There are definitely things I love to accomplish during any day - 1st cup of coffee actually drank, kids fed, diapers changed, most of the household humans showered/bathed, school lessons finished and graded...you get the idea. But a typical day? Nah. Doesn't exist.
Expecting the unexpected is the only consistent "normal" most days. It is exactly 1:12pm (our time anyway) and for your enjoyment (amusement? entertainment?), I will share a glimpse of our "typical" day so far...(Many details are omitted simply for writer's(typer's?) cramp sake. Enough happens in a given day to write a book about, which others have encouraged me to do; however, that is not currently on my priority to-do list. Just nope.)
5:30am - Sun is up and 10 month old awakes hungry & babbling loudly, and therefore I must awaken too...although I do ignore her for another 15 minutes. (We do not have daylight savings time. Every day the sun is up by 5:30 and down almost exactly 12 hours later. We are literally up with the sun. Every day. I'm used to it now, and it's actually my favorite part of the day.)
5:45am - 2 and 4 yr old hear aforementioned babbling and join the girly fun.
6:00am - Baby is fed/changed (yes, I've had lots of practice), and coffee is started. Praise the Lord, we do have a coffeepot that consistently makes the caffeine amount needed when parenting 5.
6:10am - 3 girls are corralled in the family room with loud obnoxious toys and instruments. Half awake I sip hot coffee, journal, breathe, read the Word (yes, it's possible to do over the noise and little people crawling on me) and pray - aloud and over my 3 sweet girls - as well as my entire home and myself. I ask Jesus to cover, protect and equip me for the hours ahead. Sidenote: If I forget to do this with authority every morning, Satan loves to grab ahold of my day and busy himself with distracting and discouraging. It goes with the territory. No, my kids don't think this is weird. Praying out loud and often is normal in our family.
6:30am - 2nd cup of coffee, older 2 kids awake, and I'm already sweating. Have I mentioned we live in the hottest area of Costa Rica? Yes, we do. I sweat some more. I check to make sure all windows are open and every ceiling & floor fan is turned on high. More sweat. Drink huge glass of cold water instead.
7:30am - Kids all fed and kitchen is mostly cleaned. Hubby definitely helps with this most days - today is no exception. Notice more cupboard crumbs from the mouse battle that ensued the previous day. Clean up crumbs. Check mouse traps. No more victims. ...I mean, uhh, little friends.
Dog is going nuts barking - neighbor's cows are out and wandering all over road. Must be another broken fence. 2 yr old needs help going potty. Potty-training continues to be not fun. Check the M&Ms supply. We're good.
8am - Hubby reminds me that the head pastor/president (of the association we're working with who owns the camp) is driving over from the capital city (3 hrs away!) and will be here by 8:30am. "Remember, he called last night to say he was coming?" I have a moment of panic. My breakfast cooking skills for the "typical tico" breakfast are lacking. Hubby notices panic and tells me not to worry about anything. I make more coffee while he drives to the corner store to grab a small variety of fresh pan (bread). Hubby returns and reassures me that no, I do not need to make tico rice or eggs or meat or hot chocolate, and says that the meeting should be brief.
I question if I'm being hospitable enough, then realize that hubby is cool and calm like normal - so I should be too. I tell him that he might want to change out of his paint-splotched shirt. He argues that he needs to work at the camp later, but he does change to a collared shirt. (Ticos are culturally very neat and clean, especially pastors.) He assures me again that the meeting isn't a big deal.
9:15am - Pastor has already come and gone. Hubby and I debrief. Apparently, it was a great meeting. The animated conversation was filled with excitement and affirmation of how we're growing the camp. We receive a stack of official-looking, completed documents and needed forms. Another step in the right direction.
9:30am - Hubby leaves for the 30 min. commute to camp to do some repairs.
10am - Power goes out. Older 2 groan as they are only able to watch 1/2 of the assigned astronomy video.
10:15am - Power back on. Reset a few clocks. Color and have snack with 2 and 4 yr old. Clean up spilled coffee. Yes, I drank more. Yes, we have daily spills of something liquid.
11am - Put learning video on for girls. Screeched when "Leggy", a 3 inch leaf bug who is missing an antennae and back leg, startled me in the laundry area. Not sure how he is still alive. He's moved from window to window for about a month. I kind of wish he'd leaf us alone. Sorry. Had to.
12:30pm - Kids and I finish lunch. 2 youngest go down for a nap. I begin to tackle my to-do list. Power goes out again. Awesome.
1pm - 2 littlest are finally sleeping. I have a few moments to get some to-do's done. The Lord prompts me to write a few thoughts down - or type - quickly. I force myself to sit and do just that.
Because only 1/2 the day is gone, I fully anticipate the possibility of more bugs, spilled drinks, maybe a surprise meeting, store-run or issue to tackle. That's life. That's our life right now anyway - cross-culturally, with 5 beautiful kids and a God-sized ministry that only He can do.
When I hear the phrase, God won't give you more than you can handle, oh, how I chuckle! That's simply just not true. Many things I face in a given hour, I.CAN.NOT.DO. On my own.
Remember the extreme heat? Yeah. And I won't even mention the number of scorpions, roaches and tropical crawlies...
Our days are not a picnic, but expecting the unexpected and knowing we're in this together, makes me stronger. Saner (is that a word?) and steadfast - in an anchored, sort-of "I know He's got this" way.
|Sometimes the kitchen table is needed for work.|
Flexibility is required!
4 of our 5 monkeys enjoying a not-planned picnic :)