I remember the day very well. The arguing began before I ever crawled out of bed. It was like a nagging alarm clock that would not stop ringing. My eyes flickered open and a growl escaped my lips. Plopping my feet on the floor, the words Good morning Lord were not a part of my thoughts. I am certain there was more growling and that the actual thoughts of Oh, good Lord, its morning again, crossed my mind more than once.
“Mom…she won’t leave me alone!” echoed through the house.
Seriously! I thought. I haven’t even peeled my eyelids open and they are already at it again.
I forced myself out of bed, walked to the girl’s room, and sternly barked, “What is the problem in here?” Both began talking at once telling their version of events; neither of which impressed me!
“Just get dressed and leave each other alone!” I commanded.
I turned around and made my way to the kitchen to fix breakfast. Opening the cabinets I spied the cereal boxes. Good I thought quick and easy. Pulling them out of the cabinet and plunking them down on the kitchen table I called for the girls to “get in here and eat breakfast…NOW!” I could still hear them in their rooms grumbling at each other.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake would you two stop arguing and get in here and eat breakfast!” I yelled.
Both girls reluctantly appeared at the breakfast table; each giving the other one dirty looks and little shoves. The rants of “Mom, she’s looking at me” and “Mom, she’s sticking her tongue out at me” continued to boom from each other’s voice. Eventually the tirades got so bad that we constructed a cereal box barricade between the two in order to assure that no dirty looks could be sent to the other side of the table. You’d think the cardboard could stop the “Mom, she’s giving me dirty looks” outbursts, but no, it didn’t. They continued.
“How do you know she’s looking at you weird” I asked? “There’s a wall of cereal boxes stacked in between you two.”
“I know she’s looking at me. I can feel it,” one replied.
I don’t remember saying the blessing for the food that morning, but I do remember thinking, “Lord, help me get through this morning and get them to school so I can have a break!”
The accusations continued after breakfast, and on into the car, and all the way to school. By the time I dropped them off at their classrooms I felt like I had been a referee at a WWF match. My head hurt, I was annoyed, and I felt like I had been “MOMed” to death! However, I was hopeful that the hours away from each other in their own personal classroom timeouts would successfully wash their minds of the morning tirades.
Oh, if only amnesia was that easily obtained! No such luck.
As soon as they saw each other that afternoon, the looks, jabs, pokes, jeers, and “MOM, she said I smell funny,” picked up where they had left off. I wish I could say that I was nice and calm about all of this, but I can assure that you that I wasn’t. My brain probably flashed lots of codes that resembled the symbol bar on a keyboard.
On the way home I needed to stop by the store to pick up some things for dinner. Because the girls were too young to leave in the car by themselves, I had to take them in with me. Now, do you think they would stop their fussing long enough for me to get what I needed and get out of the store? Oh, No! They carried their pointing fingers, dirty looks, and accusing outside voices with them.
Unfortunately, this store we went to was very small, and if you talked loud, everyone in the store could hear you.
They talked loud…
”MOM, she won’t stop poking me.”
“I did not poke her, she poked me.”
“MOM, make her stop sticking her tongue out at me.”
UGH… MOM, mom, mom, mom, mom!
By the time we got to the checkout counter I had reached my breaking point. I slammed my little basket on the conveyer belt, and with glazed over eyes I looked at the cashier, pointed my finger to the ceiling and made a declaration – “That’s it! I’ve had enough! I’m changing my name!”
Yes, I know. What an absolutely ridiculous proclamation to make. Like that was going to solve anything. But it was how I felt. I’d had enough, and just wanted to change something, ANYTHING to escape the frustration.
Have you ever been so weary and felt that if you could change something, ANYTHING, that life would be better?
Have events nagged at you and left you feeling frayed, frazzled, and frustrated?
There is a little quarterly devotional booklet that was once distributed at our church titled “Come Ye Apart.” I always wondered why someone didn’t print something titled “Put Ye Back Together Again!” Frazzled people could definitely benefit from a book like that!
As life’s demands peek out from every corner, there may be times when you feel a little frayed, frazzled, and frustrated. You may even feel like you want to change your name. For all of those crazy days when you just need a break from the chaos, I pray that you find the rest that Jesus mentions in Matthew 11:28. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened [frayed, frazzled, and frustrated], and I will give you rest” (NIV Study Bible Red Letter Edition).
By the way, the book where Jesus’ words are found may not be titled “Put Ye Back Together Again,” but it is definitely a book that can provide you with instructions on how to do just that.