Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Imperfect Day

I think it's easy to read the blog posts of others and think to oneself, "Oh, her life is perfect. She has it so good!"

I try not to only include the good on my blog-- to include a healthy dose of the bad and the ugly as well. I have written before about achieving that balance between being encouraging and inspiring and being real. Because my life is not perfect and I am not always skipping around planning meals and crafts and spouting off deep spiritual thoughts. Sometimes, I have plain old bad days that are far from perfect.

Take my last 24 hours for instance.

Last night I had a tough conversation with a friend that came out of the blue. I was not emotionally prepared for it and it knocked me for a loop. The conversation rattled me and left me feeling really, really low. It has been hard to rise above it, much as I want to. Ever felt that way? Marriage and parenting is hard enough-- friendship should be easy. But I am learning that nothing this side of heaven that is worth having is going to come to us easily.

This morning I woke up late-- instead of having time to relax with a cup of coffee and do my quiet time I had to hit the ground running-- literally. I ran upstairs to wake my middle schooler, then ran back downstairs to get my shower, then out the door to take him to school. Somewhere in the middle of all that I remembered the conversation with my friend and felt sad all over again.

I returned home to make breakfast for my three younger ones and get them ready for CBS. Today was a luncheon day, and thankfully I was only responsible for the drinks and ice this time. I remembered that I needed to start the crockpot ribs I was making for dinner, so I pulled out the crockpot. Somehow, the cord caught on the cabinet door and the crockpot snapped out of my hands and went flying into the tile floor-- shattering one of my most used kitchen tools in no less than 1000 pieces all over the floor. It was a crockpot explosion. It was one of those moments where I just stood there staring at the mess, not quite capable of processing what had happened and what I was going to do with it.

The cleanup took a long, long time, as there were shards of ceramic crockpot everywhere, annoyingly caught in the grout of the tile floor. I got most of the mess cleaned up (I say most because I feel certain I will be finding shards for days, weeks, and even months. Hopefully not in anyone's bare foot!) and then I had to make up for lost time. I scanned my menu list to see if we had something else I could make since now my mode of cooking was destroyed. Nothing. I pulled a Scarlett O'Hara and said to myself, "I can't think about that right now-- I will think about that later." Then I moved onto the next part of my morning, which can best be described as searching.

I searched for a cooler for the ice. I searched for a pair of shoes for my youngest child. I searched for a scrap of patience, a shred of joy. I found the cooler and the shoes, eventually. The patience and joy? Not so much. I was running out of time and went into drill sergeant mode-- "Head em up, move em out! Let's go, let's go, let's go!" On the way out the door, I dropped the Dr. Pepper I was bringing for luncheon. Thankfully, it didn't explode but I wondered what would happen when we opened it at CBS. Could I please drop one more thing today?

It was 9:00 in the morning and I was sweating and exhausted.

I arrived at CBS only to discover that in all the craziness at home I had not packed my potty training 3yo any changes of clothes in case of an accident. Her teacher was very understanding, but I felt like a heel. Where was my award for "Most Unprepared Mother?" I knew I deserved it. When I got to my class, I noticed that my friend was remarkably thinner. I have been seeing her every week but I hadn't really noticed how thin she was getting until today. I asked her what she had been doing and she told me that she had lost 40 pounds. Then she let me in on the secret-- she had gone to a specialist that costs $400 per month to do it! Seeing as how that is not in our family budget, I sat down to do our lesson feeling even more down. Why am I always searching for that magic bullet where weight loss is concerned?

My time at CBS today was good. I would like to say that I had some sort of spiritual epiphany-- that I had some insight or remedy for reversing bad days revealed to me as we dug into God's word. But I didn't. We talked about the difference between God's jealousy and ours. We talked about how we have to return to Him with true repentance and He will return to us. We talked about how God loves Israel and will always protect them and will always come against any nation that tries to harm them. It was a good lesson. They all are. The fellowship and food at luncheon was good, as always. I left feeling the teensiest bit better and I guess that will have to be enough.

This afternoon I will unload dishes and help the 3yo with her continuing potty training and fold several loads of laundry and settle skirmishes between siblings and spend close to two hours in the car running carpool. I am not really looking forward to any of it. But it all has to be done. My life isn't perfect, and I am pretty sure yours isn't either. Just thought I would let you know that in my effort to keep things real. Because reality includes these kinds of days. And somehow it helps me to know I am not the only one who has them.

ETA: Ok, now we can add some guilt to complete the picture of my imperfection-- reading this made me realize I should have focused on what I have to be thankful for today. Which includes:
  • the sound of my children practicing their CBS songs on the way home from CBS, including my little toddler's voice singing all the animal sounds and laughing as she does
  • a husband willing to bring home pizzas when he hears that dinner was ruined by a broken crockpot
  • that there was no food in the crockpot when I dropped it-- it could have been a much bigger mess to clean!
  • a friend who offers to meet me in my driveway with wine after hearing about my bad day
  • my big teenage son leaning in the car to give me a hug goodbye for no reason at all-- in front of all his friends at school
  • a mom who calls me from the aisles of Walmart because she is Christmas shopping for my kids and wants to get the perfect presents
  • a day tomorrow that includes nothing but blessed, blissful white space on the calendar
  • always, always, always-- my family
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arbybarby said...


I read your blog everyday, and it honestly has helped me so much. I feel like you are friend who understands where I'm at. I can definitely empathize. So, you are in my prayers.


Anonymous said...

Oh, how I remember those days of 'the pitter patter sound of little feet'. Now I get to occasionally hear the sound coming from my grandbabies' feet. It all passes way too quickly. I just found your site today and it has blessed me so. May God continue to be your source of inspiration (along w/your family. Thank you. Another site that uplifts Jesus and is trying to make a difference is

Debra said...

We all Love You...

tulip said...

Oh, sweetie,

Your sisters in Christ are all walking with you shoulder to shoulder in the good and the bad days because we all understand! Maybe you can take a nice bubble bath tonight, soak some of your cares away, then snuggle in bed early with a good book. Some days call for those small indulgences. Just remember you are loved by the Father. Ultimately, it is always a good day because He is on His throne!

Take care, my friend!
In Christ,

jdearinng said...

Oh Marybeth - what a day! You sure kept on going though and ended with gratefulness. Thanks for sharing so honestly.

Fiddledeedee said...

Yes, I can understand, should you skip by for a visit at my blog, you would see that my life is totally perfect.

(side stepping lightning bolt)

Great big cyber-hug, my friend. Take heart. You're not in this sinking ship all alone! :)

Clara Van Nattan said...

Family life is never boring!! Be thankful for a not-boring family! And no, you're not the only one who has crazy days when you wonder if it will ever end!!

Jill said...

Marybeth, Thanks for sharing about your not so pleasant day. I've had a couple of them myself and like you say it's great to know I'm not alone. I pray you enjoy the day today, Jill

Flamingo Mama said...

oh my! that is an absolutely horrible day! thank goodness it's behind you. friendship woes are the worst.

the crockpot is a HUGE tradgedy, but potty training is almost as bad;)

hope the sun is shining on you today.

Always smiling said...

Hi Marybeth, (a lovely name!)

Stop and enjoy those little moments with your children and your joy will last through the day because before you know it they are gone, into the world and you're just on the end of a phone.
And that crock pot could have been full... the other things I am grateful for each day is that I have the skills to produce a meal from nothing!!
Christine x

SherriMonique said...


Thank you so much for sharing your "imperfect day". Mine always seem to be crazy but it is wonderful the encouragement I felt knowing that we all just have to keep going. And, at the end of the day - we can still find plenty to be thankful for. I enjoy so much reading your blog and always come away with something to think about and be uplifted. May God continue to bless you. Praying for you and your family.

Jerralea said...

Thanks for sharing about your not-so-good day. I have them, too. The thing to be most thankful about: when the ratio of good days far out-number the bad!

I am sad about your crockpot. I have two and now I can justify it: just in case I break one, I'm good-to-go!

Amy Jo said...

Can I just say that I can relate on so many levels. So sorry about the death of your crockpot. Ouch. Hope you're able to find a replacement soon. I shattered my most favorite coffee french press on my granite counter top - glass was EVERYWHERE. I was so worried that my kids were going to step on a piece. My sweet husband helped with more clean up the next day and got cut twice. Ugh.

Yes, it's definitely important to keep it real. I'm praying that today has been much better for you.

Sweet blessings :-)

Anonymous said...

Mmm...those sorts of days can be tough. I'm so glad you know you're always in the palm of His hand. How else could we weather those times?