Prayer buddy … help!  I am LOSING it over here.  Stress levels up, coping mechanisms down.  Things have gotten really interesting and uncertain at work, the hubs has away too long and I need him home, plus I have PMS.

that whole, you know, trust in God and try to live every day, every moment, being present and living in his peace and joy?  Offering up every small and big thing, thanking God for the blessings and not dwelling on the seemingly more easy life so-and-so has?  Turning to God when in trouble, as opposed to holding a pity party and pouring a glass of wine?

Yes, well – guess where I have been lately.  It’s not pretty.  

Please pray for me, to calm down and trust in God.  Please pray for my son, who asked me to pray for him that he feel less scared in the world (He has food allergies and has been afraid of lots of things lately.  I know it will calm down again eventually but it isn’t a good place for him right now either.  Add to that only mom at home, and mom stressed out too, and well, his life isn’t so easy right now either).

Thank you for your prayers. 

 

Prayer buddy …..

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The beginnings of an answer?

In my last post, I wrote about how I am struggling with maintaining a home given all the other demands of me at this moment in my life.  Two things came up today, which may perhaps be the beginning of an answer of how to handle things.

And, as I mentioned – I need to go back to flylady, start at the beginning, and just be patient.  

My friend sent me an email with this quote from Jean Vanier:  

We have to learn to draw on our suffering, distress and setbacks so that we can grow spiritually. It is so easy for us to get locked into frustration, anger and depression.
 
And then I had a chance to go to confession.  Fr D spoke of how times of desolation (and I guess my frustration and tints of depression about this ARE a kind of desolation) – that is the time we need to really dig in, dig deeper, not run away.  God is always with us; he is not playing at hide and seek; but there is a blockage there somewhere and it really calls on us to hang in there.
 
(deep breath)
 
Okay then.  Monday is back to the craziness of life including work.  I need to not run screaming from the sight of my kitchen or laundry pile!  I hope tomorrow I can at least set the roots in with a bit more determination to hang on.

The house as a metaphor

This past week has been a struggle. I have been on the March Break holiday (much needed!) and I hoped to get lots of work done in terms of tidying, cleaning, and organizing the house. Since we got out of our storage locker (yay!!) There have been boxes sitting, waiting for their contents to find a home … and since we have a much smaller place now, there isn’t anywhere these boxes won’t be visible.

I guess I work better in crisis mode – when I have a tight schedule, I don’t sleep as much, the critical things get more or less done (but not the tidying & cleaning, which is why my house feels like a disaster) but I am too busy to worry much about it.

It has seemed so very difficult to make any headway this week – like walking through molasses. We had a terrific long weekend in the hometown, where I didn’t have to make any decisions with regards to food, lots of great hanging out with my parents and aunt, DH’s parents and family etc. Unfortunately I did not handle the change of (lack of) structure so well. The prayers I regularly say for my morning commute, evening commute, and before bed – didn’t really happen. I even missed going to church with the time change, a long night time sleep (I’ve been having lots of those – I guess sleep deprivation catches up with you) – and the commitment to DH’s parents to be there for the big Sunday lunch. It was a nice break but it didn’t get anything done for us on the home front.

Once home, things just didn’t seem to go much better. In spite of beautiful weather outside, we spent a lot of time indoors as I wrestled with the ‘stuff’ in the house – trying to get a handle on the kitchen, catching up with laundry, going through boxes to get rid of things ….

If my house is a metaphor for my soul, there is A LOT of work to be done. I could probably even draw a parallel between leaving our newer, more roomy (and expensive) house to this older, more interesting house where we have rented out half and thus live in a smaller place.

I need to get rid of some stuff, organize the rest, and keep up with the daily routines that will keep things peaceful. I know one way to do this – through the flylady.net site – which worked for me about 10 years ago. Somehow it is hard to get back into it and stick to it, although her methods are designed for people like me! It feels too elementary, too much like ‘yes I know this and I should be able to skip ahead already…’ but my approach has not been working. Perhaps pride is another roadblock here.

I made it to church last night (Friday) and just put the whole thing before God. IN my experience, when life feels like I am trying to trudge through molasses, something is going on. Perhaps I am off the path that is meant for me – through a decision or a falling away from the routine things that help to keep my faith alive and attentive – and I accept it could also be a time that allows me to ‘exercise’ my muscles of faith and persistence etc.

One of my friends came over last night as we usually meet on Fridays to do our prayer group thing. I had asked for her help to boost a couple of boxes up into the attic, but was reconsidering given the disastrous state of upstairs! But she came upstairs, and caught sight of a room that has just been draining the energy, spirit and hope out of me – and before you know it, we were in there working away, sorting, tossing, organizing. It has seemed so daunting to even begin, on my own – so depressing to just go in there and see failure everywhere I turned. With a friend – talking, laughing, and not feeling judged – it took time but it got done. (we did a shorter prayer thing afterwards!).

It made me think of a time in the fall when another friend came by to hang out once the kids were in bed so I could get out to do something (I can’t remember what – dentist? hair appointment?) I was so thankful to be able to get out and take care of this long-awaited thing. Wouldn’t you know, she rolled up her sleeves and cleaned the kitchen for me – another time when things had spiralled down into survival mode, and I just had to kind of close my eyes and keep on functioning until a time would come when I could climb on top again. It is such a gift to have help when needed – a reminder that we are not alone in the world, even when we feel we ought to be able to do all of this without help – if we are strong, competent people.

It still makes me emotional to think of the care and concern from these friends, who have come in to help when I am most discouraged and defeated. I should mention that family (DH, mom, MIL) have often been a great help as well, and I appreciate that so much! What makes the friend help so striking, though, it is that it is more unexpected I think.

I wish I were a naturally organized, tidy person. If you are – it is such a blessing to have a tidy, peaceful environment – which most of the time, I wish I had but certainly have not had for a long time.

I suppose I should go back to the flylady system – step one, day one – as frustrating as it is to me right now; as much as it makes me feel that I was further ahead 10 years ago and have slipped all the way back. I don’t know why it is so difficult to contemplate starting something that will take a lot of time, but which I know will work eventually – just by establishing and faithfully following routines – boring, small little routines that seem to get you nowhere and are so very easy to dismiss when you are extra tired, that seem like chains sometimes but really will bring you more peace once they become part of your fabric.

And thus I see the metaphor for my soul, the habits of interior life, etc.

(sigh)

I am not sure of the source for this, but parts of it really fit right now.

Your Best Friend Or Your Worst Enemy

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push your onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do, you might just as well turn them over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed, you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great people; and alas of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
WHO AM I? I AM HABIT.

An observation

I took my grade 5 class (9 – 10 year olds) to the big museum today. We will be studying ancient civilizations, so we had some time to look around the galleries (about an hour – not nearly enough time), eat lunch, do our lab (really cool – kids got to handle actual artifacts from ancient Egypt and speculate about their purpose), and then have a guide for looking at a few masterpieces in the ancient Egypt hall – including a real mummy. I confess, I am usually pretty stressed during field trips. I do enjoy them and I enjoy the learning, but I probably need to do this a few more years before I can truly enjoy it. I was lucky to have an excellent parent volunteer though – she has done lots with girl guides and sparks so she really knew how to take care of the group that I put into her charge.

Now, what was really interesting to me is this – as soon as we got in the kids started taking photos. It seemed to me that they weren’t even looking at what they were seeing – it was all about taking photos. It made me wonder about the difference between truly experiencing something when you are there, and taking pictures for some purpose – other than living in the moment? I wonder how often I do that.

Things did settle down – and since they were not allowed to take photos during the lab, they had the chance to get into that. Also our guide did not allow photos while she was talking, so the kids had to stop and really look and listen.

I don’t know if this was the excitement of being in the big city, in a museum that many had not been to see … or the excitement of being 10 years old and on a field trip. Or is this part of the digital age? The kids were allowed to bring i-pods, DS systems, etc to use as cameras, and many used them on the bus – some even used them in the museum!

Sign of the times? Or am I just out of date here?

Please send good thoughts / prayers to J …

I met J this year when I started at my new school. She and her DH conceived easily enough a few years ago – miscarried around 8 weeks – and since then, nothing. They have done some tx and are undergoing more testing etc now, but they are also on the adoption pathway. While the bio connection would be wonderful, J has told me (with tears in her eyes) “I just want to be mommy to someone. I want to be a mom.”

They are listed with the CAS of our region, and they and one other couple are being considered for a pair of boys (I think, about 6 yo and 4 yo) who have had a rocky start. They are brothers. One of them really prefers girl type things (Barbies etc) which may be the reason why the first adoptive family they were placed with sent them back to CAS. I believe there may a concern about ADHD or something as well (that does not phase J, as she has managed that as a primary teacher and feels comfortable that she knows the benefits and challenges of this diagnosis.) Now the boys are in a loving and stable foster home, but really a permanent adoption situation is what they need and this is being pursued.

This week, J and her hubs have the 2 boys – as a “relief family” kind of thing, I guess it is commonly done in the fostering system here, where the children go for a week holiday at a relief family’s home. Except, part of this is for J and her hubs to get to know the boys and see how they do in their home. In a couple of months, the boys will go to the other family to see how that week goes there. Then I suppose, things may move forward for one or the other couple to become the adoptive parents, if everything works out.

Please send out good thoughts and prayers for J, her hubs, and these little boys. I am praying for the best placement possible to come here, the best outcome for the boys and the two couples. J and her hubs are hopeful, and I am hoping for them, but I am also thinking of this other couple who must want to adopt as well. I can’t imagine the meeting of the social workers where they make these decisions, all of these peoples’ lives, hopes and dreams hanging in the balance.

Please think of them.