It is Spring Break here in Chaos and my home is brimming with children. Teenage boys slumped in the basement in front of video games, still wearing clothing from the day before. Adolescent girls bubbling into the kitchen searching for snacks while complaining about the teenage boys. And the two preschoolers, alternating between irritation with each other and heartache at not being included by the older kids.
A week of this dynamic, replaying ad nauseum, stretched out before me. I started to twitch. I called a friend in desperation and together determined that a change of scenery was in order. I loaded the adolescents (Allie & her friend) and preschoolers (Ben & Clara) into the car. I packed bags of food and drink and blankets. Diapers, wet wipes, and jackets. And headed for the park. We met our friends and Ben gleefully ran, climbed and jumped for hours. Clara determinedly practiced walking on wood chips and was content just to go up and down the same little slide again and again. And the girls walked, arm and arm, through the paths and around the lake talking and whispering and laughing, and looking terribly grown up.
Then all the children, young and old, met up in the sand to build castles and volcanoes. Finally, after a quick scrub down we collapsed onto a worn comforter and ate sandy sandwiches and grapes and goldfish. Juice boxes and girl scout cookies. I visited with my girlfriend and rocked Clara until she was nearly asleep. Thinking, as I lay my cheek against her gritty head and watched Ben scale another rock, that for all the activities spring break has to offer I could not imagine my children and I finding a more satisfactory way to spend a morning. Friends, and nature, food and slides and swings and climby things. And dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. Who could ask for anything more?
Today was a day where I could not imagine wanting to be anywhere else than home with my children. I wish that I could say that I have this feeling every day, or even most days, but home-making is not a calling that has come easy to me. Never ending chores, sibling fights, mundanities, frustrations and tempers, (mine and their's) without outside validation, have driven me to the edge. Repeatedly. But I know that I am where I am supposed to be. And so I pray often for God to help me find the joy in my calling and recognize those irreplaceable moments that take place around me each day.
And so it is, when I have a day like today, that is full of one precious gem of a moment after another, that I cannot help but feel His presence very strongly. It is like I hear him whispering to me, "Do you see? Do you see what I have given you that you grumble and complain about and take for granted? Do you see what you are missing?"
And I know in my core what I have always know, but sometimes forget, that I am truly blessed and genuinely unworthy.