Monday, September 10, 2012

Suck It up


That was one hell of a tough week.

That was one hell of a tough month.

And I'm really really hoping I see the end in sight, but seeing as I can't predict the future, unfortunately I can't promise that. We are having a "Rut of Unusual Size." (Kind of like the ROUS from The Princess Bride but less hairy.....)

Everybody has Ruts. Funks. Trenches. Bad days. Bad weeks. Bad months. Down times. Rainy Days. Slumps. Depressions. Hard Times. Seasons. Call them what you want. I prefer the ruts or the trenches because in a storm, you get down in the trench, pray you don't get struck by lightning or caught up in the tornado, and stay low to the ground until the sky clears.

And boy are we in a deep trench right now. We're praying and waiting for the sky to clear. We're in survival mode. Owen has some evaluations and new therapies starting this week that we're excited about and so I'm trying my best to remain hopeful that all this trouble is just related to transitions and school and EE and that soon we'll be back to our normal level of craziness instead of this elevated level of non-stop screaming craziness......

But it's a hard thing, that remaining hopeful thing. Because when you just have a bad day here or there, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and you know this is temporary. But holy smokes, when those bad days start stringing themselves together into one long-ass, never ending bad day, it's easy to get sucked into the tornado and believe it's never going to stop swirling around beyond your control. And Satan likes to attack while you're in the trench. He just loves to go after you when you're weak. He's like that pesky sibling that points out your flaws and knows exactly how to push your buttons. (Not that me or my siblings were ever like that......of course not.......never......) But that Satan is a real piece of work. He whispers little lies in your ear while you're laying in the trench clinging to anything you can find for safety and support: "Hey Rachel, you know, he's always going to scream like this.  Always. And you're always going to need meds to help you sleep. Seriously. You're never going to sleep like a normal person again. And you know, none of your friends are going through this; you are totally alone. ALONE. You're not doing enough for him, you know that right? And you're definitely not doing enough for your other two kids. Poor things. Their whole world just orbits around him on his bad days. You wouldn't even take them on a Labor Day trip because of his needs. How do you think that makes them feel? How do you think it made your family feel? You're a terrible mother. Really, really bad mother. The worst. And on top of all that, you don't even fold your laundry. I mean it just lays in a heap in the corner. Who does that? And we won't even talk about how slow you run these days.....  Okay the last part was a joke but really, he's a really good liar. And I know that, but dang-it, sometimes I still listen and believe him.

In spite of my many many many weak moments recently, I know in my core that God's got this. He does. I know He loves me and my family and that's the only truth that matters. But I also wish sometimes that God's version of digging us out of the trench would match up perfectly with my version of it. Wouldn't that be awesomesauce? Doesn't happen in this world though because He knows what I need better than I do.

So this past weekend, I gave myself the "Dave Roberts Parental Speech." If you grew up in my family, then you know the one. The one where my parents didn't take any excuses and told me to essentially "suck it up and move on." They used more eloquent words most of the time, but they always taught me that life is not fair and that you just gotta keep going and do your best and live up to what you can be. And I appreciate them for those lessons. Well, now I do. Of course, I pretty much thought they were old fogies and hated the lectures back then, but now I see the value in their non-coddling ways. And you always knew the lecture was over when Dad would say: "I'm not going to charge you for that one." And he never did, thank God, or else I would owe him a LOT of money.

So anyhow, last week when Todd was out of town, I pictured my dad standing in front of me and decided, screaming or no screaming, we're going to survive and do our best, and give each other breaks, and not beat ourselves up if we shed a few tears, and basically suck it up, trust God, and move on.

And it was a hard weekend, but we did it.

I got a date night with my most favorite six year old in the world on Friday night and we had a blast. He is such a blessing and knows exactly how to get me laughing.

And Saturday while I dealt with this,

I told Isaac to go play as many video games as he wanted to play while Todd and the diva went out on a date. And shock of all shockers, they went shopping together, which made me fall in love with Todd even more because I know that is the last thing he wanted to do. And dang they're cute together.

And Saturday night, even though we knew the odds were stacked against us, we went to a crowded birthday party. And it was rough at first, but Owen calmed down after awhile and I was so glad we were there amongst non screaming adults.

And believe me when I say, I am not trying to brag or act like we've got it all together when times are tough. Because you read the part about it having been a rough month, right? I'm just now starting to feel like myself again. I seriously don't know how people struggle for long periods of time and hold their crap together. One day I cried for so long that my eyes pretty much swelled shut. It was so so annoying and embarrassing and it made running a lot harder. And while I was running, I set five minute non-crying goals for myself. Five minutes. How pathetic is that? And I would make it five minutes without crying and then want to cry with relief that I hadn't cried and then realize that would defeat the purpose of the whole non crying exercise and set my timer for another five minutes. Seriously. Crazy Town was visited this past month. Multiple times.

And there are so many people out there who struggle a lot more than we do. And I pray for them. A lot.  I know their faith is being tested and must be bigger than mine. And I pray that they have as great a support system around them as we do, because we do. We have awesome people rooting for us. Awesome, awesome people.

And it's because of those awesome people and our awesome God that we're going into this week with hope. And with trust. And with the first genuinely good morning we've had in a long, long time:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

 And if you happen to still be reading this epically long update and gleaned some tiny nugget of wisdom from my mistakes, you're welcome.

I won't charge you for this one.


  1. I read recently when you feel God has shut a door in your face, stand in that hallway and pray WITH God because He DOES know your needs and His timing. (lot like a trench I guess). SO much easier said than done.
    I read every word.....twice! My heart broke multiple times, my grit and resolve WITH you multiplied, and my desire to be a bigger help along the way of this rocky journey increased. Grandma Fish loves that sweet girl in the trench that would actually get in that trench with everyone she loves UNDER her so she could help God protect them. You are such a strong women and those kind of women have leaky eyes too. they just don't have timers on their watches while they run... :D
    Love you SO much, love the highs of the journey and pray for the lows. Praying without ceasing and trusting in God's faithfulness.

  2. Just wanted to say that your ability to manage everything you do makes you an inspiration to your sister and I both. You are one of the "good moms" that we can look up to! Hang in there. And if you think you've been running slow, you haven't ran a 10k with me yet, like SE dared to do this past weekend...just ask her. I hope things get better for you soon :-)

  3. Ditto both comments above. You are an amazing example. And no, you are certainly not alone in that trench. We all have our trenches...especially those of us with lots of little ones, we just don't all admit it. You inspire me to be more transparent and I appreciate that. Oh, and thanks for not charging for it. : )

  4. Rachel, you wrote this one for me, Im sure. A lot of those same feelings and moments for me. I miss you!!!

  5. You and Todd are two brave young people. You make us both proud. I am continually amazed by your faith, your energy, and your perseverance. And all those lectures you really WERE listening when we thought you weren't!! You have a beautiful family to show for all your hard work. And with such a strong faith you will definitely survive the trenches. You are an inspiration.