Wednesday, April 6, 2011

how i know i'm getting better...

termites live for only 24 hours.  they can also be contained by simply sticking a piece of scotch tape over the hole they chewed in the wall.  why in the world would i know these things?  let me show you...
this is approximately 1/3 of the termites that swarmed my kitchen yesterday afternoon.  before i completely fill you in on the day's events let me back up...


ok...here is one of the dangers of blogging.  there is the possibility of portraying a picture-perfect life that isn't reality at all.  sometimes we all tend to show the world the best-dressed version of our lives without letting them take a peek at the ugly parts too.  i really don't want to do that.  i want you to see my less-than-perfect moments because i know you have yours too.  


almost 3 months ago joey and i packed up our family and moved to a new town...a new state...a place without the family and friends that we've been so fortunate to share life with the past few years.  the transition has been hard for me.  


i guess we all have our own 'mental health' issues {just nod and say 'yes' so that i will feel normal}.  mine typically lead towards anxiety and in some cases spill over into temporary bouts of depression.  these things often manifest themselves in the form of anger in my heart {and unfortunately sometimes in my words and actions}.  i used to be a psychologist by trade so i'm not using those terms loosely.  i'm also not giving myself an official diagnosis...i'm just letting you know some of the symptoms i struggle with...and have a family history of...


for at least the first month and a half after we moved i felt like i was on 'high alert' - mind, body and soul.  
i was constantly worried about the kids getting hurt in the new house that wasn't completely child-proofed.  
i was worried i wouldn't be able to find where i was going when i was driving around.  
i was worried that something would go wrong with all the workers that were in and out of my house all the time.  
i was worried that our dogs were not adjusting {they have their own mental health issues}. 
i was worried that i physically wouldn't be able to handle a 2 year old and a 16 month old on my own when joey traveled for 4 or 5 days at a time.
i was worried that since i was worrying so much i couldn't be a good mother or wife.  


with all those worries i started to feel overwhelmed...enter depression.  
and while bearing the weight of that overwhelming feeling that i had no control of the things going on around me i started to get a little testy...enter anger.  
it wasn't a pretty picture inside my mind or my heart.  the reality is that few people around me probably even noticed.  my counselor once told me this is because i am extremely adept at 'behavior modification'. 


these low points in my life are not frequent but when they hit, they hit hard and i am faced with the task of going back and strengthening places in my life that have become weak.  i don't know if the way i handle these seasons is completely correct.  i do know that eventually i come out on the other side feeling stronger and grateful to have made it through.  my relationship with God and with others around me is deepened tremendously...so much that the next time one of these predicaments comes around i seem to recover more quickly and with less turmoil.  


my go-to procedure is simple - hole-up and use every ounce of energy that remains to pour into my relationship with Christ...because i know it's the one thing that i will always gain much from no matter how little i have to put in.  i know that His strength is made perfect in my weakness and that to grow spiritually i must admit my weaknesses and be strengthened by something outside of myself.  
suddenly these seasons of pain and heartache are something far greater...they are a way of refining me.


so here's how i know i'm getting better...


yesterday when i woke up my house was not spic and span but instead of fuming and starting to furiously clean i ignored it and sat down at my kitchen table for a quiet time of reading and praying.  it wasn't perfect...lucy decided to wake up at 6:15 so she interrupted me every 5 or 10 minutes but i persevered and didn't let it rattle me.  


i had a lot of things i needed to do during oliver's morning nap so i didn't get a head start on dinner or anything else that i typically do.  it was ok.


i made a run to w@l-mart on the way to pick lucy up from school.  when i got there and stuck oliver in the cart it was 12:15 and i realized i had forgotten to feed him lunch.  no big deal...we just headed straight to the grocery section and picked up some cheese and bread to munch on.


ran in to get lucy from school and as we were walking out i put my arm around her and realized she was soaking wet.  she has not had one single accident since she started school here 3 months ago.  this was the first and boy was it a doozy.  soaked through her panties, leggings, dress, socks...and of course - i had no change of clothes for her.  i hurried her out to the car, stripped her down, 'washed' her with baby wipes and made do with what i had...a dirty washcloth for her to sit on and her fleece jacket for her to wear...
just so you know...there are no panties on under there and it was 50 degrees here yesterday. but guess what...me?  calm as a cucumber...even giggling on the inside a little bit.


later i included oliver in my afternoon cleaning to give him something to do.  he was assigned to window washing but when i looked over he was doing this...
who knew that you could use a spray bottle as a sippy cup?!?  i was just relieved that it was his water and not my windex.  whew...no harm done...


later in the afternoon i walked over to our kitchen window and noticed a few bugs crawling around on the floor...then a few more...and within minutes hundreds of termites were rushing out from underneath my refrigerator....aaaaggghhhh!!!
the kids found this rather interesting and wanted a closer look.  i'm trying to hold them back and spray the termites with the only thing i had - wasp spray {which WORKED by the way!}. i have my cell phone in one hand calling joey and the spray can in the other and my leg blocking the kids from getting closer.  it was crazy...but i didn't lose it...i handled it...


a month ago a day like yesterday would have broken me.  this time it didn't.  
that means i'm stronger and that's how i know i'm getting better.  
i take no credit for my improvements...a messy life like mine requires divine intervention...and that's just what i got.  
that's what i always get when the messiness of my life meets the love and grace of my savior.