Mom, Ministry, Life, Family, Humor



A couple of days ago, after a fun filled weekend of camping and family time, I decided to take my kids swimming at my brother’s one last time this summer.  Here’s the thing.  My heart was NOT in it.  I wanted to stay home and tackle the mountain of laundry left in the wake of only 3 days of camping.  Maybe rest before the work week started in.  But, being that it’s the last week of summer, I went for it.   Packing up the towels (no sunscreen, that hadn’t been applied since like July 18th) and a stale bag of chips, we were off.  We got in the car and the gas tank was on E, like below empty, annoyed, I got out to pump gas and realized, no wallet. I got frustrated.  SO frustrated.  And I thought, I cannot pack swim stuff one more time.  I just cannot.  Packing is the worst.  I hate it.  I always forget things.  I’m done driving all over the place.  I forgot the life jackets, didn’t I?  Yup….AHHH.

So random side-note: We were watching a show one night recently.  It was an old-timey war type show and the army nurse mentioned that one of the soldiers was suffering from a condition called “trench foot”…this man’s feet were numb,  black and dying, decaying.

Trench foot – a painful condition of the feet caused by long immersion in cold water or mud.  This was a big issue during World War 1, when soldiers were engaged in trench warfare where they were exposed to long periods of time in damp conditions.  The best way to prevent trench foot was to keep feet clean, warm and dry.  A key preventative measure was regular foot inspections, soldiers would be paired up and made responsible for the feet of the their fellow soldiers (props to wikipedia…and you are welcome for this moment of history).

So why the random history lesson about the medical intricacies of early 20th Century warfare?  Well, I could kind of relate to the blackened foot dude…This whole idea of being in the trenches, maybe not even realizing your feet are getting sore or worse.  Life can be a bit trench like, it can be muddy and I tend to just trudge through.

As a woman, a mom, a person in general, I think trench foot is a very easy to come by.  We know that motherhood can be trench-like.  We know that being human can be trench-like.  The endless routines and insecurities.  We wonder what we are doing wrong and how we will get it right.  We compare and we judge.  Not necessarily from a bad place, but from a place of survival.  We don’t dare step out of the trenches, for fear we might just get blown up. We might have to deal with stuff and it’s just easier to press on.  And no matter who you are, you have probably suffered from this at one point in time.

So, I thought about my day, if forgetting my wallet was going to turn me into a crazy person, I might just need to step out of the trenches for a minute.  I might need to take a step back, last week of summer or not.  Swimming was fun, the kids had a blast, the late August sun pleasant and inviting.  Even in the trenches, there is plenty to be thankful for, I know that.  However, I may not like to admit when the trenches are getting to me, when I start to lose it a little.  My mental stability, my need to step out and have my feet inspected by a fellow soldier or two doesn’t mean I’m weak, but just aware.  I think it’s kind of freeing to be aware, to know that “everything is fine” can easily turn into pain with only a lingering moment, sometimes causing serious damage.  Why risk it when I don’t have to?!

With a few days left before summer is just a memory, I am going against my mom-guilt grain and taking in a just a hint of self care (writing is self care for me…because I’m a nerd)  Realizing that I have done an AMAZING job making this summer the best yet for my crew, with ALL THE STUFF.  {Stuff aside, we also had a lot of quiet, sweet moments that mean way more to me than any trip or activity.}

And with that, my own personal moment of self awareness, I shared this with my kids after going home to get my wallet and the life jackets, pumping the gas and driving through Wendy’s…

Me: Kids mommy is feeling tired.  You know how you get kind of grumpy and you start to forget stuff and you sort of just lose it when you are tired?  Mom is there right now.  I love you guys all so much and this summer has been my favorite.  You are the best kids a mom could have.  I love how brave and passionate you are.  You make me a better person because you all love life and want to enjoy every moment.  I am never bored with you.  You make me laugh and sometimes make me cry.  I am always proud of you, but I get tired, and that is ok.  I am still just a person.  Only God is able to fill you up and provide for you 100 percent of the time, you know that right?

Kids: Yes mom, we know that.  ….. 10 second pause …..  Can we get doughnuts?

Me: Nope.  I just got you Frostys like 15 minutes ago.  #trenches 😉





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