When it rains, it pours. What I mean to say is that there are times when even a master multi-tasker like me doesn't know how I'm going to manage to keep all the balls in the air. Frankly, there's way too much juggling going on. We're both working more than one job, shuttling kids to their jobs and activities, desperately trying to keep up with whatever must be done, then whatever should be done, then whatever can be done. For the most part, we don't have the time, money, or energy to even think about whatever we'd like to get done.
Our household was worn down before we were hit by my mom's unexpected surgery, jury duty, and a handful of little aggravations like a nail in one of the tires we bought less than two months ago. But you know what? Even in the midst of frustration and stress, we have plenty to be grateful for. We're blessed to have jobs, kids we're proud of, good medical care, a nation of laws, and a mechanic who fixed my tire without charge just because he saw my MOMOF8 license plate.
Even when things aren't so good, God still is. I just wish I could cut down on my own brattiness a bit. Maybe that would happen if I was able to trust in God's goodness more than I do. If only I could step back when things get a bit intense, and take a breath deep enough to remember how he's taken care of me all my life.
That perspective comes from prayer. Why then, do I find it so difficult to make a sustained commitment to pray? Sure, the busyness doesn't help. But I suspect that the real reason I struggle to pray has more to do with believing the narrative I tell myself. It usually begins with a stirring statement about how laudable it is take care of things by myself, to do things on my own power.
"My own power." Out in the open it's so easy to see how utterly ridiculous that thought is. I may as well be talking about rainbow unicorns, or monsters under the mattress. "My own power" simply doesn't exist. But anyone looking at how I live might be tempted to believe it did; I certainly seem to rely on it.
I'd bet I'm not alone in that. Because when the rain begins to fall, I see more than a few of us pulling out our prefabricated or ready-to-assemble arks at the very first drops. Intent on not being victims of the rising waters, we're proudly prepared for whatever comes. The problem is that when the flood is deep enough to lift our vessels from the land, we suddenly discover that the boats we built don't float. Or if they do, we can't steer them.
I don't like the feeling of being tossed around by the waves, or slammed up against the rocks.
I can, and usually do, handle a lot. But there are times when my Energizer Bunny runs out of power and stops. Thank you, Lord, for the rains that bring me to my knees. Thank you for reminding me that "the God of Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers." That he "guards my comings and my goings." And that if I only look to the mountains, I will find my help "in the Lord who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 121)
Jaymie Stuart Wolfe is a wife and mother of eight children, and a disciple of the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. She is an inspirational author, speaker, musician and serves as an Associate Children's Editor at Pauline Books and Media.