(This post brought to you by several nights of minimal sleep.)
It was day 4 of a nasty cold in the house. All 6 kiddos had it, and I was fighting it but not nearly as much as they were fighting each other. Sleep had been a foreign concept for two nights and fuses were lit and low all around. I finally called a time out for everyone, and everyone was sent to their own corner “until further notice.” (This, for all the non-mothers out there, is my code for “until Mommy feels like she can handle life without yelling again.”)
It sort of worked and I started a 10 minute pickup in the dining room, hoping that having even a small corner of clean space would help everyone feel a little more cheerful.
I wish I felt just a little bit worse, then I could take a time out too.
I stood up. I laughed at myself. Since when did I have to wait for a cold to worsen to take a break?
I cancelled my non-essential chores for the day. I sat on the couch with a stack of books and read to the kids until my scratchy throat couldn’t take it anymore. Then we played games, and I drank more tea and coffee than I probably should have.
I put a verse on the white board: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
And we got through the day. And the night. And the next day. And the next night.
God gives grace, and I’d been dealt it bountifully. I was grateful, even as I half-slept upright in bed, the congested baby on my chest to help him rest.
Then the worst was over, and I saw around me children who were a little kinder, a little more cheerful. (Also children who now sling “Those are grievous words!” at each other like cannon balls. Even the 3-year-old. It’s kind of hilarious.)
Life continues, we’re picking up all the tissues and carrying on.
God is good.