When Life Gets Muddled and Murky

forest path

I stare at the pile of shoes in my closet. My nice, big, full of potential, but horribly unorganized closet. I had abandoned my shoe organizer some time ago. I was determined to just keep my shoes in nice neat rows on the floor of my closet.

There were two things I didn’t take into consideration when I made this grand organizing plan. One, I have a little mischievous sprite who likes to hide in my closet and mess things up a bit; and two, I’m kind of lazy about putting my clothes away. There’s clothes hanging on the end of my bed, the back of the chair, the bathroom doorknob and of course, there’s the pile of shoes in said closet.

I’ve stared at that pile many many times and thought, “I should really clean that up.” I mean, it would take all of two seconds. I don’t have that many shoes.

My eyes would then be distracted by my unmade bed, the pile of single socks waiting for their long lost partners on my dresser and the myriad of other things that needed to be dealt with.

The pile of shoes stay on the floor untouched.

It had been a long day.

I had spent a good portion of my day with my dad and mom in the ER. My mom’s health has not been the best lately. And this had been her second visit to the hospital in the last two weeks. Now, in the late afternoon, she was doing better and resting at home. We would go back the next day for tests to be done to try to figure out what had sent her there early that morning.

Again, it had just been a long day.

When I picked up my kiddos and finally made it home, all I could see as I walked through the door were the 39 things around the house that needed to be done. Unfinished projects, crumbs on the counter, puppy prints on the hardwoood and unfolded laundry in the baskets. I immediately started to clean up.

Because when I’m frustrated or upset, I either start cleaning or decluttering something.

When I don’t know what to do; I just feel the need to do something

I didn’t know which task to start on first. They all seemed important and completely unimportant at the same time.

Cleaning my counters and sweeping my floor made me feel a little better.

Soon it was time to make dinner and give baths. The Hubs got ready to go to work.

Life just seems to have a way, doesn’t it? It seems to just tick along as it always has. Like nothing has changed. Even though things are definitely not as they have always been.

Things are different. I can feel it. It’s like everything is just a bit muddled and murky and….. off. I see the pile of shoes and I’m reminded of all the little messes around me. Life is just messy sometimes. Ok, a lot of the time.

You dread and at the same time don’t actually think you’ll get the call that wakes you up with your dad on the other line saying, “We think your mom had a heart attack.”

When you’re young, you don’t think of your parents getting old or getting sick. You definitely don’t see the roles reversing. They take you to the doctors for check-ups and shots. Now, you take them.

It’s  natural and unnatural at the same time. I’m in nurture mode all the time. I have two small children who still call for me in the middle of the night when they have a nightmare or reach for me when they’ve fallen off their bike. It comes just naturally to me to help my mom out of her hospital bed as it does to pick up a sleeping little boy out of his car seat. And yet, when it sinks in that my parents aren’t rechargeable robots that just keep going, that this is the beginning of that role reversal of parent and child you always hear about, you  almost don’t believe it’s happening.

That’s why I feel a bit muddled and off center, a little  empty and sad. Things are not as they once were and they aren’t going back either. I hold my two little blond ones close and I know that the piles of shoes and the crumbs aren’t nearly as important and as the hugs and the talks. I’m thankful for my little envelope of family that centers me when I feel so off kilter.

Most of all I’m thankful for a God who’s sovereign. When the path is crooked and the way is unclear I know that He knows what lies ahead. He loves me; he loves my mom; he loves you. He cares when I’m sad and when I feel unsure. He comforts me just by being Him…. loving, ever faithful, compassionate, and good.

Life is ever changing; but He is never changing. What a relief that is for an anxious heart!

When I fix my focus on who He is; what lies around me seems a little less murky, a bit less messy and the road ahead begins to clear.



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