Frugal Friday I Cannot Tell A Lie

Well, that's not entirely true. I can lie with the best of them. Tell a "half-truth", lie by omission, keep a nice smile and "hospital corners" when things really aren't going so good.

Today, things aren't going so good. So I decided not to lie about that, even to you.

First let me say that everything is fine...fine in the sense that no one is not taken care of or lacking basic necessities or hurt or even depressed. Let me say all of that right here up front so that you can be at ease that nothing is at critical mass. In fact, at this moment I'm enjoying quiet in the house while Brilliant Beauty is off on her first overnighter ever out of town with our children's ministry, Pretty Baby is sleeping in her bassinet, and Little Big Man is occupied with a cardboard box that is absolutely living up to the stereotype of being more fun to play with than any toy we could buy.

But I am discouraged.

That's another one of those words that gets thrown around and used generically until I'm not really sure what it's true meaning is. As is typical with me, I looked it up. "A deprivation of confidence". Yep, that sounds about right.

It's been a tough week. As I said a post or so ago, Ma Luffin' Mayun left on Tuesday morning and returns tomorrow from a conference in Florida. I really love that he has had this experience over the last several days. The focus of the conference is servant leadership. He oozes this concept, always looking for ways to serve, to make no name for himself, and to infuse that kind of frame of mind, soul, and spirit into the lives he has the privilege and responsibility to lead, both in the four walls of Quaint Cottage and within vocational ministry. I know these five days he has had are like bricks and mortar on the foundation already laid in his person to be the kind of leader who sees the Big Picture, keeps a hand to the plow, and wants a life so lived on this stage as to please only an audience of One. I completely support his being exactly where he is.

But it sucks.

I know that it has been a good week, both there with him and here with us. I can look back on the week and see really good things I accomplished. I can see that I was a good mommy to the us-es. I know they got food and sleep and diaper changes and conversation and clean clothes and baths and taken to school and picked up from school and even little somethings special throughout the week. The dog got let out and let back in and fed and watered. I know the facts of all of that.

But I also see the failures. I never called my sweet brother-in-law back this week when he just called to check on me, or Pawpaw or Nana, or KakiBlack tonight. The house looks like it had a 96-hour stomach flu and has repeatedly thrown up from it's deepest bowels all over itself (gross, I know). I haven't called to check on my Mom like I should while my Dad is in Thailand. Little Big Man hasn't worn a single pair of underwear since his daddy left, leaving him in pull-ups and stimeying potty-training this week. I've eaten the junkiest junk all week, inhaling it like I won a reward challenge on Survivor, when I get a sideways minute between all the tasks the days and children require.

I'm tired. So very tired.

I'm tired of being "on". I'm tired of answering questions. I'm tired of repeating myself. I'm tired of distributing food. I'm tired of talking. I'm tired of listening. I'm tired of redirecting behavior. I'm tired of sun-up to sun-down and no "thank you". I'm tired of diapers and dirty clothes. I'm tired of homework. I'm tired of watching the clock to make sure everything is happening that needs to and that it's happening when it needs to. I'm tired of VeggieTales and Clifford and Angelina Ballerina. I'm tired of loading and unloading kids and cargo from the jeep. I'm tired of being composed under the pile of duties I have had to manage this week.

Sincerely, I don't really know how the one-parent households make it. If you are a single parent reading this, please hear me say that you are in my thoughts and my prayers and my awe and my concerns. It is not for the faint of heart.

I love my us-es. I love my job of caring for them. I love that I know it is what I am supposed to be doing on this earth at this time without a doubt.

But sometimes I want to pitch a fit. Or scream. Or get some seriously major recognition for my efforts. Or go on a trip knowing everything at home is completely covered. Or cry. Or do nothing and not have to answer to anybody for it.

I'm really tired. And in this moment it is glaringly clear that I have been and done some really awesome things this week, and in some ways nothing of what I truly wanted.

I wish the house was clean. I wish I hadn't eaten that. I wish I'd spent the time on the Better Thing. I wish the laundry was done.

Wishes don't wash dishes.

I don't know where I'm going with any of this. I just know that I don't experience anything that someone else hasn't, isn't, or won't in the future. And I would never want this blog to become some monument to a half-truth; a lie. It's not all killer grocery deals, winnowing perfection, and bright ideas.

Sometimes it's deprivation of confidence.

Sometimes I forget who I am. And it's not the us-es' fault. It's not even that I get lost so much in the epic amount of stuff that comes along with and is required for the us-es; not always. Sometimes it's that I get lost in some sort of idea of what I think everything should look like. The idea is often unrealistic and rigid and based in something entirely other. And walking hand in hand with the idea is this attitude of striving. The ironic result is the discovery of a destination that doesn't exist and a path that only goes in circles.

I'm pretty sure I wanted people to be amazed at my ability to maintain and excel this week in my husband's absence. I'm pretty confident that I thought I would get mammoth amounts of stuff done, disregarding the utter lack of free time. I'm pretty positive that I thought I had enough within me to accomplish all the "have to"s and most of the "want to"s.

I put a lot of stock in me.

There's the problem. Me ran out days ago.

It isn't Ma Luffin' Mayun's fault. It isn't the us-es' faults. Really, it just is what it is.

I am my own most easily depleted resource.

There's a Better Way and I chose in a lot of ways not to walk it this week. Ma Luffin' Mayun told me on the phone one day this week that one of the speakers at the forum talked about the reality that God will not help you to be somebody that you are not. I go a step further and say He can only work with the most organic, authentic person we really are. How could He help me to the fullest this week when I had an iron-clad front in the form of a huge "S" on my chest?

Resting it all on my shoulders, my abilities, my charisma, my energy, is exhausting and stupid and comical and tragic. And I'm done.

I'll have to learn this lesson again, I'm sure, on another day through another set of circumstances and at a varied degree.

But I can take a hint.

I will have to fight the urge tomorrow to create a ruse that the house was spotless in hubby's absence, or that I consistently washed laundry, or that it was all a piece of cake. I'll also have to fight the urge to dump it all in his lap when he walks through the door.

It is what it is, and it's been what's it's been.

However, I do believe I'll tap a Resource that is not renewable or recyclable or puffed up with airs, but, rather, ever-present, real, and eternal.

What could I be or do if my deprived confidence rested and refueled There?

Already, I feel like I'm breathing deeper and cleaner than I have all day.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day...Be still and know that I am God. - Psalm 46:1-5,10 (emphasis mine)


  1. Melissa Minish- Beach11:10:00 PM

    Wow! I couldnt have said it better myself- lol- And, we (you and I are blessed to have amazing mates who actually do their part- look on the bright side jessi - your last 5 days were my last 11 yrs... thank you lord for sending me an amazing hubby-

    but remember .. you need a break - from all your kids and the housework - get a pedicure , take a nap and dont feel bad about the money spent - your worth it

  2. I totally understand. Dave travels a lot and so I feel that I should have it all together when he is gone, but after a couple days I get tired and lose it. Eat junk and stay up late. Get irratable with the kids. I just want to crawl in bed and ignore it all. LOL!

    I am truly amazed by all the amazing single parents out there who almost never get a break. Every time Dave gets back, I want to go find a single mom and hug her and offer to watch her kids so she can have some me time.

    Bless you!

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  4. Something I've been learning recently is that... sometimes... we moms should celebrate the fact that we survived a week without major injury or emotional detriment to ourselves or our family. Sometimes, it's ok to be proud of ourselves just for getting everyone dressed and fed and safe and relatively happy. That, in and of itself, is an AMAZING accomplishment during weeks like this.

    You are an amazing wife, mom, and blogger! :)

    Here's to hoping for weeks of overflow and accepting weeks of manna...

  5. Right on time!! I catch myself caught up in wanting it to all look easy, clean, and peaceful, and it's just not... not even close... I'm weak, I mess up, I MUST have Jesus... EVERYDAY!!
    Thanks for being real my Dear Friend!


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