Monday, March 17, 2014

Survival Mode

This night a week ago I was packing like crazy preparing to move into my not-yet-ready-to-completely-move-into-yet house.  People questioned why move in before it was truly ready?  There were plenty of reasons, but not worth mentioning right now.

Overall though it was worth to have our little three-some family back together.

Jon had been living at the house for quite awhile and working on finishing up the bathroom.

The day we moved in the bathroom looked like:

We have a "usable" typical basement bathroom (aka it has plumbing) in the basement.  So those 5am morning potty breaks you have to go to the cold basement to go.  Or showering with no ceiling above you (Did I mention spiders possibly attacking your head?  yes I have a terrible mind that is always messing with me).  There's also the fact that there is constant water draining from a pipe from outside down the drain where you are standing in the shower.  Dirty water.  Yep, my life.  But overall, worth it.  Somehow I got some inner strength and just dealt with the tough circumstances.  The benefits outweighed the annoyance.  I know other people have to deal with worse, but this type of thing was stretching me.

There's something bigger out there that is more worth IT then my own comfort zone.

I sucked it up and made "friends" with the fact I might not be the only one down there while going to the bathroom.  And dealt with the fears of my comfort level of feeling totally clean after my shower.

I felt good about things.  Went grocery shopping, unpacked numerous boxes and watched as my daughter's knees got filthy from dusty floors.  I did what you do when you move into a new house.  Tried to put my "Family's touches" into each room.  I forced myself to live in the moment.  Take courage and know it was just a season of my life.  Nothing could be worse than 2013 I kept telling myself.  Giving birth to a miscarriage is worse.  Far worse.  Two of them is unbearable.  I already did that.  What could be worse?

Then Saturday morning happened.  I told Jon to watch Ellie while I showered.  But then I had to yell for him.  The water wasn't going down the drain.  The result: the toilet was backing up into the shower drain and clogging it.  So now we can't shower and can't use the toilet.  I was standing in the shower (hadn't started cleaning process yet) and only had enough time to wet my hair.

Later that day we had my sister's family and friends come and help us with stuff on our house.  Then later that night Jon informs me we'll take turns driving to a gas station to go to the bathroom.  Because when you have a one-year old sleeping you can't both leave!

I quickly jump into survival mode.  I try to look like I got things together but I do what I can.  I bawl on my way to Target.  (Why not go somewhere fun when you are bummed and have to use a public restroom?  And by the way, when did a public restroom finally make me feel comfortable?  They use to gross me out!  Ever had that feeling after being away from home and happily getting back in your comfy bed and sitting on your OWN toilet?  Just me?)

After Target I decide to head to Walmart, since Target was closing.  Might as well stay out of the house since Jon was working in the bathroom and there was nothing I could do but sit around and think about not having to pee.  I walk outside in the cold, snow.  I think to myself, really could it get any worse?  If you know me at all, you know I don't like snow.  I didn't even like it as a kid.  Seriously.  The whole idea of snow on Christmas isn't really that big of a deal to me.  It just becomes dirty brown stuff everywhere.  Anyways, I get in the car and the car wont start.  I tell myself, apparently it CAN get worse.  A second try.  Still wont.  Third times the charm.  I thank the Lord that He has spared me this one thing and I drove off.

Remember it's been a few days since I've had a decent shower and I'm in survival mode.  My daughter is eating food I never thought she would be eating yet (more on that later) and I was having to pee in a bucket the following morning.  I let my control and comfort zone sit back and chill.  I had no other choice.  But God knew.  He knew this was happening.  He knew what would break me.  I broke down and when I got home I told Jon I just needed to get ready for bed and relax.

Got my toothbrush from the kitchen drawer and I brushed my teeth wondering what neighbors could see me through my kitchen window.  I wonder what my 16-year old self would think if I could look ahead and see what my life was like at 25?

I would have been shocked.  This girl loves her comfort.  This woman loves control.  I can hardly even type that cus I cringe.  but you all know that feeling.  The freeing feeling to say it out loud.

The control of what your kids eat or drink. (gasp my baby girl doesn't only eat organic anymore!)

The control of not letting her eat messy.  Saturday night I got to my breaking point and yelled, "ELLIE!" Right to my daughter because she wanted to feed herself applesauce but wasn't making it to her mouth.  Instead getting it all over her, the floor, and table.  I looked at her sweet, smiling self and walked away and sat on the couch with tears in my eyes.  My comfort level had been stretched.  I let her eat by herself and make a mess of things.  I had to let go. (insert popular Frozen song here.)  I was nearly shaken of anger.  At my self.  Not at her.  Why was I letting it get to me?  I was trying to control the only part of my life I felt I had control over.  My daughter.

As soon as I let the control go, my anger calmed down.  Jon returned from the basement and looked at me.  He knew we needed to discuss the situation.  I told him, "I'm sorry.  I yelled at her and had to step away.  It was getting me so upset to see her making a mess.  I was trying to control something that didn't need to be done."

My life is a mess right now.  But I have to LET IT GO!

And that's why I say, "Survival Mode."  I'm doing what I need to do to survive.

Step One: Discuss it with my spouse.

Step Two: Make a plan.

Step Three: Act on that plan.

Step Four: Continue to communicate and let go of control even if it is uncomfortable for my comfort level.  I can't do it alone.  I need the Lord's help.

I can't control the bathroom situation.  I can't control my daughter's desire to feed herself when I know she can't do it yet.  I can't make our bathroom get finished faster.  But what I can do is allow Ellie to learn from her mistakes and ask for help when she so desires.  I can thank my parent's for their hospitality and functioning bathrooms and washing machine.  I can let go of my desire to have a ceiling over my shower.  I can let go and fill my life with Godly things rather than earthly matters.

On this earth LOOKS matter, CONTROL is important, and COMFORT is a key factor.  But God doesn't look at the outer part of us.  He doesn't focus on that.  He wants our HEARTS.  And my heart is bitter, angry, and confused. I desire peace, compassion, and so THANKFUL for His mercies new EVERY morning.

Which reminds me...tonight I handed my daughter a fork and let her eat on her own.  It felt good. :)

What is your heart telling you to let go of?  Do you have comfort struggles like me?  Have you ever been "in survival mode"?  Would love to hear your story.

You can read more about my journey through COMFORT struggles HERE and HERE .  They will both help explain more.

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