Living in the Valley

When I was younger and I would leave a youth event, camp or retreat there was always this big downer. Real life just wasn’t as fun as staying in a hotel or camp for the week. Normal life felt hard. As an adult, I still love the high. I’m kind of addicted to it. Except the high seems even bigger. When I enter a room at a youth event, people clap. That definitely doesn’t happen at home. People want to take their picture with me. People ask me to pray with them, discuss faith with them. It’s this amazing gift to experience. And I don’t have to clean or cook for the weekend. God seems like such a present part of everything I do on a weekend youth event. I love it. I really do.

When the mountain high is bigger, often the crash is even deeper. Don’t get me wrong, I love the life I come home to. I have this amazing husband who supports me, loves and encourages me. He works hard at loving me and the kids and providing for us. I have these really fun kids that I want to spend time with. They have a ton of energy, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am blessed to live by incredible people that I get to call friends. Do life with them and participate in fun adventures with them. I have a wonderful life to come home to. But when I come home I still crash in the valley. I am finding this pattern in my life. Today I am crashing from an amazing two weeks. My house is a disaster! Truly. Please don’t come over. I also don’t want to cook and I love to cook. I am tired. The mountain of real life things to do is HUGE.

Real life is starring me down and its winning. I feel overwhelmed. Our tax appointment is on Tuesday and I have a lot to prepare. Receipts, mileage logs, proof of income, renters paid info, W2’s collected, etc and my company’s first official year in business. Because of the break in over Christmas, our door was fixed and the bill came in almost twice what the given estimate was, but still under the amount of our deductible, by only $100. Awesome. There is a community program that helps eliminate lead in old houses where children live. I am still doing the dance with them in what paper work they need to come and replace our windows. We are now in the 11th month of paperwork pushing. We fall under certain income levels and are eligible for energy assistance. Apparently they need more proof of our random income so there are more copies to be made by very specific deadlines which are this week. We didn’t have a front license plate on our new car, so we got a ticket. The plate was on the front dash, but didn’t have the tabs on it, so we got another ticket. Paid for both tickets on one check and they said we didn’t pay. Now we have to contest it at court. Awesome. I have contracts to write for gigs I have this summer, bills to pay, dishes to do, and no clean clothes to wear because I have ignored the laundry. The roof is leaking. The back door alarm system is broken after they replaced the door so we are in the process of fixing that. I have a trunk sitting in my entry way that has sat there for 5 weeks. It’s completely in the way and all I have to do is move it downstairs. I don’t want to. I have school applications to complete by certain deadlines, doctor appointments, dentist appointments, and school screening appointments. Grocery shopping, bank runs, and donation centers to visit. All of this while I try to take care of my children, love them, play with them and teach them about life. I mean teach them not to curse at all the things that feel and legitimately are crappy, but that God still exists in these moments. That they don’t look and don’t feel the same from on top of the mountain, but He is still here. I’ll be honest, I’m cranky today and feel like the bad guy is winning, but God is still here with me. Living in the valley isn’t like the mountain, but its real, and this is my life, the brokenness and hardness of it.

But we all have these things in our life. Some are worse than mine. But God is there too. Be encouraged. God is there with us in the valley. I am applauding for you from my living room. Here, I'll make my kids do it with me right now.