motherhood

Why, Sometimes, You Have to Fall Apart

Long about this time last week, I totally and completely lost it.

I’ll spare you the details, but there was a lot of slamming and shaking and yelling.

My kids are in that transition time where we figure out how to come home from school and not eat everything in sight, pick one another into submission, and talk to mom like I’m Cinderella before the fancy gown.

Things got ugly.

But hear me when I say all that is normal and motherhood and the burden of four kids clamoring for my attention.

What set me off was my lack of control.

We live in this world that tricks us into believing we’ve got everything in perfect order. Endless calendar alarms and oven timers and chore charts trick me into thinking that just because I haven’t missed an appointment or burned dinner and my kids rotate unloading the dishwasher–

I’ve got this under control.

I’ve got nothing.

For weeks, I have agonized over a school decision for my kindergartener. Thanks be to God, I can’t make a bad decision. Any one of my options would be great for her, though some are decidedly easier for me. But I haven’t been able to settle and I realized yesterday it’s because every single one of my decisions brings me peace.

I have no control over my life, over the big picture, the storms that whip us into a frenzy–

but I do have the final say over this tiny, insignificant moment. Because Lord knows, sometimes, we just need to make a decision and live with it and trust that His plan works despite our need for control.

So after I fell apart last week, I came back inside and put dinner on the table and read goodnight stories and went to bed early. And the next evening, when my husband was gone and I was tired, I looked at my kids and simply asked them to cut me some slack.

And they did. Because they’ve seen what happens when I try too hard to make everything go my way. When I stress too much over decisions that are flexible, when I run myself ragged pleasing everyone else.

Sometimes it’s good to fall apart, to remember that the small decisions might be all us, but the really big ones?

Those are out of our hands for good reason.

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