My radio goes off, early, and I tumble out of bed. Morning. Breakfast for the family I can usually manage, but lunches...those cause me real consternation. Just last night there was a late run to Haggen to be sure I could send my guys off with enough fuel for the day.
Growing up, there was a six-year period when my parents had all five kids in school. How many of those early mornings did I follow the wafting aroma of freshly baking cake into the kitchen to see most of a loaf of bread spread out on the counter and Mom mixing up tuna and washing apples. That's a lot of lunches -- I can't even imagine!
Last year Samuel started a new school, which required an early morning bus ride. It was the first time in years that I did not drive him. That was good. But it also meant I had to have his lunch ready early. For reasons long forgotten, I baked muffins the first morning. As I flew around the kitchen trying to make three separate lunches by 7:15 -- and muffins! -- everyone's food unique to his dietary needs, I felt my heart picking up speed. By the time the door closed on the last of my loved ones, I collapsed into a chair where I spent the next twenty minutes! I don't say this for effect; it is the truth. I was afraid I might have a heart attack.
As I type, radios are blaring in both bathrooms upstairs, each with a different station, as the boys get ready for school. My heart begins to pound -- the bus will be here soon! (We didn't do buses when they were young, so I'm still getting used to this routine, and at my age!) Out the door Samuel goes, and back again for things forgotten. Tommy tells me about his dream last night and plays a gusty piano interlude, including a snatch of "Ode to Joy." His ride comes and he's off to his first day back at community college.
And I am alone. My house is quiet. My heart and mind are a jumble. I make a cup of tea, eat shockingly sour grapefruit, breathe very deeply for a very long time. I examine the shambles around me -- the kitchen, food and dishes strewn around, the floor sticky; mounds of laundry; piles of projects needing to be completed; last week's grocery ads. Looks like I've got my day's plan figured out.
But first, I lift my family to the Lord, asking Him to protect them through the day, to use them for His glory in the lives of others, to bless them. I ask that they "may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19), though I can't quite comprehend what that might mean. I commit them to His care for another day, and turn toward the business at hand.