Sunday, March 14, 2010

 The difference I make

At the core of my being I want to know that I am making a difference. That my existence is full of purpose. In my more pure and positive moments I do not doubt that. Because in those moments I am constantly being faced with truth. Conversely, through the fog that can easily encompass my surroundings in the midst of exhaustion, busyness, and overwhelming... life, I waver in my belief that I am affecting anything for a positive difference in this life. I remember a day not long ago which started out at a rate of constant and progressed to reach a crescendo of activity which I struggled to keep up with. K was home from school due to not feeling his best. I still had to drive Jay to preschool, so was very busy trying to get all four boys dressed, breakfast made, milk distributed into sippy cups, coats on, and every one strapped into car seats so that we would be on time {on time... what a simple, yet elusive goal of mine}. Two boys did not finish their breakfast, so naturally they began sobbing when I told them it was time to go. I hurriedly found a napkin to put their toast in and told them to grab their milk on the way out. Noe's shoes could not be found. Stress level rises. Heat fills my chest. Kai burps up his breakfast. On my shirt. There is no time to change. Heart rate increases. Noe trips on his way to the van. Mud covers the knees of his jeans which is indescribably disturbing to him. K needs his purple computer. I had grabbed his red computer on my way out the door. How could I commit such a terrible, terrible offense? Where are my keys...? They were just on the counter top. They were just there, I know it! Ten minutes late. We arrive ten minutes late. I am slamming doors and scolding. Something in the pit of my stomach feels rotten. My temples are throbbing. Jay gets delivered to preschool, but not smoothly or in a timely manner. He clings to my hand and pouts. The routine is repeated, only with less urgency this time. Car seats are fastened. My back aches from lifting K into his car seat as well as the strain that the infant car seat, with over 15 pounds of baby in it, is beginning to cause. The tension between my shoulder blades and in my lower back only adds to the agitation which is now freely pouring from me. On the way home I encounter interstate drivers who are less than kind. Why is it that driving the speed limit can make some people, who are so unfortunate to end up behind me, so angry?? On the trek from van to house I grab as much as I can. Diaper bag over the shoulder, infant car seat on the hip, rejected red computer in hand, cup of milk... I don't have an extra hand for the cup of milk. It goes into my coat pocket. As the door swings open my eyes survey the mess I left my home in. Dirt from the bottom of the boys' shoes litters the floor. Crumbs dot the counters. Pajamas are strewn throughout my line of vision. As I lean down to set the car seat onto the kitchen floor I notice the feeling of moisture on my left hip. Milk. On my {dry clean only} coat. On my pants. On the floor. On the diaper bag. I gasp for air, back up against the dishwasher and slide down till my body meets the hard floor beneath me. Kai is vocalizing his imminent need to nurse. K wants his braces and shoes off. I shut my eyes and the clutter in my mind organizes into one thought: What am I doing? The tension, the rushing, the snapping - what's it all for? I want to make a difference... No, not that kind of a difference. Seeing the distress in Kai's innocent face, the worry demonstrated by Noe, and K's frustration as he pries at his shoes makes things quite clear for me. I am making a substantial difference. -And for better or for worse comes down to my attitude. My time management *grimace*. My patience. My love. My moments of rest. My good choices. My gentleness.
Or lack thereof.
In this case, much, much lack...
The responsibility of it all can seem insurmountable. Or it can be viewed as an amazing privilege. To have that kind of an impact on these lives entrusted to us... It's huge. It's really, really huge. God help me. I have always said that nothing in life has made me see my need for Jesus like becoming a parent has. Oh how I need Jesus! What I take in. What I surround myself with. What I hear, see breathe, absorb - that is what is going to come out.
And so in that moment, on that cool kitchen floor, I whisper exactly that: "God help me" and I brush tears away from my eyes. I tell them that I am sorry and I just reach for them. It makes for a very full lap - and an even more full heart.


Lindsay said...

Powerful! My attitude ... who would have guessed?!

You're making a difference every moment of your life ... don't forget it! God is cheering you on and wiping away those tears!

Sending you encouragement and applause!

Katarina said...

I understand, so very completely. Praying that you will continue to find teachable moments in your day, moments where you can feel God speaking to you, encouraging you on in your attitude, patience, love.
You're teaching your boys something, even in the midst of the aggrivation, when you stop to apologize and give them cuddles. you are teaching them what THEY need ot do when they have made a mistake with their attitudes, and there will come a time for them when that happens, showing them to come before God and let Him do the molding, even when what is being taught is difficult.

Lucas and Ang said...

I love how you write and I can SO relate! Good reminder...thank you!

creative gal said...

girl, you make such a difference. . .I've never met you, but your blog has helped me in so many ways. . .Isn't it funny how God places people in your lives? Let me tell you something: You are an amazing lady!

Heather said...

ugh, yes! You ARE making a difference, indeed. Telling them that you're sorry and reaching for them...that makes all the difference. You can't be perfect, especially in those crazy mornings! But you can apologize when you lose it after just not being able to do it all. I totally get it. Totally.

Little Candle said... many times have I been there. Blessings and hugs to you sweet friend. And remember you are making a difference, a wonderful one!

Rachel said...

This is one of my favorites posts that you have written - ever. So real, so true...and so many of us have been there. Maybe not with 4 little guys :) But sometimes one (if he's crying nice and loud) is enough to send me to the floor, too! I love that you don't gloss over the hard stuff or pretend like it's always easy...but you always remind us {me} what a worthwhile job we are doing being a mama. Thank you for putting it in perspective and reminding me that my attitude does make a difference.