Here's the truth, friends (as I'm fond of saying, 9 times out of 10 you'll get the truth out of me, whether you want it or not, whether I want to give it or not, and I'll pair it with words like "fond" because that is the enigma that is Mary. Enigma? Bundle of dysfunction? One is just a nicer way of implying the other. See: Bruce Wayne).
ANYway. Here's the truth. This morning was rooouuuugggghhhh - multiple letters convey so much more than just caps and italics, am
I right? - for the Box House fam (Oh man, I'm sorry, one more- at least- side note: Ashton was SO embarrassed that I used the terminology "fam" yesterday. I tried to tell him I was using it in regards to my "FAMILY" for years, before it became millennial/middle school common vernacular, as an ACTUAL shortening of the word "family". God knows what it means or implies now. I still don't quite understand. Even though we weren't in front of his friends he muttered to me, "DontsayfamPLEASE", like it was something obscene).
This morning was ugly. Too little sleep for all of us, too much emotional expenditure and socialization on my part, which always catches up with me, Ashton in pain from his braces tightening and his first LESS THAN B grade in history because he missed a project due yesterday because of said braces tightening appointment, being cold... so much. So many little things that add up to catastrophe when there are so many people trying to cope at once.
So I lost it. Not on my kids, oh no. Not really. I got in an "altercation" (that's the nice way of putting it, boys and girls) with another parent at Bub's school. It was bad. I cried the rest of the way to dropping the girls off to school (all the parents at their school are NICE. They don't cuss women out before they've had a chance to apply their makeup!). Cried some more after they were out of the car. Asked myself what on earth am I doing with my life. Told myself I'm doing nothing and it's all horrible, "a chasing after the wind", so why bother?
And then I decided to open my Bible, which I'd left in my car a day or two ago. I opened it to a random Psalm that didn't really speak to me.
I skipped ahead and I said, "Okay, Paul, what do you have for me? I KNOW it's something I need to hear. Which Pauline letter do I waaaaaant, let's see, let's go wiiiiittttthhhh.... EPHESIANS." I love me some Ephesians.
But this morning Paul, my BFF Paul, my precious, wise, RUDE Paul, clobbered me. Of course he did. Because sometimes you just need to be clobbered.
The verse I opened to this:
Ephesians 4:1-3. The NIV says:
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
I won't lie. Because I don't do that. I threw my hands in the air and huffed aloud. I may or may not have slammed the Bible shut. I definitely half yelled, "Are you SERIOUS right now??"
I mean. Bro. Give me a break. I'm stressed and sad. I'm exhausted. I'm hormonal. I had a total stranger cuss me out in the presence of my kids before I even had my makeup on. Okay, okay, I yelled back. I accepted the thrown gauntlet, I owned the ugliness. I'll keep owning it. I made my kids cry.
And I am SICK. TO. DEATH. of taking the high road.
I'm sick of it. I want to get in someone's face and have a word war like Eminem had in 8 Mile, minus all the rhyming because I'm not the best at that, at least not off the top of my head. don't want to just own the ugly. I want to embrace it.
But oh God..... make every effort to keep the unity.
And not just keep it. Create it. Something to be kept must be created in the first place. It must be offered to others in order for them to keep it. Perpetuate it. I didn't do that this morning. That fellow parent expected me to react and Lord knows I did.
I wish I could tell you all this will never happen again. I'll be a good example. I'll rise above. And some day, please God, I'll get there. This morning was a setback. I haven't learned to be "humble and gentle". I haven't lived "a life worthy of the calling to which I have received". The ESV version says, "Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called". I love all those active verbs. "Walk". "Calling". Action. Effort.
Granted, I don't necessarily LOVE them right now when I want to hold on to my messy. When the effort seems so far beyond me that I can only see it as words on an onion skin thin page written by someone thousands of years ago.
Life is ugly. Horribly, horribly messy. Sometimes it involves death, illness, heartbreak. And sometimes, it involves smaller things like running late, being screamed at before you've had a chance to put on your makeup, falling apart in the car and sitting on the side of the curb for well over an hour while you pull yourself together (*waves from side of road*).
But.... let's be active. Let's TAKE ACTION. I'm mad. I'm frazzled. I'm so completely spent that if you asked me for one single penny of my emotional investment I wouldn't have it to give.
But attempting to walk in the calling to which I have been called. Maybe I can manage that. Walking is just one step at a time, after all.
Walk with me, friends?