Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Crazy and the Calm

Its been the kind of week where I haven't had 5 seconds to rub together.

The kind of week where my train of thought is interrupted so often that its no longer a train...

The kind of week where you just try and get through...and the most depressing part is it's only Tuesday.

There aren't many moments within this kind of week (and you all know exactly what I'm talking about, because we all have weeks like this) where it is quiet long enough for me to take a deep breath, much less spend time with the Lord. Its more like a 20 second bathroom break that is combined with a "Jesus, help me. I'm losing it. Help me," prayer time.

Here are a few of the highlights:

1. Nate ate the fortune inside his fortune cookie...he said he didn't do it on purpose, but I swear he knows those things have papers inside them, and he was trying to get a laugh.

2. I couldn't figure out how to open the hood of my van so I could help my best friend jump her car. I literally had to get out the owner's manual (after several moments looking for it) to find out where the lever was.

3. I went into the half bathroom (for my daily 20 second prayer time) and stepped onto the rug...and it was soaked. For several long moments I was convinced I had stepped into the contents of an overflowed toilet. Thankfully it was just a leak in the flush tank, so the water I was standing in, and then mopping up, was clean. Still, that leak put the most-used-bathroom in our house out of commission for a few days. You want to see boys running FAST, watch them when they realize they have to make it all the way to the other side of the house before they pee their pants.

4. I ran a bath for the boys the other night...and Gabe climbed into the full tub of perfectly clean water...and peed.

5. Several splinters required a needle. Enough said.

6. Laundry. (insert all appropriate curse words here)

7. I offered to give away as many of my children as my sister was willing to take. She said she would only take them in trade...and she had a husband she was willing to hand over...but husbands are every bit as difficult as kids, maybe more so...and we were mostly just venting anyway.

8. As I listened to my second grader and kindergartner read, I told myself over and over "It'll get better. Everyone says, when they hit 3rd grade, the reading gets better. Just breathe, it gets better."

9. My daughter, who is 11, lost her very last baby tooth.

10. I had a moment of total silence, which lasted all of 7 seconds, and I heard the Lord speaking to me. He reminded me that I was looking forward to the end of so many things about this stage of my life, and I was forgetting to see the joy, and the magnificence, in it.

Because Nate may eat paper in order to elicit a flabbergasted reaction from me, but he also climbs onto my bed every nights and tells me he loves me and he thinks I'm beautiful. And he may not always do that, so I should be thankful for those moments.

And Gabe pees in perfectly good bath water, but he also says "Mommy, guess what? I love you and I think you're cute." And he might not always.

And Clay screams his head off when I'm digging out his splinters (seriously, people passing by our house will think I am pulling out his fingernails with pliers.) and he reads at the speed of SNAIL, but he makes me laugh every single day with his funny personality, and when he's grown up I will miss that.

And Faith might say she is doing laundry, but actually just throws dirty clothes into the washer and then walks out of the room and leaves them for me to take care of, but she also talks to me like we are friends, and she thinks I'm cool, and she seeks my advice. And she might not do that for a season...a season that is coming in the not-so-distant future.

So, before I descend back into the abyss of wrestling matches, hide-and-seek chases, urine infested bath water, digestible paper, dirty clothes, leaking toilets, tired feet, unshaven legs, un-brushed teeth, and all the rest that drowns out all attempts at coherent thought, I will say this:

Every stage is filled with insanity, and every stage is filled with beauty. And if we focus too much on one, we will miss the other. I for one would rather miss the insanity than miss the beauty.

Take a breath. It only has to be a second. Breathe in His presence. See the beauty.

It's enough for this moment, Lord. Just enough.

Remind me again in a minute.

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