Today I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It's the same side I roll out of every morning. But today, it was accompanied by whining children's cries for "apple juice", "chocolate milk", "she keeps bothering me", and "I'm wet".
I staggered to the kitchen as I stripped one child of their moist pajamas, and simultaneously stirred chocolate milk. I promise you, any given day looks like a well practiced cirque de sole act.
Except it's not. Any stay at home mom with four very small children will tell you she's mostly winging it- and if she doesn't, she's lying and needs to repent.
After serving breakfast, the laundry that was a manageable pile with an end in sight, grew like the grinch's heart in size in just a matter of a few moments. Teaghan switched her tutu for the 6th time, and Wesley had wet his pants. Three of four had changed multiple times already and it wasn't even 9:30! Today was going to be great, the laundry was telling me so.
Most days as a homeschooling mom, it's exciting to watch your kid learn and grow in academic skill. Today I wanted to crawl in a hole and pretend I didn't know how to add myself. Instead, I gave myself a silent 5th pep-talk, and gathered the things for the morning. Instead of starting a new concept, I thought we would just review since my mind wasn't even properly functioning at this point, and I hadn't yet poured a first cup of coffee.
The worksheet had problems numbered 1-6, even though it lied because there after 1 was an a, b, c, d problem. (I always hated that in school and somehow the worksheet brought up all those resentful feelings from years ago when I was learning arithmetic too.)
"Ok, all you're doing today is making 10! Isn't that easy! You can use your fingers, or the abacus, or marbles or whatever. This first one says _+6=10. If I have 6 fingers, how many more do I need to make 10?"
For some reason, today of all days, McKenna said 2. And she kept guessing every other number in the entire astronomical universe-except for 4. She was almost in tears. At that point, I already was. A long and exasperating morning was becoming longer and more taxing than an audit by the IRS.
I told her to take a break - because clearly I- I mean she - needed one. I went to the kitchen, leaving basic arithmetic behind me like a bad dream.
I love to cook. It's soothing. And decided to start dinner since it would be one thing I could accomplish all morning without a hiccup. It was something I could do alone. Which is a big deal. For me. On a morning like this.
I took the roast from the fridge- I was already winning because I remembered to take it out of the freezer the day before. Grabbed the Dutch Oven from the drawer, and CRASH!
A lid for a giant spaghetti lot was hanging onto the Dutch oven lid, and apparently playing hide-and-go-seek with me- today of all days. It fell and hit the tile and glass went flying. Not in large pieces like a dinner plate or cup. Shards and splintering pieces.
It was my day, my attitude, my joy in a picture, personified, and scattered all over my kitchen floor.
I could feel glass settling in my toes, in my comfy pajama pants, in my soul.
Paco started sweeping. He probably knew if I had to do it right then, I would have sat in it to sulk instead.
I got in the shower and cried. The water would hide my tears, from whoever would see me there. Even though I was alone. I turned around to get out and dry off, and thought I'd emotionally "reset" somehow in the running water.
And there was Adalynn. Fully clothed. And fully drenched. She had, unbeknownst to me during my pitty party, joined me in the shower.
I wish I could say the day got better. But I'm sitting here, during "nap" time, and all four children are talking. All four are awake. And all four will need something in another sentence or two.
The point is, this day, is like any other day. It's full of terrible things and awful moments. As a mom, there's never an "easy" day. What is easy is His yoke. His burden. His load. Which He trades for mine, willingly at any moment- if only I'm willing to let mine go.
I think as moms we think we have to carry it all. And sometimes, our families depend on us doing so. But in the moments when we forget who is carrying us, we become withered, and drained, and exasperated.
I've wasted the afternoon on me. I didn't do dishes. I didn't clean up lunch. I didn't even start on that laundry.
But I sat, and got ahold of the One who holds my heart, and it's made all the difference. It doesn't mean I won't be frustrated in half an hour, or that I won't want to cry when McKenna tries her schoolwork again. It just means I can keep going, for just a moment longer, for today. He's given me everything. EVERY stinking thing for life and for godliness. And I can't ignore His giving and expect to give Him all of me too. I either get Him, and lose myself, or I have all of me and none of Him.
Be encouraged, that today, He wants you. He wants all of you. The messy, frustrated, disheveled and angry you. The one who is weeping and yelling and shattered like glass into a million pieces- and He wants to trade you His best - just because He loves you.
Kudos to all the moms who are making it happen today. Whatever "it" is, let Him be a part. The shower won't fix it. The right words from your husband or kids won't fix it. A glass of wine at the end of the day won't fix it either. Only Jesus can reset the mess and make it worth it all.