The meat for Son #1's birthday lasagna is simmering on the stove. Little Man is watching Curious George on PBS. And I'm eating my oatmeal so I can take Ibuprofen and get this day going. The kids get out at noon on Wednesday and there is NEVER enough time!
We had a blessed Thanksgiving. Wonderful time with the Coach's extended family. The kids ate, skated, ate some more, played basketball, and came home worn out! We finished out the weekend with putting up outside lights, decorating the tree, filling the house with pretty Christmas things, counter top shopping, the Coach's dad's birthday dinner, and Daughter's (#5) 10th birthday on Sunday night. Oh. And family pictures in there somewhere, too.
Little Man and I are headed out in a bit to get a few groceries and pick up the smaller of Son #1's birthday gifts - not sure if I can pull it off or not (buying for a 16 year old cowboy when you are strictly a city girl is a challenge!) - and it's COLD outside. Grandmother, Granddad, the Coach, and I (Little Man, too!) enjoyed lunch with my first-born, yesterday, but no birthday dinner last night since it was also Daughter's (#2) first two basketball games of the season.
I feel a bit like I'm at the top of the first hill on the roller coaster, looking down on basketball season (stretching through March), with a Jr. High and Varsity player in our troops. . . one more birthday, tonight. . . a weekend away with the Coach (woohoo!). . . class mission projects. . . Christmas programs. . . new counter tops coming to the kitchen. . . Choir Christmas dinner (sheet cake baking required). . .Christmas cards. . . and the general baking and gift-buying for the troops and our loved ones.
My kids keep saying, "I just LOVE Christmastime!" with that wonderful clear light in their eyes.
And each time I hear it. . . I wonder. . . "DO I love it?" Do I? Without the birth of Jesus where WOULD we be? But the work wears on me and my to-do list is my waking thought each morning and I find myself longing to JUST love it and not feel the pressure we moms feel each year to "get it all done".
I'm so enjoying Ann Voskamp's "1,000 gifts". So good. Finishing up the last chapter. But somewhere in there (the downside of reading on the Coach's nook is my inability to slow down and take the time to highlight so I can find things later), she said that stress, worry, "overwhelmed" is all one thing. . . lack of trusting God.
Because "Overwhelmed" is my middle name. And if you've read much of anything I've written here, you know that.
I tend to look at all that needs to be done, lump it all in one big PILE, and carry it around on my back. The massage therapist (my birthday gift from my parents last Summer was a massage - heavenly!) said it's called a "bridge of tension". Ouch.
The Lord has been working on me in this. . . teaching me to bring it all before him. . . lay it before the throne of grace. . . give it to Him.
But I'm rather fond of picking it all back up, one thing at a time, and throwing it back up there across my shoulders.
When I read that about just BEING stressed/overwhelmed showing a lack of trust. . . it got my attention.
So when that choking, drowning, i-can't-do-it-all feeling starts climbing up my throat? I've been asking myself, "Am I trusting God with this?" or "What am I not trusting Him about?" or "Why am I afraid to trust Him with this?"
He is so faithful and so worthy of my confidence. He is fully ABLE to help, rescue, guide, strengthen. (His faithfulness is the past is evidence of this to me!)
Why do I try to do it on my own?
Because we all have things (and I'm not just talking about the things on our "lists", either) that we are carrying on that "bridge of tension" across our shoulders. Disappointment, loss, difficult relationships, financial strain, decisions that need to be made, kids that need to be trained, physical pain (I'm raising my hand right with you, here!).
And did I mention that my house is a WRECK?
But from now on. . . I'm not going to be "Mrs. Overwhelmed Troop", anymore. That's right. Because slowly, one stress at a time, one moment at a time, I'm changing my name.
To "Mrs. Trusts-God Troop".
"So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Hebrews 6:17-20
". . . fled for refuge. . . "
Here I come, Lord! With all of my burdens, too!
". . . strong encouragement to HOLD FAST to the hope set before us. . . "
Holding TIGHT to Jesus. Knowing He's really the one doing the holding.
". . . a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. . ."
NOTHING can move me away from you, Lord. YOU are my anchor.
Got it? Got it!
(Pretty sure another cup of coffee wouldn't hurt, though.)