Endless Days, Interrupted Nights

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Sometimes I wonder how my life started to look like this:

Wake up at 6:00 Monday morning pressed between my husband and a small child.
He has a child on his other side, too.
Get dressed. The first daycare child arrives early.
Spend a few minutes with the Lord.
Get teenager up.
Wake up two little children and put them in carseats.
Drive teenager to driver's ed on the other side of the county.
Arrive home 45 minutes later.
Wake up the rest of the children and feed them breakfast.
Other daycare child arrives.
Make beds. Put in a load of laundry.
Pick up teenager from driver's ed. Another 45 minutes.
Take too long getting ready to go to the beach.
Go to the beach for a little while.
Come home and make lunch.
Clean up kitchen, put away toys.
Put the kids down for a nap. Write for a little while they are resting.
Wake kids up for afternoon snack.
Feed the kids boiled eggs and toast to tide them over until "real" supper.
Daycare kids are picked up.
Husband comes home from work.
Go to the beach (with Daddy this time) to cool the kids down before bed because it's too hot to sleep.
Come home and make supper.
Wash dishes.
Hubby goes to bed. Two little ones climb into my spot.
Send the older kids off to bed - it's already 10:30
Check to see if the babies are asleep enough to move them to their own beds. Nope.
Pick up random laundry scattered around the house.
Take a moment to switch the laundry and put in a last-of-the-day, long-running cycle load.
Pray for the older kids who are now in their beds.
Go back upstairs to the kitchen and re-wash the table after a child who is in the process of learning.
Set the coffee maker to come on in the morning.
Sweep up the egg shells that are still on the floor from the afternoon.
Check to see if the babies are asleep yet. Not quite.
Turn off all of the lights, lock the doors.
Take a shower.
Move the now-sleeping babies to their own beds. How long with they stay there?
Ease into bed quietly to avoid waking hubby.
It is now midnight.

The sad thing is, most of my days go something like this, usually exchanging driver's ed drop-offs with my physical therapy exercises and trips to the beach with storytime or a nature walk. Most days there are many loads of laundry.

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I suppose that I never guessed what motherhood truly entailed when I "signed up" for it. I don't think I realized that I was forfeiting all personal privacy and that my children would riffle through my personal belongings, play in my jewelry box, come into the bathroom with me, and rummage through my neatly lined up collection of lovely shoes (which I rarely get to wear) so that they can thump around the house in them.

I've read books and I've even watched Super Nanny, so I know how to get children to go to bed on their own and sleep through the night, but I cannot manage to get my own two little ones to go to bed on their own and sleep through the night!

My husband says that it is just a passing moment and that I should not try to rush through their need to cuddle - some day they won't want to anymore. Besides, four of them do sleep through the night.

In their own beds.


I know.

I've been finding myself becoming nostalgic lately when I see my last little child doing something somewhat babyish and I know that soon he will be a big boy and won't want to help with everything I do,

or run that sweet toddler-waddle kind of run, 

or give kisses.

I was watching my tall first-born walking hand-in-hand with my tiny last-born yesterday and thinking about when he was tiny, too.

 It wasn't that long ago!

Sometimes my husband likes to listen to country music when we are driving. The other day this song came on the radio. It brought tears to my eyes.

I've been reading Ann Voscamp's book One thousand Giflts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. She talks about how each and every moment of our lives are full of precious tiny gifts - even the hard moments - we just have to take time to notice and collect them!

I am slowly learning how to do this. To savor ALL of the moments, even the hard ones. Moments that I would want back if they were suddenly gone.

Or eventually gone.

Which they will be.

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." James 4:13-15

I have been cherishing these busy days mostly in retrospect, but I want to be more intentional about my moments and cherish the gifts as they come - rather than trying to remember them later - because of what all of these small moments represent:  a whole life devoted to God and my family. Love. And a  legacy for eternity in my children.

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 13:11-14

...Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. 2 Timothy 1:9


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