What is your definition of busy? I think we all see it differently. Remember college? You held a job at the local pizza joint, took 19 credits, were dating someone special, and still had time for the intra-mural water polo team. That was busy…until you got a job where you couldn’t wear flip flops anymore, then got married, then bought a house, and then had a family.
Earlier this year, I was a stay at home dad who could barely dress out of his pajamas by noon. How could this be? Make coffee, clean up coffee, get junior out of bed, change the world’s most offensive diaper, give hugs (had to wait until after diaper change to ensure not transferring the leaky diaper to my own outfit), make breakfast, throw in a load of laundry, clean up breakfast, drive the 1st grader to school, pick up kids’ rooms, mop beautiful dark hardwood floor (that exposed every granule of dirt), get kids dressed, throw laundry into dryer, start second load, supervise kids playing in the backyard, remove kids’ clothing soiled with mud, redress children, pay bills online while kids watch Word Girl (very funny cartoon), get lunch ready, fold first load, put second load into dryer (which will be forgotten and sour by this time tomorrow), then clean up the remnants of lunch: peanut butter, jelly, banana, and milk all over the table and chairs, then rinse kids’ hair adorned with peanut butter, jelly, banana, and milk.
Fast forward a few months. I have a fulltime job (like that wasn’t a job) and when I come home at the end of a day of meetings, prayer, coffee, data entry, and conversations I get great big hugs. Then we eat, give the kids a bath, and when the last bedtime story is read, Jana appears to have been swallowed by the couch. I inquire, “Why are you so tired, dear?” Just as the words are coming out of my mouth, I get a deserved “are you an idiot” stare and in a nanosecond I remember my summer. A quick “just kidding honey” does the trick. Boy, can I think on my feet!
It is difficult to admit at times, but I’m sure thankful for the near bedlam that is raising three small children. Though each day can resemble the previous day, I try to remember the blessings within the monotony: I have kids (because some can’t), my kids are healthy (because some aren’t), I have a job (because many don’t), my kids took baths (because some kids don’t have a home), Jana does endless laundry (because we can afford clothes). In our infrequent dates (because we are busy and visiting Grandma doesn’t charge for babysitting) we can’t but help reminisce over the blessings we have. Despite the peanut butter in the hair, snot on our newly washed shirts, and incessant screaming in the car…God is good and our kids are priceless. There is beauty within the busyness.