It’s a box of markers. There are ten markers inside. Each one has its top firmly in place. This is the original box for these markers. On the outside of the box there are colored dots which represent the colors of each marker. When you look inside the box you will see the markers corresponding in the same order. It’s a simple box of markers. It is an orderly, beautiful box of markers.
So how on earth did this box of markers cause my family and I such despair today? Why did it send me into a fit of rage? How did it cause me to fire arrows of angry, condemning, harsh words which I wish I could take back? I don’t really know. I don’t understand why it was such a big deal to me when I discovered someone had been in my box of markers. I was and am at a complete loss.
LOSS. Perhaps that is what caused my over the top reaction. I grieved as I surveyed the disarray which had swept down on this small yet really important box of markers. The first three stages of grief…. Shock, anger, and mourning… hit me all at once.
I was shocked that someone would do this to me. Most of the markers were gone. The caps had been displaced on the majority of the ones I had managed to find among the muck in this place I call home. They were left out to dry. They had been used, smashed and smeared.
The realization of how my orderly box of markers had been invaded sent waves of anger all over my body. Anger and despair flooded over me as I realized someone had invaded my markers. Someone had used my stuff without my permission. They had taken the caps off and smashed the smooth points as they smeared the colors on whatever masterpiece they were creating. In the midst of this they brought disorder and corruption to the order and masterpiece I had previously designed. The fact that I had told them JUST TODAY not to touch these markers brought waves of torment over my soul.
DESPAIR. I found myself drowning under the current. As I sunk beneath the water I screamed in despair. It does not matter the words I said. It is the meaning behind the words. The message was despair.
For the heart behind those words was crying out, “Does anyone notice me around here? Does anyone see the things that are important to me? Do you value what I do? Does what I do around here count? Is it important? Am I important?
I don’t even know who I am some days. Who I used to be or think I want to be is not my reality. I grieve that loss.
I want some order. My life and home speak disorder.
I want some peace. Much of my day is full of noise, business, demands, and disruptions. A vacation is order. You know a real vacation without kids. I watch the commercials on television for the day spas and think to myself, “That is
Disneyworld for Moms” I see
the advertisements for sleep aids and think, “No amount of sleep aid with keep
me from having to get up with a crying baby.” I find myself jealous of the
actresses. I feel great discontent try to take over my heart and mind. I fight
I fight the desire for my selfish needs to overcome my joy to serve. I fight the feelings of how I want my dreams and my values to count for something. I have dreams that are unfulfilled. They wait. They are lost. They are forgotten. I have forgotten my dreams in order to support the dreams of others. The things I value I have dropped in order to meet the needs of others. My needs pushed aside… over and over… again and again.
I grieve what I have lost. Then I wonder things. I have questions about this life of mine.
Does what I do make a difference? Does it count? Does anyone see it? There aren’t many accolades in what I do.
That is hard for a person like me who thrives off the attention approval of others.
You know I am a creative person. Or at least I used to be. I used to have a beautifully decorated, organized, clean home and classroom. I used to have and take time to write, read, cook, shop, get my hair done, put on my make-up…..play. I expressed myself. I was heard. I was understood.
In that box of markers I had expressed my desire for creativity, order, and beauty. I had voiced my desire to keep it as such. I longed to be understood. That simple little box of markers was my way of holding on to what I felt I had lost. Yet they managed to get to me one more time because they got to it.
After I had cooled down a bit I made the unwise decision to probe my husband by asking, “ Can you SEE why I got so torn up over that box of markers? “ He replied, “No I cannot” To which I replied, “Wrong answer. Say no more lest you dig yourself deeper into a hole.”
His response propelled me to be blinded by my tears. SEE. I felt like Hagar after she had wandered off into the wilderness to flee the punishment of Sarah. How hurt she must have been. I am sure she must have wondered the same things I did today.
Can anybody see? Does anybody SEE what I go through each day? Does anybody SEE what I do? Does anybody SEE what is important to me? Does anybody SEE how I hurt? Does anybody SEE me?
The hurtful reality is the true answer to that is PROBABLY NOT SISTER.
My children do not see it because they are children. My husband does not see it because he is a man. The world does not see it because it does not value it. However there is hope.
Just as God saw Hagar in the desert during her despair He sees me too. He is the God who sees.
He sees me when I sink into bed after a long, demanding day on my body and my emotions. He sees me get up in the middle of the night to nurse the crying baby while the rest of the house sleeps. He sees me struggle to wake, brush my teeth, shower, wash my face, and brush my hair before the rest of the house awakens with all their demands. He sees me strive to fit into clothes that my postpartum, food addicted body has worn until they are way out of fashion and form. He sees me prepare everyone else’s meal before my own and then share half of mine which is now cold with a still hungry and demanding toddler. He sees me dress and redress children. He sees me launder their clothes every day. He sees me attempt to teach them good manners, proper bathroom habits, good hygiene, and habits. He sees me clean poop out of the tenth pair of underwear in the past two days because someone forgot toilet paper is meant to wipe their butt…not underwear. He sees me stop a chore or school lesson every three hours so I can pump and provide breast milk for my infant son. He sees how I take the time to weigh him, record how long and how much he ate, and how much I pump….every three hours… six times a day. He sees me oversee and participate in the picking up of toys, books, shoes, and clothes every day numerous times a day. He sees me buckling and unbuckling the children in their car seats and making four trips to and from the car before we leave or get back in the house. He sees me leaving the theatre and missing the show to console an unhappy child. He sees me get up from the table in the restaurant as soon as my food arrives because someone has to go potty. He sees me pleading with them to ignore their curiosity and not to touch anything in the public restroom. He sees me refereeing disagreements. He sees me scoop up a crying toddler. He sees me kiss their boo boos and put on band aids. He sees me helping a child try to make sense of place value, sharing, why we can’t eat candy all day, and why Mama got angry. He sees me through all the “do overs” “repeats” and “mistakes”. He sees all the triumphs, perseverance, and acts of sacrifice.
He sees me run to the “wilderness” as I long to isolate myself due to my sin and shame. He sees me weep . He sees me struggle to accept grace much less give it out.
He Sees. He knows. He cares.
On days like this when a simple box of markers makes such a big impact on my life and no one seems to understand….that is all I can hold on to ….He sees me….He knows me…. He cares for me.