Perspective

I got a dose the other night and posted it here at WORLDMag. Honestly? I could use another dose today.

Oh God, we need mercy. And June.

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I’m certain I’m not the only parent who feels the crushing weight the month of May puts on our schedules (and consequently our attitudes). This is the time every year I vow not to overload our schedules ever again, yet somehow things happen: Some end-of-the-year something needs to be attended, a softball game needs to be played, a concert needs to be rehearsed for. Somehow I also scheduled orthodontist, dentist, and eye doctor appointments all this month, too. Brilliant.

It isn’t necessarily even the crazy schedule that bothers me (I know it is temporary and we can rebound from it). It’s what the crazy schedule does to our sleep schedule (and consequently our relationships) that is my concern.

During seasons of normal routine, my kids are in bed by 8:30 reading. Lights are out at 9. Children are usually sleeping by 9:15. Now we’re lucky if we’re even home by 9.

My kids are tired and it plays out the most during the daylight hours. Tuesday was an especially long day for me. By the evening, I was in a sour mood as I took the trash out (a fitting way to end the day, I thought). As I was turning back toward the house, however, I noticed all the lights coming from various rooms and it made me pause for a moment.

It isn’t often I take 15 minutes to just stare at my house and think about everyone inside, but sometimes you have to step outside to gain better perspective on what’s going on inside. While leaning up against the car parked alongside the street, I just gazed. Gazing led to thinking. Thinking led to praying. From the street I wasn’t frustrated with the dishes in the sink or the muffin crumbs on the carpet or even my oldest daughter’s shadow I saw creeping back down the stairs . . . and then back up again.

From my position outside the house, I was thankful for the house itself, as well as for the people inside it. I was thankful to God for each of my kids. I was thankful to God for my parents who are visiting us this week. I was thankful to God for my husband, who was trying to finish his last seminary class while teaching full-time.

I was thankful to God, period.

I took a deep breath and walked back inside. The thanking and the praying did not remove the struggles inside (when I walked back in I still had dishes to deal with, crumbs on the floor, and girls most assuredly NOT sleeping as I’d hoped). But I had a tiny better sense of perspective than I had 15 minutes prior.

Sleep came easier that night. I was thankful.