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We have a busy household around here.  My husband’s schedule is not set in stone.  We have three very active and very different daughters.  We have two grandparents (great-grandparents for our girls) who are delightful and sweet and need some help with the stuff of life.  We have a dog that barks at every.blessed.thing.  It’s summertime, and the schedules are, shall we say, fluid.

There are friends coming and going, vacations, camps, doctors appointments, and the unexpected-car trouble, kid trouble, hard stuff of life… Someone asked me how I do it all the other day and I simply said, “I don’t.”  My real, honest answer should have been, “Jesus all of the way, with some help from an anti-depressant, and also, I don’t.” There are many things I hold on to very loosely.  I let our girls dress themselves almost every day.  Mother’s Day, Christmas, and Easter are the days I pull my mom-card.  This means some Sundays we go to church with a kid wearing mismatching shoes or maybe a Christmas dress in July. I don’t braid hair, and I don’t paint nails.  If I have the time, I would gladly do it.  It’s just that I don’t.  I clean the floors when I can, I organize closets when I can, and I never iron.

Anyway.  We made it through a crazy day recently.  Lots of work for me, unexpected interruptions, and very loud children.  I took a lot of deep breaths.  I asked for the eyes of the Father, to filter every situation.  I thanked Him for everything I could think of being thankful for.  I let the kids watch movies because silence.  But at the end of the day, the kids were in our little inflatable pool yelling at each other.  I told them it was time to be done and I walked inside to finish my work.  5 minutes later they were still playing in the pool.  I told them one more time.  2 minutes later they were still playing in the pool.

And then I lost it.  I just yelled.  And I sounded EXACTLY like my father. “When I say it is time to get out, that doesn’t mean you keep playing!  It means GET OUT OF THE POOL!  When I tell you to do something, it is not a SUGGESTION! GET.OUT.OF.THE.POOL.” Stunned silence, then compliance.  I stormed into the house and slammed things around, muttering under my breath the whole time.  I bossed the kids around and just wanted them to get to bed.  It was about 20 minutes of the day, but in my mind, the whole day became a loss.

Eventually, things calmed down and I was able to see the good in the day as well as gain perspective over the hard parts of the day.  I apologized to the girls for my own part-losing my temper and speaking unkindly.  They apologized to me for their disobedience and we all moved on.

At bedtime, I finished reading to our youngest and she snuggled next to me and tossed her arm over me and said, “You are the best mom EVER.  I love you SUPER MUCH, mom. Thanks for this great day.”  What a gift of grace.