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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Not Expired Yet

So, I could pretend right now that I am super-excited about 2014. That I started it with a bang. That I, as so many of my friends on social media appear to have done, went to the gym, restocked my kitchen, paid my bills, and cleaned my house with a toothbrush, and all before noon! I could pretend that I am giddy over another year of 365 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to prepare, and at least 2000 invigorating opportunities to sweep my kitchen floor. That I'm not worried about our family finances in the least, and that I haven't been out of work for the past several months. I could pretend that I'm feeling uber-self-disciplined, that I'm oh-so-positive that I will FINALLY lose the 25...scratch that...35 pounds of baby weight that I've been carrying around for the last couple of years. *side note: can I still refer to it as "baby weight" when my baby is two-and-a-half?*

I could pretend.

But I'm not going to pretend, because to pretend would be to put on that life is always perfect, always pretty, always manageable, always fun. And it's not.

I'm not trying to be a Debby-Downer here, but if your life looks exactly as I described above, then:
a: you're in for a sad reality check
b: you're delusional
c: you're some crazy cross-breed of Martha Stewart, Jillian Michaels, and Mrs. Brady (and that means you're probably pretty ugly...no offense, just stating the obvious)
My day today, January 1, 2014, looked something like this:

8:00am - I woke up to my six-year-old poking me in the face with her finger, asking me to get up and get her some juice. Let me count my blessings by acknowledging that I slept in. Now, let me explain the rage that fills my soul when someone wakes me up by poking me in the face. 

8:05am - I stumbled to the kitchen to prepare juice for my precious little ones, only to find that we were all out, very probably because I haven't been to the grocery store in nine days. Commence the weeping and moaning over the lack of juice and the outrage over being served WATER in their sippy cups (this is what we refer to as a first-world problem).

8:30am - I swept the kitchen floor.

9:00am - I started the first of 9 loads of laundry. Yes, nine. I have been putting it off for a couple of days. Now I'm regretting that decision.

9:05am - I swept the kitchen floor.

10:00am - I tried to get my kids to go play outside in the 35-degree weather because "it'll be fun!" Translation: please go outside and play so I can hear myself think for 5 minutes. This began the process of kids running in and out and in and out and in and out and leaving the back door wide open. every. single. time.

10:30am - I swept the kitchen floor.

10:35am - My children declared themselves "STARVING" and needed a snack. Reminder: I haven't been to the grocery store in nine days. I come up with some stale crackers and Peter Pan peanut butter, so I make crackers. They inhale most of them, and the rest fall as crumbs to...you guessed it...the kitchen floor!

10:40am - I swept the kitchen floor.

10:45am - I change the laundry over.

11:30am - The kids were ready for lunch (you'd think they look like Jabba the Hut with how much they eat, but they don't). I made them the only thing I could scrounge up...frozen chicken nuggets and tater tots. They eat the nuggets and then say they don't like tater tots. I think the earth stood still in that moment. Who on God's green earth DOESN'T LIKE TOTS?

12:00pm - I swept the kitchen floor.

And so on, and so forth. 

And now here it is, 6:45pm, and I sit in Starbucks listening to Jazz music and venting about my frustrating start to 2014. 

This is reality. And yet, I didn't expect anything more. Because this is life. Some days are grand. Some days I feel like I can move mountains. Some days I think I can conquer the world, parenting, the gym, and the devil himself, all at one time. Other days, I find myself exhausted by the monotony of motherhood, wondering if this is my new normal. Some days I feel like my best days are ahead of me. Other days, I feel old. 

Some days I am inspired. Other days I feel expired.

Good thing God's plans for my life and His sovereignty isn't based upon how I FEEL. At any given moment I can experience a myriad of emotions. Some ups, some downs. Sometimes I'm encouraged, other times I'm depressed. But God never changes. And He's still writing the beautiful story of my life, every day, page by page, whether I "feel" like He is or not. 

The same is true for you.

If we lived our lives based on how we feel, we'd be in a sad state, wouldn't we? We're emotional, irrational creatures, especially those of us who are moms. My hormones are so jacked up I don't know if they'll ever be back to normal (thank you, children). We run on little sleep and hectic schedules. We don't always feel like we're living a storybook life.

But we are, because HE is writing our stories. HE is the author of our beautiful dramas, highlighted by touches of comedy and the most passionate love story ever conceived. He sees beauty in the ordinary, and He knows what's coming in the chapters ahead. He's not finished writing. 

Even when we feel old, we're still fresh to Him. Even when we feel used up, He sees new adventures coming our way. Even when we feel frumpy, He finds us beautiful. 

He is not finished. He's just not.

So today, I'm not going to pretend that it's been a fabulous day. I'm not going to pretend that I have all my ducks in a row, that I'm supermom, that I have all my junk together. I don't. 

Instead, I am going to cling to Him. I am going to hold Him to His word, that my steps are ordered by the One who made me (Psalm 37:23). I am going to trust that I will hear Him speak and direct me, even when life seems overwhelmingly noisy (Isaiah 30:21). I am going to believe Him for the wisdom He's offered to me (James 1:5). I am going to hold to Him as my Rock and my Fortress, in the good times and in the bad (Psalm 31:3).

And all the while, I will be sweeping my kitchen. Again, and again, and again, and...well, you get it. Because no matter how often I feel like it, I'm not expired yet.