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Life doesn’t always go as planned.  In fact, many times it just does its own thing, despite all of our careful preparation and planning.  And when one thing goes wrong, so does another, and another, and another. Murphy’s Law at its finest.  My husband calls this a season of down.  This has been the story of my life for the past few weeks.  When it rains, it pours.  And in this case, quite literally.

Today, I just need some hope.  I need help uncovering the joy in these temporary trials.

experiencing a season of down, encouragement for mothers

a series of unfortunate events

The past few weeks have been rough on my family.  And, in turn, on me.  No, we aren’t facing a scary diagnosis or bankruptcy or any other extreme situation.  In fact, our difficulties are nothing new under the sun.  Nearly every single person on this earth has dealt with these same exact things at some point in their life.  (It’s just so much easier when it’s someone else having to deal with it, and not you.)

As my husband says, we are just in a season of down.

Can I swallow my pride for a moment and invite you to join me in my own personal pity party?  Something tells me that you have experienced this season of down before as well.

Problem 1

First, our dishwasher broke.  Not the biggest of deals, I know.  But this in addition to both parents working full-time, two toddlers in the house, and bedroom renovations can cause things to get dirty pretty quickly.

Problem 2

Next, the ice maker went kaput.  Still not the end of the world.  (But I am from Texas., and I do LOVE my sweet iced tea.)

Problem 3

Then, last Monday, my sweet Braden got his finger smashed in a window.  The window of his and Colby’s “new” room, no less.

One very traumatic car ride to the hospital, a fractured finger, and four stitches later, we headed home…only to discover problem #4 in our series of unfortunate events.

Problem 4

No air conditioner.  Ok.  I can [almost] deal with a broken ice maker.  I mean, Sonic is on our way home from school, and they do have the best ice in the world.  But a broken AC? In Texas?  With summer approaching?  That ain’t happenin’.

An air conditioner guru comes to the house, and, sure enough, we need 2 new units (inside and out).  Let’s get a second opinion.  This guru says the same thing.  Okay, fine…I guess the tax return is going to a new AC rather than towards patio furniture and a sandbox for the boys.  We can deal.

Problem 5

Our house, in the meantime, is beginning to look like a Texas twister has made its way through it.  {Check out some of the reno updates here, and here, and you will understand the disaster.  You can even see the infamous window that hurt little Bray Bray.}

Then, right at the moment when hubby and I realize that we are starting to drown in these overwhelming problems, it feels as if someone comes along and pushes our heads under even further.

We have had quite a bit of rain, lately.  Which is good.  Except when it comes seeping into your closet, bathroom, and bedroom.

Can I just stop, sit on my soaking wet carpet, and cry?  Nope, no time for that.  We must move along to the next issue.

Problem 6

Tax return is in.  AC man is here to fix one of our troubles.  It takes the entire day for both new air conditioning units to be installed.  They are in; the switch is flipped; and…..nothing.  After a little more digging around, the source of the problem is discovered.  When we were working on the boys’ bedroom renovations, a nail went right through the air conditioner piping, which caused a leak, which led to no cool air.

Surprise!  We didn’t actually need new air conditioning units. We just had a leak the entire time.  Of course, the units were in at this point, and the repairmen had done their work.  Which means we were out our money.  And let me tell you, AC units are not cheap.  Bye, bye tax return.

For a moment in time, I wanted to hurt my husband.  Badly.  He is the construction expert.  He put that nail in the wall, into what he thought was stud, but turned out to be an AC pipe.  I blamed him.

a season of down

{deep breath}
Okay, the pity party is over.

Have you ever had times like this in your life?  Times when everything just seems to go wrong?  There were days last week when I woke up and thought to myself, “Let’s see what horrible thing is coming for us today.”

I am not usually like this.  Typically, I am the optimistic person.

I am the one holding others up when they feel like they are going to break.

I am the one keeping it together.

I am the one who sees the silver lining in every bad situation.

Sounds just like a mom, right?

But this time, I needed someone to hold me up as I approached my breaking point.

I needed someone to help me keep it together.

I needed someone to remind me of the silver lining.

We all need this at different points in our lives.  Why do we wait so long to ask for it?

the reminder

Yesterday, without even asking, I got it. My cousin (whom I consider my best friend) called me to chat and as I relayed to her our series of unfortunate events, she told me JUST what I needed to hear.

It was nothing new, and yet it was new and refreshing to my soul.  I had said this same thing to others countless times.  She reminded me that when we actively choose to better our lives and actively choose to correct our paths, the devil comes out to play.  Life is full of inconsistencies and unexpected events, especially as you work to improve yourself and your family.  It just takes time, dedication, and a reliance on the one truly consistent part of life…God.  With all of that, we are stronger.

Recently, my husband and I began consciously making changes in the way we handle marriage, money, parenting, life. We don’t want to just muddle through life bogged down by all of its demands, and losing focus of what really matters.  We want to use our God-given talents to make a positive impact in the world.  And we have never been more sure of that until recently.

In the 48 Days to the Work You Love workbook, Dan Miller remarks that too many people die “with their music still in them.”  This scares me to no end.  To think that people reach the end of their life never acting on the talents that are intrinsic to them, never fulfilling what they were innately made to do, never making that positive difference in our world.

I will not let that happen.  No matter what obstacle I am facing, be it air conditioners or rainwater.

There has been a shift in our house….a shift of focus, a shift of mindset, a shift of intentions.  We are taking steps necessary to bring about positive change.  And the devil knows.  He wants us to stay right back where we were, wallowing in average.  He doesn’t want the music that’s inside of us to be played out in the world for others to hear.

I knew when we began making changes in our home that there would be obstacles.  But it’s one thing to know you will face some future, hypothetical roadblock.  It’s something totally different to be bombarded with them and have to face it head on.

But here we are.  And let me tell you, this season stinks.

I’m struggling to rediscover the joy right now.  But I have some great people in my life, both in person and online, to help me through it.  And I will hug even tighter to my God.

Plus, I am stubborn persistent.  I don’t give up easily.  (Neither do my strong-willed children. I wonder where they get it from….)

I may not be out of this season of down yet, but at least I know one thing.  It is a season.  It is not going to last forever.  These are temporary setbacks.  They will not break us.  They will not break me.

They will not break you.

And when I do get overwhelmed, all I have to do is look at these boys right here.

boys on the couch

They are my why for everything I do.

Even when their particular phases add to the feeling of overwhelm; ultimately, they are also my reminder to take a deep breath and remember what really matters.

Ten years from now, the broken dishwasher and ice maker, “broken” AC, nail in the pipe, fractured finger, flooded bedroom will all be a memory…a story….part of our journey to escape average and discover great.

Are you experiencing a season of down right now?

I encourage you to think about this when you do.  It is not the end.  Oh no.  It is just part of your story.  Part of your journey to discovering great.

Hang in there, momma.

p.s. I did not hurt my husband.  Instead, I hugged him.  It made things much better.  I highly recommend it.

p.p.s. I also broke my tooth.  {Take a deep breath.}  Just part of the journey.  I repeat, just part of the journey.

experiencing a season of down, encouragement for mothers

What do you do when you are experiencing a season of down?  How do you work your way through it?  Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for making it a little easier?  I need all the advice I can get!  🙂


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2 Comments on Experiencing a Season of Down

  1. Mary
    April 27, 2016 at 10:01 PM (2 years ago)

    Found your post on WFMW and really glad I did. We can so relate to this at our house!

    You hit the nail on the head with where these trials are coming from… 2 Corinthians 4:8 has comforted me in similar situations.

    Thank you for writing this!

    • Erin
      May 6, 2016 at 12:49 PM (2 years ago)

      Oh my gosh, I hate to hear that you’re going through trials also, but it sure is nice to know that others are dealing with it as well. I’m not the only one! 🙂
      Thank you for the encouraging Bible verse…I will be sharing this with my husband tonight.
      Hope everything begins smoothing out for you soon!


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