I am really going to mess with Josh’s head if I don’t stop posting about how brilliant he is, but here I am again. I realized in a moment of horrific epiphany this last week that yet another of his bizarre little sayings was actually quite true.
(But for the sake of keeping him humble, first please enjoy another one of my favorite shots of him, acting very much like himself in the otherwise quiet and scholarly Museum of Natural History in New York City):
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” says Josh the philosopher/peaceful museum disrupter.
I learned today that the quote actually originated with Albert Einstein (thank you, Google), but Josh never misses a chance to throw it out there oh-so-helpfully whenever I’m frustrated because I’ve tried the same darn thing 16 times and it hasn’t worked, but dadgumit, it really ought to.
But, truly, he’s right. I am living proof. Because the life of a stay-at-home mom is the definition of insanity, is it not?
We cook a meal. We feel satisfaction that our families are fed and we are therefore successful humans. We clean up the meal. Feel satisfaction in our sparkly kitchen. We leave the kitchen to wipe someone’s bottom/nose and pick up the Legos in the floor on the way out. We feel satisfied at the clean floor and nose/rear. We yell at someone climbing on the table. We put that someone down for a nap. We do laundry. We waste time on Facebook. Someone wakes up. Someone’s hungry. We sigh.
And we cook a meal. We feel satisfaction that our family is fed. We clean up the meal. We leave the kitchen to wipe various orifices. We yell. We nap. We launder. We rinse. We repeat.
Most of the time I like the predictability of it. My days are low stress. I know what’s coming. The kids seem happy enough. And just the right candle flickering on the kitchen counter can make it all seem so quaint and homey.
But some days it’s different.
Some days I can barely keep my head above water. The sameness suffocates. If I allow myself to think about how many times I have already gathered up the Lego mine field in C’s bedroom verses how many times I will gather up those same Legos in the future, I start to go mad.
(Yes, I know the kids should pick them up. But, really, have you ever stepped on a Lego? It’s in everyone’s best interest if I just go ahead and put those suckers away.)
Add August in Arkansas to the whole equation and you have a recipe for unpleasant Hannah.
So you’ve probably noticed if you’ve seen me lately. I know I have. I look tired.
It’s because I’ve been fighting for my life.
Trying not to drown in the day to day.
I make it my mission to be completely honest on this blog, as ugly as that is sometimes. Though I want to make my existence look pretty, that wouldn’t be helpful to anyone.
Life does not look like Instagram, and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.
These days are long and mundane, and they seem even longer since Edy went to school. The ‘What am I supposed to be doing with my time on this earth?’ questions are coming fast and frequent, and I forget that God has me here in this exact place for a reason. I forget that he sees the End, and this is all just the means. (link)
When I remember, it helps a little. Until I forget again.
Living with an eternal perspective is hard, especially when you’re stuck in the here and now.
The phrase “fix your eyes on Jesus” has been swirling around in my head through all this, but I didn’t know why. It seems a trite thing to tell someone going through a struggle. Just think about Jesus! That’ll fix it!
But then I looked up the verse. It’s incredible.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
There’s about a year’s worth of theology packed in there, and you can over-think it and get all scholarly-like about it. Or you can just revel in what Jesus did and has done for us.
He started our faith, and he will finish it.
He will lead us through the trials because there is joy on the other side that is worth it all.
And he takes faith.
A lot of faith.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus and clinging to him in the mundane or difficult or overwhelming circumstances of our lives is when real faith exchanges its church clothes for some solid work boots.
It stops being just pretty words, and starts becoming real. The Christian walk becomes real. Jesus becomes real.
And we won’t make it if we don’t know that he’s real. At least I won’t.
So I’m practicing fixing my eyes on him this week. When the sameness and the Legos and the questions creep in, there is Jesus.
And He. Is. Enough.