In Which I’m Tired and Discouraged

“Nama! I wanna ge’ up!”

I sigh and roll over. It’s not 4 a.m. like it was yesterday, but it’s still dark. And there will be no quiet time again this morning.

I feel around on the bed for my robe, swing legs over side, and scuff the floor until my toes find slippers.

I step across the hall, and her smile spills sunshine.

“Nama!” She raises her arms.

I lift her out of bed and hold her hand as she walk-scoots down 14 steps. “Dark,” she says.

“Yes, it is.” I nod weary. My spirit’s been dark the last couple of days. Overwhelmed and discouraged.

Pulled apart, dis-membered and very, very tired.

Spent in the giving and the giving up.

And when is it my turn? Who will give for me?

It happens so fast.

Maybe it was the ashes scene in that movie that broke me to tears, and I remember a blue urn.

And the ashes fall heavy, and my breath comes heavy, and I think of time that sifts like dust.

Maybe it was the time change.

Maybe it’s just because the visitors knocked, and I invited them in for tea.

My spirit’s like a balloon, sometimes full and light and on top of everything–and other times deflated and defeated, flat like the pancakes Grace has requested for breakfast.

My shoulders sag when I flip the kitchen light. I’d forgotten that I was so tired last night I couldn’t touch one more dish.

The scent of garlic and tomato greets me. Dried goulash bits stick to white plates. A lone slice of garlic toast cradles in blue bowl. There’s a glass of leftover milk and one of orange juice. And a bowl of yesterday morning’s uneaten barley cereal.

And my mug–the one that reminds me His compassions never fail. That His mercies are new every morning. It holds cold brown.

I glance out the window and see a new day dawning all wrapped in pink and gold mercies.

Lillee’s playing with the cats in the living room.

I must go outside for a moment to smell and breathe Jesus.

The air dances to the music of chirps and trills. I hear a duck quack somewhere over by Lake Abby, and a couple of geese honk overhead. A train whistle sounds in the distance. Traffic, lights on, travels up and down the highway. If I close my eyes, it sounds like a waterfall or rushing river.



Always rushing.

A robin stares at me not eight feet away, orange breast barely visible beyond my feet. I turn my camera ever so slowly, but it flies to the tree to greet the sun.

My heart flies with it, and I give it all up again.

And I remember that He gave it all up.

He gave it all.

The ashes swirl upward, light into the light.

I feel my spirit re-inflate as the bird puffs its chest and breaks out in song.

I raise my arms, and my spirit climbs on top of the mess within.

And His mercies, they’re new again.

And again.



  1. says

    I’d like to stop by and take care of those dishes for you.

    But I can’t. Perhaps I’ll go outside and breathe Jesus, and imagine I’m breathing along side you.

    Love to you, Sandy.
    Lyla Lindquist recently posted..Holding the Keys

  2. says

    I’ve known those days… bare feet contacting chill floors, the chill spreading up into my soul and making every nerve whimper, wanting desperately to return to the oblivion of bed and the cosy quilt. But once I’ve given the day a chance — given God a chance — to get my circulation going, slivers of light overtake the inner darkness and possibilities begin to brighten. God is good. I’m sure he understands that inflated and deflated balloon image, and he’s the one who gently puffs fresh air into us as we need it.

    Wishing you an uplifted day of blessings, Sandy.
    Carol J. Garvin recently posted..Storm Watching

    • Sandra says

      The weather pushing 80 today, the periwinkle in bloom, windows open now at 9 with all the summer night sounds . . . life is much better. And I think having left the dishes and went to sleep might have helped, too, once I actually got moving. :)

  3. says

    OH, sweetie pie – do I ever get this. So glad you stepped outside, camera in hand, heart open to the Mystery. I’m with Lyla – wish I could do your dishes for you. Since I began my job in SB, Dick has always done the dishes – and man, what a difference. And I learned to just let him do them – his way, not my way – and live with the gracious goodness of that gift.

    And we all need time when others do for us – especially when 99% of what we do is for others. Take care of yourself in the midst of the messes, Sandy. And ask for help. Really. Truly. Love to you.
    diana recently posted..A Lenten Journey: Climbing to the Cross – Day NINETEEN

    • Sandra says

      And if He can drip those mercies on me, I need to drip them on others. He gives the grace. xoxo

  4. says

    I will pray that you continue to feel God inflating your spirit. Thanks so much for your vulnerability, Sandra.

  5. says

    You bring us in to the dishes and the tired so well Sandy. I can relate in so many ways. For one, I grab my camera, capture the beauty and perspective comes like a waterfall. Wish I could bring you dinner and make you laugh over a cup of tea!
    Shelly Miller recently posted..When Lent is Messy

    • Sandra says

      Or let’s just go out somewhere. Maybe just get Subway and head for the woods with our cameras. 😀

  6. says

    Thank you. Thank you for your heart. I want to do the dishes with you. Not just to get them done, but the way it happens when we wash and dry together, while we laugh and talk and completely forget we’re even doing dishes.
    Deidra recently posted..Doing Lent

  7. says

    Beautiful post… I have felt so heavy lately, overwhelmed by so many circumstances in my life….perhaps I need to just step outside and breathe…Jesus.

  8. says

    I’m with Deidra, Diana and Lyla – wishing we could all do the dishes together, scoop up that little one and leave you alone in the quiet for just a bit. It is these seasons that make us so aware of our weakness and it is these seasons when grace and mercy come strong.
    Praying for you Sandy – for refreshing in the midst of all the stuff.

    • Sandra says

      Disco dish divas! You don’t think I could leave you, do I. Just being with you all again would be so refreshing. And you’re right. Without the hard seasons, we’d never realize our need.

  9. says

    My week has been messy too. I would have to take pictures of the laundry room for a reflection of what has been happening on the inside of me. It’s a crazy mess of clean and dirty in there—darks, and “hang to dry” everywhere.

    My heart has felt hung out to dry. I haven’t written one word this week—not one until now. I am headed to the porch to find that God-air. I think there are some things I need to see and hear out there.

    thanks for being real
    Dea Moore recently posted..No Number Needed

    • Sandra says

      I’m working on the laundry room, too. You’d think with just the two of us, but I have a ton of grandgirl clothes, too.

      Praying He saturates your heart today, Dea. I always find things to see and hear in the God-air. Hugs to you, friend.

  10. says

    Well, I’d been meaning to come over here and read this anyway. Let’s see if the blog gremlins will let me say anything. (And, really, I don’t think there’s a woman in blog world who doesn’t see herself in your post and need the reminder to go outside and breathe Jesus)

    Okay, here goes…
    Nancy recently posted..Fearless Craziness

    • Sandra says

      It works for you! Yay. I’m having trouble getting my blog to link to my comments on other WP blogs now, though.


  11. says

    Sandy, I have am SO there. The sink full of dirty dishes in the morning really gets to me, too. Yes, and all that giving and giving…

    And the bird—yes, God has used a bird for my times like this, too (but in my case, it was a red-tailed hawk).

    Sending love, and praying.
    Monica Sharman recently posted..(Not) Demanding Pomegranates