It's Random Journal Link-Up Day. Because I took a personal leave from the blogisphere, I missed the last one (and maybe the one before that). So I reached far to the left on my shelf of journals this time, farther back into my history with journals, and came up with representative one, I think.
My life was very different in those days. I had a 4, 6, and 8 year old and I was busy! Crazy busy. Beve had just had an ACL reconstruction, we were youth group leaders, and Beve and I were teaching summer school together. And discovered a few things I've jettisoned from my mind in the two decades since.
"All the 'stuff' I face each day just empties into each day another load. Another load of laundry, another load in the dishwasher, another load of food to eat, and toys to be put away, another load of discipline. It's hard to get fired up for any of it. Beve gets up each morning and asks, "What do you have planned for the day?" PLANNED? The day is planned before me before I've lifted my head from the pillow. I'd like to burrow in and do nothing, I think. Instead, I have to react to whatever awaits me outside my door. Whatever "He hit me," or "She's being mean," or whatever else they have to offer and ask and need. All the thoughts and half-formed images of my own are too deep for even conscious contemplation. Much is asked of us, but not much is given to the space my mind needs.
"What shall we have for dinner?" is his next question. And I want to throw a pillow at him because I can't think of dinner while I have toast and Cherrios and and snacks and Top Ramen and more snacks and whatever else comes along to deal with. Dinner? It's beyond the cliff of the next several hours. Let me fall off.
That's it. The real cliff, I mean.
I think this is the edge of depression. Truly. It feels like life is too much work. "But you, Oh Lord, have searched me and know me!" He knows me and that should make a difference. But I'm afraid it doesn't. He may know me but does anyone on earth? And does it matter? Those around me see a funny, outgoing, cheerful optimist...but inside I'm on a cliff.
It was hard being an at-home mom. I wasn't a natural. I remember that. I wasn't a natural with small children. I remember that. But it's a revelation to discover all this.
The encouraging thing is that we've lived beyond it. My children survived and even flourished beyond it. They grew into teenagers and I adore teenagers. Then they grew into these amazing adults that I get to be in a new kind of relationship with. And all the things that used to make me feel empty about my day, now has the rhythm to it.
That's what happens in time. In moving with God in chronology. Children grow up, they outgrow all kinds of things, and we survive them. We endure even what we aren't sure we will.
Just this morning I was thinking about James 1:2 that I memorized in the JB Phillips translation back when I was a teenager:
"When all kinds of trials and temptations come your way, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends."
Now, check out Dawn's blog, to read some other great journal entries here.