For a week I've been channeling my inner Oisuer Boudreaux (from Steel Magnolias). I'm usually a Claree, sometimes M'Lynn. Not this week. This week I feel like I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.
This is hard for me. It's NOT my nature. I'm Polly Sunshine, Mary Poppins most of the time with a little sarcasm to make it interesting.
I battle the pull of depression though and I always have. I battle it with ferocity. No way that mood is taking away the time I have with people I love. I choose joy...usually.
This menopause thing though- wow. It's like PMS, pregnancy hormones and post-partum hormones all got together and got really drunk. Then they decided to go cow tipping in my brain, waking up things that were sleeping peacefully. Ding dong ditching and wreaking havoc front to back and side to side like teenagers looking for trouble in a sleepy little town.
I'll say this, if I weren't clear as crystal about who I am in the Lord, who my husband is to me and how much I love him, how wonderful my kids are and how blessed I am - I could see all these emotions and mood swings turning me inside out. Spinning my head, making me doubt. They won't. My roots run in deep fertile soil and my house is built on solid rock.
This week, y'all my mood is just about as bad as it can be. Not fit for human consumption. I am cranky. I don't want to do anything. It's gray, it's cold. I'm restless to do things I don't quite feel up to doing physically and not wanting to do the things I can do.
"Wanting" to do things, feeling motivated, etc is not a requirement for actually doing things. I learned this in the fiery trenches of 50 years of living. I was a single working mom, a military wife, a homeschooling mom, a mom with a chronic illness, a business owner. "Want to" is beside the point. Just do it.
So I did. Little by little I plugged away at my to do list, choosing things I felt like I could manage physically and mentally without making more work for myself.
I made dinner, made the bed. Put away the laundry and moved some projects along. I made time yesterday to finish these labels.
Seems simple enough. Nope. My husband did notice. I tell ya, he's a keeper. He has no idea though. I traced the labels onto paper and cut it out and practiced writing the words. I made a mock up and folded it in half both directions to find the middle then lightly traced the lines on the labels so they would be straight and centered. I wrote the words in pencil and then over in ink and erased all the lines.
Even as I was doing it I was thinking, this is so dumb. Why am I doing this? I could have printed it off the computer but I wanted the paper that came with the boxes. I wanted it to look hand labeled, imperfect.
These organizational bins bring me such joy. They do. I love my home in good order. I love being able to know where things are and have them look pretty.
In the grand scheme of things, I know plenty of people would think it’s kind of dumb. Especially to work on it when you are feeling so frayed emotionally.
it would have been easier to order take out or tell everyone to make sandwiches last night.
I didn’t. I made a really good meal.
I believe with my whole heart what Saint Teresa of Calcutta said. " We can do no great things. Only small things with great love."
This week, I expanded my understanding of this. I did many things that plenty of people would consider dumb. I do a lot of things people don't understand and that people think are kind of unnecessary, pointless. People even said that to me about homeschooling. Why do something yourself when there is an entire system created to do it for you?
I do things that seem dumb to others, but I do them with great love.
I don't have to. I don't feel obligated or pressured, quite the opposite.
As I pushed through all the emotions swirling around in my head and battled back relentless fatigue to accomplish small, dumb things I offered up those things to my Savior. I pleaded that He would accept my service to my family, my stewardship over all He has given me as a sacrifice of love.
I know me. I know I have to keep moving when I'm in a difficult place emotionally. Those things move me forward inch by inch. It reminds of that song, "When you're going through hell don't pull over."
Nothing we do for the Kingdom of God is wasted. Not small things, not dumb things. Not care tasks or self care, not service. Least of all service.
It's a new day today, His mercies are new this morning. They always are aren't they?