The 8:15-in-the-evening-me, and why I like her better
If you’ve been around kids at all, you know that despite how fun they are, they sure can wear you out mentally and physically. My husband and I often joke that 9:00 AM parenting includes time outs, talks, and resolutions- and 4:30 PM parenting consists of looking at my kid running around without pants and saying, “Eh, why not?”.
I looked at my days, and I realized a pattern.
Though we laugh about that, I started noticing my different attitudes throughout the day, and I realized a pattern. I found that I really just love the 8:15-in-the-evening-me.
The 8:15-in-the-evening-me is calmer, nicer even. She dreams of organizing all things in the house. She thinks about the day and realizes she wants to do better tomorrow. She wants to spend more time with Bible Study, and she’s going to try to keep the house cleaner tomorrow. She looks around the house in the quiet, and her mind seems so clear on what is most important. Yeah, I like the 8:15-in-the-evening-me.
The trouble is- 6:49-in-the-morning-me wakes up to a baby monitor and three whining children wanting breakfast. While feeding a bottle, she chooses something easy and entertaining to read on her phone above the Bible she wanted to study so badly the evening before.
You see, 11:36-in-the-morning-me gets impatient when her kids don’t do something for her fast enough, and she loses her temper. And sometimes, 1:15-in-the-afternoon-me just zones out for a while during naptime and tries to escape the surrounding to-do list a mile long. This takes us all the way to 7:45-in-the-evening-me who desperately just wants her kids to stop asking questions about the book so they will just go to sleep!
Then, once they are asleep and quiet- I see my old friend again- the 8:15-in-the-evening-me. She wants to do better, and she feels like she has failed… again.
How could I be so helpless during the day, and so optimistic each night for all I was going to do? The thing is- 8:15-in-the-evening-me has got it made. She doesn’t really have distractions, she doesn’t have obligations asking her for things every second. She has quiet. Peace. Independence. But really, she has a huge and ugly lie.
You see, every night, once the kids are put in bed- with the relaxation comes a false sense of security. I start to believe the lie that I can do it all better the next day- if only I tried harder.
“I start to believe the lie that I can do it all better the next day- if only I tried harder.”
In reality, I can’t do it. Because the next day’s conflicts will come. I will be tired. Things will not go as planned. And middle-of-the-day-me cannot bear the weight of those things if I am just trying really hard.
Maybe you don’t have an 8:15-you. Maybe it’s a 7:00AM-you, or maybe it’s a pain-free-you, or a having-a-good-day-you. (Ok, I like those last two also!) When things are easier, it’s so easy to believe the lie that we can do this on our own. Friends, it is such a deceptive one. It sneaks in when we are comfortable and whispers dreams of ease and control into our pride-loving hearts.
Like all lies, it needs to be faced with the truth. The truth that Philippians 2:12-13 says,
“..work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13 (emphasis added)
It needs to be faced with the truth that “apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). It needs to come face to face with the truth that the strength to honor Him in all circumstances comes from the Lord, and not ourselves( Phil 4:13). These are truths we must speak to ourselves at 8:15 PM, 7:00 AM, and throughout every minute of the day. These are truths that give us the best kind of hope. They reassure us that not only can we not do it on our own, we are not expected to. That news gives freedom, tears down guilt, and is something that any version of me so badly needs to hear.