One thing that I’ve been pondering a lot lately is, When in the world are we not going to feel like we are in survival mode? If you’ve ever been a mom you know the feeling I’m talking about. I can’t quiet describe it, but it’s a deep internal exhaustion that wouldn’t matter if you slept for a week, you just need a nap. You need a reset. You need a break from the curve balls life is throwing your way.
Here’s kinda what I mean….. Jeff and I got married in 2004. Unlike many newlyweds, our first year of marriage was probably our easiest. We were older (at least he was) when we got married, we both had very good jobs, and lived in a condo he’d lived in for years. It was just easy. Then next year we (read primarily I) decided it was time to move our office space, build a house, and have a baby. I found out I was pregnant New Years Eve 2005. I puked for the next 9 months. Then we had a newborn who had a tendency for acid reflux and ear infections…. And when she was about 18 months old we (once again read primarily I) decided we needed another baby. Then, I had 2 babies in diapers with acid reflux and ear infections and then 2 toddlers with ear infections, and just a crazy dandy little life going. Again, if you’ve been a mom you know these are survival years. And, then just as my kids were starting to get “easy”, my mom died unexpectedly in February 2014. Want to talk about a blur of mere survival, that was certainly the next year of our lives. About the only significant thing I remember about that year was an ATM machine in Paris eating our debit card and me screaming at Jeff as to what a terrible idea it was for us to take that trip so soon after Mom had died because I wasn’t emotionally ready to enjoy anything, especially a trip around the world. In 2015, we moved Gran in with us. She certainly wasn’t in terrible shape at the beginning. But, for the most part caring for a dementia patient with heart failure among other health issues has pretty much been like having 15 toddlers at one time. Seriously, I’ve had 15 toddlers in my care at one time and it was easier than most of our days with Gran. We have straight up been in survival mode for the last 12 years of our life, with just a moment of breath here and there.
So, lately my heart has just kinda been thinking there has got to be more to this life than just survival. Don’t hear me saying I don’t feel blessed. Because, I am certainly one of the most blessed people I know. I have a husband who loves me fiercely; great in-laws that support and love us so well; 2 beautiful, healthy, smart children; great jobs; wonderful friends; and an amazing village of support for all we have going on in our life. But, life has thrown us a lot of curve balls and it is just emotionally exhausting regardless of how much help you have. Casting Crown’s song Thrive has been on the radio a lot lately. In some ways it is my anthem right now. Here’s my favorite part of the song:
Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable,
Love unstoppable, anything is possible
Read more: Casting Crowns – Thrive Lyrics | MetroLyrics
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives, we were made to Thrive. YES! I want to Thrive. And, right now, I don’t feel the Thrive. But, I do know this. We have known God, and have done our dead level best to make Him known. We’re working on the Joy unspeakable. I assure you our Faith is unsinkable, we’ve been surrounded by Love unstoppable and we certainly know that anything is possible.
So we continue the journey of survival. Especially in weeks like this one where Monday yielded a 10 year old with a broken foot, Tuesday yielded an 8 year old missing his field trip to go to the doctor for a strep test, Wednesday yielded the 83 year old vomiting blood all over the house and us calling the ambulance, Friday yielded making decisions on emergency surgery or removing all life sustaining measures and letting nature take it’s course, and Saturday yielded the medical staff telling you that if nature doesn’t take it’s course by Monday they’ll discharge the 83 year old to your care and to the home of your small children and you pray nature doesn’t take its course for them to witness. All of this just one week after I’ve had surgery myself. One foot in front of the other, sucking as much joy as we possibly can out of this life as God as ordered it for now, knowing that anything is possible. This too shall pass, and we will come out on the other side knowing we were made to Thrive.