Friday, September 12, 2008

I thought I already learned this once...

Since Tess has joined our family, I purposely haven't planned to accomplish much most days outside of the regular kid-routine. Tyler works hard at work so I can work hard at home, and that is that. Today, however, I felt an extra burst of motivation (and guilt!) to finish some long-overdue thank you notes I had let pile up. I got up early and showered before anyone was awake. I even was able to spend some sweet time in God's Word and in prayer, and felt energized for the day. I was ready to tackle something other than the daily essentials. Oh, it would feel good to get those thank you notes written and crossed off of my to-do list! I should have known.

Tess fussed throughout the morning, and wouldn't let me put her down for five minutes. One minute per thank you note... didn't she know that's all I needed? She finally napped, and I was able to get a couple of the notes done while Chase sat on my lap. Did he take the "needy cue" from her today? I gave up for a while, still determined to get those crazy notes in the mailbox before lunchtime (and before Trey came home from Kindergarten, surely adding another needy card to the mix!). It's like kids know when you're on a mission to accomplish something (like they know when you're on the phone, but that's another post for another day). No one ever got happy, so I decided to leave everyone to their needy status and just finish the only project I had set out to get done today. After what seemed like an eternity of stopping and starting, a stack of well thought-out, neatly written, detailed thank you notes finally made their way into the mailbox. And even before the mailman came. Yes. I crossed the job off of my list with satisfaction, finally.

By this time, Trey is home from school, and chaos ensues again. He's really frustrated over his paper airplane that just won't fly. We tape and support and refold until my patience is starting to wear thin, and it is obvious that he needs a breather. So I send him out to get the mail. He loves getting the mail, and I thought the quick walk outside would help him refocus. He would walk out crying, and walk in 30 seconds later a new boy, I was sure of it. Well, he did walk out crying - that was the part that I got right. But he walked back in crying even harder. Sobbing actually. Trey walked straight towards me, devastated, holding a pile of mail he had dropped in the puddles at the end of our driveway. Completely soaked, every bit of it. Only when I looked at the pile more closely, it wasn't today's mail that was dripping. The mailman hadn't come yet. You guessed it, it was all of my thank you notes, done for. Oh man, this was enough to put me over the edge. Without a word, I escaped to the bathroom to cool off and asked the Lord to give me His perspective on the whole deal before I lost complete control.

After a few deep breaths and some praying, God reminded me of my primary purpose in my life right now. So I headed out of the bathroom and off to find my kids, to tell them that I love them more than pieces of paper dropped in the rain. Most days lately I work really hard to see few tangible results at the end of the day. But I am working towards something greater than a clean house, timely thank you notes, or time to myself (though you have to remind me of this often). And if I forget this again, say tomorrow, tell me to read this post, would you?

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. ~Galatians 6:8-10


Melissa said...

I am so glad that I am not the only one who has days like that!

mpaschal said...


laura.roberts said...

Oh Whitney, your household reminds me so much of ours just a few short years ago. I am so sorry for laughing about the thank you notes. It reminded my of the day that Jarred dug up all of the onions (tulip bulbs) for our dinner. It took me forever to plant those bulbs, but he was so proud of himself for his accomplishment. Hang in there!!
Miss you and love you
hugs and kisses

Amy said...

I needed to come read this today because I am having almost exactly the same type of day today! Thank you so much for putting it into words and helping me remember I'm not the only one who has days like this, and the wonderful blessing that is my children and husband! Thank you!

A. Elizabeth Ash said...

Hello - Stephs friend here. It is fun to look at your beautiful family.

Cory Costello said...

Where is my thank you note?! Whatever I did or gave you to deserve that note - never again Whitney!

panana said...

Ah, GRACE and FORGIVENESS. It seems amazing when you see it happening in every day life. It should not be that way. Grace and forgiveness should be the expected, right? What a lovely story as an example.

Write ON!