5:00 a.m. - Get up for quiet time (only chance I get at it - thank you, Beth Moore, for sharing it with me!)
5:30 a.m. - Tanner wakes up (fell back asleep on the couch - thank You, Lord); I keep reading, checking emails, getting out stuff for company later in the day, doing prep work for food to be served
6:00 a.m. - Tanner starts asking for breakfast - over and over and over; I keep putting him off and continue doing reading and my own morning chores
6:30 a.m. - Make and serve breakfast; try to do a family devotion; stop and explain to kids again why you don't talk when Mom is talking or fight with your brother at the table
6:45 a.m. - Finish housecleaning for company after church (yes, we were the ones running the vacuum that early)
7:15 a.m. - Matthew asks if I can "come upstairs for a minute"; come up to find a dead hamster and a crying boy (Dang it! RIP, Sandy! No time to bury you now!); hold crying boy
7:30 a.m. - Pick out clothes for the little boys; fuss at everyone to start their morning chores; hurriedly get into the shower so we are not late for church
8:00 a.m. - Brush my teeth while opening my blinds and I see that my car door is OPEN
8:01 a.m. - Pray the car battery is not dead; send the children out to close the door
8:10 a.m. - Three children come in from shutting car door, armed with baseball bats (they were afraid someone had broken into the car and they were going to have to chase them out); they also found Tanner's bike down the street where they had left it last night (did I mention in rained overnight -- big, wake-you-up thunderstorms?)
8:15 a.m. - Take bats away from children (that was probably a given in your minds, but am including it anyway); give a lecture about stewardship and helping Mom out around the house; continue putting on makeup; fix 4 boys' hair for church (yep, even Alex needed it this week)
8:20 a.m. - Finish my own hair and makeup, fuss at everyone to pick up stuff to take to church, turn off lights, and take the dogs out
8:25 a.m. - Remind children not to talk loudly outside because not everyone gets up for church as early as we do
8:30 a.m. - Finally pull out of the driveway 15 minutes late; pray we make it on time to start our morning routine at church (I have something to stuff in the bulletin, as usual, and have to get everyone checked into their classes and be ready to greet)
Whew! I am tired again, just writing that all down.
Here is the crux of the hardest thing as a single mom: I have no one to share this with. We got to church and no one knew of the craziness we had at home before we came, the accomplishment that the car was not wet inside--and that it started, that we made it on time anyway, and that I did not really lose my temper through all this (only a bit).
No one but God.
He knew. And being the loving, gracious Father that He is, He sent a messenger to me with some strength for the day. Here is an email I got later that evening from my dear friend Shari, far away and knowing nothing of my day:
Hi - hope the weekend went well. I just wanted to write and encourage you .... you are doing a great job. I'm sure it must be exhausting and frustrating, but as I was watching some single parents recently I was reminded of how you are stepping up to the challenge and allowing God to help you, rather than just saying - oh, it's too hard, so I will give up. Keep up the great work!!! Don't give up - love you bunches.
Thank You, Lord!
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19