I'm finding my bearings as summer turns into fall. Gone are the longer, warmer days of summer. Days that had few commitments on the calendar. Those days have been exchanged for cooler, more scheduled days. Days with checklists and packed bags and stop and start times. I'll take "activities for $300"!! Or maybe I want "folder signing for $100"!!! The rush to get the kids off to school is followed by a few solo hours where I clean up the messes, re-fill the drawers, replenish the fridge and the cupboards, all the while keeping a close eye on the clock knowing that I will need to pack myself into my mini-van sooner than later to take children where they need to be after their days at school (and sometimes during!).
Last week, a friend of mine recounted her day to me. It included driving, and dishes, and laundry, and shopping, and driving, and picking up and taking, and more driving, and packing, and more laundry... I would have thought she was NUTS, except for my story sounded very similar to hers when she asked me how MY day had gone. Knowing that she faces some of the same daily challenges that I face with a husband who is out of town frequently, I was grateful for the chance to laugh together about the stage of life that we are in. We sighed about how exhausted we were, we smiled at how fast the kids are growing up, we gave thanks for the wonderful schools our children attend, we stated that we felt blessed that our husbands had jobs and our kids had hobbies. AND... that we are the lucky ones, getting to be the ring leaders of our families as we live this amazing, circus-similar life.
A few days have passed, and I have thought about our conversation and our empathetic story-swapping moments. It helped to have her understand me. It encouraged her to have me nod and smile in agreement.
In my reflection, I was reminded that God never intended me to live alone, or Lonely. There is no award given out at the end of the day for just toughing it out. I am meant to share and encourage and uplift. Yet, sometimes I shut community out, my pride getting in the way of my needs. There are days, I'm ashamed to admit, that I try to be the Lone Ranger mom, or the Super mom, ignoring the fact that I am desperate for someone to take my hand or pat my shoulder and say "Hang in there..."or "You'll make it" or "How can I help you?". I came across a couple of verses for myself that I am going to meditate on more and more when I sense myself strolling down the path towards independence of either friends or the Lord. I couldn't believe how timely these scriptures were to me today.