It Could Be Worse

There is a reason why I do not write a parenting blog or a homemaking blog or a teaching blog or any sort of blog that tells people how to get certain results by following whatever steps I have taken to get where I am. I am reminded of my inadequacies in each of these areas constantly these days, and I am worn.

I am worn by the fact that parenting is hard and keeping up the house is hard and teaching is hard and processing life stuff is hard.

These things are my hard, and I know you have yours.

The other night a friend came to pick up a young man from my twelve-year-old’s birthday party. We stood talking in the dining room, and my son mentioned something about when he turns eighteen and smokes the birthday cigar.

My friend’s face grew puzzled.

I proceeded to explain that some kids choose to smoke a cigar with their dad when they turn eighteen, and further, one has documented the moment and given the framed photo to her dad for Father’s Day.

In my excitement, I dashed to my room to get the picture. Dust flew as I removed it from the shelf above my desk. More dust coated the glass, and I brushed it aside to share the memory of my firstborn girl and her dad smoking cigars at a friend’s wedding.

Embarrassment mounted as I realized what this said about my housekeeping skills, but who am I kidding. It’s no secret. She was gracious and understanding and laughed along with me. No judgement.

She has a beautiful home.

Struggling through last week, I sat one morning in Exodus, reading about the plagues. It’s a new year, remember, and time to start over in the Bible.

I was reminded that it could be worse.

Instead of a stinky waft coming from the fridge each time I opened its door, there could be heaps of stinky dead frogs.

That dust on my shelf and throughout my house could turn into swarms of gnats.

Instead of one annoying fly, there could be swarms of them.

And so on. I am not suffering from plagues or anything close to them. And there are parts of my life that are not hard.

I am not struggling with my physical health. I have not lost a close loved one through death. There has not been a devastating diagnosis.

But sometimes the day-to-day is wearing and exhausting and just plain hard. That’s where I am right now. In the non-glamorous, nothing-special, just plain hard.

But it could be worse, and I am grateful that it is not.

4 thoughts on “It Could Be Worse

  1. Karen

    Julie, I ended up on your blog today and enjoyed reading “it could be worse”. I have been smiling as I prepare for dinner and reach in the frig and dishwasher thinking about what could have leapt out at me. Keep us smiling and giving thanks as we move through the things that are hard, trusting in His special grace that can come from unexpected places. Thanks, karen

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  2. Aaron

    I am glad you can see that “it could be worse.” But I also want to remind you that your struggles are real and difficult and worthy of the work and the support of others. While being thankful for the good, honor your pain as well. Sometimes there are obvious “worsts,” like frogs in your fridge. But other times, I don’t know. I think if I got cancer, what most consider “the worst,” I would say; “It could be worse, I could be in treatment for major depression and PTSD.” As Dan Allender says, we don’t compare our pain to others’ pain, but to Eden. The beautiful thing is that God is author and finisher of our faith, no matter what the book looks like. I am glad you receive HIs blessings in the easy and the hard.

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Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.