Since I am typing this, you know that I have survived. It is a good thing, because there were moments when I was afraid that I would not. It has been quite the week here, and for some reason, I feel the need to spring clean (can you do that in the fall?) my brain...So, in order to be able to relax, I am going to purge the clutter...feel free to come along for the wild ride, or step through the roller coaster car and exit to the right.
It all started about a week and a half ago. We faced a battle, a spiritual battle, and we stood for what we believed in. We stood for what we knew was right. God blessed greatly the outcome. But let me just tell you, spiritual battles are draining. So even though I can't share the details here, know that it was hard, and scary, and sad, and heartbreaking, and disappointing, and then it turned into hopeful, and a little encouraging, and nerve-wracking, and eye opening, and then very encouraging. We saw growth and spiritual maturity in one of our children, that blew us away. God worked at every turn, and the memory of this time will be added to our "pile of stones" (Joshua 4:1-7), as a memorial to God's faithfulness. And God truly is faithful. Even when our faith waivers. He is steadfast.
Friday night, I was able to go with a couple of friends on our annual trip to a craft show. Nothing of any great significance was purchased, but for a while we laughed, talked and enjoyed life without cares pressing in, or anyone to worry about but ourselves. Except when my Prince kept texting me to ask questions about passwords to ACT signups. Because he was being super-dad, and NOT ONLY watching the youngest princess, but also her friend who was spending the night, AND working on signing the oldest two up for the ACT (which my friends is NO SMALL FEAT - if you haven't already done it yet, you will know what I mean when you have to do it...take my advice, and just go ahead and have their blood drawn early. It will save you some time. Okay, so it's not really THAT bad...but almost!). Never mind the fact that it was the night of the deadline to sign up and that I had been bugging him for a week to get it done, before it was too late. Can you guess when we file our taxes? But I can't complain, because he did get it done. It just adds more stress to me to wait to the last minute like that. How he can do it at the last minute and remain cool is a mystery to me.
We finished our shopping (more looking than shopping) and went to eat before heading home. At home the youngest princess and her friend were watching a movie that super-dad had rented for them. The oldest princess came home right behind me from her baby-sitting job, and the young prince was doing his best to stay out of all the "girliness". Although he did walk through and get pulled into the movie they were watching. The friend spending the night ended up falling asleep and so we called it a night (after I put sheets on their bed, because they were still in the dryer).
Saturday morning, I was up first as usual. I love getting up before everyone else and having some quiet time before the busyness of the day begins. I put on a load of laundry, grab something to drink (chocolate milk or hot chocolate) and my study Bible and find myself deep in the story of Jacob returning to meet Esau. Very interesting how he splits up his wives and children, and once again shows favoritism to Rachel and Joseph by placing them in the back so that they will have the best chance of survival should Esau make good on his promise to kill Jacob. But of course, God already had everything worked out. Jacob did not have to plan and scheme to protect his family. Oh. I get it. At least, for now. Lord, help me to remember that You have "it" already worked out. I don't have to plan and scheme to protect my family. Please forgive me for the times I have, and help me to trust You more in the future.
My quiet time is over quickly and little feet come pattering down the stairs. They are hungry. Thankfully they are happy with PopTarts and milk, because we are lacking in the breakfast food department. Their bellies full, they are content to move to the living room to finish the movie they started last night. Eventually everyone trickles down the stairs, and the house is full of activity. Straightening up, cleaning, folding, sweeping, washing, drying, laughing, it is the stuff Saturdays are made of.
Lunch rolls around and we offer a gourmet helping of grilled cheese and chips. Because we are lacking in the lunch food department. My prince runs to the store, because we are lacking in the dinner food department, and picks up steaks and frozen shrimp. The steaks which he would marinate in Dale's sauce and grill to perfection, and the shrimp which I would whip up using my favorite Pinterest recipe - lemon butter shrimp. We figured since we skimped on breakfast and lunch, we would do dinner big. Meanwhile, the youngest princess's friend had gone home, and the house had settled to a lull.
That is when the oldest princess came and asked me if she could go and pick up two of the children she babysits, who have been wanting to come to our house and play. I told their mom, not thinking that they were listening, that one day when the house was clean (it is okay for you to laugh here), that we would have them over. Well, the oldest one who is in Kindergarten heard me, and every day since would ask me, and the young prince, and the oldest princess, "Is your house clean yet?" Um...want motivation to clean your house? Tell a 5 year old that you will have them over when your house is clean. You will be motivated. I know this from experience.
So she arranged it, and went and picked them up. The next couple of hours were filled with legos, hopscotch, Nerf gun fights, cartwheels, Barbies, imaginary shopping trips, and sidewalk chalk. I know, now you all want to come to my house right? I will have you over as soon as I get it clean again...
The oldest princess left to take them for ice cream and then home, and preparations for dinner began. I never can get everything done all at the same time. I don't know how my momma did it! But we did eventually get everything done, and enjoyed a very good dinner. It was the last good dinner we would have for a while.
The young prince had on his brand new, really cool, UnderArmor (had not even been washed) basketball warm-up pants, when he was challenged by his little sister to get his handcuffed hands from behind him, to in front of him, without taking off the handcuffs (cheap play ones that came in a cowgirl dress up set). Challenge accepted. No self respecting big brother is going to be outdone by his little sister. So he stands up, allows her to put the handcuffs on him, and proceeds to try to get his hands in front of him. He could have done it. I have no doubt that he could have. But he was suddenly distracted by a small ripping sound. A sound that stopped him dead in his tracks. He looked at me and said, "I'm pretty sure I just ripped my brand new pants." Sure enough. The handcuffs had snagged on his pants and tore a nice little hole about the size of the tip of my pinky finger. I told him to take them off and I would find someone who could fix them for him. Before Tuesday. When he needed to wear them. "Hey, can you fix my son's pants? And can you do it like right now?"
Sunday was a good day. Great services Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon we sent the oldest two off with the youth group to eat lunch and shop for Operation Christmas Child. The youngest went home with a friend. My prince and I quickly ate lunch at a local buffet and then home to study and prepare for Sunday night. The oldest two came home about the time my Prince had to leave. They turned around and headed back to church pretty quickly as well for Christmas play practice. I had about an hour to study for my Wednesday night class before I headed back to church as well. After church Sunday night, I can't even remember what we did. Seriously. Can't remember. Maybe because it was uneventful compared to what was coming next...