By Reba Phelps
I could feel it brewing. It was a feeling that I have felt many times before. I knew the signs and symptoms all too well and I was past the point of no return. Like the people ridden with arthritis can feel the change of weather in their bones and the animals can feel it when a storm is brewing.
I knew that I was peaking over the horizon gazing at a Stage 4, “single-mom-I am too exhausted-there are not enough hours in the day-I have no idea what to cook for supper anymore-my house is dirty-I have nothing to wear-I am old and unattractive and unloved,” kind of pity party.
Stage 1 through 3 happens at various times and can be fended off with girl time, take out, exercise, a good night of sleep and a few scriptures mixed with Christian music. Stage 4 is the kind that comes out of nowhere and can easily multiply with one cross look or misspoken word and it can linger for hours, sometimes days, past the aforementioned remedies.
This appeared to be Stage 4 mixed with a few drops of a potential Stage 5. A completely new level of pity parties. Sometimes life can be so completely overwhelming. That, compounded with the fact that I tend to lean towards the dramatics, was a recipe for disaster.
On this particular day, I knew as soon as I got home that day I would be faced with Math homework that would have even the Ancient Greeks scratching their heads today. I would also be faced with the fallout from my lack of planning ahead with a decent supper menu. My children act as though they need a meal every evening without fail.
Sometimes I just need help juggling all of the balls.
As much as I was trying to mentally prepare for the rest of a horrible day, nothing could prepare me for what I was about to encounter in my own home.
Just as I was rounding the winding curves on my street I could tell that there were large black trash bags on my curb. This is the typical place one would put items that were too large for the trash can provided by the City. Immediately I thought it was odd being that I was not home and was not having yard work done.
I pulled into the garage and it looked freshly swept. But possibly the wind blew weird and cleaned it out? As I entered my home it was almost as if I was entering a spa. There were fragrant candles burning, the kitchen was clean (I may have left it dirty during my morning rush) and the living room was spotless. I could only imagine that there was a new wave of city crime that included making your house feel like a sanctuary because my daughters, as lovely as they are, can be quite messy.
And, the plot thickens.
I could not locate my daughters. I could hear blues music playing in the background but no girls to be found. The house had been dusted and the area rug freshly vacuumed. The trash emptied. As I was quizzically enjoying the moment I looked down and noticed that our unruly Jack Russell Terrier had even been trimmed.
Hear me out. Someone broke into my house, cleaned it up, trimmed the dog and had background music playing to accompany the many scented candles that were burning? Having witnessed all of this totally made me forget that prior to this I was hosting a Stage 4 pity party because I have no help with the mundane chores and trials of life.
Just as I was getting lost in this precious moment and wondering who would come into my home and make it perfect for me, I heard the faint sound of arguing from the back porch. Daughters located.
Not wanting to part from the spa-like atmosphere I slowly walked to the back door and noticed them enjoying the fire pit on the back porch and what I perceived as arguing was just a lively conversation between two sisters.
My curiosity got the best of me so I proceeded to interrupt their moment to gather the details of the shock and awe they caused when I walked in. Before I could even utter the first question I noticed they had trimmed and pruned the entire back yard… hence the black garbage bags on the front curb. The shock, and appreciation, continued for many days that followed.
Sometimes, I am extremely guilty of letting my circumstances get me down and control my moods. Life can be so exhausting when you are trying to handle everything alone. Or, what you perceive as being alone. My precious daughters had no idea how they saved their mom on this particular day. They are my personal heroes. Heroes disguised in Northwestern State University and NSU Middle Lab clothing. They came in clutch for dear old mom and didn’t even know it.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” – 2 Corinthians 12:9