I’m participating in Serenity’s prayer challenge this month. Read all about it on her blog here.

I’m a couple days behind on the challenge. This should technically be Day 6, but it’s Day 4 for me. And this blog is kinda sorta the story of why. But it’s more than that. So, just go with me.

Have you ever been so angry that you can’t really function? You don’t go around yelling and screaming, and if a person spoke to you, they probably wouldn’t even know it. But in your mind, every 20 minutes, you’re thinking about the thing that has you so mad you can barely see straight. That’s where I’ve been. Really, I’m still there a little bit. Or a lot. So, while I was writing my prayers, I attempted to do some soul searching on where this comes from and what I can pray for to fix it. Why, really, in my heart of hearts, I’m so mad. And if it’s really anger that I’m feeling, or if anger was just the best excuse for my thoughts and my actions.

In my line of work, conflict is inevitable. I have at least two conflicts a day with at least two different people. No big deal. I pride myself on being able to shake it off. Not a lot of things bother me to the point where I’m downright mad about them.  Mostly, I can joke about it or find some humor in it and let it roll of my back. Mostly.

There is a person who is, quite honestly, the source of a whole lot of conflict for me. I have to deal with this outside of work. It’s personal. It’s a relationship that matters. But for years, and I mean years, it’s been a difficult one to manage for many reasons. I know that I’ve put more effort into it than I would any other relationship outside of my marriage, but the return on my investment often seems nil. Like, in the negative. The actions I mean for good are often misunderstood by the most important people, and many times I’ve found myself crawling out from under the proverbial bus. I have some responsibility in this, as well. Some of it is my fault. There have been some times when I have thrown fuel onto the fire and not cared about it at all. And there was one time when I just gave up. I didn’t care how or if it ended, I just didn’t want to deal with the grief that came with it anymore. However, for many reasons, I would always come back to give it yet another try. This week is one of those weeks where I’ve thrown my hands up and said “You know what, I’m done. I’ve done everything I can do and then some, and I’m going to start treating this person the same way they treat me.”

And that would be easy. It has been easy. But I know it’s not right.

There’s this other person. I don’t think it’s an understatement for me to say that if she disappeared from the face of the earth, I would not care at all. If her face flashed on the news right now as a missing person, I’d join the search party to steer them away from her and go back and kick her later.  In my eyes, she has done some despicable and incredibly disrespectful things to me and it has caused conflict in my home – but she has also managed to become very close with a person in my family.  This person knows very well how I feel about this chick, but they don’t know exactly why and they never will.  As such…they choose to associate with her despite my feelings to the contrary. To me, this is the ultimate betrayal. I can’t describe how hurtful it is that someone in your own family would know that a person has caused you pain and choose to ignore it.

And there were the two words I’d been looking for. Betrayal. Hurt. On so many occasions, those two things have tricked me into thinking they were anger. Sometimes, an indescribable rage. Those two things are overcoming love. Y’all.  I’ve been so stuck in betrayal and hurt that I started to want to stay there. I didn’t write my prayers because I started to choose the anger and give up on the love. As a follower of Christ, I know that love is above all the most important thing and there I was, finding ways to revel in anger. I know that I should love others the way that Christ loves me.

Which brings me back to the prayer challenge.

I know that the first act has to be forgiveness. The Bible tells us in Mark 3:28 that “There is nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven.” Unforgiveness severs your connection with Christ, and you can’t get prayers answered when you have hatred toward your brother. I can’t move forward because this is holding me back.  I know that I have to forgive, I know that nothing that has happened that I’ve talked about in this post in unforgiveable.  But, for me right now? Forgiveness seems to be a huge, almost impossible feat that must encompass many actions that *I* have been treating as unforgiveable.

This is a man down situation, and your prayers will be needed. I’ll be praying for help with this and believing that all things are possible through Christ. I know it won’t happen overnight, because it would’ve worked by now if that was the case. Hahaha. But I know that it will happen for these and for other situations and people.  If you’re dealing with a case of unforgiveness, I’ll be praying for you, too. And I’ll keep you posted.

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Texting With Aidan, Volume 1

If you ever needed proof that Aidan is my child, this should do it.





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Chief the Coyote

One day about two weeks ago, a door opened in our house and no one noticed that Chief was within 2 feet of it. Because Aidan was the one who opened the door, Chief ran out of that door at full speed which is what he does every time he gets the opportunity because he can basically run past Aidan and not get stopped. He knows who to try.

About 30 minutes passed, and we were getting ready to go to dinner, so I decided I should probably go outside and try to bring him back in. I’m used to this. I go outside and call him. He shows his face, but he won’t come close to me because he doesn’t want to get caught. But this time, I call him and I see him far off about 3 houses down. He hears me because he keeps looking up, then he goes back to running around in this circle. Hmmmm.

I start walking and calling “Chief! Get over here! Get outta Mr. Brown’s yard!” But he is straight igging me. Then I see a little white thing running in front of him. What is that? That’s a funny looking dog…. Then I see that the little white thing is trying to fly. What? Is it a goose from the pond? Then I hear the little white thing squawking.

Oh crap. It’s a chicken. And Chief is hot on it’s tail. This could end badly, so I take off. But now I’m quiet because I don’t want to draw any attention to Chief and this chicken. So, I’m yelling through my teeth (you know, like Chief had done something bad in church and he needed to know he was going to get it. Like that.) “Chief, if you don’t leave this chicken alone!!  Leave it, Chief!  It does NOT want to play with you!!!”  But nooooooo, by this time he’s got the chicken down and some part of the chicken’s body is in Chief’s mouth because the other part of it is flailing wildly and feathers are kinda sorta flying.

I’m not getting close to this. Oooooh, no. Then I see this chick walking her dog. At the most inopportune time in my life ever. She’s now a witness to the chicken slaughter. And she looks a little terrified. I don’t know what to say to her, and I don’t know what she’s heard, so I say “Oh my, this dog has this chicken!” (Like I had to idea whose dog it was).  She’s all like “Well, I have to pass by to get to my car.” And I say “I’ve seen this dog before, so I’m going to run home to get my car and get him. He’s not going to bother you” and she takes off past the scene of the crime and I take off to go get my car (because the only way to get Chief now is if I trick him like I’m about to take him somewhere.)

I turn around, and I see the chicken hobble into a drainage pipe, and Chief is hopping around it like “Hey, chicken, are you done playing?” He was still at the pipe when I got back with the car and say “Chief, get in, we’re going for a ride!”  He’s like “Awwww, snap! I got to play with a new friend and I get to go for a ride”, so he hops on in like the juvenile delinquent that he is. The chick comes literally from out of nowhere and says “I think the chicken is dead.”

Ya think??? Chief has a mouth full of feathers, so rocket science isn’t needed to know that the chicken isn’t okay.

I get home and drive ALL THE WAY into the garage and close it. I don’t need anybody else seeing any of this. I clean the feathers out of his mouth and go inside. Tim notices I’m in a bit of a frenzy, so I explain what happened to him and I’m all disturbed that Chief killed this chicken. And Tim says “Crazy dog, don’t you know you’re allergic to chicken?” Obviously NO.HELP.THERE.

On top of it, Tim thinks we should probably find out whose chicken it was and offer our condolences. No way, hosea. I’m not going around knocking on various doors asking people if our dog may have killed their family chicken pet so if they want vengeance, they’re going to have to find me to get it.  I’m prepared to pay for the chicken and be really sorry, but I’m not going out to start any neighborhood feuds if I don’t have to.

After a couple days, no one said anything about the chicken and all was well.

Then. Our neighbors came over and in the conversation they mentioned that one day they came home and a bruised chicken was on their front porch. Me and Tim were all like “Wuuuut? A chicken?” Oh yes, a pretty white chicken that had obviously been attacked by something.  Us:  ”Oh no!! What did you do? Poor chicken!”  Turns out, the person behind them has chickens and their two sons came looking for it that night. The poor chicken was in bad health, but they nursed it back to health, and you all will be glad to know that the chicken survived!  Praise the Lord, the chicken is alright!! Glory!!

The only question the neighbors had was what in the world could have gotten at that poor chicken?  They’d been discussing this chicken situation with other neighbors (of course) and they all determined that there must be a coyote on the loose. I’m thinking “They think a coyote did it!?” The only thing Tim and I said was “Well, we didn’t see a coyote, but we did see that chicken.”

And we’ll never speak of this story again.

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There’s No Santa and I’m a Horrible Mom

Yesterday was Easter, and while we are certainly grateful for the rising of Christ, it was pretty non-descript around our crib.  Church is always too crowded on Easter so we take a little vacay. Judge me, I don’t care.  Anyway, there were no new Easter frolics, no egg hunts, no Easter Baskets.  The latter of these things has been rubbing Aidan the wrong way for quite some time now. He’s been wondering why on earth the Easter Bunny always skips his house.

Well, it’s because despite my good intentions every year, I’ve just never made him a basket. Reason I’m a horrible Mom number 1. So I figured that after all these years of not getting one, he’d get used to it. Reason number 2. However, on Sunday as we were riding past church on the way to Walmart, he asked me straight out, point blank, if the reason his Easters are lackluster is because I’m the Easter Bunny (this is directly related to how he found out I’m the tooth fairy – remind me to tell you that one day).

So, I admitted it. Yes. I’m the Easter Bunny, or, in this situation, the lack thereof. But I made sure that I mentioned that Daaaaddy was also 1/2 of the Easter Bunny, so he should share in the empty Easter blame as.well.  And Aidan took it well. At first, he made a little sad face, but I think he really felt better that this fictional character wasn’t disappointed in him, his Mom was just a slacker. I’ll take it.

But then.

It took a turn for the worse. He said “Wait a minute. If you’re the Easter Bunny, are you also Santa?”

Uh oh.

I froze. Which, to Aidan, was a clear indication that I am, indeed, Santa Claus. Now, Christmases are generally pretty good around these parts, so I didn’t feel the need to mention Daaaaddy’s part in the Santa shenanigans. The boy had already suffered enough for one day. Then he looks like he’s going to cry. Oh, no. He says, “So if Santa isn’t real, then how did I talk to him on the phone in second grade?” Crap, he remembered that.

I was already in hot water, so I just told. “Well, your teacher sent a note home and told us to tell her the things you were going to get, and to tell her one naughty thing, and one nice thing. Then she gave our lists to one of her friends who called and said he was Santa. He looks incredulous. I look very sorry for having to break this news to him, but enough of the lies, doggoneit!!

“So, it was you? Mom, why did you tell Santa bad things about me? Why weren’t you loyal to me?”  At this point, I am FREAKING.OUT. “What? What do you mean?” “Ma, when Santa called I was the only one he said negative things about. He said on the phone that I didn’t clean my room and he didn’t say bad things about anyone else! And you told him that!?”

Then I remembered that day. He was right. Santa did say nice things about him, but I remember he cried because Santa mentioned his naughtiness in front of all his friends.

Why didn’t I just make the freaking Easter Basket???

Y’all. There was nothing I could say, even though I considered saying that Daaaddy filled out the paper. I just told him that I was sorry and that when I told his teacher that, I didn’t know it would make him feel bad, but it was still true (and it still is today, but it would be mean to point that out in this very delicate moment).  And I reminded him that even though his room wasn’t always spic and span, he always got whatever he wanted for Christmas, so that meant that Mom and Dad were very proud of him. He seemed okay with it, I felt like the worst Mom ever.

Then for the rest of the day I bought him whatever he wanted and had to play Monopoly Empire about 7 times and let him win. Let’s just call it the Santa tax.

Posted in The Mommy Files | 7 Comments