|photo credit: one of my kids--I'm not sure which one|
I am compelled to write down what I am feeling and thinking . . .
Each day is so utterly overwhelming as to be impossible to describe . . .
I cannot think beyond any single hour . . .
Anything more leaves me breathless . . .
Though I do meal plan and grocery shop one week at a time.
I've felt sad and tight and angry and trapped for many, many days . . .
Then this post appeared about a week ago . . .
And I wanted to cry because I am struggling to love my family life--struggling to find the joy I once had.
I had no idea what to do . . .
Nor how to do it . . .
I just kept putting one foot in front of the other . . .
And I couldn't even pray about it . . .
My prayers have been utterly incoherent jumbles of gratitude for surviving the day and pleadings for the next day's survival . . .
But a loving Father knew the soreness of my heart and answered . . .
Slow down? I'm so slow as to be barely moving!
The babies have refused to nap well, so I've been rocking them and singing to them for longer and longer periods of time . . .
That has slowed me down.
Ladybug's social worker has refused to make a decision about bringing her home, so we're indefinitely moving forward with school. I have to wait for her bus to arrive each day. There is a half hour window for drop off. I need to be ready and waiting for her, so each day I pick up my unfinished knitted wash cloth, and one row at a time, while I wait, I've finished the wash cloth (made of melon-colored cotton) and have begun a winter scarf (of soft gray wool).
That has slowed me down.
Yesterday afternoon was summer warm. The kids begged to fill the wading pools with water. I said yes and sat on the porch while they played. I packed away the chicken I'd cooked for dinner for another night, cut a watermelon from the vine on which it was growing in our garden, sliced some cheese, tore some bread in pieces, and served an impromptu picnic for dinner . . .
We skipped baths--after all, they'd been playing in water for 2 hours--and went straight to jammies when we came in all shivery and cold . . .
Later I made and served fresh oatmeal cookies for a bedtime snack . . .
That was a slow and lovely evening.
In the slowness I am finding peace . . .
I am finding joy . . .
Along the way I'm still getting the laundry done, the kids fed, the doctor's appointments kept, and having a bit of school each day . . .
I hope it is enough . . .
It will have to be enough . . .
Because I just have to have joy to live.