For the past month or so I’ve been on the edge. Ask anyone who lives near me. They will tell you that I’ve barely been able to complete a sentence, much less hold a conversation.
This time of year is always the busiest for our family. Soccer is in full swing, both for Matt’s college team and for all four of our boys. School has started. The tomatoes, green beans, corn, apples, peaches, peppers, and grapes are all demanding to be dealt with right now.
Throw in the fact that I also had house guests and a couple of out of town trips to take in the midst of this.
Oh, and I also have a website.
AND, Matt is in the midst of a job transition which I will hopefully tell you more about soon.
I’ve seriously been tense. Don’t get me wrong…I’ve enjoyed every last bit of my month of crazy activity. I just have a lot on my plate…plus I have raisins stuck to my floor under the kitchen table and I just can’t seem to get around to prying them off.
It may not come as a surprise then for me to say that lately my children have been driving me crazy. Suddenly their noise seems noisier to me and their hunger seems hungrier and their needs seem needier.
While trying to make my way through some big messy pots and pans one day last week, and feeling the pressure of everything else I needed to get done over the weekend in the midst of a soccer tournament…my boys were wrestling and building a fort (at the same time) and bringing more toys into the living room so that their fort would be complete. I also noticed a big bowl of soup “cooking” on the living room end table. The soup appeared to be something like a gallon of water with bunches of pepper sprinkled into it. Great. Just what I needed. MORE messes.
With a big sigh I thought to myself, “These KIDS are driving me CRAZY!!!”
I hid myself in my kitchen with my hands in the dirty dish water and tried to take a few deep breaths to get ahold of myself.
It was then God helped me realize that really and truly, it wasn’t my children that were driving me crazy. They were being good. Building a fort with lots of blankets and toys isn’t naughty. Neither is wrestling around on the floor, since they were just doing it for fun and no one was getting hurt. They were just providing themselves with their boyhood daily ration of wrestle time. And the “soup”? Water and pepper clean up easily enough. And oh yes, these boys are old enough to clean it up themselves.
It wasn’t the kids that were driving me crazy at all.
No, the problem was really my own heart. My lack of peace and joy were driving me crazy, not my kids.
While I thought I had been giving my stress and overwhelmed self to God the past few days, I really hadn’t been. Oh I’d been praying, you can be sure of that. But probably my prayers of “God, please let a friend call and invite my kids over to play so I can get some work done around here” didn’t really count as me taking time to sit at Jesus’ feet and reflect on what HE needed me to do for the day.
It’s amazing what a heart transplant will do. Once God helped me figure out what the real problem was and I spent some time asking Him to transform my mind and heart…my life and household were suddenly much more peaceful and enjoyable.
Suddenly the kids weren’t driving me crazy anymore…yet they had not changed anything about their activity (or hunger or neediness).
I’ve decided that “These kids are driving me crazy!” is another lie Satan wants women to believe.
Next time I feel like my kids are driving me crazy…I’m going to do a heart check.
And then I’m going to crawl into a fort with my kids and enjoy a nice bowl of pepper soup.