Always Failing at Something

Do you have that One Thing that is always ready to jump out of the corner and condemn you? Like, you’re walking along, thinking that you are actually an Ok human being. You are handling life pretty good. In fact, you might even be doing well. And then that One Thing jumps out with it’s jeering face and says, Oh yeah? What about this??? And you hang your head in shame. Oh yeah. I forgot about that. I guess I’m not really doing that great. 

For me it tends to be a messy house. I’ll be assessing how the day is going. Ok, lets see. We homeschooled today, that went well. I’ve cooked all the meals. Had some good quality time reading aloud to the kids. I made a lunch for my husband. I’ve eaten healthy today. Got in my workout. Had my devotions. Yep. I’m doing ok. Then here comes the voice. 

Oh yeah? Have you looked at your house?? It’s a mess! You’re behind with the laundry! Those pots have been “soaking” for a really long time. The kids can’t find anything on their school shelf, it’s such a cluttered mess. We won’t even bring up subjects like mopping and dusting! 

And my little ego deflates. Oh yeah. I actually kinda suck. 

Of course, this is a glimpse into just how performance-oriented my self-esteem is. If I am doing good things then I must be good and have worth. If I am failing in any area then I must be bad. Not really worthy at all. 

And unfortunately, there is always something or some area where I am failing. And this means that my default attitude towards myself tends to be rather negative. 

It makes me think about my spiritual walk. Jesus is all about grace. But my default position, when I think about God, is that he is all about law. If you fail these commandments, this is the list of punishments you will get. If you aren’t careful, you will be burned up in God’s wrath. 

I have heard the sermons, I’ve read the scriptures. I know, in my head, that I am forgiven. That Jesus’ goodness covers over all my badness and cancels it out. I know that the Holy Spirit is living inside of me, slowly changing my heart to be more like Jesus. I know that he sees me through eyes of love and grace. But I still wrestle. My default is still law and punishment. Condemnation. 

I’m a work in progress. I have to constantly remind myself that I am loved, forgiven, a daughter of the King. 

So, today, as my brain started beating me up about what a horrible housekeeper I am, I tried to exercise some grace. Yes. The house is rather messy right now. So what? There’s a lot of good reasons why it’s in that state. Is the world going to end if it doesn’t get cleaned today? Nope. Does a messy house mean I am a horrible person? Not really. Are you ever going to get your house clean? Sure, I’m planning on getting it done this weekend! Ok. Then you are fine. You have permission to ignore the mean voice whispering in your ear. 

Romans 3: 20-24

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

School: Day 4

School: Day 4 

 

I’m feeling the need to try and figure out what I’m feeling about this school year. Every day this week I have rolled out of bed at 6am when my alarm goes off, jumped into the shower, took all my vitamins and supplements, sat and had my devotions. This morning I grabbed my phone, which I purposefully leave far away from my bed, so I have to get up, and then I climbed back into bed for another half hour. I’m starting to feel a little tired. My homeschooling-seventh grader is still asleep, and instead of dragging him out of bed at 7:30am to eat breakfast so we can get started by eight, I’m letting him sleep a bit longer. In the past three days I’ve figured out that we actually get our work done pretty quickly. There is no rush. 

 

I’m having mixed feelings about homeschooling. I think the primary problem is that I really don’t want to be homeschooling. I am doing it because all of our school options are wacky this year, and this is the best option for these three kids. 

 

There are things I’m enjoying. My second grader brought me a library book to read in the middle of the school day. Sure. I can read it to you. The book happened to be about a little girl in South Sudan. So, we read the book, then I thought, Hey, let’s go with this. So, I pulled out our kid’s “Circling the Globe” book, and we looked up Sudan, read about it. Googled some pictures on the internet. The story was about the need for wells and clean drinking water and so I told her some personal missionary stories that I know about providing wells and clean drinking water to people in need. 

Here’s a pic of the book. It’s actually an excellent read, I was getting teary eyed at the end. I just happened to grab it off the library shelf for a read aloud to take home. 

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My kindergartner was doing a rather simplistic Social Studies Lesson where he had to draw a picture of his house. I was able to go grab my “The Usborne Book of Houses and Homes” where they have pictures and descriptions of homes from all over the world. The second grader joined us and we picked out which ones were our favorites which included marsh homes in Southern Iraq and carved rock homes in Turkey. 

 

I love the fact that I can have my kids do a lesson and then send them outside to jump on the trampoline for ten minutes. The fact that we migrate around. Let’s sit on the couch for this lesson. Let’s sit at the dining room table. Let’s sit on my easy chair. I’m enjoying teaching the kids music, here, let’s clap out this rhythm! 

 

I also am enjoying the fact that I can help my second grader get caught up in areas she’s weak in. And my kindergartner has been able to just move into first grade level books, because he already knows all the kindergarten stuff. These are all good things.

 

But I’m a little worried. Worried about my mental state. Worried about whether I can maintain a positive attitude. Worried about my seventh grader getting behind in band, wondering how I can get him access to a baritone horn so he can practice at home. I’m worried about my second grader who has made it very clear to me that she is home against her wishes. She wants to be at school. And we have a daily conversation about the reasons I have kept her home this semester. I worry about how I’m going to keep these guys occupied in all our spare time. 

 

I worry about my public school kids too. Our elementary school had a hard lock down  yesterday because of something happening in the vicinity of the school. My fourth grader told me she had to hide in a closet and she was scared. And that’s just not right. These kids do NOT need this added stress in their lives. But at the same time, they are SO happy to be back at school. I won’t even go into my highschooler doing virtual school. That should have it’s very own blog. 

 

So, here I am. Happy. Worried. Determined. Worried. Frazzled. Worried. Confident. Worried. Insecure. Worried. And basically just wishing that all the uncertainty of this year was over with. 

 

The past two days I have had two different people post a bible verse that resonated with me. 

 

Habakkuk 3: 17-18

 

Though the fig tree does not bud

    and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails

    and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen

    and no cattle in the stalls, 

yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

 

This school year is not what I wanted for us. I am struggling with worry. So, I will rejoice in the Lord. He never changes. He has gone before me. He has hedged me in, behind and before. I will trust in his goodness and take it one day at a time. 

 

One List at a Time

We are back from vacation! I think the drive home hit our world record for least eventful, fastest, calmest drive we’ve ever had.  We did twenty hours straight, drove through the night. Only stopped for bathroom breaks and to get gas, one pass through the drive thru. Kids didn’t fight. No complaints about being bored. We didn’t even watch any movies, just listened to music. I do not have any idea why everything went so well. It’s never happened before. 

 

So, after this amazing trip, I walk into my home. And I’m greeted by an old musty house that is pretty messy. No couches in the living room cause they were nasty and I threw them out a couple weeks before vacation. Stacks of homeschooling books. Clutter. Lots of unfinished projects. My daughter runs up to me, When are we going school shopping? Can we go right now? (What??) No, we JUST got home. We are not going shopping. (School starts the middle of August here.) 

 

I look through the mail. Bills. People needing information from me. Phone calls I need to make. 

 

Mom, when are we taking our kittens to the vet? Uh..soon. Not today. 

 

What’s for supper Mom? Uh, let’s see what’s in the freezer, I need to go grocery shopping. 

 

Mom! The fish tank needs more water! Yes, I will fix it tomorrow. 

 

I sink into my chair. Yikes. Deep breath. Today. Focus on today. Today, I’m going to unpack a couple things, take a shower. Go to bed. 

 

This morning I woke up and again had to fight off the urge to get overwhelmed. One step at a time. In order to get myself from fretting, I sat down and wrote a list of goals. Things I want to happen sometime this Fall. 

 

Personal goals: Exercise every day, get my blood sugar under control.

 

Spiritual goals: family devotions, bible memory.

 

Household goals: buy couches, get a homeschooling space set up.

 

School goals: get everyone ready for the school year, get a school routine going.

 

Nothing unrealistic. All stuff that needs to happen. Writing it down makes me feel better.  When it’s all written down, it feels possible. Like, one day, I will wake up, and all these things will be checked off this list! 

 

I am feeling optimistic about the future. Homeschooling is actually sounding fun. It helps that it will only be three kids, not seven.  I ordered some books for the coming year and I was flipping through them today, How many chapters? How many months do we have? How many pages do we need to get done a day to finish this on time? And it was fun. I’m feeling ready to hit the stores and buy out the school supply department. 🙂 

 

This coming school year, with kids in public school, doing virtual school (one highschooler decided to stay home and do virtual school instead), and homeschool, it is going to be weird, and unnatural, and uncomfortable, and alarming at times. But right now, coming from a place of rest and refreshment, I just have the attitude of Bring it On. I’m ready. One step at a time. One list at a time. 

 

“The Peace of Wild Things”

I am sitting by the lake, I’ve been watching my kids swim, but they have now moved on to playing prince and princess and are concocting some elaborate make-believe game. I only have the three youngest with me. My husband and five of our kids left at 4am this morning to go hike a mountain. I don’t expect them home till late tonight. My other two daughters are at their grandparent’s house, in town, a short distance away. It has now been twelve days since we left Knoxville on our vacation, and it has taken about ten of those days for me to finally be able to just relax. We still have a couple more days before we head home and I am thoroughly enjoying the wonderful feeling of doing nothing except some light household chores and watching my children swim in the lake. 

 

It’s been a different kind of vacation. State mandates mean that we can’t go shopping or go out and be around a lot of people. We have seen basically just a few family members and had them do our grocery shopping for us. Aside from a day trip to the beach, we have just stayed in our little cabin and enjoyed the lake and the woods. And it has been wonderful. 

 

My restless husband has been able to help his Uncle and Aunt with a remodel project, my teen girls have hung out with their grandparents and the little ones have practiced their swimming. 

 

My brain has had time to process. Relive, rethink, reassess. And finally, it has just quieted down. I’ve read some good books, done “adult” coloring where there is an inspiring scripture and then a ton of elaborate details to color in. Not something I do often, but I find when I am coloring, the analyzing part of my brain shuts off, and I’m just thinking about staying in the lines, and what color should I use next? It has the same effect for me as playing scales on the piano, or re-reading a favorite book. Occasionally, I will stop coloring and just think about the verse. Meditate. 

 

We don’t get to do this every year. More like every two or three years. But I am glad for these times. 

 

As my brain has quieted and I have rested, I find myself getting ideas again. Getting excited about projects. I am even starting to feel excited about homeschooling some of my kids. I am plotting out schedules, and thinking about books to read and papers we will write and discussions we will have. Spelling charts for the second grader. Homemade calendars.

 

And this is the difference between stressed-out me and healthy me. The ability to dream and be excited about the future. 

 

I remember in the flurry of having lots of babies, I went for years without having any dreams. I was too exhausted. Too overwhelmed. The future was too far away. I was just surviving today. This moment. This minute. This second. 

 

The past months have been that for me. Survival. 

 

And it’s good to feel that quieting down. To feel like the ability to dream is coming back. 

I even told my husband that one day, when all the kids are grown, I want to get a giant fluffy dog. Like a St. Bernard. Or something like that. He immediately pointed out that big dogs are expensive. And I pointed back that all the kids will be gone and I will have money to spend on a dog. 🙂 He’s not over-excited about that dream….yet. I’ve got some time to talk him around. 🙂 

 

Here is a poem I found.

 

“The Peace of Wild Things”

Wendell Berry

Listen

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

 

Today, I am thankful for nature. For God’s creation. For the beauty he created that provides rest to all people, believer or not. It is one of his gifts to humankind. 

 

And I’m thankful for the time he has given me to just rest. 

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day everyone.

 

To all those moms who have suddenly become homeschooling moms against your wishes and feel overwhelmed and frustrated…Happy Mother’s Day.

 

To all those moms who have been homeschooling all along but have suddenly lost all their support systems, friends, playgrounds, libraries, co-ops, extra-curricular classes…Happy Mother’s Day.

 

To the moms whose children are long grown and have left the nest, off building their own grown-up lives…Happy Mother’s Day.

 

To the Grandmas who have not only launched their own children but are now involved in the next generation of children…Happy Mother’s Day.

 

To the moms whose children are not here, lost in miscarriage or premature death…Happy Mother’s Day. 

 

To the moms who became mothers through a different route and who love their children fiercely, Happy Mother’s Day.

 

To the women who say they aren’t a mom, but whose lives have heavily influenced a child, Happy Mother’s Day. 

 

To the Brand New Mom who feels like she is drowning in sleepless nights and never-ending feedings…hang in there, things will change…Happy Mother’s Day.

 

To the moms who are struggling with their teenagers, despairing of ever having a good relationship with your child…I’m praying for you…Happy Mother’s Day. 

 

To the moms who messed up and are now trying to make things right…keep trying…every relationship is worth mending…Happy Mother’s Day.

 

To the mom who loves her children with all her heart, but feels like she has lost track of who she is as a person…you’re still there and you’re worth finding again…Happy Mother’s Day.

 

To the mom who is watching their child face health battles…our hearts are breaking with yours…Happy Mother’s day. 

 

And to my Mom, thank you for loving me. You’re the best. I wish you Happiness and Joy and Peace. 

Grace and Our Mental Health Crisis

This morning the sun is shining. It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve seen sunshine, even though I know that’s not true. It was raining yesterday, and yesterday seemed to last about three months. It was a long hard day. Last night our schools announced that they would be staying closed at least through April 24th. Even though I knew that was going to happen, hearing the announcement on the phone felt like a door that I had held cracked open in hope, had been slammed shut in my face. Well shoot. I really AM stuck with figuring out how to school my kids for the next month. 

 

Right now, I am mostly worried about the mental health crisis that has hit our family. I have several children receiving mental health services. I have been receiving mental health services. As life has gotten more overwhelming, my personal doctor offered for me to see their in-house psychologist and we started meeting. It has been helpful to have someone I can talk to in confidence about the challenges I’m facing and who can ask pertinent questions to help me figure out how to proceed. 

 

This week she called me on the phone and said that we would need to do our sessions on the phone for a while. I agreed. Yes. That makes sense. But, it’s sad. I don’t do well talking on the phone. I’m not an auditory person and I find it a bit of a challenge to have phone conversations with anyone except the closest friends and family. I also know that having a private conversation in my home will be next to impossible. And, I know that being able to see someone face-to-face speaks to my soul in a way that phone conversations don’t. 

 

I’m not the only one in the family that is being moved to TeleHealth.  And I know that expecting a child to be able to get anything out of a video conference is ridiculous. It’s not going to be effective. And that is overwhelming to me.

 

At this time, when life has turned upside down, we need these services more, not less. 

 

It’s not anyone’s fault. I understand. Seeing patients face-to-face is putting both patient and provider at risk for exposure to the virus. I understand. 

 

I know that our family isn’t the only one in this boat. This pandemic we are in the middle of is stressful for all members of society. But I think the foster kids and foster parents are being especially hard hit. Strict routine is one of the most valuable tools in the toolbox for helping kids who are processing trauma and hard transitions. It’s also a giant tool for kids who have special needs. There are a lot of families out there whose kids simply can’t handle wearing PJs all day and just doing whatever seems like fun. It just doesn’t work. 

 

As a parent in this situation, I am feeling the urgency to establish a good routine for the house to help give ALL the kids a sense of security. But at the same time, I am so stressed out that I am having a hard time establishing that routine. Are these stay-at-home orders going to affect my husband’s job? (Not yet, thank you Lord.) Are my parents ok? What about my husband’s grandpa in the nursing home? Did my oldest daughter sort out her health insurance? What if she gets sick? Our court case involving our foster kids got delayed because the courts shut down. What is this going to mean for our situation? I heard that covid-19 has reached Haiti. What is this going to mean for our friends and family still there? What will it mean for that country? My friend who lives in Bush Alaska and works in the hospital there told me they only have 7 respirators. What is this going to mean for the town where I graduated high school? What if they get hard-hit? I’m in the process of bringing my son home early from his out-of-state school. How do we get our plane tickets refunded? 

 

All of this is going through my head, and then it’s raining outside, and the kids are fighting with each other, and I feel like I am the last person in the world to be able to handle this situation well. 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

I guess this is going to have to be my go-to verse. I’m not feeling it. I’m not feeling God’s power. I’m not feeling super-spiritual. All I can see is my weakness and my need right now. My family’s need. So, it becomes an act of faith. I will keep taking one step at a time, exert my tiny bit of strength, and trust that God is going to magnify that effort and turn it into Enough. 

 

My prayers for all of you today as we push through this crazy time, one day at a time. 

Coronavirus, Kids, and Mental Health

Hey Everyone. I’m wondering how everyone is doing right now with the World Pandemic?  I’ve got friends who have been preparing for this kind of scenario their whole lives, and they are READY! And then I have friends who aren’t taking things too seriously, still doing life as-normal as much as they can. I think I’m probably in the place that most people are. I’m taking it seriously, but I’m really not set up to be SUPER PREPARED. I don’t have the storage space or the extra cash flow to have two months of groceries stored up in my house. I live in the city. I don’t have a wilderness hide-away to retreat to in full-blown quarantine. I’m taking it one day at a time. 

 

So…Kids. Let’s talk kids. 

 

My kids are excited about having a super-long vacation. And mad because we can’t go do all the fun things they normally expect to do on a vacation. Can we go to the Children’s Museum? No. The zoo? No. The library? Well, we can go get a book, but we can’t hang out there. Play at the playground? No, way too many families there. 

 

I’ve seen a lot of posts online about How To Homeschool Your Child During Coronavirus. Homeschooling moms are in their element right now, finally, people willing to listen to their experiences!! I’ve told the kids we are going to start homeschooling next week. I’m starting to feel depressed about this. Our school system has said we are shutting down through April 3rd. I have no hope that they are going to be opening school on April 7th. And that makes me depressed. I stopped homeschooling for a reason. It was One Thing Too Many for me to handle. Right now it still feels like One Thing Too Many for me to handle. But, on the other hand, having a household full of children with no schedule and no real structure is also Too Much To Handle. So, I plan to homeschool just so I can give these kids schedules and structure, so we all don’t go insane. 

 

Here’s the plan. I plan to read devotions and have the younger kids choose a sentence from our Bible story that they can copy neatly and maybe draw a picture. I’ve got a cool history book I like called “Story of the World”. I plan to read this out loud to all the kids and give them paper and pencils to draw a picture of something that stands out to them in what I’m reading.  The older kids can write me a paragraph summary of what we’ve read in history. For math, my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are going to drill times tables, since none of them have their times tables memorized. I’ve got some cool science books that I’m also going to read out loud and let kids draw pictures and write descriptions of what we’ve read. And then, I’ve got a large selection of quality Children’s Literature. Everyone gets to pick a book and read some of it every day. My middle-schoolers and high-schoolers can get online and use resources that their schools are making available. My preschooler and kindergartner can do phonics workbooks that I already own, and I’ll continue to do reading lessons with them. The first grader can read books and all the little ones can do addition flashcards. Then we’ll run around outside and play a lot of games. And watch some of my favorite orchestra pieces on YouTube. And paint pictures. 

 

Or, I’ll lose all patience and tell the kids to turn on the tv and leave me alone. 

 

We’ll see. 

I guess, the point is, either scenario is fine. We all have structure and learn something. Great. We free roam, watch tv and eat snacks all day. Also ok. 

 

There isn’t a script that we are supposed to be following. This is new for all of us. Grace. We just need to practice grace for each other. Sometimes grace might look like stimulating our kid’s brains and giving them lots of interesting things to do. And sometimes grace might look like throwing the kids out in the yard and making them stay outside all day. Or binge watching Marvel Movies. Or getting Happy Meals. Or learning how to bake bread. 

 

Let’s just take it one moment at a time. 

 

Just Remember

Well, the Coronavirus is all over the news. And it seems like I should say something about it. Seeing as I have a blog and all. 🙂  Whenever I try to think of “words of wisdom” for the masses, I come up blank. All I can do is share what’s been happening in my life. So here goes. 

 

I’ve been keeping an eye on the news the last couple weeks. I have been concerned. Not really scared. Just concerned. I decided it would be a good idea to follow the CDC’s advice to have extra supplies on hand. I’ve stocked up a bit. Not a ton. I’m feeding thirteen people every day and I simply don’t have the refrigerator space or the pantry space to stock for large periods of time. But, if we couldn’t go to the grocery store for a week or so, I’d be ok. Since I have a hard time imagining a Capitalist country like ours not finding a way to sell me groceries, I’m not over-concerned about that. I’ve stocked up on some vitamins and OTC medicines. Some medicinal teas. I’ve got a bit more cleaning supplies on hand. I’ve got toilet paper. 🙂 Not an insane amount. I just bought what I usually buy, then grabbed one more package. (I was smart though! I bought it before the mad rush started.) If the kids’ school gets canceled, well hey, I home-schooled for twelve years. I’ve still got all my old supplies on hand. Not a big problem. 

 

All of this “prepping” has kind of happened as a Side Issue. Life has been so incredibly busy that I really haven’t had time to just focus on Worrying about the Coronavirus. When my thoughts do turn that way, I’m finding that I’m having a lot of flashbacks from my childhood. I grew up in Haiti and we lived through a lot of political turmoil. There were many times when we couldn’t leave our house for a week at a time because people were rioting and we could hear gunshots and all the roads were barricaded by angry citizens. And we just stayed in our home and hoped that we would not become a target to anyone’s anger. Going to the store was not an option at all. We just had to make do with whatever we had. One time we were stuck in our house for days and all we had was a giant bag of pancake mix and a bunch of pasta. It took years for me to enjoy pancakes again. 

 

We also lived through an embargo that was put on the country where medicine and fuel and food were very difficult to find because the US wasn’t allowing it to be shipped in. Our family had to ration our driving. My brother and I biked and walked a lot. We carpooled. We just didn’t go anywhere. 

 

Sickness? In Haiti we had TB, HIV, Malaria, Typhoid, Anthrax, Diphtheria, Hepatitis, and a whole host of tropical diseases just floating around everywhere. My mother held medical clinics in our home. All those sick people would come and sit on benches in our yard while my mom would see them in a room in our house, one at a time. We washed our hands a lot. We used Clorox a lot. We got sick sometimes. We recovered. 

 

When I compare those childhood experiences to what’s happening right now, I just kind of shrug. Yeah. This is really nothing. 

 

Here’s the thing. I don’t want to downplay people’s worries. I’m not overly concerned because I have seen God’s faithfulness through much worse circumstances. If God could help my family when I was a child living through tumultuous times, then, I know that God can help me and my family now. 

 

Not everyone shares my history. Maybe this is the biggest thing you’ve lived through. Maybe this is really shaking up your world. I think the pattern holds true though. When we are faced with trials and worries, we look back. We remember other hard times that God helped us with. We remember how God has helped other family members. We think about the stories in the Bible, how God provided for the Israelites in the wilderness. We remember God’s faithfulness. And in remembering, we strengthen our faith. And as our faith is strengthened, we can let go of our fear. 

 

 

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

 

                     Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV) 

Love in a Bag of Socks

Do you ever feel like the whole universe is against you, and everything that can go wrong is going wrong, and WHY ME?? And all that? And then, there is just this moment right in the middle when you suddenly realize that God is still in control and He still loves you, and it’s going to be ok.

 

My story begins with socks. Let’s talk about socks. 

 

Yesterday, Monday morning, as I’m trying to herd a bunch of kids out the door to school, the recurring theme I’m hearing from each child walking down the steps is, I’M OUT OF SOCKS!! I NEED SOCKS!! 

 

Oh no. I forgot to do laundry this Saturday and it sounds like the kids aren’t going to make it to my next laundry day on Tuesday. I direct all the kids to go hunt out my Odd Sock Basket and just find anything that will fit. And if they find some that are kind of the same color or style, that would be great. I mentally add to my TO DO list, wash socks tonight. Which kind of makes me shudder cause that means I will need to go and gather laundry from all the bedrooms upstairs and try and find socks and it’s going to be complicated. Also complicated is the fact that it is Monday, the one day I go to a homeschooling co-op and teach piano lessons and my little boys attend preschool. Andy and I are also supposed to meet some friends of ours at a restaurant this evening. Hmm. Sock washing is not going to be an easy task. 

 

The day is busy. I finish at co-op and then take my tired little boys to the eyeglass place to pick up some replacement glasses we’d ordered. While I’m at the eyeglass place I get a call from the school asking me to come for an emergency meeting. I load up my boys who are starting to get fussy now and we rush over to the school. Have the meeting, during which my three year old loses it completely and goes into full-meltdown mode. We quickly finish the meeting then I have to run out to the car with the screaming three year old and the four year old so we can get in the car and quickly get into the end of the car line to pick up the kids. Three year old has gone insane by this time and I am ignoring all looks from other parents while I bodily carry him to the car while he makes as much noise as possible. I am stepping off the curb and somehow mess it up completely and turn my ankle, almost dropping the screaming child. I am now standing there gasping in pain, trying not to swear too loudly, three year old is still screaming and I don’t know how I’m going to walk the rest of the way to the car. 

 

A teacher who was getting into her car witnesses the whole thing and she gets out of her car and grabs hold of the screaming child and helps me walk him to the car while I limp along. By the time I get to the car, the initial pain has worn off, and I can move my ankle around. Ok. This is going to be alright. I get in the car, buckle the writhing child (I don’t know what happened, I have never had this particular child meltdown in such a spectacular manner), and drive over to pick up my kids. 

 

The next couple hours are filled with talking to kids, dealing with some annoying mail, and trying to get supper cooked so I can feed the kids and go out with my husband. While I’m cooking supper I suddenly realize that I never washed the stupid socks. I ponder how expensive it would be to just go to the store and buy new socks. It seems like it might be the only solution. Ok, I don’t have time to think about this problem. I continue to limp along while I get the meal served. My ankle feels sore, but not enough to slow me down. 

 

We run out the door, just making it to the restaurant in time. I limp carefully to our booth, the ankle is noticeable, but still not bad. 

 

And then suddenly, it’s bad. I’m just sitting there quietly in my seat and my ankle announces it’s presence, loud and clear. I AM HERE, I AM HERE, I AM HERE. 

 

I shift in my seat, trying to find a better position. Nothing seems to be working. We chat and order our food. My face is starting to look strained, my husband asks what’s wrong. I whisper that my ankle is hurting. He lets me put my foot up in his lap. It doesn’t help. 

 

As the evening progresses, my pain level goes from a 2 to a full blown 10. We cut the evening short and my husband and the husband of the other couple help me hobble out of the restaurant. By now I am employing my lamaze-breathing methods to deal with the pain. I can’t wait to just get home and put my foot up with some ice. 

 

Unfortunately, elevating, icing, and dosing up with a bunch of ibuprofen does nothing to ease the pain. I’m now crying. 

 

You have to understand, I have an extremely high tolerance for pain. This is off the charts. 

 

My husband finally says, that’s it, I’m taking you to the hospital. And the whole time, I’m thinking, Why me? I have so much to do. I cannot afford to be out of commission. Everyone is depending on me. And I still haven’t washed the socks. And now I can’t even go to the store to buy socks. And all the kids will be going to school tomorrow sock-less. 

 

We pull up to the hospital and Andy gets out to find a wheelchair. He stops and I hear him open the trunk of the car. The trunk opens and closes and then he walks over to my door, opens the door and dumps a bag in my lap, then heads off again. I look at the bag, puzzled, and open it up. 

 

It’s full of socks. Kids’ socks. Different sizes. And I remember about a month ago, my husband telling me there was a bag of socks in his car, he didn’t know where they came from, did I want them? And I said yes, but never followed through and they had just been sitting in his car. 

 

I burst into tears. This time just because I’m feeling overwhelmed with love. 

 

It’s ok. God’s got this. He sees me. He knows. It’s love in a bag of socks. 

 

(P.S. Ankle isn’t broken, just a bad sprain, and I got a boot to help me hobble around.)