The events I am about to share are entirely true. I say that because you will consider me to be a liar at one point but I assure you, even I can’t make this stuff up. And I have an imagination!
7:45 I sat down at my desk with my coffee and was all prepared to write. The biscuits were in the oven for breakfast. My coffee had the perfect cream and sugar levels. Top Middle and Little Bit were playing sweetly with the singing flamingo in which he had so thoughtfully replaced the batteries.
7:46:30 One sip into my coffee, I heard yelling, gagging and “Mom!! Help!! The dog pooped in the girls’ room and Baby stepped in it!!” I snapped my head up to see him coming into the livingroom with the baby under his arm like a sack of potatoes, poop dripping down her legs into her pajama pants.
7:47 We stripped Baby from the waist down and hosed her down in the bathtub. Only then did he notice that he also stepped in poo – thankfully only one foot.
7:50 I assess the damage in the girls’ room. What was once a massive pile right in front of the door has now been gently flung over a six-foot square area that includes three blankets that were kicked on the floor in the middle of the night. The stench alone is causing gag reflex overload. And I have to clean it up.
7:55 I locked the dog out until further notice while calling him every PG name in the book.
7:56 The oven timer goes off to tell me that the biscuits are done. Not that I had any desire at that point to eat anything. Top Middle volunteers to get them out of the oven but has no idea how to turn the timer off. For the next five minutes it will go off in 60 second intervals.
At this point time kind of blurred. I was drowning the girls’ room in carpet cleaner, trying to keep the toddler out of the room, and choking. Top Kid and Top Middle retrieved the carpet shampooer from the basement while I loaded the cleaning tank. The kids started assembling their breakfast – how they could eat is beyond me! I was just getting the shampooer rhythm going when Top Kid stuck her head in the door and said, “Mom, I think I might throw up!” The bathroom is right behind you!! Go, Go, Go!!!
I prayed. Very quickly and quietly, I prayed and then I went to their father, still asleep, snuggly and warm in bed. I got about six inches from his face and I calmly said, “Dear, it is 8 am. The dog had diarrhea in the girls’ room and the baby stomped in it. Top Kid says she’s about to throw up. And I could really use some help.”
He quickly climbed out of bed, came to the girls’ room where I was getting things restarted, and said, “So, everything else is ok, right?”
At this very moment Brother James popped into my head.
Consider it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I’m sorry consider it all….WHAT?! Dog poo before 8 am is not joy. Gagging children before 8 am is not joy. Cold coffee at 8:30 am is certainly not joy!!
But then I sat down and replayed the whole scenario in my mind and the simple absurdity of it has given me such a case of the giggles that I can barely stand myself. Just now Daddy-O asked me to let the dog back in but he has some debris on his tail that needs to be dealt with first which means a full bath, in the back yard with hose and mud and stinky wet dog smell. And I started to chuckle out loud because this morning, I crawled out of bed made the biscuits and got a nice long hot shower while they were rising on the stove. The one morning all week I managed to get an uninterrupted shower before anyone got up. And now I am reeking of dog poo, carpet cleaner and about to bathe the dog.
Now I know the “trials” I am facing are not the faith trials that James was referring to. I mean if your faith is tested by a morning like this, your faith needs some help. But sometimes all the little annoyances pile up. The cumulative effect wears us down and then suddenly a much larger faith test comes and we can get a little growly with God. Not angry, just grumbling in our heart. Perhaps a little pouty. And we discover that we aren’t serving with a happy heart, or we are a little impatient with spiritual siblings, or we are critical when we need to be encouraging.
That is when the endurance kicks in. Endurance is the ability to hold up, to pour out over a long period of time. If we can face all those little annoyances, and some bigger trials, and we can keep our spirit of kindness and joy and love, we find ourselves with a faith that is coming closer and closer to perfect and complete.
I giggle this morning as I look back on the last two hours and I thank God for all of my chaotic life. And I consider it all joy!
Whew! Better go. Smells like Little Bit has joined in on the word of the day!