Thursday, January 13, 2011

Metaphorical Fish

Last week I was something of a mess.  To say the least.  

But you know me....I don't do the whole minimalist thing, right?  

Sooooooooooooo.....about last week...

Our family was recovering from what is now being referred to as the 2010 Year-End Pukefest, a quaint little GI bug that tore through EVERY family member with a vengeance for almost a whole week.  The laundry was epic, taunting me to the point of overwhelmed tears.  My wee baby boy, Mr. >5th %ile for Weight, didn't eat, save for breastmilk, for a whole week, turning his already scrawny form into downright gaunt...and that is not just a hypersensitive mama growing paranoid, this is a noticeable weight loss that caused comments from others.  Yeah, that helped too.

The older kids went back to school, and though the officially dreaded re-entry day was smooth, the subsequent ones were not.  As in I completely lost my cool with Kelsey, in one of her horribly defiant I-will-NOT-go-to-my-room-even-if-it-is-more-for-you-to-cool-down-than-it-is-for-me-to-be-in-trouble moments, and while it didn't escalate physically, it prompted Colton to retrieve the phone and inform me he was dialing 911 because he was so scared.  Well.  If that's not enough to deflate the hot air running the anger balloon and cause it to create a heaping pile of GUILT I don't know what will do it for ya....

And then, as we had been healthy for mere days and just in time for the weekend :read: Urgent Care, Christopher began to cough.  And run intermittent fevers.  During which time he became attached to my hip, or breasts as the still-nursing case may be, and any separation to said appendages was cause for marathon meltdowns.  And the non-eating resumed.  A myriad of PTSD-like emotions, due to the coughing and intermittent fevers triggering memories of my own hellish journey, legitimate maternal worry, and battle fatigue set in.

The low-grade, ambient stress regarding my potential return to work gnawed at me as a big cloud of UNKNOWN loomed over me.  I can deal with a lot of things, but UNKNOWN is akin to Alice's Jabberwocky: a formidable foe that initially scares the muchness out of me.  Eventually, I can get to a point where I can slay the UNKNOWN as Alice totally made the Jabberwocky her b!t*#, but as of last week, I was still in the "Oh, hells no!" phase regarding defeating the UNKNOWN.  As such, it was kicking my booty.  Not to mention the fact that after I'd submitted my application, I got a response from a local non-profit re: a grant consulting proposal I'd sent them.  Their response was yes, they would like me to contract with them on an on-going basis.  So then I was torn between was that the right thing and I was abandoning that, testing God, in favor of the higher-paying, more family-time sacrificing job at the city?  Mother guilt X the UNKNOWN = WRECK

It was no surprise then, that I cried at the drop of a hat over E.V.E.R.Y thing.  Movies.  TV shows [that I'd already seen!].  Songs.  Intonation in my child's voice surely meant that I was a failure at everything.  And was so irritable with Seth that super stoopid things became grounds for verbal grudge matches.  

Not pretty, right?

Monday, I took Chris to the doctor.  Diagnosis: double ear infection and croup - not killer pneumonia as my paranoia had tried to persuade me.  Easily fixed with some time and medication.

Then, I called the HR department at the city, and anonymously inquired as to where they were in the hiring process for The Position.

"Oh, well, they've already interviewed and I think they've got a person in mind now.  Thanks for your interest."

My first instinct was self-defeating, that maybe-I-did-something-so-wrong-that-it-negated-all-the-previously-glowing-commentary-from-my-former-boss thing - serious self-doubt, ya know?  I mean, they didn't even call me for an interview!  That lasted for maybe 5 seconds though.

And then...

You asked Me for a roadblock if it wasn't where I wanted you right now.  You told me MY will and not yours, remember?

Ok, God.  I get that.  And yes, things DO happen for a reason, and so I will trust that.  In the meantime, could You shed some light on this for me?  Clarify just where we're going with this whole exercise?  I mean, uh, the money has to come from somewhere right?  And it's, uh, not there.  So, while we're on this whole 'you said' schtick, might I remind You that You said  You had 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,' so, don't forget that, mmm-kay?  Thanks.

Sidenote - I know that kind of prayer seems irreverent to some, and for you I will apologize.  My intent is not to offend - I just think that God wants my heart, my real heart and not some Pope-ish, rote acceptance of the things that don't quite seem fair or clear.  So we are real with each other like that.

Yesterday was good.

Today I went to a non-profit networking meeting and it felt good.  A peace that things would fall into place covered me.  A few people inquired about my consulting services and asked me to follow up with them.

Tonight I got a voice mail, informing me of a key opportunity with which to substantially expand my [from-home] grant-writing business.  All through church I kept feeling goosebumps.  That phone call that quieted that small, albeit powerful, voice of self-doubt I heard the other day.  When I followed up on it and spoke to the person who'd called me, I was buzzing with gratitude my Heavenly Father for the very real potential that lay before me.

In early December, I was about to give up on the consulting endeavor, as I hadn't managed to get many bites.

I'm reminded of a story in Luke Ch. 5:

One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,[a]great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon,[b]its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. 

 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now, go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But, if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”

6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

 8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
This year is going to be a deep-water year, I have a feeling.

© 2006-present Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved


  1. Yes, Yes, YES!!!! When we're willing to lay down our wants, hopes and dreams, and let God do the hard work, he really comes through, eh? While I know it's hard to wait for His timing, it ROCKS when things start to happen. Yay!

  2. have just uploaded the worlds most embarrassing video blog, please come by and vote, who is right? Me or my husband?

  3. I have the exact same feeling about this year.

    I am glad that your family is feeling better and that God is still God. :)

  4. Oh... I am so sorry for all the sickness, and vast amounts of puke.
    Also, I love that you are real with God. Wouldn't he know if you weren't anyway? ;)

  5. Red - I could have written that post. I sometimes SWEAR I'm going crazy and need medication. There is just so much going on. Part of it is motherhood. Part of it is the fact that you have a BRAIN and you want to do more than just be at home. Of course being home full time is a wonderful wonderful passion if that is your thing. I wish I was that mom. I admire moms who do that with grace and peace. I'm just not one of them. Maybe you aren't either. Maybe this year is your year to find balance: To work but to have time to yourself. To make money but to stop when it's interfering with your peace. And to know when to trust God so that you can trust yourself. Lots of love. Stay in touch ,ya hear?