Me, Myself and I

My sons have this inate ability to hone in on the weaknesses of eachother.   This morning, when we've been celebrating the joy of routine and learning, we were all happily eating, smiling, and eager for school....
OK, I'm lying

We were silent, daring eachother to look at us the wrong way and dragging our weary heads, looking forward to Saturday when we can all sleep in. That's when the the proverbial poop hit the fan:
"Stop touching my violin"
"it's not yours, it's the schools"
"but it's mine and I want you to stop it"
"not it's not"
"yes it is"
"No, It's Not"
"Yes, It Is"
"NO ITS NOT"
"YES IT IS"
Mom:  "Guys, that's enough.  Just take a minute an..."
"NO ITSNOT"
"Ok, enoug..."
"YES ITIS"
Silence for a moment

"Jacob, stop touching it.  Basil, no more.  Let's finish breakfast"
They were still arguing with their eyes, poised to pummel lest one moves an iota.  They were breathing like dragons on the make, studying.  A few more tense moments until they erupted again:

"NOITISNT"
"YESITIS"
Over.
And over.
And over. 

I'd laugh if I wasn't already busy crying in the bathroom. 

All that chaos is on the heels of my husband and I hitting a rough patch of adult married life.  I am fully aware of the effect that parents and their problems have on the kids.  Between the issues my children inherit, our adult problems, and the simple fact of being tired, it all blew through in the argument over who the violin belonged to.

I sat in that bathroom yelling at God in my head.  I buried my face in my hands and told Him, in no uncertain terms, that I wanted to know just WHEN He was going to stop giving me stuff I couldn't handle.  It's not funny anymore and He needs to find someone else because I am DONE. I'm broken. 
God:  No You're not
Me:  Yes I am
No You're not
Yes I am

wait, whoops! 

I took a deep breath (my prayer of desperation succeeding in hearing myself whine), and stared at my red face.  I asked the Holy Spirit to help me with the rest of the morning and went out to finish getting ready.  Of course, right away, one sits outside the door, waiting to apologize (Thank You Lord!) and says "Wow Mom, you look TIRED"  Then, just in case I didn't catch his meaning, takes his fingers and stretchs the underneath of his eyes downward toward his cheeks.  Yes, because I needed the visual.

Those moments of confusion, chaos and strife are always ripe.  As the fruit that, heavy with fullness, can't stay attached to the tree anymore, neither do our problems stay put. No matter how much we try, we can't hold them up to the branch anymore.  It's only through the lens of my faith can I see that there is always a chance for grace when I am going through such problems.

If I hadn't been open to the Holy Spirit yesterday, I wouldn't have been able to hear God in scripture.  I listened and was open when He told me that He loves me, but I need to look beyond myself.  That while I am sometimes the 1, most often I am in the 99.  That my ego gets in the way of love.  How I am to look not at what I think I deserve, but how I can serve. And if that hadn't have happened, I wouldn't have been able to look at myself in the mirror this morning, breathe, and walk out of my room, ready to minister to my children.  Even if that simply meant not yelling and helping Thing One and Thing Two get safely into the van, in one piece without strangling anyone. 

And, If I hadn't been open to listening to God, I wouldn't have heard the directions on my journey within my marriage.   It's been a long and windy road, kind of like the lost in the desert, searching for the promised land:  "Have you seen it? You? Is this the guy who knows? Do you know where we are?" and having everyone point to the next road down.  Nobody can make it through the desert alone.

None of us can predict how our life, or even our day, will go.  We might try, but will always fail.  The nuances, opportunities and blocks that pop up deserve vigilance.  The only way I can make it through is to  listen to God
frequently, often, repeatedly, attentively, and regularly
so that I can frequently love,
listen often, 
show affection repeatedly,
be attentive to the needs of those surrounding me,
and forgive regularly.
God's gifts to me. 

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