Last week it was about 50 degrees and the wind was blowing.  I didn’t like going outside.

Today it’s 90+ degrees, and there’s no breeze.  I don’t like going outside.
No middle ground, see?
Lately I’ve also been thinking/praying on some other issues.  Issues like how I need to rely on God more and on *my* strength less.  Patience.  Diligence.  Consistency.  Being sensitive to the leading of the Spirit.
I’m so very bad at all that.
I don’t know if today is part of a journey to doing that better, but I HOPE it has some lasting fruit.  It’s been a challenge.  Not the worst day ever, certainly, but it kinda feels like it.  
Seems like I spend a fortune on groceries, and come home and can’t figure out what to make for breakfast.  Or lunch, or dinner, for that matter.  Little Artist has two settings; pleasant and cooperative, or screamingly defiant.  She uses the latter setting most times.  And that stuff is just wearing me down.  I can’t focus, I don’t have clarity on the ‘behind the scenes’ of the situation, and I react, instead of respond.  This morning was full of much weeping and gnashing of teeth for breakfast, and I tried to figure *something* out while dealing with un-done jobs that were supposed to have been done last night.  Like the kids’ bathroom floor still COVERED with laundry, shoes, bits of toilet paper and trash, and random toys.  What HAD been cleaned up was actually tossed into the hallway amid other things awaiting attention.  The kitchen was still buried in the dirty dishes from yesterday, 20 lbs of over-ripening bananas needing peeled and frozen, 25 lbs (maybe more?) of apples – some of which Organique had made a small bite in – and all the crumbs, jam, honey, mess left from each person’s snacking/preparing from the weekend.  After I began to peel potatoes and make ‘oven fries’ and serve cottage cheese, Organique got into the arrowroot powder (the same thing her older sister got into as a toddler, in fact..), and made a moderate mess of that.  Big Sister tended to that small emergency, and then, stools unavailable (we have to keep them that way), Organique hauled over the plastic container in which I keep the *expensive* organic sugar.  She overturned it by the stove, and apparently the lid hadn’t been replaced correctly because the whole thing (the last of my stash) poured onto the very unclean floor.  This was about all I could handle for the day, it seemed, and breakfast hadn’t even been finished yet.  I salvaged what I could, and swept up the rest, nearly crying as I went.  I then hung out a couple loads of laundry and told Little Artist to get into the van (we needed to go to the local greenhouse for some plants).  Instead of complying, of course, she asked, in a very shrill tone, “Why?”  I responded that I was her mother, and I told her to.  She followed it up with much yelling and screaming, demanding that she be told *why* I wanted her in the van.  I should mention here that I’ve yet to instruct my children to get into the van unless I plan to take them somewhere.  Letting them ‘play’ there is not a good idea, and wouldn’t ever be suggested by *me*.  I left her howling and she eventually got herself to the van in a decent attitude.
At the greenhouse, they of course had sold out of everything I needed.  Unless I was willing to settle for tomato plants that were 1″ tall instead of 15″ tall.  I wasn’t.   Zucchini was completely out, so I got yellow squash and some other tomato varieties, lamenting that my Beefmaster and Early Girl tomatoes were snatched up by people more organized than myself.  It wasn’t long before the heat and humidity of the greenhouse had the girls all whining for a drink of water, and blaming me for not bringing my water bottle along.  By the time we got to the van, even Organique was crying, so we headed home (which is less than 2 miles away!).  Of course, upon our return the resident hawk was circling our property, making me worried that he was assessing the available menu.  I can’t tell if he ordered yet or not.
I removed kids quickly to go get their drinks, and went to retrieve the plants from the rear of the vehicle – where the large double-stroller had tipped over and smashed a very many of my plants, mostly the tall tomatoes.  
Of course.
The girls had filled one cup of water and were taking turns with it, resulting in a lot of crying and demands for their turn, and leaving Organique to cry for hers.  I supplied additional cups (they usually use a dozen or two at a time, it seems, why be frugal now?), but then Organique mostly choked on her water, trying to drink it so quickly, and that made her cry more.  By this time I took myself to my room to cry, and then called Hubby to ask that he pray for me today.  He didn’t answer, and my sobs started anew when I was leaving him a message, which I really didn’t want to do.  Organique came to comfort me, and tracked dirty shoes all over my mattress pad (the sheets were on the line).
I got some schoolwork started with the girls, and put away bananas while Organique napped.  And then realized that I hadn’t tended the livestock (well, birds).  Which I was certain had resulted in their excruciating death by heat.  I sent Big Sister to check on them and unplug their heat lamps, and while they weren’t dead, they were indeed in need of food and/or water.  I went to tend this after putting water on the stove to boil for my prenatal tea.
Of course.
I got the poor goslings some water, then some food, both of which they needed desperately.  I brought a bucket of each goose food and turkey starter (geese and ducks will die if they eat medicated starter) into their area to make refills more efficient, and set them carefully in different areas so that no one would confuse them.  Then I realized the Meat Mutants were ALSO out of feed and water (they had 6 gallons just yesterday!), so I began to tend to their water.  I noticed Little Artist was sitting on the *icky* floor of the now-goose-and-turkey house, reaching her arm into the turkey’s feed, which she’d gotten down from it’s high place of rest.  I asked her to not do that while I hauled the Mutant’s feeder to refill it.  I brought them their food to fight over (while making other little piles here and there to cut down on the violent competition) and realized my lettuce was probably dying and my carrot seeds were probably already dead.  I went to water these things, and then I noticed the Little Artist had indeed abandoned her turkey-feed mischief, but she’d left the bucket on the ground.  And had left the door open.  Gorging themselves on the super-protein, medicated starter was a rooster, 2 or 3 hens, and Aflac, our duck.  Not good.  I had to use the hose to spray them out of the place, and I hope Aflac doesn’t die from her indulgence.  Kindof.
Sometime within the above goings on, Big Sister hollered out to me that there was a pan on the stove “bubbling and bubbling.”  I had her turn it off, and later found less than 1/8″ of water left in the pan.  Thank you Lord, that I didn’t wreck the pan or burn the house down. Since then I had a debate with my brother over the right- or wrong-ness of the state overseeing what parents teach their children (I can’t believe his conservative self views things the way he does), and had many opportunities to say, “would you remove your sister from the dining room table for me” and “please take that chicken back outside” and “who turned on the sprinkler system for the front lawn?”  
But I haven’t cried again.  Well, not from yet another impending disaster, anyway.
Please tell me that this has purpose.  Like labor to bring forth a child, tell me that this will produce in me something of eternal value.  Patience, maybe.  The ability to face trials with joy, or at least without frustration and overwhelm.  Sensitivity to His leading.  Something.  I want my girls to view the jobs of a mother with admiration and respect, as something to aspire to, and I feel like I’m giving them every reason to run far, far from such a life.  I need hope (but not the Obama version).
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