Some days are harder than others, some are chocked full of joy and pleasure, days when a vacation is far from one’s mind. Then there are some days that are down right difficult, from one hard thing to another, the stuff weariness and depletion are made of. Most days are a mixture. Glimpses of both joy and hardship, the mundane and exciting all rolled together, the determination at the end of it all a good or bad day contingent on which of those was the majority.
Recently I had one of those days when at the end of it all I could not determine which of those it was. It began later than it should’ve as I had a restless and sleepless night before, sleep that was tainted with weird dreams not nightmarish but not exactly fun. The kinds of dreams when one awakens one finds herself groping for reality and a sense of “did that really happen?” As I stumbled to the breakfast table, waking Martins along my way, we congregated at the breakfast table.
A weekend of BLAST fun, lack of sleep and routine was catching up. The youngest Martin fresh off a “bad weekend” where at one point she reminded me of someone who had been on a bender still reflected in her dark brown eyes. We were a sight to behold, a group of weary souls seated around our hand-me-down kitchen table.
“Find a verse or scripture and tell me about it.”
I knew, I know that soul refreshment and strength for the weary could be found in the King’s word. We all needed to hear it as much as I needed them to say it. Ragged Bibles spread open amongst cereals and milk, bananas, frozen and rewarmed egg rolls, quick warmed biscuits with homemade jam, leftover pizza and a cup of coffee in a chipped Jesus mug.
The verses chosen were as diverse as the breakfasts.
A verse in the beginning and how it was good, light brought forth from darkness and how we are light, reminders that The King is a strong tower and shelters His own, a comfort and very present help in times of trouble. A memo to the Martin 5 who don’t know what to do but our eyes are on you, a reminder that the battle isn’t ours but His. We adjourned our impromptu meeting and headed to quickly get dressed and brush new braces and orthodontia appliances, put on deodorants and be ready in 10 minutes as now we were late.
We kissed Daddy goodbye, headed to the car and began our trip to doctors, errands, and art. We played “The compliment game” at the youngest’s insistence. She was finally beginning to come around and I gave in to her characteristic pleas; they were a welcome return. We traversed roads and I was glad to see a recliner sitting in the median of 280 because I honestly thought I’d lost my mind last week when I was the only one who had seen it when we’d whizzed by it.
We stopped by a favorite library for “just a minute” and checked out an anticipated movie sequel. We made it to art just in time and by the time I put my tired ol’ mini van in park I was so glad to not be in motion and for an hour to not have to think.
I relinquished the Martins to a favorite art class and for a moment I was still. Within an hour we were back at it again, headed to the pharmacy and back home before dark. When the tire blew out I simply stated the obvious and the drive to a safe spot was a difficult one.
I delegated tasks, thrust the van manual in the direction of the panicked one and said, “Sit. Read this and tell me what to do.” The panicked one had no way of knowing this wasn’t my first rodeo and I knew what to do. The outnumbered male went to work, as if it were a second nature to jacking and loosening and changing.
“I’ve got this mom.” I marveled at how literal moments before he’d “Bob Rossed” his artwork and now he was changing a tire. I knelt and helped and reminded and encouraged. When the spare was put on we were pleased with our work, but once was the van was down we were as deflated as it was. A flat spare. I almost cried. It was getting darker; the day nearly caught up with me.
About the time I almost lost it, Fred, who works at Valspar, who wore a yellow shirt, offered to help inflate the flat spare tire. I wanted to say to Fred, the obvious, that the youngest had been struggling for days and so had her Mama and Daddy, the middle was on the Autism spectrum and that wasn’t all black grease in his hands, some of it was paint. I wanted to shout that the oldest beautiful soul may be quiet but I could tell by the look on her face she was churning inside. I wanted to scream that the doctor’s office doesn’t call you anymore when your lab results are sketchy, they send you a text and tell you to follow-up in a few months instead of a year and end their text with their perceived rhetoric of healthy living, diet and exercise, use of sunscreen and cheery call if you have questions closing.
I looked at Fred, and all I could say was, “Thank you.” Soon he returned with a good as new spare, his yellow shirt smudged and stained with black. I thanked him again and he told us to be careful. Daddy was now on his way and as the night sky began to show itself we continued on our way. When we arrived home I discovered the frozen dinner I had planned to cook was still frozen and cold; Scott Martin had hesitated to break the bad news to me. As I cooked an alternate dinner and we congregated back at the kitchen table. We thanked the King for supper, protection and healing. We asked for provision and continued as aforementioned. Everyone complimented the chef on her preparation of fish-sticks and potatoes from a box. Her instant pudding dessert was “so good can we eat it for breakfast tomorrow?!”
Some days are hard, others are harder, but there is One who is true, who sends glimpses of Grace and confirmation in the midst of the chaos, reminders that He who begins a good work will bring it to completion and that He is at work even if I don’t think He is.