Monday, May 12, 2008

My Debutante Ball

I’ve had this site designed for months now, but have been scared witless of the blank screen & practically paralyzed by the performance pressure of my debut. And, truth be told, I wanted to post anonymously but because I was SHIMMERING with excitement as I developed my little piece of the internet world, I blabbed about it to all of the people closest to me. Now, I’m more exposed than a shaved cat.

After today, the blank screen isn’t as intimidating as before. Today’s one of those days that has left a greasy smudge on the timeline of my life. I deserve to hang a flag half mast and declare today a national day of mourning but because the president hasn’t returned my calls, I’ll commemorate it with my very own “coming out” post. Welcome to my debutante ball. And if you’ve ever been around the Irish, you know we see a party as an opportunity to “hang crepe”. Don’t mind if I do.

My husband has 11 days left of an 8 month prison term. Turning in his crime has created a mess that overwhelms me. Aside from the general train wreck my life resembles, I’ve been single-handedly raising our four children, running our family business, dealing with legal matters, and acting to most of the people I know as if I really can do it all. And then there was this week. I’ve had the balls drop in every single area of my life in the last few days. I sent my oldest daughters half way across the country as they decided to grow horns and vampire teeth to match their raging teenage hormones. Grandma and Grandpa are earthly angels for offering their support. I’ve also faced what I call frENEMY fire which resulted in having to say goodbye to a key person in our business. Since our business is a seasonal fishing charter service and this person was a captain, I’ve had to find a worthy replacement at the last minute. And, while I count down the 11 days until my husband is released and can help, 11 days also marks the first day of the season. Let me translate: In the next 11 days, I will be running my Neddy off. It seems trivial to mention the two-year molars working their way through my toddler’s gums, but the sleepless nights and cranky-pussness of it all really puts the icing on the cake.

Thankfully, in all this mess, God is still sustaining me with all that I need… He provided a safe place for the girls, an enthusiastic replacement captain at just the right time, and He has somehow kept checks from bouncing all over the planet. He has provided me with a sense of humor and the ability to be optimistic in dark times. When it seems I’m standing under a torrential waterfall with my life crashing down on my shoulders and pooling around my ankles, out of nowhere, I can still grasp on to hope. Lately, that hope takes a little longer to find, and it feels like I waver in my convictions, but inexplicably, hope still shows up. Truly, I’m wrestling with a God I’ve always believed in and relied on. I’ve cried out to Him with my face flat on the floor. I’ve been on a long, miserable journey and my strength is nearly gone. I sometimes forget to give all my burdens to God & I naively think that muscling through this dark time on my own ability by outrunning, dodging and evading my present circumstances will actually bring results rather than just make me weary. It’s this forgetfulness that finds me flat on the bathroom floor with my face buried in the rug. But if I lay there long enough in a tearful, spent surrender, I begin to hear God’s whispers.

It was in one of these dark, fetal position moments that God recharged me by turning my tears into laughter. While I was crying and carrying on about the possibility of losing everything, I was struck with this thought: Hey! Even without the shirt on my back, at least I’m still waterproof. I ended up with an unexpected fit of giggles while thanking God for the gift of skin!

So here it is, my debut post- consider this my strut down the grand staircase of my very own debutante ball in nothing but my waterproof suit!

No comments: