when in a hole…

… dig deeper! That’s my philosophy! My lame-brained, beyond ridiculous, when-will-I-EVER-learn philosophy.

Saturday the older two girls and I went to the library where I snatched up as many books as I could carry. Probably around 30. The (give-or-take) breakdown? 4 books on Heaven, 6 novels, and 20 books on writing.

I walked in the door giddy as all get-out. And then I got a little reality check. Gabe was holding a puking Nina on the couch, for starters. And once we got that all better, I finally went to find a place to stack my new library treasures, and got reality-checked again.

There was no place for the books. Why? Because my desk was a symbolic picture of my mind and life. Stacks and piles, 35 different things started and not finished. You think I exaggerate?

A pile of Christmas cards (some half-addressed and stamped, some not), a stack of bills due, a number of scrawled lists scattered here, there and all over, a partially-finished Zoo Book manuscript, a million receipts for our taxes (thought I’d get a jump start on them halfway through our stomach flu), opened Christmas cards flung to and fro, unopened mail, papers I’ve been meaning to sort through, journals that hold juicy nuggets that I might need for one of the books I want to write…

And then there was the half-undressed Christmas tree (yes, it’s real, and yes, it’s dead), all the dirty dishes (most days I’m fine with not having a dishwasher), laundry in various stages of done-ness.

I promise you there’s more, but I don’t have the oomph (I hear you amen-ing) to elaborate.

My point?

I have a million things on my plate, ideas in my head, germs to get rid of, what have you, so what do I do? I go to the library and check out 30 books I don’t have time to read!

I’m always doing things like this, to my complete disgust.

Speaking of complete disgust, six hours later I was puking my brains out.

Oh, poo. I so meant to be done talking about that.

Not sure where to go from here. I’m ready for life to get back to “normal,” but I don’t know where to start. The dishes are done, but that’s about it.

Maybe I should just try to be still and listen for God’s voice.



24 thoughts on “when in a hole…

  1. Joslyn

    THANK YOU for this post. The first time I read it, I didn’t get it. The second time it made less sense, then today, after getting horrid medical news about my mother, and horrid news regarding hubby’s and our only household income … I get it. Thank you.

  2. Joslyn

    THANK YOU for this post. The first time I read it, I didn’t get it. The second time it made less sense, then today, after getting horrid medical news about my mother, and horrid news regarding hubby’s and our only household income … I get it. Thank you.

  3. Holly V.

    Okay….I think Katie N is onto something! Its always easier to clean up someone else’s junk….er, stuff. I’m thinking sharing this duty would be great! 🙂

    LOVE you and am praying for you. Hugs.

  4. Tiffani

    I think you just crawled in my brain and wrote down my every thought (minus the stomach flu)!!

    I keep saying “it’s the season I’m in with children and homeschooling and and and..!”

    One pile at at time, sister, we can do this!

  5. katie n

    i would like to form a support group where we take turns visiting each other’s homes for like a week and doing something sort of like on the show “clean house”…i just know it is infinitely more fun to clean someone else’s house than my own after my experience of helping our moms with various organizing projects….

  6. Joy in the Journey

    Hah. I do the same. And then when I try to wade through the papers, bills, half-done items on my list, I get cranky and overwhelmed and go back to denial, where I’m much more pleasant to be around.

    Somewhere, somehow, there’s a way to be blissfully organized. I hope I find it before I die.

  7. Gretchen

    Hello, My name is Gretchen, and I resemble these remarks.

    I try to tell myself to be as encouraging to myself as I am to others. So, Marla, be encouraged. There are other women, like me, who struggle and triumph–sometimes during the same moment. Other advice: a little chocolate never hurt anyone. Unless you hate chocolate. Or allergic. Just sayin’.

  8. deanna

    Same here…. always starting tasks, hardly ever finishing them. I’m one of those people who makes lists for everything I need to get done and then never do them. I must admit is very gratifying when I do accomplish something on my list. However, I did manage to mail out all my Christmas cards. 🙂

  9. Chris Yoder

    One of the many things I love about you is your refreshing honesty!:) You had the right idea at the end…be still and listen for God’s voice.:) I’m praying for you, honey! Love you!:)

  10. Jennifer

    I’m with you on the paper pile-up. I had to go through the stacks and stacks that I had going over the holidays, and I found things I thought were gone forever.

    But I didn’t have the stomach flu as an excuse. You do! I’d take it easy for another couple of days if I were you. 😀

  11. Mary

    Marla, I have once again taken on more than i can handle…I am teaching sunday school,teaching online for community college, co chairing ed dept at church, taking more grad courses online and working full time. and Mike and I jsut agreed to host and lead small group once a month at our home.Which is in complete chaos as I write..piles everywhere..from all the above mentioned projects and christmas stuff in piles all voer waiting to eb boxed and put away.There is nothing wrong with you or me, this is just how we operate and we prob both need to say no more often. You will get it figured out. Maybe you need a couple of crash days before you tackle it all. maybe you need to set certain times to work on it and other times that you allow yourself to crash and ignore it.Above all be gracious with yourself . You know what is most important to you so be true to that and dont worry about setting any other standards. HUGS.ps remember that old adage about how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. 🙂

  12. Teresa Henry

    I will be praying for you today! You are on my prayer radar all day…

    I so love the library and when ever I go I always pile myself too high with books…most I end up not reading…so last time I made myself get only two and it was sooooo hard to walk out of that building with only two books in my hand. 🙂

    First step….get healthy. And I think God already whispered in your ear to be still…

    God loves you so much…when he looks down on you all he sees is a beautiful masterpiece that he created with love and care…

  13. Elizabeth

    If I was a personal organizer I would come help you, but seeing as I need to hire one myself, I don’t think I’d be much help. “Overwhelmed” is my middle name. And if my bedroom is any indication, it’s gonna be a few years before I make any progress. Love you, even with your stacks and piles!

  14. Omom

    Oh I want to give you a hug, cause that’s really all I got.

    Although all that going on, is just evident of the creativeness in you and the stuff in there that God still has planned for you.
    So sorry you guys are still sick. Still praying.

  15. whimzie

    And suddenly it became abundantly clear why whimzie was so drawn to marla….it’s because they were twins who had been separated at birthday.

    I’ll see you at the next “I Bite Off Way More Than I Can Chew” supporrt group meeting. 😉

    Actually and though a walk through my house wouldn’t prove it, I realized through this past year of chaos while Dad was sick that I can drop a lot of stuff that I thought I HAD to do and surivive. And upon my reentry into the “real world” I find myself much more protective of my time. I’m saying “no” to more than I used to and I don’t feel guilty for giving myself space and time to not do a bunch of “good things.” Now if I can just keep remembering that it’s okay to do less.

  16. joyce

    I would be more like this if not for my husband…he is super neat. He just cleaned off the desk Saturday and I can’t find a business card I was saving…sometimes I just sigh. Most of the time I’m grateful because he keeps me on track.

    Do one thing. That’s what helps me. Don’t look at the whole big picture. Just do one thing. Every day one thing.

    Praying you are all on the mend and there is peace and order in your home. I know I need some order to find peace.

  17. jess

    i feel it, sister!!!! i don’t really have a comment—more of a hug or pat on the back. Keep on truckin. 🙂

  18. Betsy

    Oh, Marla! I am so much like you! I wish I could send you a picture of my desk right now. Or my half put away Christmas presents under our tree. Or the Christmas decorations that I started taking down. I’d rather be doing anything other than taking apart and putting away. Praise the Lord, we’re well at our house at the moment. I’m a grandma, a stay-at- home wife, and have NO excuses. I just am a perfectionist and get one thing started and have to quit to do something else. I don’t have little children sick nor myself to side step all the things you have had to do. Normal life will return to your home. Praying for you!

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