Tuesday morning she awakes, on the couch, realizing that she had dozed off during some movie, fell hard, and did not stir until dawn. Bone-tired, muscles aching, and soul weary, wishing she could pull the covers up, or just go for a walk, by herself, for one blessed hour of aloneness.
She can’t remember the last day she had that felt restful.
One quick and quiet prayer and then up to fetch the baby, to slap together a barely passable breakfast and then get to work. The 10:30 house-showing would come quick, and even though she had worked all yesterday to prepare there was still so much to be done.
She makes a cup of tea, but it grows cold – forgotten amid the rainbow Ikea dishes scattered across the counter.
There was no time for grumbling, but her heart was not light, either. This was not a “whistle while you work” moment, this was a “please pick up that blasted Lego right now! Haven’t I told you fourteen times? And no, right now is NOT a good time for Play-Doh!” kind of moment. Good heavens!
The baby refuses to nap.
She gives up on the idea of the kids helping, breaks all the house rules, and lets them veg on the couch watching Frozen. At least they won’t make a mess.
She puts away the stacks of laundry, makes the beds, sweeps, polishes the kitchen, and stuffs every stray thing under beds and between couch cushions.
10:20 – the realtor pulls in the driveway and she is still lugging garbage to the curb, picking shoes up off the lawn. The kitchen floor is still not mopped.
She pulls it off, but there is resentment lingering still. Her husband was away for work, laughing over coffees, having intelligent conversations with adults instead of irrational arguments with pre-schoolers. There was nothing “Hallmark” about her Mother’s Day, just more work. It doesn’t feel fair.
There have been too many hats for too many days. She loves each one, but lately they have mounted up against her – a pile of expectation and obligation too big to climb. But, oh, how she tries!
Cook, nurse, gardener, home-stager, housekeeper, handy-woman, preacher, Pastor’s wife, counselor, teacher, bookkeeper, confidant – they all seem to crowd out the hats she loves the most: Wife, Mommy, Child of God.
7:15 – kids all kissed and tucked she crouches on the footstool in the kitchen, exhausted, not daring to cry because she could never explain why to the man who had come home to a frazzled wife, and beautiful house. She washed the dishes. Sweeps the floors. Oh, how many times had she brushed those floors? How many crumbs had she whisked up and away? Surely more than can be counted, but nobody sees that.
8:00 – A prayer, and a whisper back, “See what you didn’t see, dear one. Your prayer for strength to do the impossible this morning? I answered, though you did not thank me. Yes, it was a long day, and you are tired. I have been tired too – so tired that I slept through a thunderstorm in a fishing boat! There will be rest for you, and in the meantime, there will be strength to keep going. I see you, and very crumb you’ve ever swept. I know you and your unexplainable heavy heart. I love you. You are mine. I am yours.”
And finally her eyes opened, and she suddenly saw the beauty of the day:
- The cherry tree in full bloom
- The kids laughing together
- The moment the incoherent and inconsolable three year old ran to you for consolation.
- The chapter read aloud over waffles at lunch, how they listened so carefully.
- When the baby snuggled in so close that he blew a raspberry on your neck.
- A five year old’s, self-taught, almost cart-wheel
- That homemade chipotle mayo, and those sweet potato fries. Yum!
- Springtime thunderstorms
- Answered prayers
- “Be Thou my Vision” playing in her head at the end of it all, reminding her that of all the hats that can be worn, the best one to wear is a crown of glory made for a daughter of the King.
And in the moment she found gratitude, her strength was renewed. Her waning resolve to face another busy day strengthened – for everything she lacks, He provides.
And then she rises for a hot cup…and maybe a little chocolate.