I felt I would be remiss and dishonest if, after yesterday’s glowing report of the day, I did not sit down for a bit to jot down today’s activities…
I woke up extremely late today (at 10:00 a.m.!) in a stuffy bedroom with a sweaty 3-year old laying on my arm. Gideon was peering over us, and as Rebekah and I began to stir and my two eldest children began to converse, it became immediately obvious to me that there was a different tone in our house than there had been yesterday.
They were jabbing at each other before her feet had even hit the floor.
I quickly changed Betsie, made my coffee and bagel in a hurry, threw some dry cereal in bowls for the kids, and ushered us all onto the front porch in hopes that we could revisit Eden again today.
But it soon became apparent that, if yesterday was Eden, today was the day that Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden.
The wind was blustery, the kids were restless, and as I tried to slather pineapple cream cheese on my toasted bagel, I had 3 wriggling bodies either on me or in my peripheral…regardless of the fact that we have 5 rocking chairs on our front porch. Today we might as well have had one (the one Mama was sitting in…).
Every conversation ended in an argument, and even Baby Betsie was being a bit of a tyrant. Nothing could please her, especially as she seemed to have picked up an extreme case of clumsiness overnight – every other step she took resulted in a hurt toe or a scratched finger…
in other words, it was absolute chaos.
And I won’t mention the fact that it had been an unprecedented amount of time since I had taken my last shower.
“Welcome back to earth…” I told myself.
But I am learning that moments like these always pass, and so, in between the crying and the whining, I pulled out my Bible to do a little reading (for the SECOND DAY in a row, thank you, Lord!), and instead of keeping the words to myself, I started reading out loud, beginning with 1 Corinthians 1:4, the verse Mr. Gore expounded on this past Sunday.
“Do you know what that means, Gid?” I asked.
He shook his head.
“Just that we should thank God for the people in our church and we should be so happy when we see Him doing good things for them.” I answered, sealing the words in my own heart with a prayer for the grace to do that very thing.
Gideon’s reply surprised me: “Oh, I really liked that story. Read another one!”
And so I did, finding the next reference on this week’s Daily Bible Reading Guide (my husband weekly publishes a study guide to help our congregation further meditate on Sunday’s text). Galatians 6:1-4.
The kids were milling about by the time I finished that one, Betsie squawking at Gideon for some of the crackers he was eating, Rebekah dragging one of my “dry clean only” Pottery Barn throws onto the porch, but I carried on nonetheless, explaining what that passage meant to the children in terms I hoped they could understand, comparing the idea of “bearing one another’s burdens” to Christian and Faithful in the “Dangerous Journey” book they’ve been reading with Papa at night.
And in the midst of my random snippets of reading and talking, and all the scolding and whining and…living…in between, the Spirit began to whisper to my heart…
Yes, we may not live in Paradise yet. Most days are exactly like the one we were having today, full of ups and downs, surrounded by dangers, toils and snares, where it becomes so disappointingly clear that those “best days” like we experienced yesterday can never be orchestrated and are simply unexpected and unscripted gifts from a loving Father…
but, thank God, regardless of what kind of a day we’re having, there is a thread of consistency found in our fallen world, and it springs triumphantly forth from the words of the ancient Book I sat reading aloud to my children.
There, we find solace and direction…
we find truths that resonate so deeply in our hearts that it burns to hear them…
we find a bond that is so much deeper than our earthly familial relations…
and best of all, we find hope, for the perfect days, and for the not-so-perfect days.
All of a sudden, it became a joy to me to share this topsy-turvy morning with my topsy-turvy family, because I was reminded…
the God we worship and set our hearts after isn’t topsy-turvy at all.
He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
No matter how different the days look.
No matter how different we feel when we wake up in the morning.
(And thankfully, no matter how long it has been since we’ve showered).