I spent the weekend at a Women's Retreat for our church. It was a blessing. Not restful, fun. Not draining, renewing. Lots of food and laughter and deep discussions. Sharing and testimonies and reaching out. Stepping outside my comfort zone, leading, following, talking, listening, ...singing...lots and lots of worship. It was a time of growing and strengthening friendships and starting new ones. A time of conviction to be a better mom and wife. A digging in to the Word of God and a burying myself to the world and reclaiming my life for Him. It was wonderful....
...and then I came home.
Don't get me wrong. I loved it when the kids all came running up to me and barely knocked me over to get a hug with mom. The dog was whimpering and jumping, Trevor was handsome and waiting, the house was clean, laundry caught up. It was good. I spent the afternoon snuggled on the couch with five faces nearby, some nearer than others. We got caught up on each other's weekend. I went to work when the kids went to bed and enjoyed the quiet with my husband that night. Slept peacefully and soundly....
...and then I woke up.
The day seemed to be off to a good start, just the regular chaos that a large family on a Monday brings with it. I was exhausted from late night laughter and sharing and soon discovered there was no caffeine left in the house anywhere. This after a weekend of pop and chocolate and with 7 children sitting around my table. I put out a 911 status on Facebook and to my complete surprise and delight my friend showed up at the door in response with two cherry coke zeros in her hand. Love that girl. Evidently this Monday was a test. I'v told you this before....God thinks He's funny. He like to joke with me. Test me. See how renewed and convicted and reclaimed I really am.
By 11:00 that day, our neighbors had heard some difficult news and I offered to bring dinner for them that evening. One of the children I watch had fallen from the playset and was not able to put any weight on her precious chubby two year old leg. My water got shut off because we (and by we, I mean my husband) had forgotten for several months to pay the bill and by the time we did it didn't post in time. They couldn't turn it back on til Tuesday. So here I am with a house full of children, one whom's leg might be broken and dinner to cook for the neighbors, three kids that need to poop with no running water in the house, and it's time to pick up my morning Kindergarteners. Nice. Hi Monday. Funny God.
My friend happened to drop by and was a witness to all this fun. I go to plan B for the neighbors dinner and throw all the stuff in the crockpot. My friend stays with the crew while I took the suspected broken leg to Kindergarten pick up with me. When I returned it was obvious that the little one needed to have her leg x-rayed so a call to her dad while fixing peanut butter sandwiches and we were back in business. I was asking my friend if this day was really happening and telling her how lucky my husband was that this all happened fresh off a retreat and my "I love Jesus" bank was filled to capacity. As I'm putting grapes on everyones plate grapes are rolling everywhere all over the floor....yep...hole in the bag. My friend is just laughing and I don't think can believe it herself. Meanwhile every child is singing a different song and I have gone to the sink to use it a half a dozen times to the drip drip drip of my turned off water! Funny stuff. Breathe. I love Jesus. I love my husband. I love my life. I love Mondays. Of course, we are almost out of milk and juice since I've been gone all weekend but I managed to get everyone something to drink.....combining the last two juices to make it a full glass.
I actually handle it pretty good. I'm laughing myself. I'm not yelling at my husband. I'm telling him quietly how thrilled I am with the predicament and his role in it. He too is very happy I am just returning from Retreat.
I spend naptime pulling weeds to work out my energy and forgetting I won't have water to wash my hands in or wipe the sweat off my face with. Lovely. When my husband comes home and asks what we are doing for dinner, I calmly reply that I do not know what he and the children are doing for dinner but that I am going thru Wendy's on my way to work. I tell him to use the baby wipes to wipe of all the important parts of the children and I had us lined up for showers at my friends house when I get home. I tell him it's fine. We are blessed. Some families never have running water and we can deal with this for 24 hours....or at least he can. uh hum.
Work is quiet and uneventful. I am cleaning a vet clinic after hours. I am a bit alarmed when I notice for the first time, a 'fecal centrifuge' machine in the lab that seems to be whirring poo at 100 miles a minute and I think.....surely not, God, that wouldn't be Godly, right?
I am able to laugh at it when I lay my head down to sleep and think to myself...tomorrow is a new day. I am so thankful for his Grace each new day....
and then Tuesday morning...
...when my 3 year old wakes, I realize she had been playing beauty shop with her 5 year old sister because half of her long twists all over her head are now only 3/4 of an inch long. The 3 year old whose hair I have been growing out for a year and a half now. The children I left in the care of my very capable ,even thought the water is turned off, husband. Breathe. I love Jesus. I love my children. Just back from Retreat. Funny stuff, God. Good one.
I send the 'hairdresser' upstairs before my Ally McBeal moment of me pulling an Edward Scissors hand on her comes to fruition. I'm thinking that isn't rational or loving and won't get my point across. I decide that I can't even take out the 'victim' or 'clients' twists to see the true damage because the last 24 hours have used up every ounce of patience and 'renewal' I had stored up! That is for another day.
As the day goes on and the water comes on, I am able to really laugh at the timing of these events. I am able to realize that all of these things are minor compared to other struggles people are having. I catch up on the pile of dirty dishes that has accumulated, flush all the toilets in the house again and again. Start the laundry that is sitting and waiting on me, all the baths to be taken and I boil things just because I can. Water anyone?
Thankful tomorrow is a new day!