Our summer ended the third week of August. The three youngest kids started school at St. John’s Prep.
Justine’s senior year. Miranda’s first year of middle school, new school and all. And Luke, my tenth grader, just goes with the flow. My eldest, Emma, is doing her student teaching at All Saints Academy in St. Cloud. So, all four kids – complete with backpacks, band instruments, iPads, cell phones, lunch pails, water bottles, duffel bags and hopefully completed homework assignments – pile into Emma’s Chevy Impala at 6:25 a.m. and head east on I-94 together most mornings.
How blessed am I?!? To have all four of my “chicks” still/back home under the same roof is my idea of good. Very good. But, I know this is probably a “bonus” year. Emma left to attend Bemidji State. Next year, Justine will ditch us for college somewhere.It’s pretty much the “witching hour” though, prior to their departure each morning. I’m busy packing four lunch pails, filling water bottles and making a hot breakfast if someone specifically requests pancakes, eggs or the like. Usually, they’re all good with just cold cereal, instant oatmeal or, in Luke’s case, an extra five minutes of sleep versus taking the time to even eat breakfast (which I don’t necessarily endorse).
My latest challenges on the food front: packing enough food for the two swimmers (Justine and Miranda) and packing non-bread/starch-type foods for the two (Emma and Luke) that said, “All we eat is bread. Where’s the meat? We’re going to limit the amount of carbs we eat for the month of September.” And they have been! I pack no sandwiches for those two; instead, I try to make double the amount of protein and vegetables for supper the night before and then send the leftovers for them to reheat the next day. I tested Emma to see how strict she was going to follow this idea by sending a bowl of pasta with sautéed vegetables, grilled chicken breast and Parmesan cheese on top. The container came back home with all the mostaccioli noodles still in it!
How do I spend my time in between breakfast and supper? I’m enjoying long bike rides (my therapy, self-care and prayer time all in one). I’m bringing in the harvest and either selling it or p
And I try to visit Mom daily in her apartment at Park View.Those are the activities that fill the bulk of my days. But, what’s running through my head when I’m doing those things? I’d like to say lots of talking – and listening – to God. I feel like I am in a season of trial. Nothing new though, right? We’re all dealing with one issue or another. I am really trying to lean on the Lord though for this one. “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5) is my current mental mantra. The situation I’m dealing with isn’t going to change; more than likely, it’s going to get worse. So, I need to do the changing. I need to accept the situation and try to be more kind, gentle and loving in dealing with the person(s) that frustrates me and tries my patience. Some days I do better than others. Every day, I need to lean more! Lean towards the only One that listens and responds to my plea and prayer for help.