For the six of you who check in here regularly (With one-third of my reading population being my parents!) (And look how I did that math in my head, because apparently we WILL use high school math past graduation!) (And yes, back-to-back parentheses can also be a genuine THING after you’ve walked across the stage and accepted a diploma from the principal, while you shook his hand.), thanks for sticking the dry spell here at Jedi Mama Incorporated out.
Sometimes life hits us hard. Sometimes it brings the flu and the congestion. Sometimes it brings other things, that stir you around in circles like a heap of CRAZY. Sometimes you wonder HOW other people appear to be so normal, with such normal day-to-day activities, while you are at home, trying to hose down seven different fires with the same extinguisher. Sometimes you think drug addicts drying up in a jail cell, while they convulse and scratch their skin, have less problems than you do.
That’s pretty much where we’ve been for the past couple of weeks. I have the windows opened today, to a ten-degree morning, and I am airing out the germs. This might not be a real thing in Florida or Texas, but listen: We Yankees can take some ten-degree morning air slipping inside our homes through open windows, if it means the germs will be killed dead and the oxygen will be a little less stale indoors, so that the flu and the sinus infections and the coughs, coughs, OH SWEET MERCY, THE COUGHS, will just evaporate and go away. My dishwasher is running, washing up the three hundred, twenty-seven dirty dishes that were filling our sink when we all went to bed last night. My kitchen counters are scrubbed down and currently spotless. The washing machine is running, like it’s chasing an Olympic medal down today. Dinner is already in the crockpot, so I know there will be something for us to face tonight, instead of the dollar menu at McDonald’s. Alexa is playing classical music for me, straight from her little speaker, and THAT (combined with DINNER IS ALREADY COOKING ITSELF) makes me feel like a genuine adult who is maybe getting my life back together for a couple of hours.
Plus? Well, Thing 2 slept from 8:30 last night until 7:33 this morning, so let’s all stand up and slow clap our appreciation. I know Hubs and I high-fived one another at 7:33 this morning, calling the victory out for what it was! I may or may not have slipped some Red #40, Blue #1 and Yellow #6 into his lunchbox today, in the shape of Skittles, to say, “Thank you for those eleven uninterrupted hours, Son.” All those dyes were put right in there, next to the gluten-free, white-meat-from-free-range-chickens-who-were-never-given-antibiotcs chicken nuggets, the organic Honeycrisp apple, the gluten-free pretzels, the carrots that he will not touch, and the organic almond milk, so I think I’m still winning at school lunches.
I aged over my blogging break, which is to say… I celebrated another birthday. A darling friend of mine organized a lunch on Saturday afternoon, where eight of us friends met at a cafe in the city for BLT sandwiches, cranberry and chicken salads, and real cheeseburgers. We ate and laughed; we laughed and ate. And then we all decided to walk the four blocks to the movie theater, where we saw Jumanji, because our other choices were POST 9/11 WAR MOVIE, CIVIL WAR MOVIE THAT MAY OR MAY NOT INVOLVE STOMACH CLENCHING NATIVE AMERICAN TORTURE, TEENAGE BOY MOVIE INVOLVING BICEPS AND GUNS, or HUGH JACKMAN AS PT BARNUM, which we had all already seen and loved, with a love that raced straight up to the moon and right back. (Have you seen The Greatest Showman? If not, you’ve deprived yourself. GO. Go now, and don’t waste any more time getting to the theater to see it. It’s my new favorite movie, filled with hope and inspiration!) We had so many movie choices to veto last Saturday, that Jumanji was the last choice. We debated seeing it. Was it a show that eight moms could enjoy together? On the one hand… THE ROCK. On the other hand… VIDEO GAME THEME. But, we persevered, and we went. We ordered popcorn with butter, because calories on birthdays don’t count, so you can definitely chase a BLT immediately with a bag of corn. And listen, people: WE LAUGHED OUR HEADS OFF! Is Jumanji going to win any awards? No. No, it is not. But is it a good place to escape to, for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon? YES! We all left the theater, telling one another, “I JUST DE-FANGED A SNAKE!”
The rest of my birthday was quiet, because FOLKS WERE SICK. Influenza ’18 has not been kind to those I love. Hubs fixed me a delicious dinner of leftover pizza, straight out of our refrigerator, and we ended the night watching Parks and Recreation on the iPad.
All in all, it was a good birthday. I’ll probably use my gift cards to shop for new hearing aide batteries and new tennis balls for the bottom of my walker, because I hear that’s what all the elderly folks are buying these days.
And now, with eight entire minutes left before the timer on my phone goes off, screaming out CHANGE YOUR LAUNDRY LOADS!! YOUR DRYER IS DONE!!, I’m off to do just that. The avalanche forecasts on Mt. Everest have never been as bad as those on my laundry pile this week. Today is the day that I cut that mountain down to size and conquer it.
And that’s the reality of LIFE, people. Sometimes mountains rear up smack in front of us. They’re big and they’re scary. The trails over them look impassable. The trails around them look blocked in and full of guerillas and ambushes. And that pretty much just leaves the tunnels through those mountains, if you’re determined to get to the other side. And I’m not going to lie. Those tunnels THROUGH are usually filled with flesh-eating cannibals, scorpions, total darkness and the sounds of crying babies that never get picked up coming over loud speakers. (I know. What a reference. But is there really ANYTHING more bothersome to a mama than hearing a baby cry, when no one is picking him up?! I can’t take that sound… I’m a picker-upper, when it comes to those little people and their tears.) I know that I kept asking God for the past couple of weeks to FIX IT and MAKE IT BETTER and LORD, I AM DONE. I wanted to go back in time, to BEFORE, when the road was smooth and flat and the mountain wasn’t there, and LOOK AT ME DRIVE THIS CONVERTIBLE AT HIGH SPEED, WITH THE TOP DOWN, WHILE I HOLD MY STARBUCKS CUP AND SMILE, WITH MY TRENDY AVIATOR SUNGLASSES ON! I wanted the mountaintop experiences that I’ve had before, and I wanted to be on the top of that big hill… not underneath of that giant mountain, crawling on my belly through the worms, hoping daylight would eventually show up.
Do you know who else wanted to stay on the top of a mountain? Oh, just a guy in the Bible.
“After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.” (Mark 9:2-3)
What happened after this transfiguration? Well, Peter, bless his heart, wanted to just build some shelters and STAY THERE, because WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO STAY ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN WHEN JESUS WAS RIGHT THERE AND GLOWING? I think we ALL want to build shelters on top of the mountain and stay put, when things are good and Jesus is right there, glowing with His power.
But what we need to remember is that Jesus is NO LESS WITH US when we are crawling under the mountain. No, we probably don’t want to set up shelters there in the dark, with the worms and the snakes and the BUGS! BUGS EVERYWHERE! GETTING IN YOUR SLEEPING BAGS! But… I guess that’s where our faith comes in. Is our faith strong enough to remember that REACHING THE BACKSIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN… when we walk out of that tunnel and stand straight up into fresh air… will all be worth it? In Joshua 10, Joshua and his men fight a battle, and it’s a big one. They marched all night BEFORE their battle, so HELLO, EXHAUSTION. Because do you know what I want to do RIGHT BEFORE I get thrown into a major battle? Well, I’d really love to just MARCH ALL NIGHT LONG… and THEN fight. Except… the exact opposite of that. What I really want to do is just sleep all night and COMPLETELY AVOID having to fight at all. But Joshua and his men marched all night long, and then they went into battle.
And the battle lasted so long, Joshua had to ask that the sun stand still, so that THEY COULD HAVE MORE DAYLIGHT TO KEEP FIGHTING. By my calculations, these men had been marching and fighting, nonstop, for the better part of a twenty-four hour period. They needed more daylight, and God gave it to them, because God stopped the moon from coming up, and He kept that sun right where it was at.
And Joshua and his men won. They witnessed God sending hailstones from the sky, which struck the heads of their enemies… but not them. They witnessed God fighting WITH THEM. They witnessed a few extra hours of daylight, because Joshua had simply ASKED. FOR. IT!!
Beth Moore once said in a Bible study that you can bet those men were probably exhausted before their battle even started, and they were exhausted during the battle, but she was guessing that not a single one of them would ever say, “Gee! I wish I hadn’t been IN that battle!” Because Beth Moore said that they probably fought that battle and walked away, speaking of God’s goodness and His power and His willingness to fight on their side for the rest of their lives.
So… how did this blog post get onto such serious subject matter? I have no idea. Writers are always told, “Write what you know.” What I know is nonsense and poor grammar. I don’t know how to write a devotional to encourage anyone, but listen: I’ve been in the tunnel here for the past two weeks, and I’m trying to remember that when I crawl out of it, I’ll be able to speak of God’s goodness and His willingness to help me… a mere mom in a small town who can never get her hair to look good in a messy bun... fight, for the rest of my life.
Y’all have a good weekend. I’m going to spend it with Hubs and our boys… and probably our extended families, too… as long as they can show me proof that their influenza days are OVER, because AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR HAVING INFLUENZA TWICE IN ONE SEASON!