my own miserable fault

This is my second stab at this post, because my first was full of angst and made me wince to read it. Hopefully this one is more palatable.

I did not have the best day.

It started out GREAT, if not early. My mama called at 2:30 am to tell me that this little beauty had arrived (my newest niece, Mia Noelle). I am so in love with her already and praying that I’ll get to meet her while she still has that adorable newborn look, smell, feel and cry. (Please, Lord, please!)

So, that was 2:30. It all went downhill from there.

Nothing that happened was my fault. That’s the good news. The trouble is, while I can’t choose my circumstances, I CAN choose my reaction. And I chose the WRONG reaction. Over and over and (sickeningly) over again.

I won’t share all the sordid details, but I very nearly did NOT survive one of the worst nights EVER with one of our children. It was so horrible. Again, it started out as all her and her issues. Then I must have decided it would take too much effort to handle her in a patient, godly, calm manner, and I exploded. She’s forgiven me, God has forgiven me, but man. I feel like I’ve been emotionally shredded.

Thank you to those of you who prayed, because things drastically improved (then got bad one more time). Now everyone is in bed and hopefully very near sleep. New mercies in the morning–praise the Lord!

Got my world rocked just a bit this afternoon. The retreat I thought I was speaking at on February 12th is actually on February 5. YES, THE DAY AFTER FEBRUARY 4TH. Thank goodness the miscommunication wasn’t my fault, and I’m still available to go. But I’m not at all prepared and praying for the biggest epidural God has on hand.

Add in a couple disappointments, a couple frustrations, and this, that and the other thing, and I just want to quit.

Quit what, you ask? Oh, I don’t know. Just quit.

I was actually thankful tonight for a sinkful of dishes so I could take a breath and ask God to please calm my heart in the midst of what (to me) feels like a lot of trials.

But then I spent 90% of the time bemoaning my pitiful existence.

Spare me.

I think I’m on the upswing, but I would love your prayers. I know it’s the only chance I’ve got to survive this weekend. And motherhood. And life.

And maybe you could share something HAPPY from your day. That would make me smile.

45 thoughts on “my own miserable fault

  1. Sarah Montanye

    wow! sounds like a whole lot is going on! hope all is well and that you made it up there okay. Hope you bless the socks off of those ladies.
    hmmmm. something happy…..well it was my birthday the day you wrote this and it’s actually turning into more of a birthday weekend….I love it!!! 🙂 Birthday make me happy.

  2. Kimberly

    Happy from my day…..I got my first package at my new house and it was from you! I have a special idea for the books too. I have sweet friends who mentor you engaged couples. I’m going to give them the book to give to the next 4 brides they mentor. Thank you!! Oh and praying, you’ll do great, I just know it. Let God speak through you, He always shows up!

  3. missy @ it's almost naptime

    I too was a little bit strong willed (I know it is hard to believe) and my mom and I had many many many fights. And we, um, still exchange words every once in a while.

    But now – Happy news – she has been in Egypt for 2 weeks and she gets home Sat night and I AM SO EXCITED BECAUSE I LOVE MY MOMMY SO MUCH!!!

  4. erin

    Ahh, Marla, thanks for your honesty. It’s so comforting to know everyone has those days, weeks.

    Ava always says that chocolate chips make her happy. She eats one and says, “that makes me happy mommy.”

  5. Britt

    Well, the good news is that you are emptied and therefor ready to be filled up by God. 🙂
    I know. So cliche and *puky* when you are in the pits of despair 🙂 But I am praying for God to fill you up with HIM the next 24 hours. Enough time to have HIS goodness pouring out of you and onto others 🙂

  6. meghan @ spicy magnolia

    First, congratulations on being a new aunt to Mia! Wow, she’s beautiful! And I will ask the Lord along with you for an amazing way for Him to provide for you to get to meet her precious newborn face.

    I’m sorry about your rough day yesterday, Marla. Oh, sister, I just want to give you a big hug. I hope today was better and that you sleep so well tonight.

    One of our happy moments today was getting Brennan his first pair of real tennis shoes. He’s walking like crazy, and it’s so fun to see his joy in his new-found ‘trick’. Bless you, friend!

  7. AKat

    So sorry, Marla, that is was a rough day. Praying for you!

    Happy story: Neil got a bouncy ball from Target and screamed, yes, screamed for joy numerous times in the store. Best $4 I ever spent.

  8. Gretchen

    ‘Scuse me for being late to the unparty, but girl, I hear you and feel you and I have actually tried to quit before. My sweet husband assures me that I CAN’T POSSIBLY quit–“they’re” renewing my contract and giving me a 100% raise.


    Will say a prayer that He sees you thru it and gives new perspective. And if that doesn’t work, get on a plane and fly up to Seattle. We can rock and thumb-suck together, my sweet lefty pal.

  9. Gail

    I haven’t heard Jess’s song in years….

    I have no great words. Just love. Understanding. Been-there-ness. And prayers.

    My happy today was a new pen. A blue Pilot Precise V5 extra fine pen. Ahhhhh. May your day of preparation work contain some fun new office supplies, too.

  10. Kiki

    I have had a hard time lately with one of my kiddos. And yesterday, as I raised my voice (again times 1000) and told him to stop crying and have self control, I realized what I looked and sounded like. I wonder why he hasn’t learned self control, maybe his mama hasn’t either.

    Something to make you smile, hm, I saw your Scrabble letters at Amanda’s! So cute!

    You’ll do great this weekend. I’ll say a prayer for you.

  11. Elizabeth

    It does my heart good to see that sweet, adorable baby girl. We’ve had some rough weeks lately! But I’m resting in the truth that I couldn’t be perfect even if I tried and that there is abundant grace for the times we need it the most.

  12. jess

    Grin again gang get gungho about Jesus……smile sweetly suzie so you send satan soundly awaaaay-ay-ay…buck up brother bill because a buncha bitter boys became a buncha better boys behind a big big smile…..

    continue. repeat. 🙂

  13. Kay

    The best I can do is to share that my daughter got in the car yesterday afternoon when I picked her up from school and told me she had a 69 in History. How did that happen? Yuck! Then she giggled and told me, “Not really! I have a 101!” Again, how did that happen? My daughter is quite a little actress and she uses it to her advantage and my disadvantage quite often. We’re working on knowing the difference between lying and acting!

    Have a super day sweet Marla! You’re loved!

  14. Kelsie

    I prayed for you, Marla. Remember that He is infinitely-wise. These circumstances are not out of His control. Be thankful that through your tough times, you can learn total dependence on Him. Otherwise, if everything were all rosy, would you be on your knees as much? I know I wouldn’t…
    Something happy: We have been saved by grace through faith. We did not deserve it. We still behave as if we do not. We are blessed beyond measure, and we have MUCH to be thankful for! We have a relationship with the God of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth! Marla, you are a child of the King. He is using you. Allow Him to work through you this weekend…To Him be the Honor and Glory!! 🙂

  15. Tiffani

    I am so sorry. Days like that certainly remind us that we need a Savior who gives what we need before we even speak it and He holds US In His Hands while we’re trying to hold our little ones in ours (especially during the tougher moments)

    My happy–I’m hoping to meet someone you know tomorrow at a book signing!!!!

  16. Kelli

    Praying for you!

    Yesterday Caroline and I went to the inflatable bounce play and bounced and played and laughed and BOTH had the time of our lives!

  17. Denise

    It’s throwing me off that some other Denise reads your blog. I keep seeing the name and thinking…oh I left a comment already. Um – no I didn’t.

    Anywho…loving you! Something happy from my day actually came this morning. Well, it starts out last Oct. when I finally got myself a family doc. I had my blood tested for the normal gunk and my cholesterol was incredibly high – I wasn’t at all surprised by this. It doesn’t help that I am overweight…let alone that junk I eat. So they put me on meds. Monday morning, I had to go get my blood drawn again to see how I was doing.

    I got a call this morning and my cholesterol is TONS better. Still gotta be on meds and I have to go on a diet (not surprised.) but I am getting better. Praise Jesus. Oh and Parker’s doing GREAT after the horrible weekend.

    I hope that makes you feel better… Love you!

  18. Lindsey

    Praying for you, friend. By name!

    I had a fabulous day…one filled with good conversations with sweet friends…and a 6 mile walk around my old college campus. 🙂

  19. amber

    Hard days suck. I was going to use “stink” because it seemed like a nicer word, but then I decided that really hard days don’t stink…they just plain suck.

    I’m going through a battle of wills with one of my blessed offspring that leaves us with more time where both of us are crying and frustrated than with us lovin’ on eachother and I HATE IT.

    Praying new mercies for you, sweet friend. God is good.

    Something happy??? I got this amazing package of books in the mail!! 😉

  20. Colleen

    Hang in there Marla…I feel like this a LOT…especially lately…why is getting harder to parent now? I thought it was hard when they were smaller, and getting up in the night and spitting up on me and worrying about SIDS…but, seriously, these elementary years are really challenging me in ways I never thought possible!!! I can’t even begin to think about preteen and teenage years…Lord, help me to enjoy the journey even when it’s painful!

  21. Valerie

    I’m praying for you dear one… I’m getting to go next weekend and am going to get a room if you’d like to stay with me 🙂

    You know what is making my everyday at this point and I wish I could spill to the world…but we’re not ready. So thankful and feeling more blessed each day.

  22. Jennifer

    Emma said good-bye to diapers yesterday but is still not so sure that she wants to say hello to the potty. Potty training this one may take longer than I was hoping.

    And that’s not really a HAPPY thing from my day, but it should make you rejoice since you’re done with potty training forever. Am I right? 🙂

  23. Shelli @ Hopefully Devoted

    Oh Marla, I know the feeling of wanting to just quit. There are some evenings when I just slump in my chair and declare, “I’m done.” I can’t handle one more thing and need grace just to make it the few hours before bedtime arrives. I’ll be praying for you for the weekend.

    Something happy…I’ve just “discovered/met” you and I am enjoying getting to “know” you!

  24. Beth In the City

    I got my Blusing books in the mail yesterday and that made me so happy! I can’t wait to give one a quick read and pass them out to my girls. Do you have any left? I think I need some more…..

  25. Rachel

    I’m so sorry about your day!

    So, at Pre-K choir last night I was showing the kids a pictures of “Things God Made” — including animals, people, grass, etc. One of the picture was one of those flat “globe-like” pictures of the world. One of the sweet 4 year olds gets really excited and says “Wow, God made Mars?” It was pretty precious 🙂

    Yeah, its tomorrow — new mercies are just what I need.

  26. Liz

    I have said over and over that we don’t have control over our feelings or our circumstances but we do have control over our reactions to them. Unfortunately it seems that I am not following my own advice. All to often, especially recently, I have those mommy explosions. I am sad to say that many times I feel justified and I don’t even think to ask for forgiveness. That is going to change since this post has reminded me how important asking for forgiveness is.
    In happy news, we bought our perfect little dream home and moved in a week ago. I am having furniture delivered today because I can actually fit more that one loveseat in my family room! Our entire family of four can have a place to sit without anyone sitting on the floor and we even have space leftover for more people! Can you tell I’m excited!
    Anyway, I will be praying for you this weekend. Have a great time!

  27. The Secret Life of Kat

    Oh, yeah. Funny story. Um…

    The other day I was playing Uno with my 5 year old. She was sitting there thinking about what card to play and just looked adorable with her little furrowed brow.

    I said,”You are simply adorable.”

    She shifted her gaze from her cards to me and said,”I get that reaction a lot…”

    Then she proceeded to destroy me at Uno.

  28. The Secret Life of Kat

    I’ve been praying for you ever since I saw your twitter posts yesterday. I’ve had days like that with my kids too.

    One of my favorite movie/book lines is from Anne of Green Gables. She says, “Every day is new, fresh with no mistakes in it.”

    I love that. Here’s to a fresh new day for you.

  29. Denise

    God knows and He cares……I had a very strong willed daughter who is now 31 and has become my best friend….Happy thought…I got to be with her all this wk helping her with her 2 girlies while she recovers from pneumonia (the bad part)…..but God knows and He cares….He even knows about the retreat date mess up…be real and tell them how He cares even when we mess up! xo

  30. missy @ it's almost naptime

    I have a very, very, very strong willed 5 year old. Did I mention she is strong willed? That girl. Really. That girl. Beautiful and brilliant and at time I have seriously wondered perhaps sociopathic. We had a very bad day yesterday.

    I know what it is like to lose your temper. And I know what it is like to beg your child to forgive you. And I know what it is like to find it very hard to forgive yourself.

    I take comfort in the words: if we were perfect parents, they would never feel the need for a Savior.

    you’re gonna do great this weekend.


  31. Suzi

    Praying! Oh I have had those days-know the feeling. So very thankful for mercy and grace on days like that.

    I just know that your retreat will be awesome!

    Something happy from my day-my 20 month old daughter called me hunny all day. “Come here hunny, yes hunny, up hunny”…

    Some other good news-not my own personal news but great news just the same. E and Ronel are in the USA!!

  32. Keri

    Oh, girl…..I have had many of those kinds of days myself. The kind of days I know should drive me to my knees…but more often than not I never get there. Ugh!!!

    I promise I will pray for you this weekend. Speaking engagements are stressful enough without all of a sudden finding out you have about 24 hours to complete! I am usually piecing it all together the week of, so I can’t even imagine!

    Happy? Happy is that I’m leaving tomorrow for Santa Fe for a 10th annual girl’s weekend. Yeah!!

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