My dad gives great advice, I’m talking move over Dear Abby type of stuff, in the midst of a real crisis of self or in need of a pre-speaking pep talk you can find me on the phone with my dad. He always makes me laugh which is a big bonus when you are in crisis mode and I know he will love me the same when we hang up even when I reveal most human selfish thoughts (its one of the perks of being the only daughter). I call him we chat, he makes me laugh, then gives me brilliant advice and I hang up and breathe a little easier.
This past Saturday I was throwing myself quite the pity party that involved the perils of having two small kids and wondering if I was ever going to have a moment to myself or sleep again. I knew I was being quite a brat, but we creative types like to do things all out, so I called the one person who would tell me what I needed to hear without actually telling me that I was being a complete selfish brat. I don’t know where he learned this art but if classes were offered I would advise all dads attend. So I whined and he listened, made a great joke that I can’t remember now, and then told me exactly what I needed to hear.
“Don’t look past today, God has given you everything you need for today.” Deep Breath. This is why God gives us parents for little nuggets of wisdom like that. It wasn’t ground breaking but I had forgotten and I needed to be reminded. Because when we are in the midst of a challenging time we want to know the solution is coming, and quickly… so we look out and when we don’t see anything on the horizon we panic.
He was right every day I have just enough and there in the dependence lies the real beauty. When I have to wake up and beg God for just enough to make it through today. When I have to ask him to open my eyes to the real pain in the world so my tiny world gets blown apart. When I have to wonder where my next dose of patience, love, and kindness will come from, that is real dependence. When I write a verse on my chalkboard not so people think I’m churchy but so I can look at it and remember that Jesus himself said he would give rest to the weary and burdened (pretty sure he was talking to all the moms who had multiple small children….I kid…. Kinda). I realized this was just where I was living these days, in great dependence and with little knowledge of what lay ahead. If I started focusing too much on anything besides just keeping my head above water I was going to exhaust myself so I just needed to trust that I could handle today and then when tomorrow came I would do it all again.
Recently when I was putting Claire to bed we were chatting about her day or to be more exact I was going over the family rules and she was saying “yessam” which translates to “yes mam”. It’s a habit I try to remember to go over our day and most of the time I just tell her she’s awesome and keep reminding her to be awesome. This day though had been hard. For both of us. I needed grace and so did she. As I was tucking her in I told her, “the great thing about going to bed is every morning you get a new chance to start over.” I was really reminding myself and I’m pretty sure she said “barney?” afterwards hoping I might cave in this reflective moment but I kissed her goodnight and thought there was very few things a good sunrise couldn’t undo.
Pam - I can totally appreciate this blog post even though I don’t have little ones consuming my every moment and energy. I recently said to my husband that I was going to throw a pity party and did he want to come. He asked if there was going to be chocolate? I appreciate your Dads wisdom and your words. I am often guilty of looking ahead and trying to see answers and how I can possibly make it through. It is wonderful to know that his grace is sufficient for today and he will give us all we need. By the way, the days won’t always seem as long as they do right now! Your littles are so blessed to have you as their mother.