Lover of God, wife, mother, British missionary in Peru... click here to learn more about Anna and this blog and how it can serve you.

(I posted this last week on our family blog, but I wanted to share it here too for those who don't read our family blog...)

I am awake at 5am.  Kaleb is not getting the ‘sleep until 6’ memo.  I decide to use the time to pray.  I fight back sleepy eyes, choosing to trust that God knows and His strength is enough.

6am I spend an hour with the Lord as Mark makes the boys breakfast.  His Word sinks convictingly deep and I drag my guitar case onto my bed to force myself to worship – it is my self-subscribed medicine against that dark cloud at the moment.  I have to worship.  It has to be all about Him.  It just doesn’t work when it begins to be about me.

8am – It’s Joel’s first day back at nursery and after supervising the feeding of all our animals (a rabbit, a tortoise and three guinea pigs), I pile all the boys into the car.  They are all in good spirits, excited.  I ask them what they are thankful for as we drive and the two who can talk are both thankful for Joel going to nursery.  I am thankful for the provision to pay for it.  In my mind, the negative bank balance threatens me but I push it away, telling it that God has always provided up until now – there is no reason why this month will be any different.

8.40am I join our community prayers (40 minutes late) in the living room. Everyone is sharing their personal discipline challenges.  I feel my life is so disciplined and ordered that I need to be disciplined to allow ‘go with the flow!’… 

By 9am I am sat down with Daniel guiding him through his homeschool curriculum on pollution and valuing earth’s resources, and that verse I read this morning: If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them continues to nag at me all morning. It nags at me as I make lunch for just 5 adults and 3 children today (lasagna – the 5 other regulars are busy today) throw the unnecessary polythene wrapping into the bin whilst thinking how I need to communicate with Mark to try and buy things with less wrapping…

The downstairs is a total mess.  The lady who comes to help clean in the mornings hasn’t arrived and the sink is piled with dishes, the floor covered in mess (having over a dozen people coming and going all day and 25 for lunch yesterday takes its toll, to add to the boys!).  How am I going to homeschool, cook and clean before 11.50am?? The Lord knows – I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  Rosa offers to wash up and clean the kitchen so I do a quick toy and book blast-clear-up, stuffing toys into boxes, and aligning cushions.  There. Sufficient. Perhaps it will be okay.

The liquidizer gets a double use today – once for the veg for the lasagna (hidden vegetables are the only sort that get eaten by my boys), and once to make paper pulp.  It seems ironic to me that I use up more paper towels cleaning up the water mess than I ‘save’ by making recycled paper, but Daniel loves it and we add dried leaves and oregano into the paper as it dries in the hot, hot sun.

By 11.30am I am wondering if we will get the paper and the lasagna done before 11.50am when I have to go and pick up Joel.  The garden is so dry from lack of watering (we live in a desert so there is no natural rain), that I stick the hose on. I try to remind myself that a) it doesn’t matter if I am slightly late to pick up Joel, and b) God knows what I need to do – he will work it out.  Trying to speak out that faith, but my stress levels are beginning to rise…

I am 10 minutes late to pick up Joel.  At least Kaleb is wearing a pair of shoes that don’t fall off his feet this time.  I apologize to Joel’s teacher and she is not in the least bit bothered.  Peering into the classroom, I can see why – we may be the first ones to pick up.  Well, this is Peru…! Joel is happy and communicative (amazing!) and we drive home trying to get Kaleb to sing the odd words in our songs. Us: Cows in the kitchen… Kaleb: Moo…moo…! Daniel and Joel are in hysterics and I am reminded that they are so carefree and I am meant to be like them, not them like me…anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it…

12.40pm: For some unknown reason I let Kaleb and Joel play with the hose (yes, it is still going) and Kaleb gets soaked whilst Joel constantly asks me if he can play carnavales – basically he wants me to fill up 100 water balloons for him.  (Now is it more of a waste to have them stuck unused on the fridge, or burst and in a landfill?!) There is no way that lunch is going to be ready if I stop for the balloons, but I do have to stop every 2 minutes to tell Joel ‘no’ and re-explain to him why… The postman arrives bringing magazines from G.G. and chocolate.  (2 of the 3 bars are melted, but nothing the fridge won’t sort out… well, those aero bubbles are never coming back, but it still tastes good!) Daniel is now unreachable, lost in the world of his magazine.

12.45pm: Sink is full of washing up from cooking.  Kaleb is totally soaked. New nappy now totally soaked. Strip him down and let him run around for 2 minutes whilst I check on the lasagna. Kaleb comes into the kitchen. ‘poo…poo’.  Uh-oh.  A solid, no-mess poop sits in the doorway.  I quickly grab a wipe and clear it up.  Phew. Easy. 

‘poo…poo’.  I look at Kaleb.  He is pointing to the porch.  A squashed poop sits there laughing at me.  I lift both his feet and give them a wipe.  Another wipe clears up the rest of the mess. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.   I find another nappy quickly. 

Wash hands. Wash dishes. Check lasagna.  Grab Kaleb before he terrorizes the guinea pigs with his toy cars.  Yell at Daniel and Joel to go and get dressed for lunch. (They are both in their underpants from watering the garden).  Joel hears me, Daniel is engrossed in his magazine. 

1pm Amanda arrives with baby Judah for lunch.  Mark and Shaun are close behind.  We sit down to eat.  Joel finally eats his lasagna when we convince him that it is just spaghetti Bolognese with cheese and flat pasta.  Kaleb takes two bites out of a piece of fried banana and refuses to eat anything else. Daniel finishes up his plate.

By 2.00pm Mark has the boys for an hour and a half so I can rest/catch up on admin.  Today, the only thing that is happening is a nap.  I put on some music (Volume 1: Psalms 1-10 by The Psalms Project) and enter the land of nod. 

3.30pm I am with the boys again.  Kaleb wants milk and tries to fall asleep, but it is too late for a nap if we want him bed before 10pm, so I get up quickly and head for the stoller.  Kaleb is protesting and I am groggy from my sleep, feeling irritated and wanting to run back to my bedroom and lock the door, but I can’t.  Remind myself that a walk will get rid of that grogginess and get the boys ready to go out.  Mark is busy until 7pm. That’s 3.5 hours to kill.  Walking to the cremolada shop and back should kill two hours and then we can come back, eat and make cards and then it should be ready for the bedtime hour. 

By the time all the boys are in bed at 7pm I am tired, irritated and thankful.  I think back on the day, which feels like three days in one.  Thankful for the people God has sent to help with the boys and the mess and to allow my time with Him and to nap.  He truly does enable me to do all the things I need to do. And as for the other things that didn’t get done? There is always tomorrow…or the next day… 

I remind myself that it is all about one step at a time…so thankful that God doesn’t give up on me for my daily messes but that He takes me by the hand and reminds me: I can do all things through Him who gives me strength

Some inspiration this week

Fighting into the Promised Land