By Nine O’Clock I Was Wrong

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Around six o’clock I fight the urge to stay in bed.  As I tip-toe past the girls’ room, I get my morning chuckle at how Elsie might be sleeping: sometimes backwards, sideways, or maybe one leg hanging off the bed.  By six-thirty I notice every creaky step as I go downstairs.  Sometimes in the morning I set my mug down on the table and it seems to wake someone up.  My first sip of quiet flows into a river of constant movement and noise.  By seven-thirty, someone patters downstairs to join me.  By eight o’clock, an entire bowl of rice krispies has been spilled.  By nine o’clock a bloody nose has been had, laundry has been washed and hung, and breakfast is cleaned up eighty-percent of the way.  By ten o’clock bellies are being refilled and the hose has been used multiple times.  By eleven o’clock, bikes have been ridden, imaginations have exploded, and knees have been scraped.  By twelve o’clock, bellies rumble again.  By one o’clock, number five takes a long afternoon nap, and lunch is cleaned up fifty-percent of the way.  By two o’clock books are read.  By three o’clock, my name has been said three hundred and forty-seven times.  By four o’clock the trampoline has been jumped on and tricks are played.

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By five o’clock the laundry comes off the line.  By six o’clock, somehow dinner is made.  By seven o’clock I’m thinking about bedtime.  The kitchen gets cleaned ninety-percent of the way… which means it is never really clean, because it seems to get dirty behind my back whenever I leave it for a few minutes.  By eight o’clock everyone is settling.  By nine o’clock, I was wrong.  Now everyone is settling.  By nine-thirty, tears tumble down my exhausted cheeks that haven’t laughed enough for the day.  I sneak into bedrooms to see those precious faces, so peaceful as they chase their dreams.  By ten o’clock I finally sit side-by-side in bed and talk for a few minutes with my lover.  By ten-o-five, he is asleep, I turn over to read, then flip off the light.

Then, tomorrow it starts all over again.  Sometimes I fight the spirit inside that wants to throw in the towel, put in my ear-plugs or hide under my bed.  I know I’ve been called to be, to love, to empty.  To be myself, to be still, to be in the moment.  To love hard, love until it hurts, to love without expecting anything in return.  To empty my mind of negative thoughts, to empty my schedule of my own agenda, to empty myself of me so I can be full of Jesus.  Only then can I truly love.
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