Monday, October 3, 2011


There are layers of problems in my life.  I want to solve one thing, only to realize it hinges on something else that needs fixed.  I live in an almost constant state of frustration over things that I feel like I have no control over.

A week or so ago, our hot water went out because the basement was flooding, due to the main (only) drain backing up.  The plumbers 'fixed' it, no guarantee--of course... and today... I had to take an icy cold shower.  John was a half hour late to work, trying to light the pilot, kneeling in icky sewage water.  (Thank goodness for this man who loves me so much.)

The fix was no fix.  We've been expecting this for years.  Every year, the plumbers unclog the drain with the warning that we really need to replace the drain pipe.  This would cost us thousands of dollars, and it will be a major pain in the butt.  (Digging up the yard, turning off the water, etc.) 

Well, it looks like we may have run out of luck and will need to do this. 

I feel weighed down.  I have personal issues that are mine alone.  They aren't family things, or marriage things.  These are my own private struggles between me and God.  Those things alone can (and do) bring me to my knees in discouragement.  Like everyone, I have temptations.  I have weaknesses.  I have faults.  I have sins.  The only bright spot in this is that I know that in order to bear fruit, I must be crushed like the grapes that become the wine.  So, I bear the crushing in order to bring forth something fruitful.

So, in utter humility, I plead with God to help me through this dark night of my soul.  It has its peaks and valleys, it isn't all despair and gloom.  But, when it is, it takes every ounce of my strength to cope.

And then...there in general.  Keeping up with the bills.  God has never let us go without, but we have chosen the path of family life, with a houseful of kids and a large grocery bill.  And all the accompanying things--clothing, shelter, utilities x8.  I don't want this to sound at all like a complaint.  I would never choose to change a single thing about my family.  Each member of the Elliott family is dearest and most precious to my heart.  The money is a passing issue, but their very lives are everything

Add into the mix the very real problem of the HOUSE.  This house, on most days, looks like it has been burglarized.  Drawers left open.  Stuff on the floor.  A real disaster area.  I have always been one to crave an orderly home.  I don't care if it is a showplace, I'm not that picky.  But, this is not acceptable.  I have all but given up.  That makes me so angry with myself because I have NEVER been a person to give up.  I'm very stubborn.  When I want to be working on something vital, it always gets pushed aside because I have to do recovery mode with the house. 

 I am so tired.  I've been running on empty for the last decade.  I think I've really done an honest to goodness 'best attempt' at being the best mom and wife I know how to be.  But I have somehow failed miserably in the area of teaching these people how to be responsible.  I don't know what happened.  I am supremely angry with myself for this.  I would chalk it up to personality, but each kid has a different personality, so I can't use that as an 'out'.  They all seem to be unconcerned that this house is a wreck and I am the only one who cares.  (John helps when he can.  This is not about him.) 

I have tried talking and explaining how this impacts me.  I have tried ordering them around.  The only thing I haven't done (but many people have urged me to do this) is to start throwing away things that matter to them.  I guess that's my weak spot.  I really hate to do that. 

Now, I don't want to give the impression that they are doing this on purpose to annoy me.
They are good kids/young adults.  They do love me.  They just don't care about neatness, so they think I should just forget about it, too.  I tend to always try to see the good in all things.  I see that I have children who are very interesting, intelligent, thoughtful, fun people.  When I'm really feeling low, they are there with hugs and prayers, and words of encouragement. 

There is that ONE thing, though...that big white elephant in the room...they are all Oscar Madisons and I'm a Felix Unger.

Ah well.  I've said enough on this subject and it does no good.  Time to plow thru the mess and try to make things a little neater for my own sake.