depleted, defeated, deflated

How’s that for an inspiring and encouraging start to your Monday? Yippee!

My older 2 girls are upstairs engaged in a verbal war, and I don’t even have the energy or motivation to put a stop to it. And Nina is talking my ear off, and I want her to just leave me alone for ten seconds. Gabe just left for the day (he’ll be home around midnight-ish), and our good-bye was strained at best. Ugh.

For all my happy talk about God’s provision and being content and all that, yesterday sure was a stinky day. It’s my own dumb attitude. Satan has come in for a little attacky-tack, and instead of fighting back, I’m just whining at him, “Oh, don’t hurt me! Pleeease just leave me alone. Pretty pleeease. I just want to go to some zoooooos.”

God gave me plenty of opportunities to crawl out of the hole I was digging yesterday (like an encouraging phone call from a friend–thanks, friend.), but I mostly ignored Him.

The thought has crossed my mind several times that maybe this whole zoo endeavor is a bit selfish on my part. Making my family sacrifice so I can live out some dream of mine. Gabe and I had a little talk about it Friday night. Dreamer marries Realist. Doesn’t always make for smooth sailing.

But he’s willing to go with it as long as God keeps providing. And the girls are super-thrilled about the zoos. So, I know it’s not just me dragging them along when they’d rather be doing something else.

A couple things have come up that have chipped away at my Zoo Fund. Trying not to be bitter. God gives and takes away, right? His promise to provide doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges and setbacks along the way.

On an unrelated note, the past couple days I’ve been sitting under our big Bradford Pear tree in our front yard on a little camping chair watching the girls ride their bikes on the sidewalk. There is a squirrel who lives in the tree, and he’s a bit mean-spirited. He climbs to the tip-top branches, picks the fruit, eats the insides out, and throws the shells on my head. I move my chair, he moves too. And he’s a fast eater. Tosses a shell every 5 seconds or so. In a day or two, our yard and driveway are going to be buried in them.

Last night Livi and Nina were coloring together in a Flintstones coloring book.
Me: Good job, Nina! Do you know what that girl’s name is? It’s Pebbles.
Livi: Who’s this that I’m coloring?
Me: Bamm-Bamm.
Livi: Damm-Damm?
Me: (can’t answer, trying not to laugh)
Nina: No, Libby. BammBamm.

My children are obviously growing up watching different cartoons than their mother.

Speaking of growing up, the other day I found a packet of papers I wrote in high school. Oh my. I might “reprint” some of them sometime for your reading “pleasure.” It will be an act of public service. My way of encouraging aspiring writers that even if your writing is laughable now there is still hope that you’ll get a book published in 15 years. Never give up!

Quick prayer request. I have a stinky attitude about something and it’s coming out in my words and actions. It’s not pretty. I keep trying to give it to God. And I keep taking it back. I’m feeling broken about it, but obviously not broken enough, because I’m still letting it control me.

I read Romans 7 this morning for a little commiseration from my buddy Paul. Here’s part of the end of the chapter in The Message.

What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

 17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

 21-23It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

 24I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

 25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

I spent some time on my face this morning begging God to help me surrender to Him. Thanking Him for Christ who acted to set things right in this life.

Well, hey, Gabe just called me with some possibly-happy news. The girls are painting at the kitchen table together instead of screaming at each other. I’m feeling better already.

Have a great week!

22 thoughts on “depleted, defeated, deflated

  1. ClutzyButtercup

    I have a “love/hate” relationship with the Romans 7 passage.  Seems that this is an area I struggle with from time to time and I can’t understand why it is so hard…Interesting that God allowed someone like Paul to struggle with it too.

  2. Nixter77

    hello my lovely friend, sorry you had a rough day – I love that Romans 7 passage and I lament with Paul over those same things. I can’t wait for the day when no more sin is in the world where we will live in peace with our Lord and God and each other – what hope we are promised!

    Will pray for you and will try and call soon. Love you xoxox

  3. rebates

    I was in a funk all last week, and I’m still coming out of it I think.  We had a guest speaker yesterday who spoke on Psalm 73.  (Interestingly, I had spent a good bit of time reading and meditating on this passage a couple of months ago and had highlighted some verses that refreshed my soul.  It was good to see them again.)  Anyway, Asaph travels the full gammut of emotions- accusing God of caring more for the wicked and forgetting the righteous, and then seeing God for who He really is and then seeing himself how God sees us, and then finally drawing the conclusion- As for me, it is good to be near God.  It was so refreshing to me and exactly what I needed to change my perspective from a horizontal one to a vertical one.  I am hoping to blog about it later today.  I also felt like I got a glimpse of eternity during our song time as we sang The Revelation Song.  Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come!

    Blessings to you today friend!

  4. kkakwright

    I just prayed through Ephesians 3 for you, my friend.  Now, I want you to read 3:14-21 OUT LOUD, RIGHT NOW.  I know you may know them but I want you to do it….for me….pretty please!?

  5. lilriver

    My pastor at our new church read that same excerpt last week. The service we go to is on Friday night, when about 65 men and women from Wayside Christian Community are bussed in for the service. (Wayside houses men and women that struggle with current & past additions, sobriety struggles, violence problems, etc – most of them attend the service and the AA meeting at the church afterwards) It was amazing to watch how Paul’s honesty, read through the Message, really awoke strong feelings in the audience.. tell a bunch of recovering, struggling addicts how your body forces you to do things your mind hates you for doing. They can relate. It was powerful.

    thanks for sharing.

  6. jessyomama

    I totally know what you mean in the Romans 7 realm. And then I read in 1 John that Jesus came so that we don’t have to sin. I like the second one better. 🙂 Gotta figure out how to make that one work for me more and less of the Romans 7 working in me.

  7. kellycohan

    @gsowell – LOL to your Message commentary. I KNOW it’s not a translation, but I really enjoy the different perspective it gives sometimes. We Methodists are allowed to read it, though

    Like what you posted today, Marla. Wow. How many times have I read that passage, but it’s like it’s new today. Thanks. Just prayed for Jesus to give Satan (I first typed “Satin”) the boot from your home and heart today.

  8. luvmynoah

    Glad you are feeling better!  I appreciate your kind words on my blog.  🙂 I opened up my Bible last night after I blogged right to Ps. 27.  God knows just what we need to hear.  Hope your day stays good…no great!!

  9. faithchick

    yeah.  things are crappy here this morning, too.  the little girl is whininy and demanding and the little man is already in bed, and i have a headache and i’d rather be sleeping or be  and i’d like to get out of the house, but i really don’t feel like packing a diaper bag with enough provisions to make it through lunchtime.  blah.   i’m wondering how in the world i’m going to deal with caring for another one.  wah, wah, wah.

    so, um.  all that to say.  i hope your day gets better. 
    misery loves company??

  10. FlyingCAB

    awww I’m so glad things turned around by the end of this!  That makes me happy =)  I hope your day and attitude continue to improve!  i’ll be praying!

  11. gsowell

    Oh, and at Georgetown, a squirrel used to camp out on this tree outside my dorm freshman year. I think he waited especially for me so that he could bombard my head with walnuts every time I left the building.

  12. gsowell

    Um…I think I’m right in the middle of that debate Paul was having with himself. Thanks for posting it in this version. I don’t have a copy of The Message. (I know, I know…) So I just get snippets.

    DeWayne may lead our men through a Bible study by Randy Alcorn. I thought you’d be thrilled.

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