Taking a Personal Day

It was away to early; the sun had barely made its appearance when Roman waltzed into my room. “Would you like to read me a new story?” He suggested brightly, with the most irresistible grin. In spite of his beguiling three year-old charm, it took every ounce of self control I could muster at that early hour, not to mumble, “Go away! I’m taking a personal day.”  Sleeping in just isn’t a part of motherhood at this stage.

And neither are personal days. Instead my “personal” time is filled with cleaning up endless messes, fixing enough food for an army and then watching it get demolished by three ravenous boys, picking up, washing clothes, settling disputes, running countless errands, washing faces, doctoring scrapes, and the list goes on and on. The good news…my personal space is filled too, with snuggles, hugs, sticky smooches, and butterfly kisses.

I wish I could say the balance between the stress of no personal time, and the comfort of no personal space keeps me in sway. But the truth is often I’m more than a little frazzled, and more than a lot overwhelmed.  I don’t like to think of myself as a single parent, because in truth I’m not. Joel is still alive and very much a part of our lives. But he isn’t present in the home, and that means I am often forced to function as a single parent which requires an intensified effort, no doubt.

This season in my life has more than a few challenges, but this parenting thing ranks at the top of that list. It is the ever present challenge that God uses to remind me of my utter dependence on Him. The responsibility to parent on purpose, to love my kids, as Christ loves me, is just something I can’t do on my own. All to often, my flesh flares up and I find myself in the imbalance of frustration and ingratitude, wishing I could take a personal day. But in spite of all my failures, He remains faithful.  God’s fatherly rebuke in those moments reminds me that He will never take a personal day on me, or my kids.

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