Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monday Meet Up - Wk. 6

“Hah. You gonna keep that place as clean as she did?” Her zinger hung in the air like stale, acrid cigarette smoke.

Within the question, my inquisitor hinted at her own guilt over personal failure and begrudging admiration for the one in question.

I was new, but I sized up the reputation of the previous lady of the house right quick like.

She rose at four in the morning, ran three miles, and did chores. She taught elementary school full-time, hauled twin boys to after school sporting events, and was at all her high school coach husband’s important events.

I met her twice – both times early on Saturday mornings. She had on big yellow work gloves and apologized for things not being spic and span. 

I had last seen her version of ‘messy’ the week before my two-year-old was born when I was cleaning out furniture crevices with a damp Q-tip.

Taking a deep breath before replying, I tried not to sound as challenged as I felt by the question or the new neighbor posing it.

“We homeschool. That means we live in our house twenty-four seven. It’ll never look like hers did now that it’s mine. I’ll have a BH&G photo cover of a home again one day. I just hope I live long enough to see it.” 

In that moment, I felt as though the Stepford wives outnumbered me.

Most of my days consisted of dueling breathing treatments for two boys. The doctor’s office installed a revolving door just for us.

If we weren’t battling asthma flares and respiratory infections, I was trying to sort out the mysteries of sensory processing disorders, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and all the other complexities that colored our school days.

I’m not saying it was trench warfare or anything, but I woke up more than one sunrise sitting straight up on the sofa, a schoolbook open in my lap, and still wearing clothes from the day before.

Almost fourteen years later, that question still hangs in the air and turns my heart hazy blue with smoky self-doubt and regret.

I think of it every time another writer stirs the social media pot with the mommy war spoon. I look at something you do better than me and tell myself I’ll always be less than.

No matter what your heritage, this Facebook and Pinterest laden world can leave you in a state of despair. Who can measure up against those high bars?

What a comfort it has been to read Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. The words resonate with me because the tone is one of mentorship.

Sarah presents a problem while Sally reflects on the times in her life when she struggled with similar issues and failures.

Both offer insight into their journey through the wilderness seasons of parenting.  And, if you are one, you know parenting is sometimes a wilderness!

How wonderful it was to turn the page to Chapter Six and see them deal with the issues of lack of training and perfectionism.  I realized that in any season of life, we can all feel inept and inadequate for the task.

I found comfort, encouragement and a challenge this week. Here is the challenge:

While there is some validity to that excuse [I wasn’t trained], it has an expiration date: the day you decide to make a change. (p.70)

Here is the comfort:

Your relationship with your children and their ability to enjoy the comfort of your home are gifts you can give your family by choosing to accept and appreciate the limitations of a full and lively house. (p. 71)

Those truths resonate no matter your life experience or age. We can choose change at any age and begin to address our shortcomings. 

Once we decide to change, we can approach the journey in a way that fosters a spirit of joy and companionship as we go.

If you feel lost and alone and want a network of women with whom you can experience mutual mentorship, please consider joining the in(RL) event on April 26th and 27th.

Watch the trailer and meet Sarah, Sally, and a few other friends. I promise, if you watch it, you won’t be able to stay away!

To view the trailer: click here
To purchase Desperate: click here
Click here to read: Monday Meet Up - Wk. 1

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 (The Message)

Courtesy B. Creasy - 2010
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.


  1. I finally watched the trailer for RL. Looks cool! Thanks for telling me about it. :)

    1. I am looking forward to it. The energy on the trailer is contagious, don't you think?

  2. Great job as always.
    Much love to you tell your Dad hello we love him.
    Tracie Penning

    1. Praying for you as you navigate these challenging days with your dad. <3