Last night was not a good night. I went to bed too late. And after a wordless argument with Matt, I was definitely out of sorts when my head hit the pillow. Then Pepper woke up screaming at 2 a.m. Matt, who is able to go back to sleep right away after a sleep interruption (unlike me, who will lie awake for hours), got up to comfort Pepper. Daddy can solve every nighttime problem...usually. Not last night. Pepper wanted MOMMY. Matt tried for 15 minutes before I joined him him Pepper's room. After a heated exchange of words between Matt and me, he agreed to bring Pepper into our room. I cuddled the wound-up little guy for a couple of minutes, then settled him into a little bed on the floor beside our bed. I don't think more than 5 seconds passed before Pepper was asleep again. It was only 5 seconds more before Matt was snoring. And there I was, wide awake and grumpy as a bear in January. I don't know what time I finally drifted back off, but it was a whole lot longer than 10 seconds.
I woke up at 7:30 this morning. My eyelids weighed 50 pounds and my behind had bricks stuck to it. I dragged myself to the computer, and made my to-do list, trying to muster enough motivation to haul my heavy backside and eyelids downstairs to eat some breakfast. I didn't want to go down there because I knew what was waiting: a mountain of dishes, dirty, sticky floors, 6 loads of laundry, and a bunch of clutter from the weekend. Add Snapper's schoolwork to the list and it is kind of a daunting sight first thing on a Monday morning. I could not stop the tears that flowed in that moment. Since I could not bring myself to go downstairs, I decided to ease myself into the day by checking my blogroll. Sarah Mae at Like A Warm Cup of Coffee had a new post: Motivate Me Monday: Reclaim Your Life--A Challenge. That sounded like exactly what I needed to hear! So I read it.
First of all, Sarah Mae reminded me that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in me--therefore, I have the power to do the things I need to do. Second, she reminded me that my children and home are not a burden. Wow!
I bowed my head right there at the computer desk and asked God to forgive me for my selfishness and peevish attitude. I cried some more, and asked God to energize me, to lift the weights from my eyelids, and to demolish the load of bricks that is seeking to anchor me to my chair all day. I asked God to give me fresh perspective and to face the day with a cheerful heart. God is faithful. It is no coincidence that the next blog I read was this post on perspective from my friend Stef. Once again, Wow!
I am coming back to life. Here are my thoughts about what is coming today.
Task: Mountain of dishes in the sink
Waking thoughts: I hate doing dishes! It is messy and stinky. And the mountain never really goes away. I should just go buy paper plates.
Fresh perspective: The mountain of dishes in the sink is the result of having cherished friends spend the weekend with us. The dishes are dirty because I had the food necessary to prepare a delicious meal. There are approximately 40,000 children in Central Arkansas (www.ricedepot.org) who live in poverty and are likely to go without food every night and weekend. Why is it I'm complaining about dishes again?
Task: Dirty, sticky floors
Waking thoughts: It is so gross to walk across crunchy floors. I can't even go barefoot in my own kitchen! Why can't people wipe up the sticky messes they make? If Snapper hadn't left the broom outside on a rainy night, I wouldn't even have this problem. (My broom is in the trash, completely coated with mildew). I hate cleaning dirty floors. I should just leave this chore for Matt.
Fresh perspective: The floors are dirty because I have healthy children who eat in the kitchen--not on our new carpet, and who track dirt in from their delightful playtimes in our big, beautiful backyard. I'm sure my friend Rachael would love to clean up a mess made by her baby daughter Mia...because Mia can't eat or even breathe on her own due to an as-of-yet undiagnosed problem with her brain. I know Rachael hopes to one day see Mia living a healthy, normal life, able to eat on her own and play in the back yard. Why am I complaining about dirty floors again?
Task: 6 loads of laundry
Waking thoughts: GROAN! More laundry...Does it ever end? Will I ever make headway in my battle against the laundry monster?
Fresh perspective: Yesterday was cool, so we all wore long pants and sweatshirts. Today I'm at home so I'm wearing velour lounge pants and my Jimmie Johnson hoodie. Tomorrow I'll be at work so I'll be wearing a cute shirt and my black pants. Wednesday should be warm so I'll wear shorts and a tank top. Which comfy pair of pajamas will I wear tonight? Matt and I have plenty of clothing options. The kids both have full dressers. We have a great washer and dryer in a very spacious laundry room in our home. How many people don't have enough clothes? How many have to use a shared laundry room, or go to the laundromat? Why am I complaining about laundry again?
Task: Clutter clean-up
Waking thoughts: Clutter busting has to be the most annoying chore ever! I hate cleaning up after people. Why can't they just put away their stuff?
Fresh perspective: The clutter around the whole downstairs area is evidence of a weekend spent focusing on something eternal. While Frank and Tammy were here, none of us wasted time cleaning up anything. Our time was much better spent! Why am I complaining about the clutter again?
Task: Snapper's schoolwork
Waking thoughts: Three weeks and counting!
Fresh perspective: I live in a country in which I have the freedom to homeschool my child. I can teach her about God without living in fear. Snapper is a very intelligent child, and she learns quickly. Yes, she resists doing writing assignments. But she is able to learn with ease. I watch the struggles of friends whose children have learning disabilities. I know I have friends who would give anything to be able to stay home with their kids and homeschool, but they have to work full-time outside the home just to make ends meet. Why am I complaining about Snapper's schoolwork again?
Once again I say WOW! When I look at things this way, I realize how self-centered and negative I have been recently. I also remember that motherhood is a high and worthy calling. The tasks on my plate each day are a privilege, not drudgery. Once I post this, I will stop again and humbly ask God's forgiveness. I will go back and read this post...a reminder of my true job title. And then I will head downstairs, put on a fun playlist on my iPod, and tackle the tasks of serving my family, and making our home a clean, peaceful place. You'd better believe my attitude is miles higher than it was just 2 hours ago!
I will give myself additional incentive, too. A few months back, I posted a series of blogs on our home makeover. That makeover was completed a month ago, but I still haven't posted pictures. When my tasks for today are done, I will take pictures of our completed (except for the baseboards) home makeover projects and I will post them for you. That will be very fun! So off I go! God grant me energy and strength, and to Him be the glory!