Eric traveled to New York this week. He put his hands on us and prayed as usual for safety, courage, protection, and wisdom. He left one day and my mother in law the next and I realized once again how four against one isn’t always possible in the realm of child raising.
Asher may or may not keep his front teeth. A hard fall knocked them both loose and the dentist said they might tighten up, they might not. They could possibly tighten but turn really dark. But, dark teeth are better than no teeth when you are only not quite four.
Tuesday was a low point. The vacuum wouldn’t suck up the muck and mire. The tub wouldn’t drain the muck and mire. The carpool system for soccer was broken. The panic attacks set in, and that was all before the oldest had a collision with another ballplayer. Concussion. I am miles away, because I can’t be all things to all people. I can’t watch the firstborn play baseball and get the second to soccer and the third to guitar and entertain the fourth along the way.
Satan started in on what he does best…accuse. “You aren’t enough. You aren’t a good mom. You weren’t even there when your son had a concussion, for crying out loud. You will never get your act together. You are failing at this. You are failing them.”
Sometimes wisdom agrees with Satan on some level, because after all, there may be some half truth in there…muddled with just enough non truth to make it a lie. For me, it is true that I am not enough. I’ll never be enough, that’s why I am in desperate need of a Savior not just for salvation but on a daily basis. There has to be something much bigger than me holding this ship together.
So, I can agree with Satan that I am not enough. But, I can tell him that Christ in me is enough. And that is sufficient for all the lies he throws my way.
There are some days that are simply too much to process. It’s not that a concussion, a broken drain, loose teeth, or failed carpool systems are too much in themselves, but when they combine on the same day, it’s as if my body erupts an explosion of lava and all I can do is sit and will my heart rate back into a safe zone and force my lungs to fill with air.
Some days, it is too much. I hate that people often take the following verse out of context, claiming that God never gives us too much to handle: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) This verse is talking about temptation, not every day muck and mire. Yes, sometimes we are given way more than we can handle. If we weren’t, there wouldn’t be much need for grace.
So, at the end of a weary weak when my weary mom-soul has had too much, when I sobbed myself to sleep, wondering if my oldest would be restored to himself, and was woken up at four am to a puking toddler, I wondered how to proceed. I felt like I needed to try and find Christ in the midst of these things. When I daily live with the truth that I can never be all things to all these boys, I can choose to look for Christ in the midst of the muck and mire.
I see our friend-doctor who was at the baseball game, calling us personally and giving us updates on our son. I see a dentist who said we should pray for Asher’s teeth to tighten, yes, he said the word pray, where he acknowledged that for him too, some things are out of his control and help. I see an easy fix on our tub and drain that didn’t break the bank. I see the toddler who only threw up twice and then seemed fine. I see the oldest starting to act a bit more like himself and seem less dazed. I see a husband back home safely. And I hear myself let out a huge exhale.
There are still loose teeth, a broken vacuum, scheduling conflicts, and lots of future travel. But, if I look carefully, I can see Christ with us in the muck and mire of this thing called life.