Saturday, November 17

Momma Said There Would be Days Like This...A Really Long Post About the Hole in My Kitchen Sink

There is a hole in my kitchen sink.

That's right...I'm not referring to the drain or the garbage disposal here, but a hole put there, accidentally (sort of), by me.

It's small, the size of the tip of a pen (or a pair of...ahem...scissors), but a hole in the kitchen sink is no good no matter what size it is.

 "How did you wind up with a hole in your kitchen sink dear Lisa?"

That's what you are asking, isn't it?! It's a good question, really. Though the answer is a little bit embarrassing.

So, before I get around to telling you why there is a hole in my kitchen sink, I'm going to take you back 20+ years to tell you another quick story. A story about...Atari! 

Do any of you remember Atari? I was never a big "gamer" per se, but do clearly remember stretches of hours devoted to Atari!

My brother and I received that Atari on a Christmas morning in 1988 or 89. The system came with one game, Pole Position-- a racing game. It's actually the only game I really remember playing.  I spent hours playing Pole Position. Never enough time to really advance to upper levels, or be incredibly competitive, but it was a personal challenge to try to beat my own race times and complete the harder routes.

I'm sure we had other games and I'm sure my brother spent much more time playing them than I did, but I was happy with Pole Position (and maybe Donkey Kong) and piddled away good daylight hours staring at a television trying to beat other cars in a simulated road race. 

The other thing I remember clearly about that Atari and that game is the frustration that seemed to emerge from deep depths when a race started out poorly or I knew I was not doing well despite my best efforts. Want to know what I did in those moments?! 

Ha! I pressed the restart button. Over and over and over sometimes. "You CAN'T do that, my brother would's not how you play!" 


For the record I'm sure he did his share of restarting when I was not looking. 

Could I have just continued on in the game, knowing I wasn't going to place very well? I could have, but at 11 years old  it seemed like a big waste of time. Why would I just keep plodding away in a race I was destined to lose? 

Because, my inner conscience should have told me, it will be a lesson in keeping on when the days are not going as expected. It will be your training ground for motherhood in 20 years! 

Who cares about motherhood and life lessons when you are 10?! 

I didn't care at the time, but maybe I should have. Here I am, 24 years later, wishing some days were an Atari game with a restart button...Do you ever have days like that? 

So, back to the hole and how it found its way into my sink...

 About three weeks ago I was having a bad day. I was crabby, tired, impatient and oh, did I mention I'm pregnant? While the pregnancy has yet to wreak too much havoc on me physically, the emotional impact is another story!

On that day, three weeks ago, there was a period of 16 hours or so where I put a hole in my kitchen sink with a pair of scissors, cried blubbery, slobbery, tired, self-pitying tears in front of my children not once but TWICE! and made my husband late for work on the 2nd of the two mornings because he was kind enough to sit through the second act of my two-day Emmy award winning performance for craziest pregnant wife on the face of the PLANET.

...alright, maybe just Western New York, but you get the idea. 

Did I mention I am pregnant?  I figure that knowledge is at least worth at least a small reduction in points on the parenting/wife infractions I've incurred.  

I'm telling you all of this in my confessional here because I'm hoping you have really bad days like this too... Days where you feel unglued, undone and overwhelmed. 

 I figure that if you do ever had a day like that you'll hopefully, after reading this,  know that A) You're not alone. There is at least one other person in the world (me!) who understands, and  B) God is bigger than it all and full of FORGIVENESS and grace so big that even a hole in a kitchen sink is covered...

Ironically (or maybe not so much so!) I currently happen to be reading Lysa Terkeurst's really great book about emotions right now. It's called Unglued: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Raw Emotions. 

I'm only about 2/3 of the way through the book (and was only on Chapter 3 when I put a hole in our sink!), so I have a ways to go...Perhaps in more ways than just the literal reading!

The beauty of reading this book, (despite the fact that I'm not fixed yet!) is that it is making me aware of the areas I need to work on and that it is O.K. that I'm an "unfinished product"...we all are in one way or another. 

In Chapter 2 Terkeurst anecdotally talks about the sculpture that we all know today as David by Michelangelo. It's one of my favorite moments in the book. What I didn't know is that the David we know today was first started by one artist who began sculpting the legs, feet and torso but eventually abandoned the work. Another artist picked it up 10 years later, but also never completed the work. 

Terkeurst says, 
 "It was nearly twenty-five years before Michelangelo, just twenty-six, picked up a chisel and dared to believe he could complete a masterpiece...When at last the seventeen foot David emerged, Michelangelo is reported to have said "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." When asked how he made his statue, Michelangelo is reported to have said, "It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn't look like David."

Think about that for a moment. What would it look like to chip away that pieces of your  life that don't look like you....or at least the you-- the mom, the wife, the friend-- that you really want to be. You know, if time, or money, or EMOTIONS didn't do their part at getting in the way. 

Listen to what Terkeurst says's SO beautiful...
"God doesn't allow the unglued moments of our lives to happen so we'll label ourselves and stay stuck. He allows the unglued moments to make us aware of the chiseling that needs to be done. So instead of condemning myself with statements like, I'm such a mess, I could say, Let God chisel. Let Him work on my hard places so I can leave the dark places of being stuck and come into the light of who He designed me to be." 

I find that comforting and encouraging and full of know that despite my feeling stuck in the mess that God has a more beautiful and chiseled plan.

So, how did the hole end up in the sink you still want to know? 

It was 6 p.m. and I was hungry and trying to put dinner on the table. The girls were being GREAT but had destroyed the playroom (it looked like they just had a 4 hour frat party in 15 minutes!)...I wasn't so much upset about the mess as I was overwhelmed that there is ALWAYS a mess. That despite my best, tireless efforts to clean and organize and put things back in their place the house seems to always look like I never clean or organize or put anything back in its place! 

I was overwhelmed by the fact that I would have little time to write, or read or relax that evening (after they went to bed) because I needed to pick up some groceries and go through backpacks and pick up not just the mess in the playroom, but several other messes around the house that I won't bore you with describing at the moment. 


I know, I know, I KNOW! Leave the messes, or skip the grocery store, or just come to terms with the fact that this is what motherhood is all about. 

I know all of those things...but you also know how it try and try and try and...some days you do leave the mess, but some days you just must pick it up. 

AND, on that very day your (poor, unsuspecting) husband walks upstairs at the end of the day from working in his office and the supportive wife you want to be gets buried beneath the toys and scattered papers and glue sticks and scissors and craziness in the playroom...

You start blah, blah, blahing about getting dinner on the table and the stinkin' mess in the playroom...

And he says, "At least the girls are having fun!" 

And you think, WRONG ANSWER. 

"They're having fun and NO ONE (implication the poor guy standing across from you) else in this house EVER picks up the toys. Or at least when they do, no one else in this house ever puts ANYTHING away where it is supposed to go!"

(For the record I had also just found several random games and puzzles jammed into a small storage chest with all of the pieces spilling out and completely disorganized...probably the work of my very messy 3 year old...)

He got upset and defensive...naturally...and started saying something about not having time for this. 

I, in my very ungluedness,  felt disrespected because whether I have time for it or not this stuff seems to fill my WHOLE life...and I (Note...Scott is a very helpful husband...the problem with being a busy couple with young, active kids is that there truly is never enough time.) 

So, I took the kitchen scissors in my hand and very aggressively threw them into the sink before storming off to cry in the front office of our house (the only place to close a door, besides the bathroom, downstairs).

Apparently I threw them so hard, Scott reported to me later via cell phone while I was walking through Wal-Mart, that they literally, in his words, "were stuck in the kitchen sink, standing up, like a shovel in dirt." 


He poured some superglue into that hole to temporarily patch up my moment of being unglued. There is some odd irony in that, isn't there?

I wish I could say that was the end of it...

I went to bed with better hopes for tomorrow and after apologizing to Scott and buying him his first carton of egg nog this season (a FAVORITE!) from Wal-Mart as a peace offering. 

And then, the next morning, I got up at 7 a.m. to squeeze in a few minutes of journaling and Bible reading (that I REALLY, obviously needed!). Both girls had been sleeping until at least 7:20 pretty consistently...

...until that morning. 

My quiet moment ended at 7:10 when a sweet faced turned the corner. I was not upset at that sweet face, I was simply discouraged that it seemed IMPOSSIBLE to find time to pray or think or journal on a regular basis. Right after I turned Micky Mouse on for Ella I found myself, in tears, AGAIN, in the office...Scott found me there...

Where does a woman manage to consistently carve out a few minutes of quiet time? I wanted to know. An introspective woman who processes life best by journaling and reading, but most importantly, praying. Where? How? When? NEVER?! Sigh....

Next thing I knew it was 7:55 and the girls hadn't been fed and Scott was going to be late and we were all rushing around the house.  As I drove Ella to school that morning all I could think about was....

And so I looked up at the sky and pondered the beauty of the cloud formations, and the incredible display of fall trees in breathtaking hues. They reminded me of a 4th of July grand finale. 

I talked to Ella about taking a bike ride later and called Scott to apologize (again) that he was going to be late. I figure I couldn't literally re-do the last 16 hours, but I could start by shifting my focus upward, rather than outward and work on being grateful for the beauty that surrounded me. 

I know it sounds simple and trite, but I think Ann Voskamp ( author of One Thousand Gifts) was right on when she implies in her book that the ONLY way out of ingratitude, irritable living and a general frustration about life is to start be thankful for EVERYTHING. So I pressed the internal re-start button and started finding ways to be thankful...for that moment and day at least (it is a daily process). 

 I also realized that after a night and a morning like I had it is not just the "re-set" button that is the answer (though sometimes it helps!). On some days, the answer is simply staying in the game...or the race...that hasn't turned out the way I thought it was going to. A race in which you've crashed your car and have driven off the road. A race in which you might come in last, but where you learn to realize that it's o.k. 

Sometimes, just staying in the race, despite the bumps and crashes and wrong turns, is more important than trying re-start it, so to speak. Perhaps it's in those humble moments that the hardest parts are being chiseled away... and God is faithfully completing the work He has begun. 

So, I now have a daily (the hole!) reminder of what happens when I become unglued...other things in life need to be glued together...but I also can laugh because I know that God has more than superglue to  fix this weary momma's heart and that gives me a whole lot of hope to stay in the race. 


  1. That's ok, I kicked a hole in the wall and I wasn't pregnant! lol... oh man, motherhood is hard sometimes!

  2. Oh, you are so precious! What a gift you are to your family...and thank God for a RESET button!!! :)

  3. Oh Lis... I don't have kids so I cannot even pretend to know how hard it can be but what I've learned is during stressful times or when things aren't going my way I just tell myself to accept everything around me and that everything is going to be okay. When I just accept what's happening in that moment and stop fighting and resisting what "I" think should be happening, I find a sense of peace. Now, I have a lot of time to myself so I understand how hard it must be for you to never have that time but maybe God is trying to show you how to find the peace in all that craziness. Don't beat yourself up. Accept yourself and treat yourself with kindness. When you do that, you'll be able to accept what is going on around you and pour out the kindness that you're showing to yourself onto others.

    Love you!

  4. Oh Lisa, sorry to hear about your bad day. You are not alone!! Some of that(minus the scissors in the sink:)) sounds familiar. Was this on Thursday? I kept thinking that morning that you just didn't look like yourself and I was hoping all was ok, I guess I should have asked. Your honesty is refreshing because we all have nights and mornings like that. (I actually think I might have Jon read this so he knows its not just me:):):)


  5. Thanks for all of your sweet words ladies! God certainly does teach us a lot about ourselves as we get older, and have kids and families and stresses in our lives.


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