My plan for effective, non-confrontational discipline started to go awry about 3am, when the dog woke me up because she needed to go out….which led into me hearing Jana (the littlest) crying then deciding to stay up for an hour with me. Being the ever productive sort of person that I am, I try & make lemonade out of it & make John’s sandwich while I am up with her so I don’t have to getup @ 5, when he does. I returned to my blissful state of unconsciousness & awoke @ 8:00! What, 8am? Me? Whose favorite hours are 5:30-7:30 in the morning. Yes, and I am absolutely bagged tired, with a bad headache. I go upstairs & discover Eva (9) bright eyed & bushy tailed endeavoring to bless me with the making of scrambled eggs, toast & cut up fruit.
You know, it’s so hard to be cheery when you see this. I love her heart so much and she is so confident in her abilities –you just can’t buy that sort of stuff. But I groaned inwardly at the excessive bowls & frying pans, etc. used. Cast iron frying pans that I will doubtlessly have to scrub.
So we get through breakfast, my head feels like it has a balloon being inflated inside it, but I try to smile or at least not growl at my wonderful offspring, one of whom insists on rubbing her planter warts on the other kids. I try & pray silently, thankfully, but it’s all static. I didn’t get my God Time this a.m. and that is not a good thing. You see, for me it’s not a matter of me making Him a priority or making time for Him in my life & reading, etc. It’s a matter of if I don’t I am usually doomed (& consequently my kids) to a day of impatience, inverted priorities & ineffectiveness.
I decide to cancel the visit I had planned with another homeschooling families house at 10:00. It is not going to happen. Nobody wants to be around me the way I am and there is too much for me to do to be anywhere close to on time –which I need to be to get back here for Jana’s nap. But I cannot find this ladies phone # to cancel. Anywhere, even 411 doesn’t have it. I spend half an hour looking for it when miraculously, the doorbell rings while I am downstairs & the girls invite in Zoe; the long lost best friend whom Grace was not supposed to see as a “natural” consequence of having slept in because she was up so late last night. Pop! There goes that perfectly articulated bubble. Grace for some odd reason had no intention of sleeping in & all the girls are chatting excitedly as only girls can. The upside to this is that Zoe can run home & get me the phone number I need to cancel. Yay. Everyone is occupied with Zoe’s stories of a faraway land called Florida so I figure I can sneak to me bedroom for some of that much needed God Time. Wrong. As I try reading, focusing my mind, my intentions on connecting with my Maker, attempting to feel the peace that surpasses all understanding Jana comes downstairs just as pleased as punch she has stolen her sisters binoculars unnoticed. She is so proud as she wordlessly climbs on my bed, beaming with her drool & little pigtails half out. Then she chatters, telling me all about how she got them, what it means to her, blah, blah, blah…and the God Time disappears. Poof! Gone! But just maybe He doesn’t care so much right now about me being able to perfectly fix my mind on him, wholly surrendered. Maybe He cares more about treating the child He has entrusted me to raise with love & respect, building her up. It’s hard for me to take this path; I am a very linear person, my mine works in lists, usually it goes: 1. Get God Time. 2. Get me time. 3. Can go out & be a good parent & change the world or whatever.
Maybe He is trying to work that out of me.
Even as I write this I have been peppered with interruptions. My computer has spontaneously printed off this blog @ least 3 times & I have no idea why, kids come to me with “Are you bringing me a monkey back from Costa Rica?” “Can I wear a dress today?” “Mom, she isn’t helping me clean the kitchen!” And just clingy-ness & whining from a Jana who is fast approached tired. Currently I am hearing a song from “Phantom of the Opera” that Grace & her friend are set on perfecting. They are also building some sort of stage upstairs for a near-future performance for an audience of 1 –me.
Laundry is not put away. Office Day yesterday shrank to 15 min of me desperately trying to make phone called & modify my calendar. Kitchen Day…well nothing on the list that day got done. I have the urge to purge but not the time or energy to carry it out right now. Half of the office/rec room where I am composing this is under construction & I have to drywall & paint this wknd. You get the picture…
I am not intending this to be a whiny blog, I am trying to share what I think He is trying to do to me, to my character in this stage of my life. Perseverance & priorities. I was reading Jeremiah last night. I flipped open & started to read & I read about us being clay in the potters hands. I need to remember that I become more like Jesus not through going to church & joining a Bible study (although those things are of value). It’s just plain old me. How I act, what I think and am I still intent on furthering His Kingdom her today when nobody is watching & listening to me but Him.
A couple of evenings ago, my eldest daughter, Grace, had a conversation with her biological dad (who is extremely unstable & has a distorted view of life). It was painful to hear (yes, I did eavesdrop because she was talking so loudly). She was finally honest with him and told him exactly how his actions were impacting her. I have never been so proud of one of my kids I think. She spoke about forgiveness, about everyone she has had to forgive in her messy life, she encouraged him to read, she asked if she could pray with Him. She calmed him down & kept the conversation level-headed when her dad would go off & get angry. She directed him to Jesus. If you didn’t know who was behind that door you would have thought it was an adult. She shouldn’t have to be in that position, but that is the way things have worked out. I couldn’t have articulated with the grace & ease which she did. It was truly a sermon unto me that make me weep & convicted me. My prayers, the years of investing in her as a person –I am finally seeing the fruit of it! And as I think on that this morning, I am encouraged to keep going, keep slogging it out as a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom.