Monday Madness

By 8:03 a.m. today I lost my mind and frankly, my will to do anything. Everyone at my house was off their game. 


The twelve year old left everything everywhere as if the magic cleaning fairy would be arriving soon to clean up after him. 

 (Photo cred

The eight year old woke up late, moved slow, worked my last nerve with talk back and outbursts. I also found out why I keep getting a bill from the school cafeteria: despite making and taking his lunch every day, he was getting a tray instead of eating his lunch. So I do indeed owe the school $16.47.

The Little Sister of the bunch spilled her milk, threw a fit, spilled more milk. I still hadn’t lost it yet though. I was still slogging through getting the oldest two out on the bus at two different times and then getting the two littles ready while the baby was spilling yet more milk and the dog was drinking out of the toilet and I had so much work to get done today and it was time to cautiously wake up Mr. Wonderful (cautiously because he has the PTSD, we have a process) when I realized: 

This is my life. For realsies. 

 (Photo cred curiano)

Confession: I’ve been a fraud. Faking it with optimism and gratitude til I make it but never really making it up that hill. Working three jobs to make ends meet. Raising four kids, sometimes by myself. Caregiving for Mr. Wonderful. Waiting for someone else to come and claim the life they lost because this can’t be mine.

A few short years ago I had a working husband who was able to help a lot with our busy household. I only had three kids and two jobs. There was no VA battle, no PTSD, no ADHD, no running around constantly like a crazy woman. I only had to run around like a crazy woman sometimes back then.

I’m so tired of pushing and straining and striving to try to make changes and have nothing budge. I’m exhausted from not seeing more progress to spur me on. I’m tired of being tired and worried and unable to sleep or find time for working out or finding joy in time spent with my kids instead of hauling them from point A to point B just hoping I get them there on time.

I’m sick of fighting the VA to get my soldier the care and benefits he deserves. I’m afraid I don’t have any fight left and the battle’s not done yet. 

I’m weary today. And overwhelmed. And claustrophobic by the walls of responsibility closing in. I’m ready for the spring of my life and it feels like the winter winds have just begun.

The one thing I have going for me right now is that in my hardest moments of realness and raw honesty God meets me where I am. He comes to me with comfort, hope and peace, somehow knowing that this Monday, when I’m on the edge of losing my mind and my hope I need his steadying hand more than ever. He changes me from the inside out, even while He upholds me. 

I find great comfort in knowing that the orchestrator of the chaos of the universe cares about each hair on my head, on each worry and heartbreak and tear and breath of little ol’ me.

I remind myself that things can’t be too bad if I am loved, both by God and by my tribe. That I have a life that some others would trade me for in an instant. That as hard as things are today, today is only temporary. 

 (photo cred

And the God of my today is the God of my yesterday and tomorrow. He will see me through. He has gone before me, walks beside me and is behind me.

I just have to get out of the way of myself, surrender to his scandalous grace, and remember it’s not over yet.

He’s not finished with me. 

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Oh My Lands

This day! I’m at the end of my frustration with children (mine and other peoples’), second grade homework, regular work, house work, laundry, attitudes, lack of gratitude and just about everything else in between.

Ever have those days? Where it’s not just one or two frustrating things? It’s seventy-four. Thousand. Seventy-four thousand. It doesn’t help that I had to be out the door and functioning much earlier than usual for a before-school parent teacher conference and I’m currently coughing up a lung. I’m just super cranky and I’m not even taking my own advice from my Instagram post earlier–

Here’s what I wrote:

“Today I’m going to be grateful for the progress I’ve already made, even if it’s not where I ultimately hope to be. Today I will give thanks for baby steps and forward movement, for that is still progress. I’m saying a prayer of gratitude even as I wait for the answer–”

I had such high hopes this morning for my day and now I’ve let every little thing weigh me down. I haven’t celebrated. I haven’t caffeinate or dominated or appreciated as I had planned to.

Instead I went about my day feeling slightly overwhelmed with responsibilities and too many jobs and kids and not enough time or money. I focused on what I didn’t have and what wasn’t going right. I’ll tell you friends, that can change your day from promising to just plain rotten in the time it takes to say Merry Christmas.

During this season it’s so easy to get caught up in the should haves or I wishes. Save yourselves and learn from my mistakes today: focus on the small victories, the miniscule forward motions, the teensy degrees of progress. 

Then celebrate the crap out of them. 

 It’s the only way I know to keep the darkness of this world at bay–

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015