The Party You Don’t Want To Come To

From time to time, my husband teases me that I may have missed my calling. I love being a teacher, and I can’t imagine doing anything else – professionally speaking.

But I also love planning events. Big ones.

Weddings receptions.
Baby showers.
Birthday parties.

You name it. I’ll plan it. And I’ll love every minute of it.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about inviting more than fifty Young Life leaders to our home for dinner. Honestly, it put me in my “happy place” for several days. I had so much fun planning the menu, shopping for deals, and ordering the extra tables and chairs.

Of course, someone very wise once said, “Sooner or later, all good things must come to an end.” I think whoever said this must have been referring to parties.

So I am back to the daily stuff of life.

Beds to be made.
Bowls to be cleaned.
Baskets to be emptied.

Then there are kids to chauffeur and papers to grade.

Despite my fervent efforts to avoid taking on too much, various other commitments have piled up. First one. Then another.

The hands of the clock whir by too fast.

There are days, I confess, when I wish I had a little help.

My husband helps a lot, but he also works a full-time job, plus a consulting job on the side. His plate is already so full providing for us. So I don’t feel right about asking him to add any more to his list.

I try to handle all the mom-commitments and house-needs on my own. And this is to say nothing of having just gone back to work – albeit part-time. So I admit, I wish I had help.

That’s when it happens.

I look around, and I see so many of my friends with moms and sisters who participate in their lives on a weekly, even daily, basis. Yet, I don’t have a relative within 500 miles of where I live.

Then this isolating feeling, this feeling of being alone, this feeling of needing to accomplish everything on my own, pervades each moment with a tender, vacuous ache.

And so another party begins. But it’s a party you don’t want to come to. It’s a party of pity and pout. A commiserating song of how unfair life can be. Why must I do this mothering gig, going on 16 years now, without any help?

Of course, I can never trek this path for long.
There is so much I have to be thankful for.

This habit of listing the things we are thankful for may seem trite to some. Perhaps silly. Or inconsequential. But on days like today, it’s the only thing I can do because if I don’t, then the other thoughts creep in. Discouraging, disheartening thoughts.

Like an old-fashioned steam engine, the gratitude begins slowly at first, but with momentum in the right direction, a heartfelt change takes over.

Today, I am thankful for . . .

51. Shady days
52. A family outing to Parker’s soccer game
53. “Books and Bubblegum” time on the couch with my kids
54. Tangy lemonade

55. An invitation to tea with a missionary
56. The Word . . . who became flesh

57. A lunch date with Jeff
58. A kind word from a student
59. An encouraging e-mail from a friend

and my favorite . . .

60. A surprisingly sweet prayer offered by a notoriously rambunctious little Parker.


If you haven’t yet given it a try, I invite you to join this party of thanksgiving. What are you thankful for today?

7 thoughts on “The Party You Don’t Want To Come To

  1. Sush: You are so right. Asking isn't easy!

    Beth: Thanks for stopping by!

    Ells: Yes, that is really what it's all about – refocusing and changing our attitude!

    Josh & Kelly: Praying for you this week!

    Nita: I like how you put that. “I encourage the guests to leave quickly.” That's funny. I'm going to remember that one!

    Warren: Wow! Congratulations! How exciting!

  2. Good gratitude list.

    Cheryl understands about living so far from family while raising kids. Pretty tough sometimes. We husbands can sympathize at times, but I don't think we quite get it.

    About planning weddings … we have one Jan. 7. The first of our kids. A daughter. Strange feeling. wb

  3. Hi, I have been known to throw a few pity parties too, I encourage the guests to leave quickly, if I can. Counting Blessings is always a good way of doing so.

    Praise God for Jesus and all the help He give us.

  4. lovely list- and I find myself at that party all too often- this week, though, Jesus kept me! We were all sick, my husband was out of town, and Jesus met us! grateful for how He is sufficient for our every need. and lunch dates don't hurt!

  5. Oh I've been in those shoes a time or two or one thousand. I moved miles and days away from relatives and friends that were my support. It's not always a pretty picture. I've had to learn to ask and it still after all these years is not fun. Good thing like any party it all ends and the sun shines on happier days.
    Blessings to you busy lady~

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