5:00pm, Friday, cira 1998…sunroof open, music blasting…sitting in traffic perhaps…but oh, it’s the Friday commute home from work…and my shortest work commute was 50 minutes, but it always seemed to fly on a Friday. The anticipation of spending two full days with my husband, relaxing, waking up without an alarm clock, it was the weekend, and we so looked forward to them. Then I became a stay at home mom.
Don’t misinterpret -I love being at home, and know it is a privilege, I also love having the hubby home, and I am one blessed woman because my man will pitch in without being asked almost all the time – he’s a see it, do it kind of guy…but even doing dishes is a break from his daily grind. It’s a break of routine…something that I don’t usually get. The weekend over the years has become more and more work…and I find myself longing for Monday. I never get to leave the ‘office’ and the commute is zero, and any plans I had in my head are quickly trumped by whatever the kids bring home Friday…a party, meeting up with friends or dessert, a quick shopping excursion perhaps….
“You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working, even during the seasons of plowing and harvest” Exodis 34:21. We tell our children we are called to work 6 days, and I personally am 100% good with that. But what I struggle with is that 7th day…I don’t feel any rest from that 7th day. There is still work to be done, breakfast to be made, 4 kids to hustle out the door to church, and the moment we return they are staaaaaaarving so lunch is made on top of the breakfast dishes that didn’t get finished before we left, and then it’s 1:00 by the time the kitchen is back to normal again (notice I didn’t say clean)….and then there is usually ironing to finish or start for the week ahead and meal prep and by 1:45 someone is in the kitchen again for a snack and by 3:30 people are starting to want dinner ideas thrown out at them…and the big kids want to go here or there and the little ones want someone to play with them…and I have a stack on my desk of things I know are just feet away and I crave to have them cleared up before Monday…and where is the rest of the 7th day?
I spend Friday’s cleaning the house and simultaneously doing laundry…I want to create a peaceful environment for my family to come home to, especially my husband since he has a very high stress job that is many times 7 days a week. I collect all the stuff people leave laying around all week, trash the junk mail and try to get everything dusted and the floor mopped…all between the hours of 9-2:45 when the kids arrive back. It’s been working…and in the life balance of work at home mom, I am feeling balanced in it…yes I would much rather spend Friday lunching with friends but I feel it sets us up for the weekend ahead. Saturdays are usually spent doing odd jobs around the house between feeding the peeps and shuttling people around, and finishing any laundry that didn’t get done Friday. If it’s flag football season I spend several hours on a football field with the two younger ones and give hubby a break and time alone at home.
How amazing is our God that by the 7th day He had created everything and was finished and could rest, Genesis 2:2. And I can’t manage to get the our 1700 square foot house in order in 6? I day dream about sitting restfully on the sofa in our bedroom, with my devotional, tea, and a journal…with the birds chirping away outside the window while the children quietly play outback and I get to reflect on the week past and plan the week coming and feel at peace—-what I have is more of a let me try to find the sofa in our bedroom under the stack of clothes, and I finally sit and remember that I left my tea on the counter and do I risk going back down there and being seen, but before I can finish that thought someone plops down on my bed and stares at me wanting to know what i’m doing, which at that point is nothing…oh, good…then maybe I can take them somewhere…
And by Sunday evening, hubby is back to looking at his schedule, answering emails and mentally preparing for the week ahead, kids are remembering they have homework and someone is always having a meltdown about not wanting to go to school the next day. And Monday can’t come quick enough. And when I walk in the door from getting the last one one the bus Monday morning I often look around and wonder ‘what just happened here’. My uber clean house from Friday is nowhere to be seen…the hampers are overflowing again and my ‘inbox’ is full of emails that need to be answered, and that stack on my desk is still waiting there for me. And my desire to live on purpose wavers because I want to crawl back into bed, not to sleep but to just be…and I’m reminded…”Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 And my soul is restored, and why would I want it any other way?
I have always had these big visions of restful weekends spent together as a family, hiking, fishing, out to the movies…but it so rarely happens…but without all the chaos what do I have…a clean empty house…no thank you…I want my children to be here for as long as possible and maybe just maybe my perfect restful, family outing 7th day will be found in a few years…and maybe I just need to be more intentional on finding pockets of quiet in my current 7th day…maybe right now it’s just going to have to be 7 minutes, and it’s going to be a small amount of time one on one with the kids and my husband…and I think I can handle that.
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