I reached it today. The end of the line. I almost completely lost it. I was at the tipping point (and not the good tipping point that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book). I'm talking about the tipping point. I was just done.
In case you're just joining us or if you're a little behind, let me catch you up. My husband Brian and I have two children (ages 3 and 5) and two foster babies (ages 1 and 2) that have been in our care for six weeks now. I work from home as a Scentsy Independent Consultant, and my husband is a youth pastor at our local church. We also just found out we are expecting our third baby (insert crazy pregnancy hormones). We are in the process of attempting to get our house ready to put on the market. And to top it all off, we're praying about making an offer on a new house later this week. We shall see how that unfolds. So, that's the short version. The above statement also serves as my disclaimer if at any point I appear to be crazy.
Oh, and I almost forgot, about 220 days ago, I made a sort of deal/pact with God that I would write everyday for a year. So here I am. This is our crazy story.
For those of you whom I know well and who I reached out to today, please know that all is well in my head now. Earlier in the day, it was rough going. I'm blaming it on the raging hormones inside my body. That better mean this baby is happy and healthy and making itself comfortable in there, if you know what I mean.
So here it is....here's what I need to know.....
Do you ever just get to the point where you feel like you are at the absolute end of the line?
Anyone? No? That's just me?
Okay then. Well, if you're perfect. This is not the post for you. If you're down for some authentic, hey, this is life, kind of writing, then you're in the right place. Read on crazies.....
Today started like most Sundays with me getting four babies ready for church and out the door. It is always a complete act of God that it happens at all. Brian leaves for church right as I get up on Sundays. So it's up to me to feed everyone, clothe everyone, and change (on average) 6-8 diapers before we get in the car. Once we're in the car, it's a twenty-five minute ride to church.
Once we get to church.....just imagine it... getting four small children out the of car, across the parking lot, and into a building without anyone falling down or getting hit by a car? It's a challenge. I'm just saying. (By the way, church is the only place I take all four of them at the same time....I did take them to Chick-fil-A once by myself, but it was not pretty.)
Anyhoo.....moving on. Today I was particularly on edge because I knew that Wade and Bailey's mom and dad had agreed to meet us at church for the first time. It's really what I had been praying for. Just to get them there.
I arrived with all four kiddos in tow on time and ready to go. The kids went into their respective rooms and Brian and I went to save four seats in the auditorium. I save seats (during our most crowded service of the day) while Brian waits in the lobby for them to arrive. All through worship I'm distracted. I'm just praying they'll actually show up. Four songs in, they still aren't there.
I'm super annoyed and pretty ticked off (as is Brian). The sermon begins, and they still aren't there.
Fifteen minutes into a thirty minute sermon, they finally walk into the sanctuary. And I'm mad.
And as I sit there fuming (but trying not to show it) the Lord whispers ever so gently to me, "But they're here. I don't need an entire worship experience and a full sermon to work in them. I can work in them because they're here. Love them."
Dang it! He's always right. I'm just glad they showed up.
After the service the babies' mom took a "What's Next" kit which is a Bible and a worship CD and a message from Pastor Craig, so I was excited about that. I have to keep reminding myself that He didn't work overnight in me, and He may not work overnight in them. I just need to be here for the ride. I just need to be here to love and support them. So I will be.
After we picked the kids up, we let them hang out and play with the babies in the hallway at church for a good half hour or so. It was good to see them outside the walls of the sterile place where we have supervised visits.
But when everyone hugs and kisses goodbye, it's back to work for me. It means I have to feed all four kids and get them down for naps (praying that no one falls asleep in the car because then there is a good chance there won't be a real nap at home). Today I opted for a drive-thru where I handed each of them their kid's meal to eat on the road while we made the twenty-five minute ride home.
When we got home, all is well at my house except that the house is trashed (mainly because we had guests all week, and we never really picked up like we do on a normal day). There is a week's worth of laundry to do, dishes to clean, plants to water, work to be done on the computer, and suddenly I'm resenting the fact that I have to take care of babies who aren't mine.
(Not a good place to be, people).
Before I know it, I'm beyond frustrated with the kids. None of them are getting the attention they deserve because I'm running around like a crazy person just trying to survive while changing diapers (again) and telling kids to stop hitting each other over and over again.
Suddenly I hit it. The end of the line. There is no where else to go.
I don't know how I got there. I'm blaming it largely on a week outside of our normal disciplined routine and pregnancy hormones. I finally just sat down (P.S. I don't sit down....this is not normal operating procedure for me). And before I knew it, I was crying. I didn't know why. I didn't care. I also didn't care what the kids were doing. I really didn't care about anything at all.
I just wanted to quit. It all became too much.
So, I did the only thing I knew to do, I called for help. I posted a request for prayer and sanity on the group page dedicated to my Bible study. Within minutes, Tasha called. A simple phone call to remind me that I'm not the only one who gets to the edge sometimes.
"Do you want me to come over and take all the kids in the back and just let you be in the house for a while? You have to get away sometimes. You're not crazy, but you are pregnant. Even Jesus took plenty of time to be away from it all. It's important."
And it is. It was the reminder that I needed in that moment. I needed to hear that it wasn't only me. I needed to hear that it was okay to ask for help.
I told her that I was fine. Brian was on his way home. I had just sent him a text that said, "I need you to come home." And I meant it. When he called to ask if I was okay, my reply was simply, "No."
He agreed to make arrangements for dinner, and said that when he got home, I could just relax. By the time he got home, I was already starting to feel better. I didn't feel so alone. (And I had eaten two lime popsicles. I'm not sure if that factored in or not, but it may have.)
He immediately pulled out dinner and started feeding the kids, and I realized that although the impending mountain of work in front of me may seem like a lot to do, I could at least start somewhere.
So, I started folding laundry. Simple. But it was a first step. And then, the tiny little list maker in my head woke up and started making neat little lists in my brain again. Laundry, pick up toys, eat dinner, fall asleep with my head on the table while Brian is giving the kids a bath (maybe we should have added exhaustion to my list of possible explanations for reaching the end of the line), snuggle Luke, kiss the babies goodnight, more laundry, water the plants, clean the kitchen, and the list goes on.....but you get the point.
By the end of the night, I had run one mile (my first time on the treadmill in a long time and it was long overdue), picked up the house, planned out my entire week, and finished most of the laundry. I also asked Brian to take over cooking dinner every night until my aversion to all things raw meat goes away, and he happily agreed.
So, all in all, this is a post to tell you that I almost went crazy and then decided against it. I know I'm not the only one.
How do you come back from the end of the line without falling off?
- Ask for help
- Get away
Easy as that.
Hoping life is good in your world. It's good here, even in the rough patches.
.....day 226 of a year of writing.....