Not The Mom I Want To Be

April 10, 2017

 

This past weekend I was not the Mom I want to be. I was really in a royal funk. Despite the glorious weather, I just couldn’t break free from my sad, depressed mood. In my mind, there were a million to-do’s and fun ideas swirling, but I just couldn’t DO it.

I saw the disappointment on my children’s faces. They wanted to play, they wanted to go places, and they wanted their Mom. But I couldn’t do it. So on top of feeling like I couldn’t break through the quick sand, I felt guilt for being this way.

I apologized to the kids. I explained I was having a sad day and I didn’t know why. I assured them I would be ok. I let them have unlimited TV and electronics time. We had drive-thru for dinner. (They were not sad about this!) It was a miserable moment of motherhood.

Sundays are the hardest anyway. Sundays were the days we enjoyed the most as a family. One look outside and I can see husbands working with their wives on home improvement projects. I can see families playing with their kids in their yards. Sundays were our best times together as a family. But this particular Sunday was worse than usual.

I don’t know if it’s because Easter is this week and Easter reminds me of LAST Easter and that was the worst weekend of my life? I don’t know if it’s because my new medicine hasn’t had a chance to work yet? I don’t know if it’s just a normal thing that’s going to happen every now and then? But I don’t like it. No matter what, I try to be a good Mom to my kids. I try to give them what they need. And last weekend I just couldn’t do it. It was like trying to sprint through neck-deep setting cement.

I’m usually a very positive, mostly happy person. I don’t like to dwell in negativity or seek attention. And yet, I wasn’t able to escape the feelings that came on Sunday. I’m sharing this with you because I think it’s important you know. Maybe you’ve also had a day, week or an entire season like this too? If so, I just want you to know you aren’t the only one.

I’m happy to report today is a new day. It’s a brand-new crack at life. Maybe I’ll have a better time of things today.

“God, my God, I yelled for help

    and you put me together.

God, you pulled me out of the grave,

    gave me another chance at life

    when I was down-and-out.” Psalm 30:2-3

 I wish I had something funny to share with you today instead. I wish I had wisdom or profound words of encouragement. I considered not writing today. I thought about waiting until there was something more comforting or entertaining to be told. But I promised you’d be along for the ride no matter what it brought. I said I’d share the good, the funny, the comforting, and also the bad. I guess today is the “ugly” part of my story. I hope it doesn’t drive you away and you’ll stick around for the better parts. It’s the less popular chapter in my grief, but it’s one I need to talk about.

Depressed days are a joy impediment and I refuse to stay in this place. I’ll use every tool in my arsenal to clamor out of it. There’s still so much wonderful in this life and I want to live out my purpose with genuine gladness. So today, I’m going to soak up some sunshine and get my hands dirty in the garden. Or, maybe I’ll just get dressed and take down the Nativity set. Progress is progress, afterall.

I’m choosing to forgive myself for yesterday. I’m making a conscious effort to focus on Easter and all it means. It means all of my shortcomings, all my sins, all the moments where I fell short have been covered by His blood because He loved me THAT MUCH! As a widow, Easter offers me even more understanding and hope than before. It means there will come a day when I will be reunited with my husband. It means he is no longer sick or disabled. It means he is healed! It means no more sadness or suffering. It means this life is not the end.

When I spend time in this story, I’m overcome with emotion. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. I’m so thankful my husband is healed and look forward to the day when we will be together again. This is what is helping me get through this major funk. If I am loved THAT much, then it is certain He will also help me through this dark time and guide me to fulfilling the earthly purpose He has in store for me. This much I know!

God understands my funk. I’m finding comfort in these verses today:

I waited and waited and waited for God.

    At last he looked; finally he listened.

He lifted me out of the ditch,

    pulled me from deep mud.

He stood me up on a solid rock

    to make sure I wouldn’t slip.

He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,

    a praise-song to our God.

More and more people are seeing this:

    they enter the mystery,

    abandoning themselves to God.

Psalm 40:1-3 (The Message)

 

And…

 

You, Lord, are my lamp;

    the Lord turns my darkness into light.

2 Samuel 22:29 (NIV)

 

And…

 

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;

if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

 Disciples so often get into trouble;

still, God is there every time.

Psalm 34:18-19 (The Message)

Don’t you just love the bluntness of The Message version of these passages? See? God gets it! We’re not alone.

Extra grace,

Jodi

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply Rhonda April 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    The holidays will get you every time! No matter how hard you try to deny it, it’s in your mind so deep you cannot “undo” it. You can make it up to your kids in a week or so when you feel better – they will understand. Sometimes you just have to grieve and not be what everyone else expects! After 13 years, a new husband, new home, and 2 more kids, I still have days that I can barely get through. Then I will realize it’s near a holiday or an anniversary of some kind (chemo started, diagnosed with something else, etc.). It is so deep in me I don’t realize it until later sometimes. Then I apologize and make them cookies :-).

  • Reply Linda Allen April 10, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Jodi, today is my husbands bday..he passed away Valentines Day 2016..I want to encourage you to keep on pressing through, even when it feels as though it’s a 10 ft thick wall.
    Ups & down, 2 steps forward & 1 step back or vice versa😕. It happens but don’t give up because you are the victor through the Blood of our Lord Jesus, He’s there smiling, encouraging you..Blessings,Linda

  • Reply Nancy Pedro April 10, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Hi Jodi — I’m about a year ahead of you on this journey — and sometimes it feels like a revolving door. Just about the time you think you have gotten through something hard, it slaps you in the butt and reminds you that you get to dig your way to the surface again. I also have an adult daughter with disabilities — so I’m very familiar with the revolving door of grief. It is the anniversaries and the milestones that trigger things. Be gentle with yourself. Sometimes we just have to let ourselves feel whatever it is we need to feel! I might suggest that you put some kind of plan in place for your kids to have a day with friends or an outing with someone. Maybe someone at your church would be willing to be the person who you could call when you are mired in grief and they would be able to take your kids for a day and give them something else to do. I think you mentioned before that you don’t have family near, but there might be folks at your church who would be thrilled to be “stand-in grandparents” and take your kids to some kind of activity to give you a day. I’ll bet there are people my age who would be absolutely honored to help you and have an opportunity to have grandchildren for a day. Obviously you will want to know these folks and be sure they are safe people for your children — and if you have the plan in place, you may not ever need it. But you might find that if you reach out and set something like this up, your children will have new friends and mentors and so will you! It sounds like you’ve begun to surface from yesterday’s funk — keep swimming!

  • Reply chad April 10, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    “Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.”

    Pretty much the best thing I have heard all day. Thank you, Jodi! Thanks to Eugene Peterson too! Grace and Peace to you and the family. Chad

  • Reply Karen Underdahl April 10, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Jodi,
    My heart goes out to you, I can read the pain and sorrow in your words! I know that God will bring you through this most diffiult time. I wish I could do so much more for you! Thinking of you and the family during this blessed holy week! Love, hugs and prayers! Karen and Lynn

  • Reply Tracy L April 11, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Please consider that you gave your kids exactly what they needed. They need to know how you are feeling. They need to learn that this is not over, and it won’t be for a while. They need to KNOW that life does not revolve around them. They need to be real little human beings who can learn to comfort and console their mom, their siblings and themselves. Joy filled days will come when it’s appropriate. In the meantime, consider that it is your job to raise people that you like. Sadly, you must do it alone. Even more sadly, the best lessons are the hard ones. Find peace. Don’t deny your need for reflection.

  • Reply Judy Hedges April 11, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Jodi,
    I really believe God has brought me to you! I lost the love of my life January 9th of this year. I am just hitting the “first” holidays. The hardest part for me is going to Church on Sunday looking around at the families. I can’t even sing the songs yet (used to sing in the Praise team) because all I do is cry. My kids had to beg me to get out of bed this last Sunday. The days are getting more bare able, BUT I do have the same guilt of not wanting to “adult” on certain days. As I read in another post on this site, it is ok to have the “grief” days and we cannot feel guilty. My kids have a roof over the heads, food to eat, and love. God will take care of them when we can’t. I hold on to this. I have to. Hugs to you my new friend and lots of love sent your way….Judy

  • Reply Maryellen April 14, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Only love today for yourself. Be Kate no to yourself, gentle & loving. You are an amazing mom & your kids understand.
    Kids are very resilient. Stay close to each other.
    Have a better Easter. 💗
    Maryellen

  • Reply Maryellen April 14, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Be kind to yourself! Thanks auto correct! 🙄

  • Reply Maryellen April 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Be kind to yourself! Not Kate no. What’s that all about?!! 😂😂
    Thanks auto correct! 🙄

  • Reply kerrymckim April 17, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    I had a hard time this Easter too. Easter weekend was when my husband went to the ICU so not only do I get to be reminded on the date, I get to be reminded on Easter.

    I am glad that you are not being hard on yourself. <3

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