Faith, Motherhood

The Missing Ballet Shoe Debacle of 2017

We just got home from a week long family retreat (with Domestic Church) in Arkansas. It was a spiritually renewing week for all of us. Marvin and I especially walked away ready to re-commit to our Domestic Church promises and ready to really put the time in with and for God. Since we’ve been home I’ve been praying regularly and have been feeling rather proud of myself. I should have known it was only a matter of time until I was reminded of my weakness–reminded that I need God.

Elaina’s first day of dance was yesterday. Well, that’s a lie. Her first day of dance was last week but I did not write it down in my calendar so we missed it. I only remembered because a friend posted a picture of her daughter in her leotard. So, we showed up to dance yesterday (one week late). Elaina walked into her dance class and I went home to cook dinner. An hour later Marvin went to pick up Elaina from dance. When they got home Elaina said it was a horrible time. She said she walked into the wrong class and by the time they realized she was in the wrong class her entire class was gone so she had to stay with her teacher. Also, somehow between my dropping her off and Marvin picking her up, she lost one ballet shoe (shoes I had just bought the week before) and she managed to get her tights stuck to the velcro on her ballet bag roughly a million times causing her tights to be ruined. (They looked like someone ran a butter knife over them repeatedly.)

We sat down to eat dinner. The kids all said it was disgusting. Even Juliet (who eats everything) would not touch the food. Marvin ate the food because he loves me. He thanked me for cooking, but I knew he hated the food too. The disgusted face he made as he finished his entire plate is burned into my brain. (He says the face was all in my head, but it wasn’t. That dude hated it.)

I got up from the table and went to rock Maria (which really means I went to pout). Even I couldn’t eat the crap I cooked. I sat there sulking and Marvin came to ask me if I was ok. I wasn’t ok. I am a weak woman and the wrong dance class, the missing ballet shoe, the ruined tights, the terrible dinner it was all too much. For some better woman, some holier woman, that would’ve all been no big deal, but I felt like I couldn’t do anything right and I felt overwhelmed with responsibility and stress and emotion. Elaina was starting school the next day. First grade. And it was all too much at once and I was just emotionally and mentally done. On top of all of that I was upset that I reacted so terribly to the dance blunders and the terrible meal. Why couldn’t I remember not to sweat the small stuff?

So, what did I do? Did I tell my husband I was overwhelmed and sad about Elaina starting school and upset that she had lost her ballet shoe and disappointed in how I’d reacted to everything and just plain stressed? Nope. That’s what a rational, kind woman would do. Instead, I blamed him. I vented about how I do everything and he does nothing. I somehow blamed Elaina’s missing shoe on him. It was even his fault that she went to the wrong class. It was all his fault. And after I vented I felt better (and, of course, he felt terrible).

Later that night, I cried my eyes out during couple prayer. We rolled over and we went to bed. When I woke up this morning I was so upset at all the mistakes I had made. The yucky dinner, not letting the dance issues roll off my back, blaming my husband in order to not feel guilty. I wished I never made mistakes. I wished I was perfect. I wished (I realized) that I didn’t need God.

And then I read this  but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,* in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.(2 Corinthians 12:9) And I knew that I needed to come here and “boast of my weakness” and remind you to boast of yours. And remind you that we aren’t perfect and that we aren’t meant to be. We serve a perfect God and today and tomorrow and forever His grace is sufficient for us.

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