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avoiding eye contact

I'd say for over a month now I haven't been myself. Like I'm going through the motions of my day to day life and putting on a happy face but my heart is hurting inside. I have reached a point where I'm avoiding eye contact with those closest to me. Have you been there? You know, when your heart hurts and all you need is that one person who knows you well to look you in the eye and ask how you are only to have the tears that you've been holding back for what seemed like weeks come flooding to the surface? Ya, well that is where I'm at. Except today I didn't have someone who just knows me I had the only one who truly knows my insides and outs speak to my heart. Of course it wasn't in the comfort of my own home where no one could see me if I buried my face into my favorite pillow and just sobbed. 
No it happened, right in the open, in the middle of a crowded Target and he used the heart of my little precious girl to speak volumes to me.
Of course Target has every end cap full of tempting goodies and $1 toys that Vernon just can't resist, and an excited skipping  little girl who is all Merry and Bright as I'm trying to round up all my last minute needs and stocking stuffers,  not to mention all the emergency snacks and toys I'll need for the plane ride we have coming up all without the nicely handwritten list I left on the counter. Of course.
The babes where in full swing of crazytown at this point and my patience started depleting as I tried squeezing passed another cart on a very crowded aisle. I now can't remember what I came here for and as I'm going through my mental checklist Elsie started melting down and screaming and I had no idea why. She normally doesn't act out like that in stores. So as I'm trying to chase after Vernon to have him sit in the cart so I can figure out why Elsie is freaking out I pass through that moment of "I got this" to "I think I may lose it" phase and knew in my heart I should've stopped to take a breath before handling the situation at hand.
To say "Lord help me." To call on Him and have Him remind me that this isn't a big deal and that he has got me covered. Because in this moment of pure chaos it wasn't about Elsie crying or Vernon kicking to get out of the cart, it wasn't about the crowds or rude people staring... it was about how distant I have felt from everything and everyone as of late. It was about how I have felt so broken and how I hate the feeling and state I've been in, especially during the holidays.
So in my haste to swoop up Elsie and "fix" her quickly, I placed her in the back of the shopping cart and started proceeding out of the middle of an audience so I could talk to her quietly face to face like I usually do. By the time I passed all the stares, my concerned heart turned into irritated one. Not at her by any means but just at the situation at hand. I could see in her eyes that I was making the situation worse by pushing the cart, she felt I wasn't helping her but I was just trying to get out of the way of the other shoppers. By assuming I knew what was wrong I started telling her how it was going to be okay. She started crying harder and screaming that her pee-pee was coming and she couldn't hold it.
That was all it was.
My heart hurt because this was an easy fix and yet there was just so much going on around me that I couldn't focus on what was needed as quickly as I could have. 
Of course we made it to the restroom but something she said as we walked backed to the cart to finish up our shopping struck me, hard. I picked her up and put her in the cart and she hugged my neck tightly and said these words.
"I loooove you so much mama, I so sorry I was screaming. Don't have an ugly heart"
You see the other day while trying to get them loaded in the car, off to an appointment I was late to no less and was rushing I prayed a very quick prayer for best behaviors and happy hearts yet my tone must have revealed something different because Elsie asked me what was wrong. I told her I was having a hard day and that my heart was ugly, and so I prayed with them (again) in the car, for mommy's ugly heart before we continued on. 
Today my little girl could hear it in my voice and see it through my actions that something was off but when she looked at my face and said those words I just stopped and sobbed. She made eye contact with me and I let her.
It was an ugly scene I'm sure and I felt ridiculous but I couldn't stop crying. The feelings I've had of being overwhelmed and distant from everyone for so long were now flooding to the surface and on display for all of Target shoppers to see. 
A kind woman walking by asked if I was okay and I told her NO, I then sobbed to her that because of God's Grace I would be. 
She hugged me. A complete stranger. Hugged me. And said that there is no greater truth than that and I would indeed be okay.
That only made me cry harder. Obviously.
I have no idea why I'm sharing this. I just laid the babes down for a rest and came online to order a gift I forgot about and then found myself on here pouring out my embarrassing sob fest story. 
But here's the thing.
Christmas is days away. A day we are celebrating with loved ones and family. Because of the birth of our Savior no less. 
God, the Creator of the Universe, in lieu of us rejecting him, sent his Son to be a sacrifice to carry all our sickness & sin.
A perfect sacrifice that bought us back from death. All we have to do is accept it! None of us are innocent. Everyone has sinned. The beautiful thing is that precious gift from above grew up and bore all of that for us on the cross. Christ died for all! He took upon the most painful and excruciating death for every single imperfect human.
I am so imperfect and its at times like today that I'm reminded of how far I actually miss the mark. How I need to be on my knees thanking God for the most wonderful gift I will ever receive today, tomorrow, Christmas and forever!
I'm not saying I'm still not hurting and that things I'm dealing with aren't a struggle but I know that I am Loved. Truly loved by  my gracious God.
When you don't understand why things happen or why your heart may be hurting even when it's the Merriest time of the year remember this:
Love the Lord with all your hearts and do not fall under the misleading ways of a harmful world that is filled with war, injustice, perversion and other horrible things. And even among the horrible things in this world, you are LOVED.
I'm praying for a wonderful weekend with friends and family. For us to reflect on God's goodness and on the greatest gift ever given. 
Happy Friday sweet friends, have a fabulously blessed weekend! Also please pardon my emotional rambling for what it is, an outpour from my heart during a time that needed to do so.


Hanna said...
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Jess Judkins said...
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Recreation Station said...

Thanks for sharing, Nat. I've had a very similar feeling lately and it helps to know others are struggling too. Thanks for bringing it all back to where it should be. I've had to stop myself several times over the last couple of weeks and say "It's about Jesus."


Anonymous said...

Hey momma? I needed to hear this today. So thank you. I even shed a few tears with you and feel the better for it. But you have a beautiful heart - and God's shining through it.

Karin Marie said...
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the hollie rogue said...

oh, what a breath of fresh air you are. thanks for your honesty and open-heart. You've been on my heart, friend and i just want you to know how much i look up to and respect you. thanks for sharing your life with us---struggles, joys, and sob fests alike. many hugs and joy this christmas season!

AbsoluteMommy said...

Now I'm sobbing! This was so beautiful! I've tried so hard to have a happy heart this season. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. Your children are so precious to look at on your blog, but it's obvious they are precious on the inside too!
Merry Christmas!

Lynette Marie said...

What an inspiring story.
It's such a good reminder. To know that even when we feel like things are falling apart, God is still God and He is still good, and we can always have hope. No matter what, as long as we live, there is always hope. And that's enough for us to get through the rough times.
So sweet that your little girl said something so beautiful. That's a little girl who has been taught by her mama to let God speak through her. You should be a proud mama. <3

shannon said...

Oh girl. So happy to be seeing you tomorrow.

Kerrie said...

I know it's kind of weird to love a post like this, but I do. I can only hope that when I face times like that, which I surely will, that God will send me the same reminder and that I'll be humble enough to accept it like you did.

Kate Snow said...

Something very similar happened to my friend. At Target. That store must bring it out in people. Love you. Thanks for sharing this.

Alana Taylor said...

I'm so glad you got distracted from ordering that gift. ;) God has a way of using our kids to reach our hearts when nothing else will. My son is only four and I've already experienced a handful of situations like these: my heart being ugly and him showing me. Then, it becomes a lesson for our children as well because they need to see that we're human and make mistakes. They need to know that God guides our hearts like we're guiding theirs. Mothers and children... It's a beautiful picture of God and us, really.

Alana @ The Bliss Diaries

molly june. said...

that girl elsie. she's something else.
i have been in such a similar spot!
wish i could hug you & cry it out together.
life is hard sometimes. and messy.

thank God we have his mercy & grace & voice to cling to. even through the mouths of our babies.

love you nat! XO

Heather @ It's A Long Story said...

This was absolutely beautiful. Isn't it amazing how God speaks to us through our little ones? Oh, how many days should I have spent time in prayer for my ugly heart? You're in my prayers, and I hope you are feeling better soon! Merry Christmas!

Susan said...

Thank you for sharing this - it speaks to my heart, and all my messy sadness and anxiety that needs to be healed by the Christ child. O come Thou Dayspring from on high...

Yuri said...

I just have to tell you! You and your family are adorbs!!
Love your blog..