When life feels out of control
I don't know if you can relate to this, but my life often just feels slightly out of control.
It's like there's a little storm constantly raging around me and I can't ever quite seem to get my umbrella up or my gumboots on in time.
The storm takes on a few guises.
There's the storm of the children. They need, question, want, ask, take, use, paint, spread, eat, bounce, make noise and move stuff. All day long. And somehow they always seem to know when I'm sneaking into my room for a two minute look at facebook or trying to take a shower or, gracious me, sitting on the loo.
There's the storm of cleaning and housework. You wipe the walls and kitchen cabinets down in a fit of "I can't stand it any more" and you take a deep breath when it's done, but then all of a sudden there's coffee or tomato sauce or gravy stains all over everything, or paint marks the shape of finger prints on the light switches and it's just one more thing I've got to do and I roll my eyes and feel defeated by it.
The storm of stuff is one I've been battling for a few years now. I crack down on piles of paper, but they're like nut grass. You just can't get rid of them. They grow in new places and you've got to be as vigilant as a retired accountant with a green thumb and a newly turfed lawn to stop them from sprouting up again.
There's all the administration you've got to do just to stay alive and insured and registered and getting your mail. There are the appliances that break down, the dental work that needs doing, the cars that need new tyres and the floods and fires to avoid.
I haven't included gardening (which I staunchly try to ignore) or people (whom I try NOT to ignore) or birthday parties (and I've got four of them coming more quickly than I realise.) I also haven't included the continuing storm of autism or getting my children to eat vegetables or the constant battle with my tummy fat.
The thing about storms is that if you're in them, you can't rest. There's no relaxing. You're on high alert all the time. There's no control.
It's even coming out in my dreams. In the last few days I've had dreams about being publicly embarrassed (think toilets with no doors), about leaving my sewing machine on the street and about losing my way, my car and my memory in Canberra. (The three kids I was dragging around after me and trying to keep from getting run over weren't that impressed and when I woke up I felt an irrational need to apologise to them.)
What I ought to say here is, hey, not to worry, because God gives me shelter from the storms, but I'll be honest and say I haven't yet gone to him to ask for help with it all. And, maybe, just a little part of me thinks that he probably won't do anything about it anyway because there have been times in the past when I've felt like I've been left out in the stinging rain for waaaay too long with no raincoat and not even a cave to crawl into.
I'm sitting here feeling challenged by my own words. Do I really believe that God cares about the small details in my life? What does it mean that I feel the *need* for control anyway? What do I expect would happen if I asked God for help with, for example, the ongoing kids-hate-vegetables issue? What would it look like - no, what would it FEEL like - to stop being hyper-vigilant?
If you've got some wisdom for me, or if you feel similarly, I'd love to hear.