Yesterday was hard. [This has taken me four days to write...so...just pretend this was yesterday.] It would be easy to look at the pictures I just put up the other day and assume that everything here is all sunshine, all the time. Although I am content - even delighted - in my calling, there are still days that are incredibly challenging, humbling, and exposing of the rampant sin in my heart.
My attitude was foul from the beginning. The night before had been unusually difficult with Ruthie, especially since she had been going longer stretches more consistently. I was sleepily washing bottles, disappointed that we were still out of coffee creamer, trying to get geared up for a full day. I especially dreaded the trip to the grocery store, which would include all three of the girls. Although I was whining in my own heart, I was particularly intolerant of the whining that emerged from the big girls' room. Phoebe seemed particularly sensitive, and Nora just wanted to be held. Ruthie, who goes back to sleep about the time the big girls are getting up, was unusually fussy and unsettled. I grumbled and stewed over breakfast.
While I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I was ready to throw in the towel. And it wasn't even 8:30. Michael kidnapped Nora and brought her to the girls' room for a little one-on-one time before he left for work. And as I scrubbed the counters, I tried to scrub out my nasty attitude. (I failed, by the way.)
By 9:00, Michael had to get out the door...and I had to get those girls dressed if we were going to ever make it out of the house. Ruthie was already crying to be fed. Michael set up the big girls on blankets for blanket time and I hurried to get a bottle ready. Feeding time was uneventful, but it wasn't long before Nora figured out how to take the top off my water bottle...and then pour it all over herself and the couch. The slipcover came off, and Nora got a wardrobe change. I also needed a wardrobe change, since Ruthie had spit up all over my back. And then, it was off to Publix.
We made it all the way to the dairy section before Nora had a complete come-apart. I am certain she could be heard in the deli, crying "hold you" over and over. (Holding was, by the way, almost impossible; with Ruthie in the Moby, I just didn't feel like I could haul an additional 23 pounds through the store.) We arrived back home intact, although I managed to forget the milk. (Remember? Complete melt down in dairy.) Phoebe accidentally dips her dress in the potty, resulting in another wardrobe change. The big girls got a little angsty over personal space with their coloring books, but the rest of the morning was relatively uneventful.
Mercifully, naptime had arrived. Except Phoebe didn't nap. Emotions were on high for the rest of the afternoon. It was more of the same all the way until bedtime, but I'm thankful that the details are now hazy. It was an all-day exercise in doing the next thing.
When the girls were all in bed, I got in the shower. When I came out, Nora was rowdy. I dressed and had the privilege of being the bedtime disciplinarian.
I was tired. No, I was exhausted. My muscles ached. My head throbbed. I was so ready to throw in the towel. And the tears came. It was as if I was too exhausted to hold them in any longer. I wasn't sad, just really, really tired. I'm thankful that Michael and I were able to decompress and process the day together.
All day long I meditated on Galatians 6:9, which says, "Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." And that is so a truth I need to hear these days. In the midst of the non-stop do-gooding that goes on all day long, I need that precious reminder that we will reap a harvest in its season. Now is the season for sowing - and right now, I'm sowing in heaps of laundry, heart training, bubbles and tickles, eight bottles a day, and sleepless nights. But what an abundant harvest, in God's graciousness, this will produce!