Oh, it’s been one of “those” days here at my household.  Tantrums and drama over homework time, a Pyrex dish shattering on the kitchen floor (Really, I did not throw-it; it slid off the pile of pots and pans drying on the counter!), bad day for the husband at work, and the clothes dryer deciding not make even the hint of warm air.  It now takes a whole day to dry a load of clothes.

Fortunately, the kids are now in bed, I sit with a mug of warm tea beside me and am writing “raw.”  I am so glad that days like these don’t last forever and that I managed to keep myself from coming totally unglued during this afternoons festivities.  Yes, I did yell a few times.  But I also remembered to stop and take breaths.  I prayed at the kitchen counter before going to discuss matters with my girl splayed across her bed upstairs.  And I remembered to apologize to my boy for yelling at him for obsessively asking if I was going to help him finish his homework in the middle of my girl’s melt-down.  Really, does it look like it’s a good time right now?!

It’s all about imperfect progress, right?  This fall, I have been participating in a weekly discussion with a group of wonderful and real ladies around Lysa Terkeurst’s book Unglued.  Oddly, for the first few weeks of this study, things at my house had been pretty “hunky dory,” almost utopia like.  I was gulping in the long periods of rich play between my boy and girl, noting how happy everyone seemed, all the while wondering when the other shoe was going to drop. ‘Cause you know weeks like these can’t last forever!

So, today the other shoe dropped.  Actually, it started the day before when my girl stayed-home sick.  How dare her mess-up my carefully planned week!  Now, I had to cram two days worth of chores and errands into one afternoon!

What I really want to say is that this messiness is real life and it can be hard sometimes.  Downright frustrating.  How nice it was for me to be able to sit in my Unglued book study reflecting on my own unglued moments as if they were a thing of the past.  It’s easy to show joy and calm when life is going along smoothly.  But what about the other times?  How do I find joy in the ugliness?

Well, I am still on the chapter in Unglued where I try to define what kind of “unglued” I am.  I think I tend to be an exploder at home and a stuffer everywhere else.  I haven’t gotten to the part where I learn what to do about my ungluedness; however, I have learned a few things over the past year or so, through the wisdom of my lovely friends and some insightful books.  One, I need to take care of myself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  In general, this task has become easier now that my boy and girl are both in school, but it still can be a challenge.  While some can handle a lot of things on their plates, I recognize and honor my need for quiet and for room in my schedule to create.  Regular quiet-time spent with my Creator and intentional blocks set-aside for art and writing can go a long ways on the emotional and spiritual front.  Physically, I am learning the importance of taking care of my body through regular exercise.  I am not a gym person, but I do enjoy walking and can certainly pop-in a yoga or Pilates DVD on rainy or cold days.  A little endorphin release can definitely keep my mind from coming unglued so quickly.

I still have a way to go with this whole idea of not coming unglued.  Through it all, I want to extend my family the same grace that God shows me.  I am grateful for today.  No, I didn’t enjoy the downward spiral, but I was reminded of all that I have learned and am still learning.  Thank you, God, for granting us new mercies every day!