Every so often, and fortunately, usually not at the same time, my husband and I reach a breaking point within our parenting roles.  A point at which, if we don’t find solace from the talking, the bargaining, the repeating, that we just might run down the street, screaming like a raving lunatic.

Today, it was my turn.  The build-up started this morning when we arrived at the movie theatre.  Before I could park the car, a young theatre worker ran across the parking lot and waved me away, saying that the building had no electricity.  Luckily, we were early and had the time to drive to another nearby theatre showing the same $1.00 summer special, Arthur Christmas.  I turned the car around to leave the parking lot when the questions started firing-up from the backseat.  Are we going to be late?  Is this a main road?  Will we be able to see the same movie? How come we are going this way?  Nerves a bit plucked, I made my entrance onto the highway and drove a mile or so when I couldn’t figure-out whether I was headed in the right direction.  At the risk of stirring-up any additional panick from the backseat, I chose not to say anything, took the next exit, turned around, and drove a long round about, but familiar route to the theatre.  I simply could not think straight. With 2 minutes to spare, I entered the theatre parking lot and heard a voice from the backseat question my choice of parking spots.  Irritably, I suggested that we go home if my girl cannot walk the distance from the car to the theatre.  At the same time, if we did go home, it would require more of me than I had to give on this particular morning.

Needless to say, we did go inside the theatre.  My boy and girl and I scrambled over  legs in the dark to some empty seats just as the movie started.  Once we figured-out that the main character of the movie was not the Arthur (the aardvark) that we were expecting, we settled-in and escaped into the magic of Christmas, Santa and elves.

Now, I know that the scenerio above is not all that awful in itself.  I say that and yet, I am embarrassed to admit that by the time my husband walked in the door later today, I could barely listen to the talking and sibling arguments without feeling like I might explode.  I even closed my eyes to try to block-out the constant assault to my senses.  I was on overload!

This is how I ended-up in our bedroom after dinner with a box of tissues, my Bible and journal, trying to figure-out why I felt so fragile.  And, in those quiet-moments, I sensed God saying to me, “Pick-Me!  Pick-Me, my child!”  You see, now that summer school has ended, I am “on” all day, every day.  I really have tried to stay positive and recharge when I can. Dabbling over a page in my art journal here and there while my boy and girl are drawing.  Fitting-in exercise by biking together as a family.  Tossing a prayer of gratitude up to God when I think of it.  What I have been lacking, though, is uninterrupted quiet-time drinking-in God’s word and conversing with Him.  Instead of picking God, I check my e-mail, much more than necessary.  I scroll down my Facebook news feed.  I watch another episode of Pickers on the couch with my husband.  I move God down on my list, because, well, it’s just seems easier to fill what little time I do have with whatever is right in front of me.  Basically, the equivalent of spiritual snacking.

I start to chastise myself for not being enough for my family when God reminds me that he doesn’t expect me to be enough on my own strength.  I am kidding myself and everyone else if I expect to be a loving, gentle, and patient wife, mother, and friend at all times.  The good news is that with God’s help, I may not do it all perfectly, but I am much more likely to do it better than I can by myself.

With a few more weeks before my boy and girl head back to school, I am going to do my best to fit-in as many full-meals with God as much as possible.  I guess that means I’ll need to cut-back on the “snacking.”  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.   – Isaiah 40:31