Saturday, April 22, 2017

Just exercise, Lowe's, and no coffee this week.

Just a few updates and thoughts to get you up to date in no particular order.

So, I haven't said much on facebook about this because I have a terrible habit of starting a new thing, telling everyone how amazing that thing is, then completely burning out within a week or two. I always quit for excellent reasons, just to be clear. For example, the running thing. That started off well. Then we spent a good month and a half with someone being sick so I couldn't get out consistently. So that didn't end so well. I knew I needed to find a realistic fitness routine for myself because...well, I'm getting older. I don't want to have osteoporosis, and I don't want to look like I'm 60 when I'm 45. My problems: 1. I'm not so great at internal motivation. I'm just not. 2. I get bored with routine. This project person needs variety or I won't stick with it. 3. I don't want to take the time to go a gym. It would take a chunk of time out of my day. And my budget. Yes, I know. It sounds like I'm making all the excuses, but these were the roadblocks to me being consistent. I've got workout videos, but they get so old so fast. BUT I think I've found a solution. I subscribed to Daily Burn. I can use the app, play it on my laptop, or stream on my TV with our Roku. It asks you questions, suggests a program, and then off you go. I'm doing the Cardio Sculp program with last 3 months. Each day I have a different workout. Rest days are scheduled for me. The workouts are realistic for my level, but I've been able to scale up as I improve. And yes. I've improved because I'm at a solid 3 weeks of doing it! Basically, I make myself workout before I let myself watch Netflix after the kids go to bed. I know, 3 weeks is nothing, but 3 weeks is longer than 1, and I don't want to quit yet. My arms are becoming more defined. I was able to pick up 60 lb bags of concrete today without hurting myself. At least, I don't think I hurt myself.

And that brings me to concrete.  Jon is out of town. Again. Which means I'm in project mode. I won't share what I'm doing yet, but it involves concrete. The kids have no choice in this. This project is a solid two person job and it required a trip to Lowe's. Going to Lowe's with the kids can be a little annoying, and not because of the kids. They're great. As long as I stay in the garden, paint, or appliance section, I'm fine. However, I can feel it when I cross over into "Man Land".  The faces go from friendly and welcoming to irritated and confused. I can read the men's thoughts on their befuddled faces. "Why is this woman looking at lumber with her kids?" "She better not ask me to help." or  "Obviously she's lost." I ignore them and push my way through. Some men are nice in a non-condescending way. Some are just condescending. Today's trip was not too bad. I'd give more details, but I'm still hoping for a big reveal once I'm done.

Next, I'm on Day 4 of having no appreciable amount of caffeine. I've had some sweet tea, but not coffee or soda. I'm very happy to not need the coffee. I never wanted to need the caffeine. I more enjoy the habit. I don't know how long I'll go. I might even get coffee this afternoon. It's not really a goal to quit. Basically, I'm glad I haven't had a debilitating headache like I thought I would.

Finally, if I talked to you earlier this week and seem edgy or irritated, it's because I was. Sorry about that. I'm generally a grumpy person in the days leading up to Jon going on a trip. Then the day he leaves, I'm mopey. Then I do a project and feel better. It's my thing. Plus last week was Easter and I was alone at church which kind of sucked. And yes, I could have gone to visit my family, but every time I tried to make it work, something got in the way. Then they did assigned seating at church which was horrifying to me. I mean quite practical. Anyway... it was an off week.

So that's all. I'm off to Lowe's for my second trip of the day to return an extra bag of Quickrete and buy the next thing I need that I didn't buy during my first trip because honestly I wasn't sure this plan would even work. But it DID work so now I get to move to phase 2!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Attention Deficit Wednesday

ADD Wednesday goes like this:

  • Wake up. 
  • Check Facebook (Don't act like you don't do this too). 
  • Spend 10 minutes trying to decide if I should exercise this morning or tonight. Or should I eat breakfast first? Or maybe a snack? 
  • Go for a walk.
  • Eat breakfast. 
  • Let my friends know that I exercised and ate a healthy breakfast because it doesn't count if I don't tell anyone.
  • Take a shower
  • Go pick up child #2 from a sleepover. 
  • Remember today is Wednesday, not Thursday, which means we have lots of places to go this afternoon.
  • Come home and walk aimlessly through the house trying to decide where to start first. (Okay, here's my caveat. We have been focused on school and not eating out. In other words, my house has descended into the depths of disaster that bothers even me. Like, I wouldn't let Matthew's neighbor friend play in the house for the last two weeks because it was that embarrassing.)
  • Tommy wants to add a pie chart to his project. Try to figure out how to make a pie chart in Openoffice.
  • Start loading the dishwasher. 
  • Remember I need to figure out camping details for Charlotte's trip this weekend. Message appropriate people.
  • Load more of the dishwasher.
  • Eat a snacky lunch.
  • Decide I'm really going to try to sign up Charlotte for musical theater next year. Email the person to get put on the waitlist.
  • Start picking up clutter and trashing all the loose papers. Find Tommy's cleats from last year. Decide to post them on facebook to sell. 
  • Pick up more clutter. Notice the floor is really dirty.
  • Start sweeping the floor. 
  • Start looking at all the other dust and decide I should dust everything else first and do the floors last. Ooh, my rug is crooked! I need to fix that.
  • Mail arrives with an HOA letter because our clover is trying to take over the world.
  • Go outside and cut the grass enough so we don't get another HOA letter.
  • Email HOA person. 
  • Run the dishwasher. 
  • Go to library to return our overdue books. Realize we left one at home, and I can't renew it. 
  • Go to Biggby's to get my free coffee. =)
  • Go to Tommy's guitar lesson.
  • Receive and send texts about all the cancelled evening activities thanks to the potential for storms.
  • Make a page in my bullet journal titled "Operation Get The House Back Under Control" and list all the things I need to catch up on.
  • Come home. Find the overdue book. Go back to the library.
  • Come home again. Begin dinner. 

So...yeah. This is my Thursday. I mean Wednesday. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

9 Dumont Updates for March

The last week or so has been extra busy and life changing for the Dumont crew so here's a quick rundown of our lives in no particular order.

First, Charlotte and Tommy got braces on Monday. Last Friday they got spacers in preparation for Monday so they've basically been in varying levels of pain since Friday. Tommy is despondent over the foods he can't eat. His only consolation is that I've been supplying milkshakes, frozen yogurt, pudding, and Jello whenever he wants. Charlotte hasn't been as bad off, but she had a rough night last night. Crying happened. When they complain about not being able to eat, my only option is to offer to buy them a milkshake from wherever they want. If you saw me in the Chickfila drive thru at 8:30pm last night, it was for Charlotte's chocolate milkshake. And then she cried because "I CAN'T ONLY EAT MILKSHAKES!" Ahem. We're holding on for Thursday when the orthodontist assures me they'll be feeling noticeably better.

Second, if your kid needs braces, visit a few different orthodontists. The costs vary greatly. It was going to be $2000 more if we'd gone with a different ortho that had a very similar plan to the one we chose. TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS. Seriously. Are the braces plated in gold? Because that's what I'd want with $2000 extra dollars.

Third, I declared this week to be a restaurant fast for us. You've already read about the milkshakes so I've amended the fast to be a No Meals at a Restaurant. Yes, I've bought a lot of beverages, but no meals. Charlotte has already declared that milkshakes can't be considered meals so I feel good about this definition. That means we haven't eaten out since Saturday! Our NM@R Fast is going on splendidly.

Fourth, Charlotte and I spent Saturday at Lake Moultrie where she went over canoeing and kayaking basics. In a couple of weeks, she (and hopefully me as well!) will be canoing/kayaking down the Edisto River. I am so excited for this trip! I've also moved kayaks up to the top of my things I want to buy list so we can kayak on the weekends.

Fifth, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary replied to my comment on her post so that made my afternoon yesterday. =) Some of you do not know who this person is, but I like her. Some of you will not. That's okay.


Seventh, Matthew and Charlotte finished up their year at our CC group! Charlotte is going for Memory Master on Tuesday so she still has some work to do with that. Tommy still has 3 weeks left (really 4 because there's a break for Easter for his class), and then he'll be done with the bulk of his work for the year. We'll still have math, books, and projects, but we're about to enter that warm fuzzy part of the school year; that time when we relax and do the stuff we want without being on a timeline. If I look a little more relaxed the next time you see me, it's because I am.

Eighth, well, this isn't actually an update. I am once again reminded that I'm in the decade of divorce. My twenties were filled with weddings, and my thirties are full of couples that "just aren't happy anymore" and are completely enamored with the other side of the fence. Once again I say ever so gently, get over yourselves, people. Hmm. That wasn't gentle. Yes, marriage is hard and sometimes you really don't like the person that steals your covers every. single. night. I get it. Really. No, really. I seriously get it. Still, fight for your marriage. Get some help if you need it, and if that "help" suggests you get divorced, then that's not really help (even if it's your church giving you the bad advice)...and that's all I'll say on that.

Ninth, I almost forgot that Matthew started flag football again. Tommy is helping out with his team. If you want to see us over the next couple of months, try Gahagan park. We'll be there at least 2 nights a week.

Okay, I think that's everything. It's a good life we have here. =)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Homeschool Convention 2017

Part I (Friday night)
Friends, I'm writing this as I lie in the king size bed in my hotel room. All alone. You couldn't see, but I just took a good 60 seconds after writing those first two sentences to close my eyes and breathe. I checked in my room on Thursday for my stay in Greenville for the homeschool convention. As a mother that has chosen to homeschool my children, I have chosen to give up myself as a person for about 90-95% of the time. I am an amalgam of mom, teacher, home administrator (that's a fancy word for the person that cleans the bathrooms and generally keeps the house from decaying beyond repair), chauffer, momager, wife, friend, church volunteer, tutor...I could keep going but I think I've made my point.

Before I go any further, let me give the obvious "I love my kids and the life we've chosen."  But people. This life is exhausting on every level. It's physically demanding although less so since my kids are older. Now that I'm not picking up a kid all the time, I've noticed a real lack of definition in my biceps. As for mental and emotional exhaustion, well, those two are my good buddies that stick with me through thick and thin. It's exhausting to have people. Real, actual human people are depending on me for their existence. How in the world did God think this was a good idea?! Has He even seen me?! I'm a mess of a person. I'm judgy though I fight it. I haven't mopped my floor in months. MONTHS. There's a spot of ice cream on the floor. It's been their for like a week. I just keep ignoring it, hoping the child that spilled the spot will clean it. They won't.

And now. I'm at this homeschool conference, and I'm all alone. It is beautiful and wonderful and much too short of a time. For a brief moment, I get to be reminded of who I am as a person. I'm at least physically detached from all the people that usually depend on me. My brain is not divided for once between competing responsibilities, kids, and a husband. I can focus.

I wish every husband understood how important it is to give their wives a break. My home is my office. Can these husbands imagine if they had to live where they work? Moms live where they work. And family vacation is no vacation for parents. It's more work. It's work in a new location. Dads, husbands. You have got to give your wife a break. It is incumbent upon you, your responsibility, to make sure you are helping her have some time to herself to be an individual. These kids are not going to be around forever. Some might say that I've just given a strong reason for moms to not take some time for herself, but I would say it makes it even more important. We've all seen the mom that has no idea what to do with herself once her children leave the nest. I daresay we've all seen a marriage fall apart when the youngest kid goes to college because the couple didn't take the time to maintain the marriage. You men must give her the space to be who God made her to be beyond a mother and wife. Please don't guilt her for going off by herself for an hour. Don't call her and ask when she's coming back. Better yet, take the kids and let her be at home alone. Moms are never home alone. Like never, ever. Give her a moment to breathe. Give her a moment to remember who she is instead of what she does.

My husband, who is super cool, figured out that I'm a better person when I get to pursue my own interests...or at least go buy a coffee by myself. He doesn't call me when I'm gone. He'll text some, but not with questions. It took us awhile to get here. Okay, it took me telling him that it feels like pressure to "get back to work" when he would call and ask when I'm coming home after I've barely left. Apparently, he thought it was the loving thing to do. He thought he was letting me know how important I am to him and the family. It was a basic communication error. Glad we got that one worked out because the calls were super annoying. =)

Part II (Sunday night)
And now. What are my takeaways from a few days of sitting in big, cold rooms listening to people that at least appear to have it together? Here, I'll bullet point it for you.

  • Arts are not electives. God has made us to create and enjoy beauty. 
  • Musicals are the American opera. (I don't know if High School Musical counts though)
  • If rest is the goal, the middle, then the two extremes we can slide to are anxiety or negligence.
    • Which extreme do I tend to slide to? What are some red flags that signal I'm sliding towards an extreme?
    • Avoid comparison
    • Avoid the drudgery- take a break and learn how to enjoy your children again
    • Just Because You Can Day- take a break and do something fun and completely unrelated to school to build relationships and your kids know that you actually like being around them.
    • Tiny tweaks in our day can make a huge impact. Instead of trying to overhaul my school plan, look for small tweaks that don't add to my work, but do add to our day. For example, making sure you start the day with "Good morning" instead of "Go brush your teeth"
    • "Hope is being cheerful, even if you ought not to be." I just liked this quote. =)
  • Girl drama is girls learning how they fit in the world and in relationships. 
  • Men's brains basically quit when they're bored and move into basic survival mode. (I took pictures of the brain scans. Seriously. Men aren't kidding when they say they can sit and literally think of nothing.)

And now, what are my takeaways from being independent for a few days? Here's another bullet list!

  • Having a room all to yourself is blissful. I cannot stress this enough. If you can afford to get a room to yourself, GET A ROOM TO YOURSELF.
  • I didn't feel like my head completely cleared out of "Mom Mode" until Friday night which is unfortunate since I was back in "Mom Mode" on Saturday. Next time, I want 3 nights. 
  • Target. Y'all. I'm usually very focused in Target. I go in, get what I need, and get out. But without kids or the haze of motherhood in my brain, there were entire sections of the store I could look through that I usually avoid. At one point, I just stood and looked at candles for 5 minutes because I could.
  • I ate fettuccine alfredo for dinner two nights in a row. I don't feel bad about it at all. It was delicious and wonderful. I made happy sighs throughout the meal. I need to schedule more fettuccine alfredo in my life so I don't binge on it when I get the opportunity. 
  • Even being a veteran homeschooler with a solid curriculum plan for next year, I still wanted to buy half the stuff in the vendor hall. Those books are beautiful and tempting. I was lusting over a curriculum guide. LUSTING. I'm not exaggerating. I wanted that book so bad. Like, time slowed down. It was just me and that book in the room. I wanted to take it home and make my kids do all the work in it. Get behind me, Satanintheformofacurriculumguide! 
And that's about it. This post might seem a little disjointed since I wrote bits and pieces over the course of a couple of days. Sorry about that. I had a lot of info to process. If you want to talk with me about the speakers I listened to or look at the books I actually did buy, I'd love to grab coffee with you! 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March family update and the next chapter in The Introvert in an Extrovert Church Chronicles

A few years ago I went to this ladies event at my church. We were all seated at tables, and at one point we were asked to share something we're struggling with to the rest of the women at our table. Let me just stop right now and point out that my church is made for extroverts. While the person at the microphone thought she was simply asking us to share something personal to the rest of the group, she might as well have asked me to slice open my arm so that everyone can see the muscles, tendons, and bone. Some of you reading this will think I'm exaggerating. The rest of you know exactly what I mean. Can I get an amen from my fellow introverts??

Then we were asked to share something we're still in the midst of because the tendency is to share something we've already experienced and resolved. Ugh. Forget slicing open my arm, now you're going for my abdomen. Since I had no intention of doing an emotional dissection at a table of women I hardly knew, I did what any other introvert would do. I went to the bathroom. Because, you know, my bladder is my awkward situation hero.

When I came back to my table, share time was still going on and my "friend" called me out on leaving so I came up with some generic parenting problem until we moved out of the segment I like to call "Emotional Torture Time". I almost opted for my nuclear option which was to be brutally honest to the point that everyone regrets asking me the question. I don't think any table could have handled my story at the time, so I, being the benevolent person that I am, went the generic route instead. You're welcome, everyone at my table from two years ago.

Why do I bring this up now? Well, I'm going to this event again tomorrow night. Other than Torture Time, I actually enjoyed the night and got a lot out of it. This time I'm prepared for the sharing is caring segment if it comes up. In fact, I've come up with options of struggles to share depending on my mood tomorrow night.

But for now, here's a rundown for what's been going on in the Dumont family.

  • Tommy is eating enormous amounts of food. He's growing again. I'm considering a GoFundMe for his food and clothing allowance.
  • Tommy and Charlotte both need braces. Goodbye, tax return.
  • Next week is homeschool convention where I will sleep and not parent for a few days. Inner me is weeping with joy at the thought of sleep and independence.
  • Jon brought me a cinnamon roll from Panera for breakfast yesterday so he's got preferred husband status this week.
  • Matthew is becoming extra critical of all my choices lately. So that's super fun. 
  • Matthew should be starting flag football in the next few weeks so you'll find me at the park at least 2 evenings a week for the next few months. 
  • Tommy will be the assistant coach for Matthew's team. That's totally going on his transcript.
  • Apparently I'm developing allergies. Every year it gets a little worse. That's sad. Sad for me. 
  • Good news: I've lost 5lbs! Bad news: I'd gained 10lbs so I'm halfway back to where I was before the holidays. 

And that's it. You are now updated on our family for one more month. The kids are about to start hovering around me waiting for dinner to materialize in front of them so it's time for me to adult again.  Also, I haven't fully proofread this so there's probably mistakes. Maybe that can be one of my shares for tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

My February Idols

Although I do not read nearly as much as I used to (thanks ADULTHOOD and all your exhaustion), I still love my books and how they have shaped my life. I love a good Netflix binge or movie as much as the next person, but they don't have the same kind of power to change my soul like a good book can. One book that especially shaped my thinking is Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Basically, it taught me to notice those if/then thoughts. You know, "If I did/had/was ______, then I would feel/be happier/better."  I have filled in those blanks a thousand different ways, but it's really only one thought expressed in different ways depending on my most obvious failure of the moment. These thoughts clue me in to the idols that I've nurtured in my heart.

First, as I've already said more than once, February sucks as a month. I can't speak for anyone else, but in the homeschooling world, we all feel the pain. We keep getting sick. The weather is especially schizophrenic. We still have months left of school. Our hope is nearly exhausted for the school year, yet we still have months before we can plan for the next thereby refueling our hope tank. This is when those If/then statements take hold. I've had a quite a few If/thens rolling around my head lately.

  • If I wasn't so tired, then I could keep our house cleaner.
  • If I was more disciplined, then we'd be getting more school done.
  • If I had more self control, then I could stop eating all the sugar. And chips. And exercise more.
  • If I only had that Ikea drawer thing, I could go back to workboxes and stop forgetting to do math facts with Matthew.
  • If only I could be thinner/more pleasant/get more done around the house/generally be better, then my husband would be happier.
  • If I could schedule things a little better, then the kids could do all the activities they want to.
See all these things swirling around? No wonder I'm exhausted. These are heavy thoughts that weigh on me. Now let's break this down. What am I really saying to myself? What is my idol? Well, as usual, my idol is my image. My idol is myself. 

While none of these things are bad, the desire behind them is less than noble. I want so desperately to "have it all together". But I don't. And I won't on this side of heaven.  So what standard am I comparing myself too? It's all those Facebook pics of people getting their school work done. It's HGTV and Food Network with their spotless homes and gourmet meals. Obviously those are not attainable or real standards, but don't we all fall into that trap from time to time? If I'm being honest with myself, things are not really all that bad. Our house is not spotless, but it's not the scene of a Hoarders episode either. This school year has actually been one of our more successful ones. I'm not a pig with food, and I can still wear the same shirts that I've had for the last 10 years. (I don't shop much). The kids do stuff. They see people. My husband is happy to come home. He likes me, and he doesn't complain about the house or the food I provide. Ikea? Well, life really would be better with a few more bookcases and cabinets. 

At this point in most blog posts, this is where I usually read that I actually am enough. I don't need the things I think I need because I'm already enough. That's another lie as well. I am not enough. I could do with some more discipline, self control, organization follow-through, and Ikea drawers. I guess it's both. What I'm doing is the best I can do at this time in my life and it actually is enough. It is also never enough because I will never be enough on my own. Ultimately, I'm trying to make everything work with my own easily distracted mind and strength. That's where my failure is.  I cannot do this life on my own. I cannot white knuckle it long enough to become the person I'm supposed to be. A stone cannot chisel itself into a statue. I cannot make myself into the kind, competent, loving person that I want to be. Only Jesus can do that. 

Maybe I should be thankful for February. It seems to bring out the worst in me every year. I mean, nobody likes the worst side of me, but the only way that God can work on that part of myself is if it's brought out of the dark. Since I very much want to change, I have to go through that painful process of having an idol grow large enough for me to take notice. Then I can allow the Holy Spirit to do what He needs to do to shape me into the person He is creating me to be. 

So...I guess I should thank February for being the crappy month that it is for helping to shape me into a person that hopefully looks just a little bit more like Jesus. 

Oh, and everyone should read Idols of the Heart. It's really good. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Why do January and February have to be so rude?

Wow. January was rough and the first week of February has not been kind. I was somewhat prepared for this because I've finally learned that October and January/February are my struggle months. I was ready for the dip in morale this time, armed with optimism and wine. I was not prepared for a month of sick people. Sick kids. Sick husband. Sick self. Never at the same time and one of them got hit twice. Then the exhaustion of 3 birthdays hit. School morale dipped a little bit, but I have not resorted to my yearly online school scouting yet.  By the end of the month, the germs were defeated, and I thought I'd made it through the worst. Then January 31 came and had a little conversation with February. I imagine it went something like this.

      January: "Hi February! I feel like Mindy has had a rough Me, but not nearly as rough as usual. Care to help me out in crushing her for a few weeks?"
      February: "You know what? I can do that!"  
      January: "Okay, I'll set her up then you go for it."
      February: "I. Got. This."

So Tuesday started off with a broken dryer, wet clothes, and the last class day for one of my 3 favorite students. (I have 3 in my class so I can have 3 favorites).  And a nearly flat tire. And running late for our homeschool group. 

The rest of the week included grape jelly everywhere. Every. Where. Dentist visits for all 3 kids that all ended with the same conversation: "You need to go to the orthodontist!" The insurance office. Chickfila for a Matthew Hangry breakdown. Oops, I had an important phone call scheduled at 2mp. Let's just do that as we hurry to the car. Back to the insurance office. Lots of "But mom!". Then there's the wonderful conversation where my husband tells me he gets to go on some unexpected work trips to amazing places that will equal a month out of our year of him being gone. I forgot to block out my dates on the church volunteer calendar and got scheduled on the days I'm going to be out of town. Then the figuring out childcare for other things. Realizing that next week is a logistical nightmare with a million things to do in multiple places at the same time. Don't forget school is still happening. People still need to eat. And they all keep looking at me like I'm supposed to be the adult in all this. 

Then my mom called yesterday. Most people would say that's a good thing, but my mom only calls with bad news. She texts and messages otherwise. That sounds terrible when I write it, but it's not. We are cut from the same introverted cloth. Anyway, terrible car wreck. One extended family member dead, the other in the hospital. It's not like it was someone I was super close to, but it was someone I grew up with in my life on a regular basis so it hit me surprisingly hard. And the circumstances were just awful and tragic. So there went Friday.
Friday night at Pet Smart, Charlotte started crying because, as she said, "I just want a pet so badly and I've wanted one for so long and it will never happen because you won't let me!" 

And now Saturday. I'm taking half a day off. I know so many of these things are inconveniences. Most of them are not even what I would consider real problems. Just bumps. Not the car accident, because that's just awful by anyone's standards. But otherwise, I know it's a blessing to have a dryer to break and the means to repair it. I know it's a blessing to have a vehicle that needs a tire repaired and the means to solve the issue. I know it's a blessing to have so many opportunities in our lives that I have to prioritize them. I know how privileged I am to be able to take my kids to the dentist with the knowledge that my insurance will cover it (and no cavities!). But it's also exhausting to manage it all sometimes. And I'm jealous about some of the work trips. There. I admit it. I'm always jealous when he gets the trips. I am not far enough along on the sanctification process to have moved beyond the most base sin of jealousy. I'm glad he gets to go, but seriously. Couldn't a work trip be in Idaho for once? There would be no jealousy for that trip. 

So in closing, I think there is no better group of people to quote than my very own children. One of their favorite exclamations is "BUT IT'S NOT FAIR!" It feels fitting. I feel this on a deep, spiritual level. And I also recognize the absurdity of it. I probably need a nap. And a secretary. An extra driver would be helpful next week too. 

(Obviously, I will be praying for peace, patience, and a better perspective for next week. I'll also be praying for better sleep. Although I don't think God wants anyone to stay in this kind of place for long, a good chunk of the Psalms are David complaining or calling for death and destruction on his enemies. Then he laid it all at God's feet; both the big and the seemingly stupid things. If it was good enough for David, then God can handle my First World rough weeks. I will rest in the knowledge that I am merely walking through this week and not planted in it.)