This past week knocked me on my fanny, at least figuratively speaking.
- The kids were on fall break all week. The routine was out of whack, which meant little to no time for myself.
- Last weekend was jam-packed. Our kids ministry at church/work hosted a big blowout party (we call it Frenzy, because that’s what it is!) for the 3rd-5th grade students, and I worked some long hours. The weekend rolled on with a late night out celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday, then my usual Sunday morning work shift followed by a day at the pumpkin patch and celebrating with old friends. We were exhausted by Sunday night. And, unfortunately, that night was the start of a lupus flare for me. It hung around for three days. Every time I have a flare, I rejoice and wail: I celebrate because I don’t have flares very often but I bemoan the fact that they suck – and they also bring a yucky reminder of my parents, because they shared the disease with me too.
- Monday was my day off, so I filled it with a park play date with a friend and then a class at church that night.
- Tuesday was a work day, and the kids stayed home with a babysitter all day long. She’s a fantastic sitter, but rules are more loosey-goosey with a babysitter. Which means Mom has lots of backtracking to do afterwards! But there wasn’t time, because Katie had a dreaded dentist appointment to *finally* get those two pesky teeth pulled. She was much calmer this go round, but there was still screaming and tears. Ugh.
- Wednesday was my long work day, then the roofing contractor came by and we signed away lots of money so we can get a new roof. (That’s always fun. Yeah, right.) Wednesday night was a bright spot in the week, though. The kids were at Grandma’s so Dan and I had a date and went to the shooting range. It was fun to practice shooting and there’s nothing like having a deadly weapon in your hands to make you focus on the moment you’re living right now.
- Thursday morning was a class at church followed by a jam-packed work day. I didn’t get as much done as I hoped I would, which left this filmy “undone” feeling hanging over me the whole day. Ick.
- I already knew Friday would be hard, because it was my brother’s birthday. He would have been 42. I had that hanging over my head all day, and I missed him. I called my sister with slim hopes that we could plan a Christmas visit this year (it’s time to start planning, you know), but found out that isn’t going to work. Ugh. I miss her lots lately! But I was determined to make it a good day, so I took the kids (and the babysitter, who’s fun to hang out with) to a different pumpkin patch. Friday night was the second Frenzy event with church, so I worked late again.
- Saturday was a solo Mommy day, while Dan served at church with the Outreach team. He helped love on a nearby foster family, which is really great. But I was soooo glad to have him back with us on Saturday evening. Our night started with a conversation we had with Katie, in which she found out the truth about the Tooth Fairy, Santa, and the Easter bunny. That was followed by church and then we hoped to go out for dinner with friends afterwards. But Jackson threw a really big temper tantrum at dinner (before we even ordered), so we pulled the plug and evacuated to head home.
- Today is Sunday, and five hours of nonstop ministry at work. We followed it up with an orientation class afterwards, which means I didn’t leave work until 2:30pm. Whew!
- This weekend was my brother’s 2oth college reunion. His kind classmates invited my sister and I to the party, since we are his last surviving relatives. I really really tried hard to attend the reunion, because seeing his friends and visiting his college would help me feel close to him again. But I couldn’t swing the cost and time off for the trip, so I didn’t go. One of his best friends sent me and my sister a message about how much he was missed this weekend. He described some of the conversations the classmates had about Jackson, and told us a story of Jackson changing a friend’s life in college. It was a story I had never heard before, and it was bittersweet to hear something new about my brother 16 years after he died. But after the week I’ve had, there was no internal fortitude left and I crumbled over the sharp grief that snuck up to stab me.
My heart is heavy tonight. I’m crawling in to Jesus’ arms, asking Him lots of whys. He’s so good to me, and lets me have a pity party once in a while. He holds me, shushes me, and lets me whine a bit. And then, He wipes my tears and reminds me there is so much beauty in our broken lives. His grace covers the cracks, and gives me hope that next week will be better. I’m grateful for new starts, second chances, and Mondays when school is in session.