Okay, so I think I just had one of those crazy parenting days. While writing today’s post, I paused to run upstairs and take a picture, closing my laptop before I left the table where my children were doing their schoolwork (or maybe they were playing with cars and tracks; it was hard to keep them on task today). When I returned, my laptop was open, and an old video of my son singing in the school talent show was playing. I panicked and searched for my blog post . It looked intact, I thought, but when I glanced at my phone, I saw a notification that Whispers of Worth had just published a post.
Blogging Gone Awry
“No, no, no!” I yelled, as I frantically tried to recall the social media sites it posted on. Meanwhile, I was reprimanding my four-year old, freaking out, and, well, freaking out. I managed to minimize the damage, deleting the incomplete post from all except the emails to my subscribers, which were impossible to retrieve. (If you are a subscriber reading this, please accept my daughter’s and my apology for that mess of writing we sent to you).
I have since finished and re-posted the edited and complete version. Unfortunately, I lost a subscriber in the process, probably the newest one who joined this morning, who wondered what in the world kind of rubbish she signed up for.
The day carried on, much like it normally does, with messes piling up around me, this time as I tried my hand at homemade cinnamon rolls. They were a birthday gift for my husband’s employee and good friend of ours who recently overcame a cancer diagnosis and ran in the Boston Marathon while undergoing chemo earlier this year. Cinnamon rolls are his favorite; I thought he deserved some for his special day.
Kids in the Kitchen
Flour, cinnamon, and sugar coated pretty much every surface in the kitchen once Skyler (the four-year old) and I were done preparing them, but it was well worth it. They were delicious! Be sure to try the recipe found here from Money Saving Mom. (I used half whole wheat flour for mine, and they turned out just fine.)
Fast forward through the afternoon (swimming at a friend’s house and tacos for dinner) to the evening clean-up. While I was doing the dishes, all hell broke loose around the house. Not the crazy, loud, chaos kind- no, that’s to be expected with five kids. What I didn’t expect to find was:
1. Game land central in my living room, with half-folded laundry scattered everywhere. I tried something new and completely ineffective- but fun- instead of yelling tonight: I sang. Loudly. I sang loudly about picking up, about how angry I was, and how if they didn’t pick up, I would be yelling instead of singing. Maybe, I sang too well or I was having too much fun performing, but nothing really changed until later . . . when I yelled (actually, it was more like prodding them along).
2. Drippings from Craft Smart paint pens. . . all over our new hardwood floor and my 12-year old son’s sheets. Aaaah! He decided to finish an art project in his bed and was completely oblivious to the extensive damage he was creating while he worked. He told me that these paint pens supposedly clean up with alcohol.
3. Bathroom Disaster #587. I ran to the bathroom, only to be stopped dead in my tracks. I’ll spare you the picture (no, I didn’t even consider taking one . . . yes, I did). Suffice it to say that Skyler (yes, the four-year old) had gone #2, used too much toilet paper, then stopped up and subsequently flooded the bathroom with the contents of the toilet. “Gross” and “Disgusting” escaped my lips several times during this episode (and I’ve seen plenty of gross in my 12 years of parenting).
Twenty minutes later- and yes, now it was bedtime- the bathroom was safe to use again. Back to the boys’ room with alcohol and cotton balls I returned. Thankfully, the alcohol works, but I was scared to ruin the finish on the floors and fumigate the boys’ room when they were about to go to bed for the night, so we’re saving that project for tomorrow.
A Thankful Heart
I definitely lost my cool during that half hour, but not as badly as I expected to. Maybe, it helped that Pandora played exactly the right kind of music on my Michael Bublé station to mellow out my mania. Whatever the case, I found myself hanging over the tub at the end of it all, scrubbing the trash can, and whispering a prayer of thanks: “Thank you that I have children to make these crazy messes. Thank you that I haven’t lost one of them to cancer or a sudden illness.”
For a woman who never wanted to have children before she married, to come to a place where I can be thankful for the messes my five children make is a gift in itself. And, I am thankful, extra thankful, as my heart grieves for the family of sweet, five-year old Jack, who left this world for Heaven’s glory yesterday after an unexpected and fatal attack of viral meningitis. In the whirlwind of a week, he was whisked away in the providence and severe mercy of our loving Lord.
It has been a crazy day, but poop, paint, and accidental posts aside, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Have you ever had “one of those days”? Or, have you had one of “those” days, like Jack’s mother had this week? As Beth Moore simply stated in our Breaking Free video last night, “With Jesus, it will be all right.”
They Are Just Floors
Tonight, for me at least, it was all right. I prayed with each child individually at bedtime (something I rarely get to do), thanking the Lord for each one, and acknowledging before Him- and them- their particular gifts and personalities that make them such a treasure to have in our family. Tears dropped from guilt-ridden Judah’s eyes (the paint pen offender) as I prayed for the Lord to help him be more observant and to know how loved he is. Because, as much as I love my hardwood floors, they are just floors. He is my son, and his heart is of infinitely more importance to me.
Will you do me a favor? In Jack’s honor, will you give your kids (or another loved one) an extra hug or word of affirmation when you see them next? They are a gift from the Lord, a holy responsibility on loan from Him, to raise for His glory.
Lord, help us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for [us] in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18)