Friday, September 7, 2012


Grandma Shafer gave birth to my one phobia by telling how she fell asleep on a couch in the basement and woke up to find a mouse entangled in her Aqua Netted hair.

Sometimes, it's not big things what take me down but a whole host of little things. Mouse things. Spying the gray cat ripping the head off a mouse just to the left of the sidewalk. Discovering enough mouse poop and shredded Food Lion bags under the kitchen sink that I call for the Shop-Vac.

It's the mysterious, stubborn stench in about one square foot of our living-room carpet.

It's a wet cough in the youngest and many, many wet days.

It's peanut-butter smeared across windows I Windexed, finally, just a week ago.

It's breaking up more than ten girl fights in one day; it's, over and over, attending to deep bite marks on (in?) one girl while spanking another and putting her in time-out.

It's toddler defiance and the sort of twelve-year-old absentmindedness that has one forgetting which bus to ride, to which parent's house, on the first day of school...causing a moment of panic in the mama who watches, by the roadside, the yellow bus whoosh by without even the slightest pause.

It's the longing for a marriage free of mundanity (because I've had that marriage, and it ended just over eight years ago) and the fear that accompanies a few days of mere coexistence...especially while he, freshly adventurous, loses weight rapidly and I transform into an exhausted, sick, swollen, version of myself.

It's wanting to take the little ones to the zoo but throwing up violently all morning, causing my beloved to be late for work. It's having--even after a breakfast of nothing but eggs and water--no legs with which to stand in the house for long periods of time, let alone walk the zoo.

It's my fellow Christians' endless politicking on facebook.

It's Grandma B.'s moving from assisted living into a nursing home and close friends' parents' dying suddenly while another close friend plays a waiting game with which I couldn't have empathized prior to January.

It's the weight of that same, old unanswered prayer.

And I know you know what I mean, even though your circumstances have been your own. Weariness. I feel guilty for feeling it and guiltier for writing it because--even as I snivel--I know: I am blessed beyond measure. Also, there are so many with greater problems, some of them in my own circle of family and friends.

I start crying and can't stop. "Do you even know why you're crying?" my beloved asks, and it's easier to shake my head than to explain: everything feels wrong, and nothing feels right. "You need help," he says, and I know I do, too, but not the kind of help he thinks. I cry and pray myself to sleep, and the next morning?

I start hearing voices in my head.

I hear the voices of the Millbranch choir. I hear George Byrd's voice, and Gary Byrd's. I hear Trish Washam's. I hear Cheryl Hutchinson's and Nadine Jeffers's, and they're singing a hymn I love but haven't heard for many, many years:

Come unto Me, I will give you rest;
Take My yoke upon you, hear Me and be blest;
I am meek and lowly, come and trust My might;
Come, My yoke is easy, and My burden’s light.
And sometimes, I think, all we can do is fight to get there, whatever that means: putting one heavy foot in front of the other, crawling on hands and knees, dragging ourselves through hot, steaming piles of crap-ola. Because the lyrics, the verses (Matthew 11:28-30), say: "Come unto me," not: "Sit on your hind ends and wait." There's a little more work to do, yet. Just a little more work. Just a little more to do.


  1. oh darlin, i know these days, these seasons. we are on the road together. let me take your hand.

  2. You are loved and often lifted in prayer. Remember, my phone is always on and with me. If I can't talk at the moment, I will call you back.

  3. Sometimes a woman just needs to cry and not have to certainly have earned the tears Brandee....but your faith will carry you through.

  4. So real, so true, so been there! Thanks, Brandee.

  5. {{Hugs}} On days like that Brandee...I go to bed,but then I have teen-angels who can fend for themselves even if they are messy, loud and have all their friends over regularly for late-night escapades.

    As my Dad says...this too will pass....And my Psychiatrist used to tell me...don't try harder, try SOFTER! Praying for God's Refreshing.. for He is the Lifter of our heads.

  6. this is so beautifully written. I am so thankful that you woke up to God reminding you of His Truths. I'll be praying for you!

  7. Honey chile - this is just the way of some seasons. ESPECIALLY when they're bathed in hormones and fatigue. And you just may need some kind of outside help once in a while - there is no shame in that. None. And sometimes . . . sometimes, that last little bit of 'coming unto' means actually letting go of the things we want to control but cannot. Sometimes it means deeply acknowledging that we don't know what's best, or even sometimes what's right - we have to relinquish it all before we can even begin to truly rest. And that is SO hard, especially if you're at all wired like I am and are a control freak extraordinaire. Praying for all of it, friend - for relinquishment and for rest most especially.

  8. I best those same voices sometimes....they sing to me. "Oh victory in Jesus! My savior forever!" Except your voice is there....and your dad....and your mom...
    Love you.

  9. Looking forward to coming to Virginia to be with you and your little family. These last few months will be hard- but things will change once again. The load will lighten in some ways and get heavier in others- but you will be okay. You come from good German stock and you have all the faith you need to endure. Love you sweetie....