Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Plan For Me?

Fuzzy slippers silently trudge across the cold wooden floor, dragging a slumped body, weary with exhaustion. It's 8am, and my morning has already been a long one. After a fitful night, my 2-year-old gave up sleeping long before the sun graced us on this icy January morning. I'm exhausted, to say the least. Peaking beneath drooping lids my bloodshot eyes stare blankly at the slightly damp and dingy piles of laundry that cannot wait another day. It's a Monday morning and I'm in my standard sweatpants and pink fluffy bathrobe. My friends from law school are sitting at long wooden tables waiting in courtrooms across the state and country, with big piles of important files in starched shirts and pinstripes. I sigh. “Why Lord, why am I always so tired?” I mumble.

I need to start writing again: a satisfyingly thick trial brief, meticulously organized under a multitude of headings with a plethora of citations and a lengthy table of contents, or a wispy poem about calla lilies and spring. The urge to put these feelings into words, to create something tangible is overwhelming. Maybe this will be one of the rare mornings where I feel inspired and will actually be able to collect my thoughts. Later that morning, I quickly finish drying my hair, shifting impatiently from one foot to the other, hair flying across my eyes, masking my face. I wonder...if I run downstairs, can I grab my laptop and create something, make sense of these feelings.... But it never works...never. Like always, I get caught by a small cry of:“mommy!” Sigh. Maybe tomorrow.

The sun is silently setting in my home office window when I'm finally able to put fingers to keyboard. By now, weariness has erased any inspiration and I suffer from the dreaded writers block. Write what you know. I know about this: I feel lost and tired, at least I do today. Someday I think, maybe I'll write a book? The more sensible and cynical side of me says: “Yeah, right! You aren't the only housewife fantasizing about this. If it was so easy, everyone would do it.” But, I want to write something, create something. Starving for the determination, tenacity and productivity exhibited by Dagney Taggert running her family's railroad in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, it took me 1200 pages before I realized, horrified, that the book was ultimately preaching atheism.* How could I not have known?

This is the part where I tell you how much I love being a stay-at-home mom, and I do. I cherish my children and feel blessed that I'm able to stay at home with them. It would absolutely kill me to drop my kids off at daycare and leave them for the day. It works for other families, but I know myself well enough to realize that it would never work for mine. I adore being a mom, but some days I just feel a little stuck, not knowing what the future holds. I wonder about things like: “What am I going to do when my kids are in school full time,” or “When will I ever have time to write,” or even “How many days (months, years) can I go without getting a decent night's sleep?” On days like this, I wonder if the Lord really does have a plan for me.

The Lord clearly teaches that he has a plan for each one of us: “'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jer. 29:11 New International Version. He also states: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart....” Jer. 1:4-5.

Days after that dreary morning, a friend of mine asked me to write this article. Tap, tap, tap, my index finger impatiently drummed against my mouse pad, I had no idea what to write. “Lord,” I implored, “I finally have an opportunity to write, and I've got nothing!” Slowly smiling I remembered, my inspiration was that tiring morning not too long ago. I was reminded that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him....” Rom. 8:28 NIV. God can take a hopeless moment and make it fruitful. Even if it's only the baby step of showing me that my dreary morning had a purpose, it reminds me that there is a larger plan for me. He will take care of me: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matt. 6:26 NIV. Even when I'm feeling forlorn, He shows me everyday that I can trust in Him, and that there is a plan for me even when I can't manage to see it past the piles of dirty laundry.

*Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged. New York :Random House, 1957. Print.


Heather said...

I love this! I remember those long nights, early mornings with lack of sleep. I now have two teenagers and a second grader. Jer.29:11 is on a picture hanging in my living room, so not only I can remember it, but my children can too. :)

Kristin said...

Trust me, I'm not a mother and this feeling hits me more than I care to admit - although in the reverse. Somedays I sit at my desk half asleep and wish that I could be at home.

However, I'm leaning on the fact that for right now, this is the plan God has for me, and therefore I will do my job to His Glory, and not worry about where the path is leading because I trust the One I'm following.

Lainie said...

:) I was about to leave you a note letting you know that I feel the same way when the washing machine went off balance and I had to rush to stop it so the banging wouldn't wake my 4 year old who is napping on the couch because she spent last night feverish and vomiting on my bed. I am on my 4th load of laundry right now, and my blog (on which I am posting the 2nd draft of my novel as I write it) has only 4 posts for the entire month of January. :)
It made me feel better to hear that I am not alone, and I hope that it will make you feel better, too: you are not alone.