Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Moment

Did you ever have a moment of revelation? You know, one of those sudden still-life moments that just happens randomly, but gives you some insight?
Happened to me this morning. All of the daycare kids were behaving at once-playing, napping, reading. So I took the time to read an article in a magazine I'd gotten in today's mail. It was about a woman who had 6 children under 5 years old, who wanted desperately to find the time to do things at church, to find some ministry she could participate in. And then she had a revelation, that her kids were her ministry, and it changed her life, and made her happier.
That's when a little voice inside my head whispered, "Remember?" And suddenly I had a flash of memory, back from when we lived in a little 2 bedroom walk-up attic apartment. Me, telling my husband I had to go to the store, handing him the baby, and literally running to the car. Just so I could get a moment to myself. Flash-forward a couple years. He's suggesting to me that I should get my daycare license, "because I'm so good at being a mom." It wasn't the first time he'd suggested it. I didn't listen then, but I did later. Later, when my own children were a little older, and I had the distance to realize that you do actually live through a few years of sleepless nights, puking children, and no money to spend on yourself.
Now, my daycare is part of my ministry. Like raising my own children still is. I get to teach, not just the children, but their parents. Share a little of the tiny bit of wisdom I've gained over the years. When to call the doctor, when to worry. When not to worry, how to get through the rough times. How to feed a family of two for a week on very little money. We share our abundance with our daycare families. Not just physical things, like food, but the abundance of our learning.
Like our children, sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they have to learn for themselves, the hard way. Not every day is easy. Some days I need a drink to relax as soon as the last child leaves. Other days I spend my evenings catching up on all the things I couldn't get done during the day. But it's always a rewarding job to have, when I can remember to look for the silver lining. But here I still am, doing the same things I've been doing for the last 23 plus years. It's my ministry, and it's good to be reminded of that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


1. Banquet frozen dinners have saved me from skipping lunch on busy daycare days many, many times. But there's nothing like taking what would be five dollars worth of food anywhere else, and making it available for 89 cents, to make me wonder what kind of meat is really in the chicken fried beef steak.

2.Had a scheduled inspection today. Like usual, I stressed over it and cleaned all morning, and like usual, she didn't even glance at the kitchen. Just reviewed records and watched me serve lunch. Passed with flying colors, though, so that's good.

3. Babies are weird. Yesterday she screamed all morning, and today she slept from 6:30 till 11:00. I wonder if they know somehow when you really need a break?

4. Speaking of breaks, it was humid and hot for the whole last week, but today is really nice. I actually turned off the air conditioner and opened windows today!

5. I'd really like to win the lotto. I wonder if it would change my life in any meaningful way, though. I mean, big house, a maid, a pretty sports car, help the family out, and all of that, but would the freezer still have frozen pizza and Banquet dinners in it, just a whole lot more?

That's all I got for today, see ya!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Another Monday

Last evening, around 8:00 p.m., I got my usual Sunday-night-gotta-get-ready-for-work-on-Monday, bad temper fit all riled up. I had to clean the kitchen, vacuum, get the daycare stuff out and ready for my first, 5 a.m. arrival the next day.
As I was slamming doors, banging pots and pans, and throwing things, my husband asked me what was wrong. I answered the usual way: "Nothing!" He knew better, of course, and managed to ferret out my real reason:"I'm tired of never having a day off!"
That's how I put it, but the truth is a little different. I work long days, most are 12 to 13 hours. At home, so I never get away from work. And then I go right into housewife mode and start cooking and cleaning, in addition to all the stuff I manage to squeeze in during the day. And sometimes it feels like I never have a moment to call my own, and by the time I'm done raising children, I'll be too old to have any fun at all. And lets not even talk about where the money goes: all towards bills, no time out, nada.
But as I write this on my laptop (my darling husband and wonderful children surprised me with it last year for my birthday), I'm listening to my Ipod (ditto, only this years birthday), and the washing machine and dishwasher are doing a good portion of my work for me, and the daycare kids are, miraculously, all napping at once, even the baby.
So I know I have things really pretty easy. I only go barefoot when the redneck in me can't stand shoes another minute, I have (way more than) enough food to keep me alive and happy, and a good deal of it is caffeinated and chocolate covered.
I'm not sure why I have such a hard time focusing on the good things on Sunday nights, but I do know these things for sure: I'm very blessed, and I am absolutely surrounded by love on all sides. I really am grateful to be able to do all that I do, and I really do all of this because I want to. I am so blessed to have a family who loves me, my favorite electronic toys, pets who are glad to see me wake up in the morning, a job, and yes, all of those bills.
I'm reminded of a bible verse, about your cup running over. It seems appropriate that when mine does overflow with good things, that there are a few things in there that keep me grounded, that keep me from forgetting from whom all of those good things come. So, thanks to God, from whom all blessings flow, and to my very patient husband, who knows when to ignore a fit.
(P.S. Listening to my favs playlist can go a long way to improving my mood too-during naps, it's like a mini vacation. How can you not smile when you're listening to the Cranberries and Joe Walsh?)