- Monday, June 04, 2001
The sound of a thud followed by a horrendous scream awakened me. For a moment I pondered what to do. I continued to listen, trying to decide if I would really have to get out of bed, or could I simply place a pillow over my head and return to my blissful dream state? Even with the pillow over my head I continued to hear the dreadful sounds coming from downstairs. I grumbled, "How come kids have to fight when I don't feel well?" I decided the children definitely needed the parental guidance that only I could give them at the time.
After another child began yelling, I pulled my body out of bed and began to fly down the stairs. Isn't it funny how you can be so tired, yet suddenly find the energy to fly down the stairs?
As soon as the children heard me descending the stairs, they began their tales of woe. Everyone seemed to feel they weren't at fault. The person who pushed Bryan was certain it was Bryan's fault that he fell against the wall. Bryan didn't think it was his fault that he wrecked another person's "tent." I think Erica was yelling at everyone to "BE QUIET!"
I surveyed the damage the five children had managed in about 30 minutes' time. The living room was a wreck. Bryan had been making giant airplanes out of anything he could get his hands on. Therefore, all of my organizational bins were dumped out and arranged in a giant airplane shape. The contents of the paper bins were strewn throughout the kitchen. To top it all off, someone had removed all the cushions from the couches and had made a giant tent with them.
After looking around for a moment I once again wanted to bury my head beneath my pillow. Sensing the children were hungry, I instructed a couple of kids to begin the breakfast routine. Meanwhile the three youngest children continued arguing with each other. I became fearful of the kind of day I was going to experience.
Desperation took hold as I listened to kids fighting over how much milk they need and what color bowl they want, and which spoon they had already chosen. I must admit I was tempted to plug them all into the television for the rest of the day.
I had about 30 seconds of time with the Lord. So I quickly got in what I wanted to say, "Lord, HELP!"
I ventured back to the fighting children and reminded them they had JOYS to do. JOYS are Joyful, Obedient, Youthful, Services. I wasn't optimistic they would do them joyfully. Imagine my surprise when David began helping John with the living room. Imagine my further surprise when Briana informed me she had already emptied the dishwasher.
My countenance began to change. After their JOYS were quickly completed, I assembled them all for the morning read aloud time. They seemed to respond faster than normal. Within just a few minutes they were all sitting in the living room with notebooks, pencils and paper. Bryan was even sitting quietly with a small pile of books.
For nearly two hours I read as we laughed together and explored a world of entomology. Did you know there is a certain dung beetle that mates for life? Even amidst the dung of the world, they still have good morals.
As soon as I finished reading, the children were full of excitement. They began searching other books for all the information they could get on insects. There was a fire lit in them, and they wanted to explore and discover! This is one of my greatest joys in life, seeing my children excited to learn.
As I prepared lunch, the children were working together to create a habitat for some newly acquired critters. I began to think about the morning. I smiled as I thought of the kids outside excited about learning and learning from each other.
I thought of the way my morning began. I wondered when the change took place in our house. Then I was reminded of my simple, yet honest plea for help. It was then, in my moment of weakness, that the Lord changed the spirit in our house. Sometimes I wonder if I awaken in the morning and quickly say, "Lord, HELP!" if I will always have days that are as wonderful as this one?
It's so easy for me to forget that it isn't under my own power that my house is run. It is the power of the Lord who keeps us going. I often need mornings like today to remind me that I am powerless. I pray that today finds you powerless as well.
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