It was one of those days. Like many days.
It started off with all the signs of productivity– a cup of coffee, reading the paper on the porch while the little one colors chalk in the warm sunlight. We added breakfast, a load of laundry in the washer, the unloading of bags from last night, and a shower for me and the girl child.
Somewhere along the way, things got muddled. My hands became full and things started found a difficult path to the finish.
By 3 pm, I had a headache, the coupons sat on the table waiting to be sorted, the laundry in a pile on the couch, toys and blankets all over the floor, and the feeling that I was sinking in a sea of stress, exhaustion, and doubt.
I work hard. I work hard every day. And when I work hard at something that I perceive to be “easy” and I fail, I find myself doubting the very core of myself. In my mind, it SHOULD be easy. Take care of kids. Clean house. Pay bills. Cook food.
But suddenly it’s the stains on the carpet, the hospital bills with the incorrect information and the phone calls I’m dreading, the dirty floors I just mopped yesterday, the sweat trickling down my back and the baby crying while my back is screaming from muscle fatigue. It’s the three year old who is trying to learn her boundaries and won’t eat the same food two times in a row. The comment of, “I don’t know why your kids are like that,” that sends you spiraling into a pit of self-doubt and wondering if God really did the right thing by letting you take care of two of His precious babies.
Because some days I’m pretty sure I’m screwing it all up.
What can you do but throw your knees to the ground as the tears come unbidden and make the hard eucharisto? The hard thanks in the midst of the fiery furnace.
Sometimes I think it’s really cruel to say “you’re gonna miss this,” even if its true. It’s not bad to wish for an afternoon where you can get caught up or not struggle to stay so far behind. When you are tired and sweaty and hungry, and all you want is to just have a break long enough to refresh your spirit.
The hard thanks. Eucharisto. When the gratitude has to be squeezed out rather than poured over.
Today was a hard one. I have no strength of my own. Maybe that’s what hard eucharisto days are made for– to point us to the Giver of worth and strength.
A hard thanks.
*eucharisto – the Greek word for thanks. To give with thanksgiving. You can read more about it in Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts.