I do not know how to explain it other than the fact that I get up in the mornings, tidy everything up on my way out the door - dirty breakfast dishes, change over loads of laundry, take care of the dog, go to work, get home and walk in to three kids who are acting like they have not eaten in the last month. I start my second job which is grocery shopping, making supper, taking care of the dog again, cleaning house, taking care of the yard, the laundry, etc. But something is getting ready to change. For one, I called somebody to get an estimate on weeding. I didn't ask Larry how he felt about it - honestly I didn't care. I know it's going to probably be astronomical but it's like this, I can't do it alone anymore. I at least need help with at least one major clean up before summer's over. (Note: for those of you who don't live in Florida let me just explain that "yard work" here takes on a whole new meaning. You have to baby your yard just to keep it alive. Watering, fertilizing, de-bugging, weeding, cutting, edging, blowing - it's all part of it. We have someone who cuts, edges and blows, and de-bugs. You would think I would be able to handle just the weeding/watering/fertilizing but it does get overwhelming at times, like now. One issue is - I can't just not care about it or let it go - not only would it look terrible but I live in a deed restricted community with a lot of rules. We get fined if we let things like this go for any amount of time.)
Sometimes I'm too tired to celebrate what God is doing, because I am so tired and thinking of what has to be done. I have to be honest that I'm just hanging on for one day a week when I can sleep in and catch up from all this. I find myself working on all of it until I drop at night, then waking up and starting on the same merry go round the next day. And all it takes to make me want to pop a gasket is finish all this work and then have somebody put a dirty glass on the counter. That shouldn't make anybody want to pull out an Uzi, but I have to confess, sometimes I feel like that.
Of course if you're reading this and you are single - and don't have a husband or a few kids, you have no idea what I'm talking about even though you might think you do. One time a single woman told me, "but I have it just as bad because I have to clean my house all by myself..." Well it's like this - if you are single, you also have no one else to mess it up. The mess of one person is entirely different than the mess of others. If you don't know how much mess a family makes, rent one for a few days. :-) You'll realize, you aren't doing five times as much laundry or cooking for five times as many. Understand I have to do laundry EVERY DAY or it gets completely out of control wild. Even then, with doing one load a day, it's still not done. It's entirely different when you are dealing with a family and working outside the home. Until you have your own family, it looks easy. In fact, most people say about me, "you make it look so easy!" Maybe because 90% of the time I don't complain about it, I just realize it's life. So everybody just sees me going about it like it's nothing but believe me, it's hard. With the majority of you I am probably preaching to the choir here especially to you who are in ministry and have a church to worry about on top of that. (And God bless those of you like Pastor Lisa or Pastor Tara who have a husband and kids to take care of, house work,, co-pastoring a church AND another 9-5 job to do. Or I look at our children's pastor's wife, Misty, who works a 9-5, runs a household and is very involved in ministry. Her children are really too young to help in the household work in any significant way. So she's got a lot on her shoulders. I remember those days well. I don't know how you do it without a serious breakdown.) I need a personal seminar from you ladies. Most people just tell me, "delegate to others, and don't expect perfection." I don't expect perfection but I do have a hard time when dirt is still there and it feels like a job is "unfinished." It takes me an hour to clean each bathroom in my home, and do it right. It takes my family members about 10 minutes when they do it. Need I say more?
So something's got to give. I know we all don't just get to do the things we love in life. Life isn't a great big bowl of cherries. But it is a bed of roses! (Ever laid down in a bed of roses?) There are chores, aspects of life we all have to take care of and we don't jump up and down with glee over them. But right now I have so much of that on me it, it's a very unbalanced amount IMHO. There are times I get frazzled over this and Larry gives such brilliant advice as: "don't teach Sunday School." WHAT???!! WHAT??!! Is this man on drugs and I just haven't realized it though he lays next to me each night? What would ever possess him to think that I would STOP doing something I love like teach Sunday School in order to have more energy to scrub floors? Why don't I just trade preaching for weeding!!! No, it's hardly a solution, in fact it's a tragedy to think about.
It is interesting to me that many times when women state they feel overwhelmed the very things people suggest we put aside are those things that we love doing most and that which gives us more energy. Things we would many times rather die than quit. I've long said, take teaching away from me and really I wouldn't want to live anymore. I'd rather just go on to heaven, if my life is going to be about weeding, send me to my heavenly home now. I feel a Gaither Homecoming anointing coming on me right now.......... "Beulah land...I'm longing for you...and on thee I'll take my stand...there my home it shall be eter......er....nal... Beulah land...sweet Beulah land." :-)
I once heard a woman teach a workshop where she said that she quit her church ministries because one day she looked up and noticed her ceiling fan was dirty and she hadn't cleaned it in forever. She said the Lord spoke to her and said, "how can you work in the church when you aren't taking care of your family?" She quit everything so she could keep up with cleaning the ceiling fans and the like. Well, I think that's just about the most asinine thing I have ever heard in my life. I truly don't believe God has ever told anyone that over a ceiling fan. In fact, I'd bet my bank account that God never told anyone that. (Though there's not much in it, that wouldn't be a big risk...) Anyway, YOUR FAMILY is not a CEILING FAN. You cannot be related to a ceiling fan. A ceiling fan has no life, no blood, no emotions, no heart. You cannot have "quality time" with a ceiling fan. You cannot watch a movie with a ceiling fan although it will whirr over you while you do. You cannot have dinner with a ceiling fan. No, "cleaning" is not spending time with your family. It is simply cleaning. A necessity in life, that I don't think most people relish. You can hardly compare cleaning your ceiling fan with spending time with those you love. If she was ignoring her family and not spending time with them then yes she should have cut back on other things. It's one thing to unload things from your life in order to spend more time with your family. But I'm sorry, nobody should quit what they love so they will have more time to clean their ceiling fan.
So my friends, some of this is getting ready to change. Not totally sure of all the solutions yet but one by one I'm working on them so I don't hang on every week just to be able to spend my day off sleeping. Even if I unload a few things, I think will STILL have more on my plate at home than I should have. I know it's probably that way with 99% of women out there, but sometimes something's just gotta give... I try to just be diligent, not complain and keep up with it all, but sometimes it does feel overwhelming to keep it all going. Grace, ONLY God's grace.
I determined today was about rest, not anything else. It has been hard to leave things undone, but I have. I had prepped homemade sweet rolls last night and everybody woke up to them today. I took a bath and then got ready and went to get a new set of nails. I don't like doing that but every few months it has to be done or I'll get a fungus. I dread getting the old set pulled off...it's not exactly pleasant and quite honestly I wish there was anesthesia for it. Beauty hurts!!! This is the price I pay to have nice hands. It's important to me when I am up close ministering to someone or take their hand, or pray for them that my hands look nice.
When I was done, I called Larry and he said he wanted me to go somewhere with him and Savanna. We went to Zephyhills to get ice cream and walk around. Savanna has been saving her money for a skirt she wanted from Walmart. It is really cute. She's been asking me about it for two weeks now so tonight we took her. I got the ingredients for a casserole I'm making for this weekend's women's ministry meeting and then came home and put it together and got it ready for when I will bake it. The boys went with Stephen to see Borne Ultimatum. They really liked it. They arrived home when we did and while I was assembling my casserole they were throwing a pizza in the oven. Savanna is watching Princess Diaries right now for the zillionth time while I sit here on the bed typing...
It's been a very relaxing day - MUCH needed. Thank you, Jesus. All that is left for me to do is THE most enjoyable thing which is...read in II Chronicles, and Come Away My Beloved...talk to Jesus a little bit and say G'night.
Please pray with me as I decide how to unload a few things and rearrange others to not be so tired to the extreme anymore. I find it kind of comical that later this month I've been asked to teach a workshop at a conference, called, "God's Wonder Woman!" Actually I do have some great pointers on how to get more done, and how to be more productive and accomplish much. Even if I unloaded half of the stuff I do, I'd still be accomplishing a lot. But the point is, right now I'm doing some things I don't believe God necessarily wants me to do. It has just sort of "fallen to me". Some things that have fallen to me, need to...FALL OFF.
I realize this isn't a blog that makes you wanna jump up and shout. One thing that really bugs me is that when most women write about things like this that they struggle with, they feel pressed that they must write at the end of of it all, "BUT I LOVE MY LIFE! I LOVE MY FAMILY! I WOULDN'T TRADE IT FOR THE WORLD! I CAN'T COMPLAIN BECAUSE MY LIFE IS JUST OH-SO-WONDERFUL!" I think women do that because they feel guilty for venting about what has them under pressure. The truth of the matter is this: I do love my life, and my family and all in all it is a wonderful life. However, can we please just come into a time when women can share their struggles without people thinking they hate their family and their life? Can we have a world where people know that just because a woman gets things off her chest about the pressure she is facing, she doesn't resent being a wife and mother? That should go without saying, IMHO.
I think I can speak for 99% of the women out there that we love our families - we just need a break or a re-organized job description at home at times. Am I right?