I woke with a headache this morning. Several kids changed their minds several times on what they wanted for breakfast. School started late, prayers and bible well after ten o'clock and before I was even dressed. Not what I had hoped for this Monday morning, and possibly a good enough excuse to throw in the towel before we'd even really gotten started. The slow revving of the day is one of the hardest parts for me, when we shake off sleep and face down the truth that the only way out of the tasks before us is right straight through them. I let it fester a moment, give that thought a second to linger - "I don't wanna" - before setting it aside and moving right along.
The work and the sheer bulk of tasks that surround me at all times can be discouraging, but when I take a moment to quiet the anxieties and stresses of each day, I can see them for what they are. Opportunities to grow, to serve, to do the work I've been called to. Mercies, actually, if you think about it. I'd be lying if I said I saw each mess, each overflowing laundry basket, each sibling squabble as some grace-bathed opportunity. I don't. Most of the time I just want to cover my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears - anything to avoid dealing with the tough and unpleasant things that this life is rife with each and every day. And yes, some days feel like pure survival, and even that a stretch.
But I'm done waiting for the perfect day. I'm over the expectation of perfection. It's not that I've thrown in the towel, but that I've learned one thing in my 11 years of staying home with a house full of kids. That is that when we submit ourselves to the will of the Almighty, the path He leads us on will always require us to do the hard things. A difficult day does not signal the absence of grace. Walking with Him in it? Is the very definition.
So my sticky kitchen floor is holy ground. The dining room littered with school books and stacks of laundry a chapel of grace. The endless feeding and clothing and soothing of a half dozen needy children the picture of gospel love. My post as care taker, love giver, prayer whisperer - is of utmost importance and requires everything of me, every part of me, every day.
I pop a tylenol for the headache and lure littles into the kitchen with the promise of cookies. This day will be much like the others, imperfect and messy, chaotic and crazy. I'll have to talk myself down a few times when it all seems like an impossible feat, but we'll arrive at the end, like we always do. 8 heads bowed around our little table, thankful again for a day spent with Him.
Hard and holy, as perfect a day as we could hope for.
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