It was Wednesday. Wednesdays are busy.
PE, Art, park time, football practice, church, and whatever appointments are scheduled in between FILL every minute of the day. I get up in the morning on Wednesday and have to psych myself up knowing that my day won't end til they are in their rooms ready for bed. What a gift it is to spend my days with them each day. Homeschooling is really a gift. I mean, we get to be right on top of each other all day everyday... I love them to pieces. But Wednesdays have all three of us treading lightly by 8pm. We've plucked and pulled at raw nerves til I'm ready to snap with a left eye twitch that would put Clint Eastwood to shame. Take a walk with me on a portion of my Wednesday.
It's morning and I've fed three horses, nine chickens, one homicidal rooster, one goat who thinks she's a dog, two actual dogs, and two actual children. We've got 30 minutes to make it 40 minutes across the county for our PE class but please, let's all stop and have our first in depth conversation of the day about who's turn it is to sit in the front seat.
We made it to our PE class. I was able to get in two whole laps running around the track before getting called to the field. I arrived to find my girl in tears because her flag football velcro vest thingy got stuck in her corn silk hair. Velcro. In her hair. It took an entire bottle of water, conditioner, and at least 20 minutes of screaming to get that thing to release it's grip on my girl. What remained made me consider running to Wal-Mart for a set of clippers to just shave it and start over. Luckily, there just wasn't time in our day.
You know what made it even better?? I had just squeezed in a highly nutritious lunch of greasy chicken fingers and fatty french fries at a local restaurant. We had five minutes to get across town to the next appointment for the annual check up but please, let's all stop right here in the parking lot and have our SECOND in depth conversation of the day about who's turn it is to sit in the front seat. Guess what? It's MOM's turn. I get the front seat all to myself today. Climb in and hold on. And by all means, spill that frosty on my leather seats all the way down between the cracks into the places I can't reach because I just love the smell of rotten milk in the Florida heat.
Onward to football practice. The girl protests sitting in the heat... The boy mumbles incoherently in the back seat... What?!? You left your football cleats at home? Sure! I'll just hop on into the shoe store and throw a hundred bucks down for some new ones since we live half an hour from practice. Why not? Guess who is gonna be slip sliding all over the grass trying to catch those long passes! Not me! Woohoo!
Sweet girl, I told you not to bring your favorite pony toy into the restaurant. Don't cry to me about the ketchup in her tail. And for goodness sake, stop wiping your hands and face on your shirt. The doctor is already going to think you are an orphan because of the hair situation. It has dried now and the frizzy, matted portions are a stark contrast to the greasy, conditioner splotched places. I whisper a silent prayer that no one tries to take my children away from me based on their appearances today.
We sign in at the window and sit down for my first deep breath since my morning coffee. A nice lady with a bright green purse sat next to us. Today was the perfect day for this random stranger in the waiting room to interrogate me about my choice to homeschool versus putting my children in public school where they would receive a "quality" education, "more social interaction", and "real world experience" that "homeschool just can't teach". God love her. She had no idea what my day had been like or I'm quite sure she wouldn't have positioned herself in my line of fire. I have NEVER questioned a perfect stranger's choice of education for their children; public, private, virtual, homeschool, un-school, off-grid, cave dwelling, monkey-initiated or whatever. It's not my business. Thank you for making my nine-year old defensive. Thank you for activating her un-filtered responses and I can't thank you enough for pulling my last raw nerve straight out of my twitching left eyeball. Felt goooood.
It's only 3pm.
Commence arguing about front seat. Commence arguing about looking at each other in the car. Commence arguing about a barely audible clicking sound someone is making during the involuntary action of breathing. Commence arguing about whether or not the Bloop is an actual existing sea creature or a myth and legend. What in the world is a Bloop? Is this seriously something you are arguing about?
Football Practice is hot and miserable. He was not happy I didn't just buy him some cleats. He slid all over the field. He won't forget next time.
During practice I took the opportunity to see if I could wipe this frosty up. My thoughts? "I'm gonna need a chisel not a washcloth. Scratch that. I'll just go ahead and budget for a full detail next week and the kids can sit on a towel til then. No worries about the smell. It hides the football stank".
My car was on auto-pilot headed to church with one defensive, frizzy-haired, ketchup wearing nine year old who would rather be sitting in the front seat and one seriously smelly fourteen year old slathering on Axe and deodorant from his emergency supply in the glove compartment. I cannot describe the assault on my sense of smell. I took solace in the fact that the entire youth room usually smells like someone set a yak carcass on fire anyway. We got out of the car and headed into the church. The boy ran off leaving a visible cloud of cologne in his wake. I just shook my head at the girl with the matted hair, waved at her, and watched her run toward her friends.
Kaycee is having a blast in her class with her friends.
Drew is doing his thing with his friends.
And here I sit in silence trying to quiet my soul. I don't want my soul to sing. I don't want it to cry. I don't want it to do anything but get quiet. My days are busy and loud. But Wednesdays just take the cake.
"Jesus said to them, `Come away with me. Let us go alone to a quiet place and rest for a while.' Matthew 6:31
I can just see His hands extended to me in these moments. These are the days that I don't know whether to take His hands in mine while He leads me or collapse inside them while He carries me. The invitation to come away with Him to a place that is quiet and restful is so sweet. It's easy to overlook, but once it's seen the invite is hard to ignore. Mama, Daddy, stressed out student, overworked employee, out of work supervisor- this is where peace is found. It doesn't have to be a green pasture near streams and waterfalls. He is there waiting and wherever He is there is peace. Go crank up your car with the AC blasting during your lunch break or when the kids are occupied. Lock yourself in your closet. Take a walk. Ride your bike. Just get away with Him and soak up the divine presence of peace. Quiet your soul. Quiet your life.
The ride home was much more pleasant. Especially since the frizzy haired one got her turn up front. But when I can get away with the One who restores my soul, it's so much easier to be what I need to be to those who rely on me
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.