Monday, January 19, 2009

To Arms!

It was a day. Malaise hung thick in the air affecting children and school work and chores. I hauled the stragglers back to their tasks and felt the weight of responsibility heavy on my shoulders. At eleven I asked John to start getting ready for a doctors appointment. At twelve he was good to go. At twelve-thirty I asked the children to begin getting in the car. By one, all were assembled. Steam gathered between my ears and Charlie cried because he couldn't get his shoes on.

I started to wind up for a good tantrum on the highway but refrained. "Guys! We are at the crossroads and and we need to choose the good way. Let's take turns praying that we would choose peace." We did while Charlie cried louder. "John! Help him with his shoes!" Peace eluded.

Smack! A stone flew out from under the tread of a tractor trailer and hit the windshield. A round hole remains to tell the tale. Charlie cried, "I need a pillow! My stomach hurts! I want to lie down!" It will be a while before he can face a doctor without anxiety.

John hacked and coughed and Claire tripped over the curb and fell flat on her stomach on the doctor's lawn. Charlie passed his doctor's exam and John flunked. Onto Wal-Mart for John's prescription where the children closed ranks round the cart. I thought hard on patience and was mostly successful until the entertainment department. "I cannot take a step in any direction! Will one of you please move!," I cried in a voice loud enough that several gentlemen backed away from the row of televisions. None of the children stirred. A prescription and a bathroom break later, I was back in the freezing wind, tripping over children, lifting two-ton Charlie out of the cart and into his car seat.

And now we ride home in relative calm and I take stock. This is not a Woe-is-Me day. This is a day to celebrate, to delight in. A day where dross rises to the top. A day common to man. A day to persevere. Not much crossed off on my list of things to do but God is probably checking off a thing or two on His. Bring it on!


40winkzzz said...

We have days like that, but you are so much better at writing about them. Yesterday was a frustrating day around here, too, rife with dawdling, nagging, bickering, & tantrums. And Mondayness only partially accounted for that; to be honest, days like that are the norm lately. (An ADD mom homeschooling an ADHD adolescent is rather a bad combination-- THAT's what accounts for most of the frustration.) And they do have a tendency to drive me to my knees, whereas the good days do not.

btw, I notice the elapsed time between your telling John to get ready and the time everyone was in the car totaled two hours! Obviously you have learned to start planning for leaving the house waaaaay ahead of time! Maybe I should do that.

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

These are the things life is made of...the ordinary, the moment by moment prayers for patience and the overbubbling of frustration that our kids still seem to ignore.


Sarah said...

I considered updating my Facebook status to...Sarah is catching her breath after a very LOUD, long-winded, speech to the kids on cleaning up after themselves. You have so much more patience than me!

It's great to see a healthy Charlie back in the line up!

Mama JJ said...

Oh, Kate! I howled, I wailed, I laughed till my stomach hurt. I FEEL your pain, sister. Big time.


Jennifer said...

When I am having one of those days, I find myself praying for redemption: "redeeming the time" takes on a new meaning then!

Good anecdote, bad reality, as they say. One day these kind of days will make us all roll!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Oh girl, yes To Arms!
I have been praying for you all bunches! Hang in there. God is doing something for sure. I love His to do list much more than mine yet I always forget His!
Love ya!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Love this! The way it is written and the "cheer" at the end.


I think I will print it for my many days that are "common to man"

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Kate - I can't get the links to work...would you mind emailing them to me?

Heather C said...

Kate - you are so eloquent. I hope you realize how powerfully the Lord speaks through you as you take the ordinary things of life and bring them into a divine light. I'm blessed.

Sara Carmichael said...

I just love your writing style, Kate. It's so smooth. You really need to be published (maybe you already are). Love the reference to scripture. Very poignant.