40 Days. That is the number of days I am unplugged from the attention-sucking, child-ignoring, time-consuming media that is Facebook. 40 Days. For someone with an addiction to status updates, this feels like an eternity. Like Jesus will come back and I will be raptured up to Heaven and join the celestial choir all before I can update everyone about the events that led up to said supernatural activity.
So for the sake of my brain and my need to release all the pent-up activity floating around in it, I offer you 40 Days of Stati (that is what I’m calling the plural of status…leave me alone.) Please note that some days have more stati than other days. Day One was particularly hard as I was detoxing…laying on the bed with my stati-updating digits in full-out convulsions while my brain came up with half a dozen bits of information that if unshared would cause the Earth to stop orbiting the sun. I need to find a Stati-holics Anonymous group.
Day 1: Wednesday, May 14
I live in a world in which breaking up fights over who has more chocolate chips in their toaster waffles actually happens. There are tears. Referees are called in. It is traumatic. And then the girls wake up and Russ and I have to stop. (Ahem, I won.)
19 more days of school. 39 more lunches. I’m so over this.
Potty training is for the birds. No, for real. They let their young pee on the ground (wait, do birds pee?) and poop on cars. Can anyone say, role model?
ENORMOUS announcement!!!!! Today I unpacked my suitcase. On the FIRST DAY I WAS HOME!!!!! And no one has even delivered my trophy yet. Apparently they are not as “on top of life” as I am today! Take that, trophy deliverers!
I stick my kid in front of Frozen at least twice a day. I’m being serious. She won’t move for 102 minutes. Times two. And I’m still obsessed with the songs. And I still sing them loudly. Don’t judge…just Let It Go…see what I did there?
Day 2: Thursday, May 15
To all of you overachieving school parents: please stop. When I get emails from not one of my kids teachers but BOTH of them in the same week talking about homework that is due and websites that are supposed to be logged into and spelling words that need to be memorized and then they BOTH mention that only 2 or 3 students in the class have done these things, I begin to wonder if you missed the memo. The STARR tests are over. And though we certainly don’t want the teachers teaching to said tests, it’s important for you to understand that we all have to slack off TOGETHER when these tests are over. It’s parental solidarity. And you’re ruining it. I realize that you were probably the head cheerleader and captain of the football team in high school and you’re used to everyone following you, but let me be the first to tell you, we stopped following you. Now is the time that some of us need you to underachieve just a bit. Please. For the sake of the children. For the sake of the sanity of mothers with toddlers and preschoolers and elementary students everywhere. Please. Join our cause. Let us all unite with one voice to tell the school districts that we are done. That school needs to end before June. If you will join us, there will surely be victory. Stop the madness.
My tupperware cabinet is possessed by demons. They throw round lids and square containers at me when I open the door. And they unstack ALL THE THINGS. And it is making me weep.
Day 3: Friday, May 16
Field Day at the Elementary School. 4 hours of putt-putt golf with hundreds of students who think golf clubs and baseball bats are the same thing. I am not called to be a teacher. They need raises. Tell the government to give them all the money.
Day 4: Saturday, May 17
Today I decided to COOK breakfast. The unfortunate part is that my cooking spray decided to take the day off. The amazing part is that Scrambled Pancakes are now a thing. Don’t envy my culinary skills. It’s an art form.
Day 6: Monday, May 19
What a difference 48 hours makes.
On Saturday I gardened. If you know me at all, you know that the state of my children still being alive is miraculous as my greatest gifting is making living things die. Watering plant life is too overwhelming and requires routine. Silk flowers are a pure act of genius. So the simple act of gardening usually involves me propping a rake up against a tree so that when people drive by they can think, “Oh look! The lady who lives there must be working in her yard. She gardens.” And then there is jealousy. But on Saturday, I actually did things. I planted things…that will in fact require water…which means they were so pretty on Saturday and they won’t look like that again next Saturday, but it was $35 well spent to be pretty 2 days ago. I also sweated. That’s a big deal worth it’s own status. I cleared away dead things (they must have been under and/or over watered) and even found an Earth worm which was cause for screaming and ewwwing because they are small snakes. But the whole day (for real…I was out there all day) my mind was so clear. And Jesus spoke to me about some things through the the dirt. It’s no wonder that Adam and Eve could hear God so clearly. After all they were in a Garden! God likes gardens. And it was such a peaceful, productive, message-developing, lesson-learning day.
I decided that the Earth is amazing and we should grow our own food.
Fast-forward to today.
Today I went to Hell. Some people call it the grocery store at 3 pm with 4 children. Tomato, Tomato. I would like to request any and all video footage from this particular location. I will take it in the form of security footage and/or cell phone footage as people were surely recording the madness. Turning aisles in busy stores causes my children to disperse so quickly, and with such force, that you may wonder if a bomb has actually exploded them. Every. Single. Aisle. This was the reason that the only words uttered for one full hour were “get back here,” “what are you thinking,” “I don’t care just put it in the cart” and “here eat this.” The first 15 minutes of our shopping disaster acquired: grapes, apples, blackberries, cabbage, organic grape tomatoes, pistachios, almond milk and free range chicken cutlets. The last 45 minutes brought on pop-tarts, chocolate chip cookie cereal, granola bars, fruit snacks, Twinkies, cupcakes, potato chips and the need to drown myself in a Diet Coke and pray to God that brain cells would not burn and for divine protection against aspartame-induced cancer cells.
So today I think back to the bliss of 48 hours ago and have decided that my plan to grow our own food is indeed inspired. Now I just need to find pop tart seeds.
Day 8: Wednesday, May 21
I went in to wake up my 8 year old this morning and she was missing. Her bed was made, her school clothes were gone and there was kitchen racket downstairs. I found her all ready for school (VERY chipper and chatty!), making her breakfast, her lunch AND 1/2 of her sister’s lunch…which means I’m down to 24.5 more lunches as opposed to 26. If ever there was a running for favorite child, it’s today. She put spinach on her sandwich, y’all…you can’t even blame me.
Dilema #492 of a Facebook fast: I know nothing about the season finales of all the shows I don’t watch. How on Earth am I supposed to make semi-informed small talk?!? This is a vital part of ministry! I can’t even believe Jesus would be willing to let His church suffer like this!
Day 10: Friday, May 23rd
I’m not typically a “Name It and Claim It” kind of Christian, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. That being said…In the name of Jesus, the One Who can heal the sick, raise the dead and save man’s souls, I proclaim that TODAY was the day that I bought my last package of diapers. There will be potty training power in this house like we’ve never seen before and our last dime has been given to Huggies and Costco. Amen and Amen. Let it be done.
Day 16: Thursday, May 29
Sometimes the most precious conversations of the day cannot go undocumented.
- Hailee (8 years): “Mom, ya know the black licorice jelly beans? Well I don’t really like them but I eat them anyway because I don’t want them to feel left out.” My child. We will spike our blood sugar and go up a pant size all for the comfort of inanimate food. Classy.
- Ethnee (9 years) during a tearful conversation about the fact that I’m going out of town this weekend: “I don’t want you to go! When you’re gone it’s like a rainy day without the clouds.” Ummmm…ok?? “It’s like pancakes without syrup. It’s just not the same when you’re not here.” Brownie points all around. I didn’t tell her about the times I wrote my mother pleading notes of desperation to get her to stay home when she would go out of town. I also didn’t tell her how I would cry just enough so that my tears would fall on the page and the ink would smear and I would draw a circle around the smear and point with an arrow to the words “sorry…that was a tear.” She’s my child. She doesn’t need this kind of training. It comes naturally.
Day 18: Saturday, May 31
MAJOR SPIRITUAL REVELATION: The day that Eve ate the unidentified fruit of the Old Testament, laundry was created. Theology just came full circle. So much makes sense now.
Day 22: Wednesday, June 4
When you are fasting certain things and one of those things happens to be unnecessary shopping, you shouldn’t even pretend that you can shop. Just don’t do it. Because if you do, you will find yourself in a large, handicap dressing room with two small people who you originally entered the store to find swimming suits for but somehow wandered by the women’s swim attire and found a suit that made you think, “Hmmm…I wonder how effectively that would hide my ________” (insert loathed body part here.) So you decide to try it on…even though you won’t buy it…or if you decide that you look like the latest Sports Illustrated swim suit model, you and Jesus may have a talk about the actual guidelines of the fast. So you find yourself in the dressing room. Your children are both adorably attired in swimming suits which apparently make them more flexible and energetic. You “slip” your cute little piece of elastic on with enough grunting and wiggling that you really could count it as your workout for the day. As you’re tucking and moving body parts where they’re SUPPOSED to go in the swimming suit, your two little darlings decide to play tag…your legs are the only obstacle in the oversized box you’re standing in so the race begins with you as the pole. There is running and “I’m gonna get you’s” from the 5 year old and ear-splitting shrieks and giggles from the 2 year old and you finally snap. You’re standing in front of the mirror, looking NOT like the swimsuit model that you had in your brain because your body parts have, in fact, learned about gravity and you’re feeling like a run through Wendy’s for a Frosty might be your next stop. And you snap. You raise your voice to control your rambunctious offspring, but you raise it louder than you intended to forgetting that dressing rooms actually echo. Half of the store has probably heard you, and your children are looking wide-eyed and frightened by the large woman in the purple bathing suit with weird, un-humanlike body ripples in odd places. They sit against the wall. You begin part two of today’s workout (getting OUT of the hellish stretch suit you thought was cute 5 minutes ago but now realize Satan created it just to laugh at you) only to hear this on the other side of the dressing room door, “Hi, Miss Jaci!” And this is a church voice. Someone from your church has recognized you through the door. And pastor’s wife mode kicks in…the one in which you smile anyway and speak in your nice voice and under normal circumstances you open the door that is between you to offer a hug because it’s not polite to talk through closed doors (but of course you skip that part because you are not exactly even close to appropriately attired right now!) Your children look at you confused because they can not figure out what just happened that caused you to transform from a raging, purple monster to a half-naked, smiling saint. You whisper-yell that they better start behaving or so help you…
You exit the dressing room with smiles and quickly throw the demonic swimming suit on the return rack only to see your Associate Pastor’s family strolling toward you. Well, praise God. It’s just them. They already know you’re un-normal and that half the time you’re fake smiling so they don’t think less of you. You are able to give genuine hugs because you love them for their acceptance of your crazy and you can thank God that He taught you this little lesson with good ol’ church staff instead of the new family that just got saved and still thinks you’re nice.
And He has effectively solidified the actual guidelines of your 40 days. Don’t even pretend to shop.
Day 23: Thursday, June 5
You know you’re a mom when you no longer dream shop online for fantastic shoes or clothes or amazing vacation destinations. You’re most frivolous online dream browsing consists of minivans you can’t possibly afford. You look at all of the amazing specs and storage spaces and you drool a little bit and wonder what it must be like to have a new car that doesn’t smell like kid funk and pee. You get so into the shopping high that you even research the laser-made plastic floor mats that you also can’t afford. You may even put things into your virtual shopping cart just because you like to feel like you could totally do this. You pretend that the $35,000 price tag matches the $12 in your wallet. And then you giggle a little and remind yourself that even Cinderella’s beautiful coach turned back into a pumpkin at midnight. And you’re thankful you don’t drive a pumpkin (unless it smelled like pie.)
Day 24: Friday, June 6
Do you hear the celestial choir? They are singing the hallelujah chorus but it sounds more like: “SCHOOL IS OUT! PRAISE GOD ALMIGHTY! NO MORE LUNCHES TO PREPARE UNTIL AUGUST 25 FOR THE LAMBERT CHILDREN WILL LEARN ABOUT FASTING THIS SUMMER! GLORY BE TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE TO ALL MOMS WHO DONT HAVE TO WAKE UP AT 6:30!!!!!” Did you hear it too. It’s so pretty.
Day 26: Sunday, June 8
I just poured apple juice on my kid’s cereal. I can see that I will be ROCKIN’ the Mommyhood today. ROCKIN’ IT! Awesome.
Day 29: Wednesday, June 11
District Council this week (for those of you non-AG minister people, that’s our annual minister’s conference.) Two important things to note today:
1. In 12 years of pastoral ministry, I have NEVER been so proud to be a part of this amazing group of men and women called by God to serve North Texas. The District leadership knocked this conference out of the park and I feel honored to have participated. Wow. Just Wow.
2. They gave me a mic. For the reals. One of the AMAZING PW’s who heads up a segment solely focused on the women in ministry, asked me to MC the banquet. Ya’ll they put a mic in my hand and let my jabbery little mouth talk into it. The mic was so fancy and I named her Charlemagne (because that’s a fancy name) and gave her all of my slobber. She is my new BFF.
Day 31: Friday, June 13
It’s Friday the 13th. That obviously explains why I was woken up at 4 am by a 5 year old who was convinced that she was being attacked by chickens. Yes. That happened.
Day 33: Sunday, June 15
Today I talked at church. Into a microphone. On purpose. And I had things to say. I told you Charlemagne was my new BFF. Watch out, World! I’m married to a guy with access to voice projecting equipment and I may just start to use it!
Day 36: Wednesday, June 18
So let’s be real. My brain tends to be self-centered. And it’s usually WAY more concerned about me and my needs/problems/drama than anyone else’s, so it doesn’t often come up with AMAZING outreach ideas because sometimes I feel like I have NOTHING. LEFT. TO. GIVE. But today my brain thought outside of itself for a minuscule minute and it came up with the BEST OUTREACH IDEA EVER! We should totally reach out to the moms at the grocery store. Ya know, the mom with littles hanging out of her cart and throwing things in her cart. The mom that looks like she’s just done battle (but maybe didn’t win) as she is walking to her car. The mom with 4 daughters perhaps (ahem) or the mom with a new, teeny, tiny, hungry baby or the mom with a screaming toddler who gets to eat an entire bag of powder sugar donuts before check-out and candy after check-out (and she may or may not share with the toddler.) Or the mom with 9 perfectly behaved, homeschooled children who are all walking in a row. Or the mom with teenage boys at home who is making her 74th trip to the store since yesterday because she can’t keep food in her house. Or the mom whose husband just left and she’s not sure how she’s going to buy the Ramen noodles in her cart. Or the mom who has two fairly well-behaved children (a boy and a girl because that’s what this society thinks is perfect) and doesn’t have too much trauma going on in her life but could just use some encouragement because everyone assumes she’s got it together.
And we could stand by the exits of the store when they are leaving and hand them a bag of chocolate and an invitation to church. Then we could give them a hug and say these very, simple words: “You’re doing a great job.” And moms everywhere would bawl their eyes out and we would clear the grocery store of all their Kleenex’s. We could even go a step further. What if we walked around the store and pin-pointed a few of these moms to love on and then quietly slipped in line next to them at check-out and handed them $50 toward their grocery bill?!?! Or heck! Paid for their groceries!!! But more importantly, told them: “You’re doing a great job.” That’s the most important part. Moms need to be told that they are doing a great job. Every. Day. And given chocolate. That’s important too.
Day 40: Sunday, June 22