I waved farewell to my urchins Monday morning. “Oh, yes, of course, I’ll miss you! Bye! Have a stellar day!”
My daughter assured me she would stay on green. The first week? How hard could it be? I shut the door quickly and locked it seeking the comfort of my cup of coffee.
The previous day I’d been warned by a friend about being so happy the kids were going back to school. Having already started her year, she told me to hush as we hugged our hellos at church.
The door shut, coffee in hand, and phone calls started. The first being my grown son who asked me to accompany him in his vehicle search and in the event he did find one, I could drive mine back home. Why not? It shouldn’t take long.
I must not have been thinking, what with the excitement of the morning! I had to call my sister-in-law to meet the kids from the bus that afternoon.
The rest of the week was a blur. It took three days to finish painting two of the smaller rooms upstairs to separate my younger boys. According to them, neither of them messed up their one large room, but both of them pointed to the other.
When it came time to clean it, each reported they were the only ones working, and neither one helped. Perplexing, isn’t it?
I decided that all their toys, games, and such could stay behind a locked door for when they met certain criteria at school and their bedrooms would be for sleeping or reading only.
Cleaning out the two smaller rooms, painting trim, priming over the old color, adding a new color, up and down on a ladder, sitting on the floor, standing, moving two full beds and a queen by myself, sorting their toys to divest them of a few boxes and setting up their old room as a guest room while doing laundry kept me a little busy.
I am really kind of worried. This is only the first week of school and I am aching in places I’d forgotten I had. Although I am a “stay-at-home” mom, I tend to stay quite busy year round. Why was this any worse?
Standing, sitting, walking up and down the stairs, and moving, in general, reminds me I am not as young as I used to be. I tried to get the kids to help me the week before, but the painting became something of a ninja battle with the brushes and rollers becoming swords. That taught me a lesson in multi-tasking - don’t do it unless you can take the kiddos with you. Laundry can wait!
So, I completed the painting on my own as well as the rest of the tasks at hand while they weren’t there to distract me. They have the “disappearing” ninja moves to an art form necessitating my performing a Waldo search for them frequently! And then I wonder why I don’t get a whole lot done with them home.
I thought about my sore body and realized that faith is a lot like that. For a while, we walk diligently and faithfully with God. Life is settled and we figure we can take over.
But much like my ninja painters, things happen when we release God from the helm. We tend to walk along under our own steam and then we realize we have forgotten to walk in faith and we begin to feel the pains of not having exercised those “muscles” for a while.
It’s hard sometimes. We can easily call upon others to “have faith” of a mustard seed and “God will take care of it.” but we are a whole ‘nother story, aren’t we? Our circumstance is far worse, isn’t it? Eh, maybe and maybe not.
It is not the circumstance that matters, anyway. What matters is keeping our eyes focused on God. I read this gem this week from 2 Peter 1:5: “For this very reason, adding your diligence, employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue, and in virtue knowledge.”
There is that “e” word. We just can’t get away from it - mentally, physically, and spiritually, exercising our bodies, brains, and beliefs will make us stronger and more vibrant.
And yes, I am ecstatic the kiddos are back in school. I feel as if I have accomplished more.