Surrender

Linking up with my favorite place today – Five Minute Friday.

Today’s theme?

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When I first decided to walk with Jesus, instead of just waving to him from across the room, I had a few life-changing things that happened.

Ok, that’s a totally wrong. All the life-changing things happened. Like, all OVER the place. But one of  the most immediately obvious was my taste in music.

Dana, Before Walking With Jesus: Christian music on the radio? Isn’t that just Carmen and Amy Grant? It’s dork-city.

Dana After Walking With Jesus: Christian music on the radio? It must be on, all the time, twenty-four seven, dorky or no. I am praising my saviourrrrr all the day lonnnnnnnnnnng!

Still don’t like Amy Grant music though. Sorry, Amy. You are a wonderful person.

Jars of Clay, Chris Tomlin, Watermark, Phil Keaggy… I loved them. Still do. I think I even bought a few of those WOW! ALL CHRISTIAN! cd’s because I needed a bit of variety and their plastic covers were so bright and dorky. I found out something. Walking with Jesus meant I could finally stop trying to be so darn cool about everything and embrace my inner dork, and you know what? The DORK IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE.

And so, one day, I found Sara Groves.

And her music cracked me open, and then put me back together, on a daily basis. I own every one of her albums. We played her song, “Fly” as “our song” at our wedding. I reference her song, “Toy Packaging” every Christmas for those who need to know the struggle is real, with the toy packaging.

I just love her. She is my best-friend musician that I have never met. She writes songs about marriage, and fights with husbands, and family, and the bible, and all of it is threaded throughout with a voice that is strong in faith but still has a lot of questions.

This is me. I have a strong-ish faith. But I have a lot of questions. Like, a LOT.

Long ago, before marriage, before recovery (I am a sober momma, because me and wine broke up long ago and that’s a whole other story), before children, before a lot of things, my heart was broken into a million pieces by life and love that was lost. I am pretty sure that’s a thing that has happened to all of us – heartache so profound it threatens to scoop us up and throw us out with the trash. It’s that hard.

I would lay on my bed, feeling tears drip warm down the sides of my face and pool up by my ears, too tired to wipe them away. Sometimes my dog Norman would jump up there with me and snuffle the tears away. He was such a good pupper.

And I would listen to Sara’s song, Remember Surrender. 

You see, I was walking with Jesus, yes. But I was still hurting. And this song seemed to understand that. And with each listen, I got a little better.

Just so you know, there were ther things helped me get better:

Reading the bible. (Walking with Jesus now, duh)

Prayer. (Double duh)

Reading just about anything by Melody Beattie.

Going on long runs with Norman even when I didn’t want to (He always did, so he would drag me. We made it work).

Talking to friends. DUH.

Crying with those friends. And then praying some more. (Quadruple duh. And thank you, friends, for always listening. And always offering to pray with me. And gripping onto my hands hard while you did so, so hard that it almost kinda hurt but in a good way. I’m looking at you, Katie.)

And so, I would like to share this song with you today. If you walk with Jesus, but your heart is still sore and sad, and you just want something so badly, but it can’t be yours… Listen and get a little better.

This version has some pics with the video. They’re a little dorky. But, as you know, I like the dorky.

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The animals have turned against me.

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Ok, in this post she’s going to try and convince you that I am a weird cat. Just look at me, folks. I’m as right as furry rain. Whatever that means. And, I am cute, no?

 

So, I don’t pay much attention to the trash cans in this house. The reason for this is twofold:

  1. My children are in charge of taking out the trash. We really have a lead on something exciting here, folks. Our children can do the chores that we once had to do! It’s like free labor, if you discount all the whining and really crap jobs they do at any sort of cleaning, but I’ll take it.
  2. Who really wants to ponder a trash can? What? You don’t have enough stimulation from the Netflixes?

Anyhow. As I was upstairs today, making the beds, I did notice the trash can. I noticed that it was looking rather… shredded?

And then, I noticed our cat, Vader, (also referred to as Willie, Sir William, Vader-Tator, and Grandmaster Cat in previous posts. Keep up, y’all. In our house we like to make sure everyone is on rotation with their naming) as he sidled over to the trash can.

And then, he proceeded to START EATING IT.

That’s right. He was eating the trash can.

HE WAS EATING THE TRASH CAN.

What, wee grey cat? What is your problem? Do I not go to the Petco and buy you large crinkly expensive bags of super-healthy food pebbles? Ever since the gigantic white cat had his brush with death we have gone totally upscale on our food options here. Basically, it’s “So long college fund, kids! Gotta feed the kitties!” That sort of thing.

Vader, do you suddenly need more fiber in your diet?

Is it a “My Weird Addiction” kind of thing? Do you need Dr. Phil?

I can’t imagine a trash can tastes good. Perhaps, however, it’s a step up from the mortgage-breaker brown stuff that I feed you every morning.

And then, Vader made eye contact with me. His mouth was still sort of attached to the trashcan. It’s just like that time my husband caught me gnawing on his precious super sharp cheddar that he tries to hide from me. I hadn’t even bothered to slice off a piece of cheese. I was gnawing on it like an angry hamster, and I froze as his eyes locked onto mine. We then argued about sharp cheddar and how it should not be gnawed.

It had been a long day.

Anyhow, back to the cat/trash can thing. Vader stopped, mid chew. And then, he extracted himself from trash can, and sauntered off. All casual, like, “Well, that was a great trash can snack. Thanks Byeeeee!”

So, that’s it then. This little bit of daily weirdness was brought to you by an ungrateful furball and my inability to get it on film.

EXCEPT IT WAS SO NOT OVER.

BECAUSE THEN STEVE, THE WHITE WHALE CAT, THEN WALKED OVER AND STARTED TO EAT THE TRASH CAN TOO.

What is wrong with everyone? I don’t understand out world at all.

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Dog: Can you not?

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 Dog: And I get yelled at for the licking.

 

 

Let me say the grumpy parenting stuff, so you don’t have to.

It had been one of those parenting evenings.

You know the ones. It was not just an evening. Nope. Not just a time when the sun goes down, people eat some dinner, maybe watch some basketball or work on homework.

No, this was a Parenting Onslaught. Last night, General Patton would have slunk off in defeat, I tell you.

You know how when you were little, and you and your sister were riding in the back seat of the station wagon, and you were stuck to the seats because it was sixteen thousand degrees and your dad would never put on the AC, and you were both doing that “I’m not touching you” thing with your pokey little fingers, but silently, because your plan was to dominate your sibling and also try not to get in trouble with Dad, aka, the Don?*

Yea, my sweet boys did all of that crap last night, but just skipped the silent part. Also there were some “I know you are but what am I’s” mixed in there, and a lavish sprinkling of sobbing. At one point I think I told them both, “If you come to me, and you are not bleeding, but you are whining, there WILL be blood.” Which only made them turn around and go back up stairs to the Dad, and also made me hanker for a Daniel Day Lewis movie.

But this one:

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Not this one:

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Note to self: when sad or mad or angry or tired, the “I will find you” scene in Mohicans does help.

Anyhow.

We got through it the Parenting Offensive. Barely. And as both boys headed up to bed, and the hubs and I grimly started in on the dishes because we both preferred scrubbing greasy pots to going upstairs, I said what I always say, on nights like these:

“Tell me again, why we had children.”

(See? I say the stuff you don’t. You’re welcome.)

And then… the hubs would smile and give me a kiss, and say, “They are wonderful and a blessing, even when they’re really annoying.”

But last night, he didn’t say that. Last night, he just grimly attacked the cast iron skillet with a vengeance, and said,

“Child labor.”

I didn’t bat an eye.

“Totally not worth our investment. They can barely pay off all the crap they have broken. We have an oscillating fan upstairs that neither oscillates OR fans, because of Blonde and his precious screwdriver. What is up with that? We are not getting our full return and it’s a crock. All those parents who tell you, ‘It’s the most wonderful thing, children are so awesome and blah blah blah,’ they are straight up lying. They only say all that so we end up stuck, like them, and then they don’t feel so sorry for themselves! It’s a CONSPIRACY!”

He had already left. I was alone, with my greasy suds, and my thoughts. Which I say out loud. So you don’t have to.

I would have to add here, I don’t totally want to NOT have my children. I just want them to be with me like they are in a Downton Abby episode, where they show up every fourth episode or so, in their starched collars, flanked by a nanny, say a few things, and BOOM, whisked away before bad acting! Then, they show up again at age twelve. Or not.

Plus, those kids have the chirpy accent thing going, and I could pretty much love that scary girl from The Bad Seed if she had just attempted a British accent.

Perhaps I exaggerate. Perhaps.

But I’m just saying what I know, I KNOW someone else out there has felt, just once.

Deep breath.

There is hope. All mothers know this. There is a Universal Reset for all mothers called:

Watch The Preshus Babies Sleep.

So I trudge upstairs, and see this:

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Also this:

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And all is right with the world. Again.

We had children because when they sleep they sprawl. They are delicious. That’s why.

Also: one day, as God is my witness, they will clean the cat box, and I won’t have to anymore. Truth.

Are you tired out, momsies? Did you have a parenting day that has, in all truth, parented you into exhaustion?

I suggest this:

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This gem has been on Netflix since I had children. All through the years of my babies, I have been trying to keep up… and then I gave up and just binge watch it every few months or so on the mighty Netflix, until I run out of kleenex and have to sleep. I think this show understands. It gets the whole point. It is also irreverent, controversial, and at times hilarious and awful, and I still just kind of love it. Watch at your own risk. Lots of saucy stuff and lots of moments where you think, “Whoa. This is just really heartbreaking and yet I am snickering.”

That, is parenting.

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* All one sentence! Wheee!!!!!