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not the clean clothes!

You know those days when the birds are singing, the sun is out, and everything is just great? Last Wednesday was not one of those days! The day was not a complete wreck, but it just seemed I could not quite get on top of life. Let’s grab some coffee and let me share!

Wednesday started out really well when I was able to sit at my desk and read my Bible BEFORE the quiet is interrupted by crying, squealing, jumping, and cats meowing for food. I welcome a preschooler’s excitement for the day. I love the precious way everything from looking out at the sunrise to finding a speck of glitter on the carpet is super fascinating. I am also a much better human being when I have a few quiet minutes to collect myself before they get up. We had breakfast reasonably early, started school earlier than usual, and I was thinking we were rocking it.

The night before, one of our two cats, Bumble (named after the Abominable Snow Monster in Rudolph - all of our cats have had Christmas names) began limping. I thought he was hurting but lots of cats gimp for a few days and move on, so it was rather comical. I realized he was actually legitimately hurting even Wednesday, so we took food and water to him upstairs. Everything started to slow down somewhere, so lunch was late, it took forever to get people to their own assigned “quiet spaces” for quiet time. When someone walks or even breathes upstairs, it shakes the entire house, so the few minutes I tried to take alone turned into walking up and down the stairs to shush the perpetrators and I could not concentrate on any writing assignments I am working on. I did not have enough time to get out my sewing projects that I am excited to begin, so I ended up doing a bunch of nothing during my “quiet time.”

The usual fights that break out over a toy or someone bossing someone else around began to get to me. We have had a lot of togetherness over the past year and it is quite evident. The jumping off furniture gets a little old. The sad ottoman in the living room that somehow attracts wallowing every single day is literally at its breaking point. These little annoyances were getting to me and I realized I was no longer rocking it.

On a joyful note, we picked Chick-Fil-A up on the way to have a picnic supper with Brett before church, although we have no children's activities yet. Since he works two jobs, the girls and boy would not see him at all unless we ate together. We ate a quick supper before he welcomed students for worship, then drove home in the darkness and listened to some of my sing-along favorites and ended with Raegan’s request for “The Night Night Song.” After I listened to “my” music like Group 1 Crew and For King and Country, I couldn’t ignore cherub-faced Raegan’s request for her favorite song. I began to feel like we could redeem the day and I was back to rocking it.

After arriving home, we used our system for getting out of the vehicle, heading inside, and getting baths and showers going. The older ones go ahead and shower first on their own so they can help with the little ones as I get them out of the car and ready for bath. That night, however, was like herding cats and nobody was really hearing anything I was saying.

Inside, as I was working on getting the five in and out of baths, into pajamas, and pull-ups or diapers, I noticed poor Bumble hobble out from under the crib. I figured he needed to go outside to relieve himself as he took the steps carefully to the landing. On my trips to and from bathroom to bedrooms, I noticed he had walked back upstairs, so I tried to coax him down the steps again, but did not want to pick him up and risk hurting his back leg, so I asked Linley to try to lead him downstairs and outside. After a few more trips back and forth, everyone was clean, cozy, and warm, and I saw Bumble taking a squat on the clean clothes in the laundry basket in the hallway, waiting to be put away. As I said, “Nooooooo, Bumble, nooooo, not the clean clothes” I just let it happen in disbelief. I would have cried but I did not have time. It really was not his fault. He had to go. Linley came out of her room to ask what was wrong, and found me sitting in the floor, waiting for him to finish so I could put the laundry right back in the washing machine. Everyone knows that smell cannot be covered, so it is best to start right away. I had just put lotion on my hands that are as dry as the outside of a coconut, so I had to wash my hands again as well. Ouch! This cold Tenn. weather cracks my hands! I guess I am just used to the south Miss. weather where winters are still around 75 degrees and there is usually some humidity. After I got what warm water was left for my shower and pajamas on, Deacon Boy went to bed. The girls and I just climbed into my bed in a row like birds on a line, and watched a Pioneer Woman episode. Whew.

I am glad for God’s grace on days like this when humanity takes over and I realize I am still just a girl saved by grace. I need to ask God for help more - for wisdom in every role I play, guidance in how to respond, even how to plan the day. Admittedly I sometimes forget that He listens to the “small stuff” that really turns out to be “big stuff.” I spend time with God in the wee hours of the morning and still often forget to talk to Him just after I close my Bible and life really begins for the day.

God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness,” so Paul responded with, “I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). I am naturally inclined to self-reliance and I am still like my Raegan who is three and insists, “I do it!” God’s power is shown more in my weakness than through power. Whether you are rocking the day or feeling like it is a complete wreck, remember that God always hears us (Psalm 116:1-2). Thankful for His grace today!




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