Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Uphill Climb

I'm tired, and it is only Tuesday.

I woke up cranky and have been fighting it all day.

That nudge somewhere deep down that no matter what I do, I'm fighting an uphill battle.

Between data packages and fighting over over-priced notebooks and me realizing full well two years early what raising a teenager just might involve, I went to bed last night just not knowing.

Somehow, life isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I find myself thinking back to high school and my early days of college, where the biggest decision to make was what I was going to wear and if I really wanted to eat that frosty from Wendy's after expending all that energy running up and down the hill by the Board of Education building during cheerleading practice. 

The answer then was always yes.

But teenage angst really isn't that different from grown-up angst... That not feeling good enough feeling sometimes seems to burrow deep and cause the pit in the stomach to drop a little farther down.

Life goes from being all about me to how can I make this all about me while seeming to make it about other people...

Because I am a recovering narcissist... aren't we all?

Eve took the nibble from the apple because she really didn't think she was good enough not knowing good from evil... and every woman since then has struggled with that thought.

Yes, life isn't all it's cracked up to be...

But it is kisses on the cheek when someone feels repentant and that feel-good feeling when someone decides that maybe he really isn't too old for his Mama.  It's laughter in the car and the radio turned up with the sunroof open.  It's blue skies and sunshine, and appreciating them even more when it is pouring the rain.

I don't know where I'm going with this post.  I know that sometimes my heart is heavy, full of sadness for those I see less fortunate than me... struggling with illness and death and poverty and hopelessness.

And sometimes my heart is heavy just because I choose to allow it to be.  This wallowing keeps me looking down and keeps me fighting for air, keeping me questioning.

There is one thing I know for sure, though.

I am not good enough.  I will never be good enough.

It's biblical... I'm not good enough, but He is all-sufficient.

And if the best lesson that I can teach my pre-teen is my need for grace, then I've done my job as a Mom.

Sometimes, I teach it through demonstrating grace to others. Sometimes, I teach it by demonstrating grace to him.

But mostly, I demonstrate it by asking for grace, from him, because this Mama doesn't know what she's doing. The struggle is real, and a lot of the days I feel like I'm grasping at straws.  Math homework.  Communication.  Not getting angry.  Being impatient.  All of these are my downfalls.

Yet grace covers those.  Grace that stems from that deep, maddening love that sometimes takes my breath away. 

Tonight, I'll roll out dough for fried apple pies for the first time since my Grandma died.  I'll fill them with apples and mark the edges with a fork, sealing in that goodness before it hits the fryer.  I'll laugh with my aunts and remember.

There will be pies that I'll fill too full, and the edges will bust open and the apples will spill out.

When we would fry for fundraisers, those were the ones we would eat.

The leftover, not perfect ones.

God takes our leftovers.  He covers them with grace, making our feeble offerings perfection in His eyes.  He guides our paths and makes our way straight, pushing us uphill and breathing life into us as we huff and puff and feel as though we are smothering.

Even on those days when we just don't know...

He does.  His grace is sufficient... and even as I climb uphill, if I pause to take a look around, I can see it. The view from the top is marvelous, so I have to keep on trekking... but the view on the way up isn't that bad, either.

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