them into well rounded little people.
Add to the regular daily grind of life the fact that we've been hit by a lot this year and we've got a recipe for a whole heap of I MIGHT BE A FAILURE WHEN IT COMES TO MEETING YOUR NEEDS TODAY. So much of this year has been tied up with extended family turmoil which, although it doesn't directly effect my little family, has caused deep grief and emotional anxiety. I had a health concern this past month which, although it turned out to (PRAISE THE LORD!!!) be an overreacting physician's assistant, caused a great deal of stress for Troy and I as we thought about what it would be like for our family to deal with it. (I'm TOTALLY fine, by the way.)
I have spent months pouring time and energy and prayer into our annual women's retreat and, when we were there this past weekend, little tiny bed-dwelling critters were discovered. As the director of the women's ministry it fell to me to figure out what to do, how to proceed, etc. With all the pandemonium, all the phone calls and prayer and developing information, I became, what the movie Mom's Night Out refers to as stress paralyzed. There came a point, long after I'd confided in two of my ministry team members and long after I'd prayed and cried on the phone with my husband for a half hour, that I sat in my room and very seriously could not form a thought that was coherent. I knew I needed to ask our speaker if she wanted to leave but I couldn't think straight. I wanted to just curl up and take a nap. Except that I didn't really because, bugs.
My husband, like the husband in the movie, says that stress paralyzed isn't actually a thing. But it is. And this month has been stress paralyzing. But God is good. All the time. The pastor's wife in the movie gives a great piece of advice to Allyson. She says that life is about finding the meaning and the joy and the purpose in all the chaos.
And it's true. Life is a lot of little moments that add to up one big moment and the little moments are all crazy or joyful or precious or gut-wrenching and our job is to the find the purpose.
And to praise the Lord.