Ammunition Wagon

I've been reading a lot of Max Lucado's books lately, books about God and faith and trying to keep the umbrella of both above our heads while this world rains down six new kinds of crazy every day.

I read Fearless last fall and was hooked. Haven't read it? You should. Or just pick up anything else he's written and prepare to be at once comforted and challenged.

The latest book I'm reading is Next Door Savior, a book of what (I imagine) are collected sermons from Max Lucado's life as a pastor. They're grouped into logical chapter headings where one message flows into the next one which then echoes the one prior.

In between sections are brief explanation of what's to come with stories from Lucado's life. One held a quote that I cannot attribute because I can't find it at this not-so-late but ever-so-tired hour. I even Googled it and had no luck so if you know who owns it, drop a comment.

I've been carrying this quote around for the last few days, worrying at it like a dog with an odd sock.

Here's the crux of it:

Don't be an ammunition wagon. Be a rifle.

These words resonate with me...and yet?

They bug the hell out of me.

One of my just-this-side-of-sarcastic jokes with the kids is that I'm not just their mother, I'm their pack mule.

It is kind of funny; I have visions of sending Becky care packages at college (oh, who am I kidding - if she goes to school more than an lazy afternoon's drive away, I'll be flabbergasted) with cards signed, Love, Your Pack Mule.

But there's a grain of truth in it. I've worked hard to teach all of them to help carry their share of the load and they all are beginning to step up (Huck made his own bed from scratch tonight), but the fact is that I am their Mother.

I am the one who knows the three places Tom's lost dress shoe might be (and guess #1 was on the money).

I am the one who makes a mental tally of who has eaten which popsicles from the new box to ensure an equal distribution of the frosty wealth.

I am the one who runs the schedule, keeps them ticking to the right beat of the clock, gets them from A to B, all while keeping a sizeable portion of my brain power dedicated to the finer details of our lives like dinner, toilet paper procurement, and clean underwear.

I'm not bitter although this post seems to have a tinge of that, one that even my own sleep-addled eyes can see on the fading screen of my laptop.

I signed up for this.

I chose to have three kids, not one.

I wanted/want to be home with them and am ever EVER so glad that Knute and I were able to make that our reality. Really. And I type this after spending a day with little Tom who is plagued with the nastiest, itchiest (and, judging from his verbage, the most whine-inducing ever) case of Foot and Mouth rash.

What bugs me is the nagging feeling that when it comes to my own dreams, I cannot be a rifle.

There simply isn't room.

We moms, in our many incarnations, from moms of one to mom of many, moms who work a paid job to moms whose work is at home to all the moms that have found a way to strike some kind of balance between those two iconic and media-polarized positions, are ammunition wagons for our families.

We carry the load.

We carry their load.

And we get weary, so weary.

I've worried a groove in my mind, circling around this question:

Can I be both an ammunition wagon to them and a well-aimed rifle, shooting for my dreams?

I just...don't...know.