When the Rain Doesn’t Come

I’m pining for a break right now. And a date with my husband. Sleep. Please, sleep.

I’m in a “season.” Notice how one ever uses that word to talk about how well things are going? And right now my season is one of drought.

A few sentences in to this and I’ve gotten up just as many times to mitigate a nuclear crisis between my children, clean up after Z missed while pouring water from cup to cup to cup to cup to cup…, re-address some envelopes because the markers were put away too low, explain to a crying Johnny Appleseed why we can’t plant seeds from the apple she just ate, and talk Shaquille O’Neal down from hanging on the rim of mini-hoop. The baby is oversleeping because he’s teething…and growth spurting…and has a cold…and a fever, and I’m trading a failed attempt at a few pilfered moments of quiet for a late bedtime tonight. And someone just launched the vacuum attachment across the living room, and it landed hard on my bare toes. Be proud that I didn’t swear. Out loud.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve definitely had a share of sweet and silly moments too. Like finding Isaiah wrist deep in peanut butter, or hearing his laugh echo off the insides of a jelly jar while it’s tipped up to the ceiling. A heart-to-heart with my curliest girl. Watching my kids snuggle on the couch and hearing Isaiah whisper and giggle to Natalie. And this feeds my soul just a little.

But it’s not enough.

It’s not enough to get me through the moments that seem to have the sole intention of reminding me of my imperfections as a mom and a wife and a friend. When in perfect succession everything fails. Or when I have to cancel plans for the umpteenth time because the needs are too great and all at once. When I relent and make a call to Dan asking him to come home early because I just can’t do it alone today.

When we planted our garden this spring I was reminded to be careful of how much I water the garden. If watered too frequently the root systems become shallow, and the plants cannot withstand more than a day or two without rain. The roots have to be taught to dig down to find their water source. So these past few weeks when rain has been hard to come by, my tomatoes and peppers are still ripening, the beans are producing a 2nd crop, and I continue to pick cucumbers. Even without rain the garden is still thriving and producing because the plants are firmly rooted.

I know I am being taught to dig deep right now in this season where I yearn for some relief from this dry weather. It would be so much easier if I could just get a break, a date, some rest, but I look out and our family is still full of life, producing, and teeming. My kids are happy, and loved, and loving. Conversations with Dan are less frequent but more intentional and meaningful. I find myself in prayer often; relying on His strength and love because I’m spent.  My roots are growing deeper, finding richer soil somewhere below the surface while my vines continue to stretch toward the Son.



Death of a [Door-to-Door] Salesman: 5 Things You Should Know Before Knocking

I never seems to fail. Right after I get Andrew (now 3 months) down for a nap, the garbage truck picks up the trash, one of the kids melts down, a door shuts too loudly, or worse – the doorbell rings. My head drops, I let out an audible sigh, and I sulk to the door dragging my feet, only to open the door and find a chipper salesperson who wants me to renew my subscription to How to Get Babies to Sleep Magazine or switch my cable because it will save me 15 cents over the course of a 10 years. I politely decline while trying to get the sales person to use their “indoor voice,” and shut the door just in time to hear Andrew, now awake and unable to get back to sleep. After several consecutive days of this earlier this summer, I taped this on my door:

Friends, family, & neighbors welcome at any time!

However, if you are over the age of 12 and are selling something or asking for donations, please note that by knocking or ringing our doorbell, you are subject to the following rules:

1. Wake the baby, take the baby. If you wake our precious little bundle of joy, poop, splurps, and cries, you will be responsible for putting him back to sleep AND waiting around for at least 10 minutes to make sure he isn’t just faking it.  If he wakes up it’s probably because he needs to be burped, has spit-up, needs to be changed…or all three, commonly referred to as the Trifecta.

2.  If you scare our toddler by ringing the doorbell you will be responsible for comforting him. His panic usually manifests itself in attempting to scale the nearest adult like (s)he is a playground ladder and the ground is made of rising hot lava. Additionally, he screams repeatedly when scared. These screams usually peak around 150db, and he loves to be held close to your ear. Lucky you! What was that? You need earplugs? Sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of my son screaming.

3.  If it is rest time and our oldest is awake, you will answer all of her questions. All. Of. Them.  Selling magazines? Expect questions about each magazine and why the paper is so shiny. Selling vacuums? Be prepared to answer questions about suction/pressure systems. If you do not know the answer to a question, you will promptly look it up on the internet. Her preferred questions usually start with “Why,” or “How.” For the “How’s” you’ll need to find a You Tube video or a library book, both of which you will screen for age-appropriate content ahead of time. Be prepared for follow-up discussion and debriefing.

4.  I get to randomly assign something from my To-Do List for you to do. The list usually includes but is not limited to:

  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Clean the toilet (we only have 1 and the toddler is learning how to pee standing up. Yea!)
  • Sweep
  • Vacuum
  • Pick up around the house with a Lego embedded in your foot

Personally the last one is my favorite. Builds character.

5.  A combination of any or all of the above mentioned. It’s entirely possible that you’ll be consoling 2 kids, while watching a video on how toilet paper is made and folding laundry with your toes. Not your idea of a good time? Mine either, but that’s okay because you rang my doorbell so now you can handle it.