This last week was my second three day fast. This time was very hard for me. I don't know if it's because I wasn't prepared for it or maybe it's just because it's fasting. And fasting is hard.
We had just gotten back from a week at the beach and I had turned around and left for a woman's retreat. I got back Sunday only to clean the kids up and head out of the house to go to a birthday party for my niece. It was a whirlwind kind of weekend but I was unusually relaxed and calm. And then Monday came.
I felt lost in my house after having been gone all week. I know that probably sounds funny but it's how I felt. I was overwhelmed by tasks that needed to be done and I didn't know where to start. The woman's retreat I was at was based on the books Power of a Praying Wife and For Woman Only. I was encouraged and challenged to be a better wife and mom and I want that so much that sometimes I feel like everything I do isn't good enough because it's not the best or consistent enough. You know, when you focus on laundry you turn around to find the kitchen a total disaster. When you try to meet all the kids needs you find that you are neglecting your husband. Or the schooling and meals get made but it's been days since you've sat and read or played with your kids. Am I alone in this? I don't think I am and I certainly hope not. But anyways, that's how I felt. Plus I was trying to fast. And I was failing most of my other goals, too.
After some tears and chocolate (yeah... the fast didn't last...) Nathan said, "You fasted during the day right?" And I was like, "Yeah, but I didn't complete it and the house is a mess...(just read the above paragraph for an overview of the rest of my failures. I don't want to revisit them right now). " And in his wonderfulness he made an attempt to cheer me up and let me know how much I do get done. But I was still struggling. My "pain" was masked by left over Halloween candy, but I was still frustrated and overwhelmed. And frustrated that I was overwhelmed.
I really feel like I'm supposed to be doing this Do Over. And when preparing for it and deciding what goals to make I tried not to put too much on myself. I want to be realistic. And I want to be successful in my goals. And I don't usually set goals because I'm not usually successful and that's depressing. But I did it anyways.
Then I had a wonderfully refreshing conversation with my dear friend, Elisa. She didn't say anything different from Nathan. She just used different words (It's funny how that works sometimes, huh?). She said, "At least you are doing something." And it clicked. I AM doing something. I'm doing more than I was before and I'm continuing to work at doing more every day.
After she left I got and email from 5 Minutes for Parenting and this prayer from the article spoke the words that were buried in my heart:
MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
I do believe that my desire to please the Lord does please Him. So, I keep on keeping on. I still don't get everything done every day. But I'm trying to see what I do accomplish and feel successful in that.