Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Three Hours

"I just need three hours by myself and I'll feel a lot better," I said to my husband as we unpacked from our weekend in Miami. For those of you with small children, you understand this is almost like asking to win a million dollars in the lottery.

"Well, maybe next weekend I can take them out for a bit and give you a break," he suggested.

I wanted to say, "Or you could just take a vacation day! No big deal, right!?" but instead I thanked him for offering.

We had had an awesome time in Miami (Congrats Jen and Alec!) but after three days in a hotel room, I needed some space and so did my kids. They were exhausted from traveling and staying up late and none of us were in top form. On Monday morning, they thoughtfully took turns having meltdowns giving me at least a 30 second break between each of them. We threw in the towel on school after my oldest cried about being asked to write a bit more neatly and headed to the library. (There's something about the calm atmosphere that's like slipping my kids a Xanax). It worked. Everybody did their own thing and I even ran into a friend that lent me her listening ear.

We buckled back into the car and the crying resumed. "Me wanted more princess books!" my daughter wailed.
"What are we having for lunch, Mommy?" my oldest yelled above her screams. "I think we have breakfast sandwiches. Do we, Mommy?"
"Just a minute, bud. Let me talk to Rosie, first."
"I can't reach my headphones!" my five year old said through tears.
"Okay guys - let's just get home and I'll make sure everybody gets what they need. I promise."

Just then, my mom texted. "Is Luke up for hanging out with me this afternoon? I had a cancellation and I can come over now."

I don't think I've ever texted anyone back so fast. "Yes!"

She arrived just as I was tending to my daughter's "boo boo" and swept in to finish so that I could make lunch. My middle cried about eating lunch and I was officially done with being patient. "That's it buddy. I can't listen to this anymore. I need you to sit down and calm down. When you can talk instead of scream, I can get you what you need." This only escalated the screams and intelligible speech. I walked away, leaving him in a puddle on the floor.

"Come here, baby," I heard my mom say in her most soothing voice. My son picked himself up and curled into her lap. She stroked his hair and his back and slowly his breathing returned to normal. She waited patiently as he calmed down. She looked at me with compassion. "I'll take Rosie to bed. Why don't you take Drew. Luke and I will get out of here once everyone is settled."

Rosie and Drew slept soundly for four hours and Luke enjoyed some time with his Granny and Papa. I took a nap, did some Christmas shopping and finished the mountain of laundry from our trip. God had heard me and had given us all the gift of not three but four hours alone. We were all renewed and the tears and frustration stopped.

I read Mark 6:31 later that day. "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” I love that God is listening and responding to us all the time. We only have to ask.

Is there something that you need today? Voice it. Ask for it. Trust that it will happen.

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