This morning I was laying in bed, waiting a few minutes before I went to the baby’s room to wake her for the first feeding of the day. I was thinking on the busyness of this season…how every minutes seems to be consumed with fulfilling just the basic needs: somebody needs to eat, somebody needs clean clothes, somebody needs to be bathed.
And I was quietly rejoicing, because these are the seasons when God’s grace is most evident to me. His minute-by-minute, literal, soul-sustaining grace is there at my disposal if I choose to walk in it. I remember when this first became apparent to me; it was when Andrew was a newborn, and I was so exhausted from having three under 3 1/2. When he would wake in the night, I remember walking down the hall in our townhouse in Southern California, repeating to myself, “Grace. Grace. Grace for this.” And then there were the times during the day when my head was spinning and it seemed like EVERY MINUTE someone was crying, and if I could manage, I would repeat the same thing. “Grace. Grace.” God’s grace to me in that time looked like an extra measure of compassion for my children, the energy to take another step, or the will to do one more load of laundry.
So after this thankful respite, I got up, wiped the sleep from my eyes and woke up Maddie. She ate well, but while I fed her I realized that she was looking a bit greasy and probably needed a bath (no girl likes to have oily hair, right?).
I took her into the bathroom, bathed her, and wrapped her in a towel while I quickly got in the shower.
I heard the boys moving around by the time I got out of the shower, but they were not fighting and it seemed like all was well, so I continued on, dressing and trying to get some sort of hair product in my hair before all was lost.
I was getting hungry by this time, and when I’m nursing, that can go downhill quickly. Lightheadedness comes on rapidly. Hurry. Hurry.
The baby spits up all over the towel she is wrapped in. Not a big surprise, and easily mended. But she’s still half naked and needs to get dressed, and it’s getting time for her to be in bed for a nap.
And then I heard two little feet outside the door. It was Andrew. And these are the exact words he spoke to me:
“Mom, Jonathan took off his diaper and pooped in the schoolroom.”
What did I do at that point? I leaned my head against the bathroom door and closed my eyes. Breathe deeply. Grace. Grace.
“Can you come upstairs, please? And DON’T SIT ON ANYTHING.”
Locate toddler. Dress baby. Put baby down for nap. Clean toddler. Dress toddler. Walk downstairs, cringing, awaiting a giant mess in the schoolroom. Still need to eat.
Find that the mess isn’t that bad. Grace. (It’s all relative when you’ve had a few toddlers to clean up after. I’d say on a scale of 1 to 10, this was a 2.)
Find that husband did pots and pans duty last night while you were feeding the baby. Grace.
Leftover coffee in the pot for reheating. Not the greatest, but it’ll do, and it’s faster than brewing a fresh pot. Grace.
Enough cereal and milk in the house for a quick breakfast. Grace.
So we can continue on, thanks to the Lord’s grace in every minute, every detail. These little upsets when you’re desperate for sleep can easily lead to a meltdown, but thanks to His supply that didn’t happen this time.