I've spent the day untangling.
Literally and figuratively.
First, of all, do I even really need to say it? The tree.
Second of all, my heart's just been a big ol' tangled mess. I needed to take a minute and try to work out the knot. Part of the knot is obvious. My mom is sick. And she is sad. And I'm not there. I struggle every day feeling guilty about not being there, while at the same time feeling so tethered to my life here. I've learned a little skill over the last year called "healthy compartmentalization". I've been using it. But, I think some of my file drawers were starting to spill over.
Another part of the knot has to do with my parenting. Just as with my house and not feeling caught up from the holidays, my ability to intentionally parent has been very low. This happens to me sometimes. Surely I'm not the only one, right? There are times when, for whatever reason, I simply take my hands off the parenting wheel and slip into autopilot. My autopilot is no one you'd like to know.
Coming to this realization is never fun or easy for me. It usually begins with a lot of grumbling about "those kids". And I get confused about all the outbursts and wonder why I'm locked in a power struggle over every single thing. I begin to pray, "Lord, what can I do with THESE kids?" Why don't I see it before this point? Why have I not learned what He's going to tell me every single time? It is always, always time to check my own heart. In the past, I spent a lot of time resentful of this. Don't worry about my saying that in front of God...He already knows...we've dealt with it. Now, I feel genuine sorrow over time lost.
The thing is, it is not an intentional meanness or choosing to be frustrated. It always leaks out when I am not mindful of the condition of my heart. And usually, I tune out my heart when it is in considerable pain. It has been a long time since I have been in this place. And this time my children have paid the price. Nothing makes me more miserable than the thought of that.
I'm having trouble sitting with Him. I don't know what to say. My own pain, the pain of my mom, the pain of my sisters and brother. It's all just too much. And it's not that I'm mad at Him. I have learned to the core of my being about his sovereignty. He gives and He takes. He loves me more than I can ever imagine and always has my best in mind. And all for His glory. I know. But my human heart is so weary. I'm out of words to say to Him. Except for an occasional squeaky "Help me..."
He is working, though. No matter my inability to speak to Him, He is still working. And I can see it, and I know my heart should swell with joy. But the old heart is just not cooperating right now. I still count the gifts, everyday. Even though the feeling of joy is not there as it has been in days past, I still thank Him. And I try to remember that sorrow lasts for the night.
The morning will always come.