90% of the time the dinner dishes must be left until all are in bed. I stagger bedtimes--three of them--to enjoy special time with each girl, and then the boys together. I don't mind dishes, generally. But I dread post-bedtime dishes! After caring for little ones by myself for fourteen straight hours, energy no longer flows from me. Someday, perhaps husband will be home in the evenings to start baths while I clean the kitchen early evening.
Nothing grows you like solo parenting. A few minutes here, an hour there, is all we get of Daddy. Such is the life of the "working poor". Busy, busy, busy, with no forward motion. Quite maddening. My husband is feeling the stress keenly. The working poor--often scrambling in several different jobs--is a fast growing segment of society, thanks to the recession. Many people were unable to obtain comparable income, after losing their jobs initially. Some were in fields that outsourced or automated (like administrative secretaries).
Anyhow, if you know a single mom, ask her if you can watch the kids for a couple hours?
Time to count some blessings so I can spring right up and dash to the kitchen joyfully--cleaning and wiping away. The simple act of surveying the day, looking for bright spots, is an act of worship. However downcast you were, all sorrow and worry will pass away, as your list builds. You melt knowing that, yes, God is there. Still. Sovereign and Almighty. Detail-oriented expert, blessing you in the moments.
Notice. Notice and give thanks.
My Blessing List
- During dinner I always ask about their favorite parts of the day. Peter said, readily, "My favorite part was writing the letter to my new pen pal." A blog reader and I hooked up our kids and today we got our first pen pal letter in the mail. Oh my, were they blessed--particularly Peter! The same-age pen pal wrote that she liked bugs and animal science. After Peter read that, he grinned up at me, "Mommy! Jesus keeps blessing me with people who like bugs!" I choked up at that, and could only give him a hug in reply. Dear Friend, thank you for having your daughter write that precious letter!
- Finding some long-lost mittens and hats, the children tried them on. Imaginations sparked, leading to bandit and sheriff play. Laughter filled the halls, the bedrooms, as they looked for black clothes. These moments of imaginative play make me want to stop time--to freeze frame the raucous sounds and sights of sibling delight. (Okay, it
- The view outside. Half-naked trees....leaves blanketing lawn. Wind gusts and leaf showers remind. Winter's new set of tree clothes--snow white--arrives soon. Praise God for four sets of tree clothes--all uniquely beautiful!
- Homemade applesauce
- Comfort-food aromas
- Freshly-vacuumed carpet
- Children who notice nature. Our resident squirrels are mighty busy right now. "They're getting ready for winter, Mommy". Acorns were gathered at a park yesterday, then thrown around our yard for the squirrels. Let's see what happens to those the squirrels don't find, shall we?
- A boy of six who hugs Mommy after she apologizes for harshness. "I know you sometimes have a hard time, Mommy. I love you."
- Sitting on the couch this morning with the children, as they practiced their Christmas Pageant songs. The songs are beautiful, teaching well about the true meaning of Christmas.
Peter said as we were finishing up, "Christmas is so much more than the decorations, isn't it, Mommy?"
It's one thing to preach this, but kids love their glitter and glitz, don't they? Even though my boys have solid relationships with Jesus Christ, they've never really comprehended the true meaning of Christmas. I sense that through this Christmas Pageant story ("Miracle on Main Street"), that will change. We're practicing their parts and all the songs for our morning devotions, through mid-December.
Every year they've asked for a well-decorated house and every year we can't afford it. Perhaps they won't even ask this year! Remind me to give the Children's Director a big hug for her pageant-curriculum choice! Perfect timing for our family.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
..give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.