Thursday, March 14, 2013

keep it together...

That's always been me, for as long as I can remember (well, as long as you ignore those strange years of tears and tantrums...but hey, that's a teenage girl for you!)--the one who strives to keep everything under control, everything together.

I'm not a big fan of chaos, though you couldn't tell that by looking at the state of my house. I like--no, I'm desperate--to have everything fit nicely into place, just the way I think it should be. I'm a big fan of having all my ducks in a row, so to speak. I've had a "5 Year Plan" every year probably since I was old enough to know how long 5 years is...with some 10 and 20 Year Plans thrown in for good measure.

The thing is, my life has this funny way of refusing to go according to my plan. Really. Start reading some of these posts if you need proof!

Do you know what that does to someone who's a bit of a control freak like me? I can tell you, it's not a pretty picture. I start getting stressed out, and when I get stressed it seems like everything is falling apart: 
the fact that I don't have at least three things on the dinner plate for my kids is the end of the world...
the pile of laundry constantly growing seems as insurmountable as Mt. Everest...
the toys that I just put back in the kids' bedroom reappear in the living room maybe 5 minutes later, and my temper flares...
the physics homework I'm supposed to be doing? I stare at a jumble of letters, numbers, and Greek symbols for a while without it making any sense...
the commercials that lead to a constant stream of, "I want that!" drive me insane...
the chocolate milk that was just begged for is now refused because the cup is wet from being rinsed, and I feel like screaming...

Everything piles up, everything gets more out of control, everything pushes in on me
until I can't breathe
or see straight
and suddenly there's nothing I want to do but lock myself away from everything for a while, to ignore the demands on my time and just pretend like I'm neither mom nor physics student...

I fall on my face beside my bed, the sound of a cartoon drifting down from the living room where my kids are watching and playing with no clue that I'm in my room with every part of my brain screaming, "I QUIT!"

Then, as I rant and cry (though the words are whispered--I wouldn't want the kids to realize that mommy has lost it completely), four tiny little words slip out:

I
can't
do
it.

And in that moment, the sounds of the cartoons fade away. Those four words turn into a mantra of sorts, slipping out on each breath.

And then the answer came. Not in words I could hear (I've never been one to hear God's spoken voice in answer, though I agree with Raiden's sentiment that it would definitely make things easier for me to understand), but in a stirring deep in my heart.

Let Me. I can.

His four words, so full of peace compared with my four so full of desperation. Such a simple answer for what I was trying to make such a complicated problem. No, I can't--but He can.

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

This is a hard concept for me. Ask anybody who knows me--I'm a big fan of doing things myself and have been since I was little. I've always tried to be strong, tried to do things on my own. I really don't like asking for help.

But here is God, telling me that His power is made perfect in my weakness, telling me to let go of all the things I can't control, all the things that are seeming like too much, and just let Him.

..."For when I am weak, then I am strong."  
(v. 10b)

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Thoughts? I would love to hear them!
~Mandy