Confession: I am tired.

Our family just came through a week of participating in vacation Bible school for city kids of Meadville. Ryan taught a class of eleven-and-up boys, I taught a class of seven-year-olds, and our kids sat in classes too.

Mostly mine.

Some nights Kelly insisted on being held while I told the story, which meant I drew on the whiteboard with one hand and balanced my daughter on my hip with the other.

Halfway through the week, Regan decided he wanted to be in my class. Hard to argue with a child while simultaneously teaching. So he stayed.

And Aarick was in my class anyway.

We’re tired.

We had the most precious students–eyes shining, tongues wagging, fingers creating, hearts warming.

We had super help—excellent teacher-assistants in each of our classes to carry much of the load (here’s one: thanks, Sierra!), good supervisors to coordinate the week, and one night when Regan and Kelly went to Grandma’s instead.

But we’re tired.

By eleven o’clock Friday night, our bodies are low on sleep, our children are exhibiting their worst behaviors, we’ve faced some severe relational challenges, and our marriage is apparently on the rocks.

We’re not heroes. We’re very human people who come home and snap at each other, who try to think of something quick for supper again… A couple dozen people of our church group faced these same challenges this week, and I heard not a word of complaint from a one of them. (Not even afterwards on their blogs–I see they left that to me.)

Today I am remembering one evening a month ago, our family trooping through town on a church prayer walk. I walked in step with my friend Sharon, a valiant woman of prayer. We prayed back and forth, her and I, while the men walked ahead praying too, and the children trudged along. Halfway through the walk one of my children spotted a McDonald’s, and all things slid rapidly downhill from there. Whining. Lagging. Interrupting.

Mommy, I’m hot.

It’s too far.

Why can’t we get some ice cream?

Unable to pray without stopping for correctives every few moments, I began to apologize to Sharon. I don’t know how to make this work with children.

She wouldn’t let me. Shari, don’t you even worry about it. It’s okay. Satan would love to get you upset and discouraged—just keep going, and bless your son.

She turned to him and called him by name. I have noticed how you are being so brave! This is really far, isn’t it? I bless you for being such a big, strong boy. Good job!

This morning my eyes sting with tears, remembering her words. Satan would love to drag you down. It’s okay. Just keep going and bless…

I am tired this morning. But it’s going to be okay. He said so too

This is how we and our children get to learn alongside each other how to give,

out of brokenness

and mistakes

and need.

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11 years ago

I love you, girl. May the power of Christ rest upon you.

11 years ago

Beautiful, Shari.

11 years ago

Fatigue, yes, it’s real. Rewards??? Out of this world.
I always dreamed of ministering together (in a city) as a family. Sometimes the difficulties in fulfilling a dream almost cloud out the realization of the fulfillment. Your words are true, real and most of all, beautiful! Blessings to you and yours….

11 years ago

This brought me to tears. Yesterday I struggled with resentment as our family sacrificed–again–and worked together in the pouring rain and got home way too late, and I was tempted to believe the lie that we are the only ones who care. And then I got up early to study for a S.S. class, and again felt so alone. These words: “Satan would love to drag you down. It’s okay. Just keep going and bless…” melted away my resentment as I realized that it’s not all about ME. Satan loves it when I believe His lie. God gives me the strength to refute it. He used you to remind me. I bless you for your transparency.

11 years ago

Quote: “I heard not a word of complaint from a one of them. (Not even afterwards on their blogs–I see they left that to me.)”
That made me laugh.
VBS is hard work and sacrifice and inconvenience, especially for moms, and especially when both parents are teaching.
Bless you, and I hope you have a chance to rest now.

LaDonna Nice
11 years ago

We just came through a week of VBS as well. Your blog was such an encouragement. I love the way your friend blessed your child. I’m thinking I need to do that more…

11 years ago

Beautiful. Honest. Real. I loved this post!

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