Although I don't support the values in this country song by Darryl Worley, I'm going to borrow the title to describe my life these days. Blogging has been at an almost standstill since our Esther was born. We are settling into somewhat of a routine now, but I'm finding that I need to improve my strategy to "get it all done". And, guess what? I am not "getting it all done!" Wow! This is my seventh child and I am still surprised at how much time and energy I need just for one small helpless human. I am not complaining, but I am realizing once again, that when I do not lean on God, my energy is low, my priorities are not lined up where they should be and I become disappointed with myself.
Here is a typical day in our home:
6:30-7:00: Wake up, nurse Essie and put back to bed
7:00-8:00: Set out breakfast items, drinks, clothes for the little ones, dress myself, wash, put on the coffee, stretch out, read a little Bible, make sure the older ones are up.
8:00-9:00: Worship: reading of the Psalms, singing, prayer; enforce chores, dress little ones and make sure everyone has eaten.
9:00-10:00: Older kids finish outside chores and Hannah and I watch the toddlers and clean up the living room and kitchen.
10:00-12:00: The kids exercise, we study from our character training book, watch Picture Proverbs and we do some seat work like handwriting, math and reading, and practice piano.(Essie usually sleeps most of the morning and then, wakes up during this time, which means, nurse, change diaper and playtime with her).
12:00-1:00: Lunch and clean up, nurse Essie.
1:00-3:00: Get kids settled down, bedrooms ready for naps, change diapers, fill sippy cups, take 4 yr.old to the bathroom and put the little ones down for naps. Essie is usually still awake, so the older kids play with her, rest and read books.
3:00-4:30: Read-aloud with the older ones, put Essie down for another nap, finish up school for the day,(Horse History with Rachel, grammar, science).
4:30-6:00: Older kids play downstairs or outside, horse chores, younger ones wake up, have their diapers changed, eat snacks and join the older ones to play. Nurse Essie.
6:00-7:00: Prepare dinner, finish dishes, clean counters, high chair, and table. Sweep and pick up dining room and living room if there's time, greet Hubby and try to smile. :)
7:00-8:30: Dinner, Bible reading, nurse Essie, clean up and down time with Daddy.
8:30-9:30: Baths,(not every night), nighttime chores, leftover school, maybe a short show like, "The Andy Griffith Show" on DVD,nurse Essie.
9:30-10:00: Make sure kids are in bed and asleep, dress for bed, put on the tea kettle.
10:00-?: Tea with Hubby, bills, checking account, school preparation, reading, computer time, other chores like dishes, folding laundry, etc. and a little sleep.
This sample schedule is an ideal day. Throw in a day that has some extras errands in town, piano lessons, gardening and household projects, Hubby out of town on a business trip, then it can get a little more challenging.(That's where the "crazy" part comes in). Throw in a favorite barn cat dying, then a week later, my beloved cat of nearly 17 years dying, you have the "tragic" part. Of course, on the very day little Mendelssohn died, our dear Annie the border collie came into our lives. Insert "magic". Of course, we don't believe in magic here, but we do believe in a very loving and compassionate God who cares for even little things like this. He knew the perfect time for our new puppy to come. He answered my prayer that Mendelssohn would die peacefully in his sleep and allow me to cuddle with him one last time. Those little things matter to God. So, it's not really magic, but hey, that word is in the title. Anyway, there are other areas I would rather not admit to having in my life. The "awful" parts come when I am not helping my husband. Thoughtless words, miscommunication, unforgiveness, and not living in our God given roles are just a few things that leave a blight on a marriage. Other "awful" parts are when there is a child that is struggling with behavioral, health, or spiritual issues and can effect the whole family. I believe God allows for these things to show us that we can't do this alone. We have to trust Him in every situation and we need to trust that He will soften and change our hearts. Okay, so where does that leave us? "Beautiful". My life is beautiful. Not perfect, sometimes really hard, but beautiful. As I look around, I see each child as a beautiful gift from God. Their hopes and dreams, their funny little ways, their skinned up knees and tangly hair, their faith in their Creator. I see my husband as another beautiful gift from the Lord. Sometimes, he doesn't make the right decisions and sometimes he speaks before thinking, but he is my husband, my best friend, and the head of our home. I know he loves me with all of my quirky ways. When I'm less than easy to live with, he is patient. He goes to work every day to provide for our family and works hard on the farm. I am thankful that God made marriage and that it is beautiful. This world is beautiful. The horses grazing in the pasture. The hummingbird that visits me on the front porch. The flowers, the sunsets, the rainbows. God's handiwork is beautiful. And, God's love. So beautiful. The sacrifice He made for mankind is indescribable. His presence, His strength, His peace. God's hand is in every area of our lives. He is sovereign. He is holy. He is beautiful. So, I am thankful for this "crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life". This life is from God. I will trust that God will give me what I need for today.