We're down to the end of the month I dreaded thirty days before flipping the calendar over. Even though the page was thick and opaque, I knew what lay beneath, that the minor league structured chaos of June was only a warm up for the major leagues of July.
To anyone but me, the tiny boxes engraved with cryptic notations appeared innocent enough. Yet, the simple shorthand was deceptive, a "BR-A#1DB" requiring two hours of my time while a SL-A#2 would mean at least four hours labor.
To have a job where I can stay home with my young children is a glorious blessing...but overwhelming at times. The sun sees me teaching oldest son to do crossword puzzles, mazes, and to read; helping toddler twins learn to paint, play board games, sit still for more than one book at a time, and put together puzzles. The moon sees me camped in front of a computer, many times working 7-hour shifts that only begin at 8 pm.
As I said--overwhelming.
Several years ago when I worked with at-risk students, I learned how short-term goal-setting has a considerable psychological effect on the way people feel about their progress. Merely visualizing the end goal wasn't as important as seeing the baby steps along the way.
With the month's turning, I felt a sense of panic, much like my students, as I looked at a sea of letters and numbers scrunched in little boxes. So, at each day's end, I placed an X atop those activities. It wasn't long before there were more squares with X's than without.
Today marked the end of the summer semester, all grades tallied and submitted. As I leaned back in the office chair, I glanced at the wall and realized in the intensity of completing end-of-the-semester paperwork last night, I had forgotten to put my X.
Searching always-cluttered office desk for red marker, my mind had already slowed its incessant chattering of lists and things to be done. And in that stillness of mind, I caught that glimpse of God--I saw.
How could I have been blind, so deaf? He has been literally yelling the past week, through my own children, but I have been both mute and dumb.
The past two days, Wyatt and Emerson have been adamant about bringing me a board-book Bible to read. I read the story of Moses, Pharaoh, and the Passover twice just this morning. Even last night, listening to the Word and Song Bible, Wyatt said, "Listen, mommy. This is the same story of the Israelites! You're going to miss it!"
I did almost miss it. Before me on the wall, I see not X's but red crosses covering each day's work.
I bow low. Yes, yes. The blood of that Passover lamb--His grace has covered each day, has given me strength sufficient to do what I could not do on my own, has sustained me each moment.
I give thanks to Him who is the true author, perfector and finisher of all my labors.