I was zonked going into today, with staying up late last night catching up with Larry and brainstorming about personal stuff. First I spent time out on the patio, just with the Lord, preparing my heart for the next day, and also lifting up a few friends and church members I've promised to intercede for strongly right now. Then Larry I had one of our mega talks. I think we finally went to sleep at 2 am, however, God just gave me the energy and power that only His Holy Spirit can give and I was up way before daylight, and right on time to seize the day.
I feel like my class went great, connecting with quite a few people today went awesome, and then after church we shared lunch with Rivera's at Sweet Tomatoes. Good stuff. We stayed so long, I thought we were gonna close the place down! I laughed so hard my sides hurt and about once a week...I really need that!
I realized that somebody was going to have to go home and take care of Geena. This month she will need a lot of extra care, as she's sick and needs meds two times a day, a special bath every other day, and wiped down with special meds two times a day. This process will be for one month. With all that I didn't have time to turn back around and go to family fun night at the church especially since she cries a lot when she's alone. I really want to be here to keep her out of her kennel or wherever she needs to be comfortable. I know this will get a lot better in a few days time. Although the vet said the process would takea month, this level of discomfort won't last long. Things like this in the family usually fall to me to take care of and I've pretty much gotten used to it. Speaking of that...
Larry and I had mostly this to catch up on last night. And I think we made some progress. You know, I love to preach more than anything else in the world...
"I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!"I Corinthians 9:15
So whatever I have to do to work that out, I do, except to neglect of my family or church. At least I try my very best not to. I don't feel overwhelmed by normal kid stuff (I get zapped out by school problems or whatever when they arise, at times - I think every Mom does...) but just day to day I'm pretty alright with stuff that's to be expected, rolling with whatever's going on. I don't feel overwhelmed with the church work the majority of the time - I can handle what comes along (or I've learned to over the years) and really, I love what I do. I don't feel overwhelmed by my marriage either - it's a strength to me. But I do feel overwhelmed much of the time with the other "stuff" on my plate. Menial things. Things that if I had the resources to just pay somebody to do, wouldn't really matter that I wasn't the "one" doing them. You know the whole thing like...
The dog, the weeding, the house work, the cooking, shopping, cleaning, straightening, yada yada yada. As I've said before, I don't believe spending time with your "house" in the the sense of pulling your weeds or scrubbing a toilet is the same thing as having a conversation with your kids. Far, far from it. One is life changing, the other is just tactical work. So...
The past few weeks I have done nothing but come home in the evening, eat, clean up, get changed, and head out to the yard to work, or do housework until I am too tired to stand up anymore. Many times I work from 6 or 7 pm until midnight or 1 am and then crash with stuff still undone. That is especially what I have to do if I'm away preaching a Fri/Sat. Because I don't have my day off to do the house, and 1/2 the day Sat. (I normally do church work at least part of the day Sat. and get loose ends tied up, then spend the other half on my house. Or if I'm blessed enough that the house is done already, we do something to relax. But normally I'm going at a full burn until I go to bed.) People often ask me what the price of leadership is...the price of seeing God do things, the price of accomplishing things in ministry -- well, this is it. You pretty much expend yourself.
I have been advised by people who just don't understand that I do things like quit my women's class or quit preaching. Um, HELLO. This is a no brainer here. That's the stupidest thing I have ever heard in the world. I'm not giving up my precious ladies for WEEDS nor am I giving up preaching the gospel to scrub a toilet. Now I will preach the gospel AND clean a toilet. I do that all the time. But give up preaching? No. No. Absolutely not. So I find myself in the quandry of feeling zapped a lot if I'm going to walk through doors that open.
Larry and I talked about solutions that I can just hope will make things better. The last thing I needed last night was to stay awake longer when I had to get up so early but I think we just needed to come up with some practical solutions since I'm only traveling more and not less, and I don't see that changing. And he's fine with that...
The highlight of my night was Bobby stopping by. I was in my robe, working on some stuff while taking care of Geena and the rest of the family was at the church fun night. All of a sudden there was an urgent banging on the door. I wondered, "who in the world?" I peeked around the corner and saw a face and wide eyes plastered -literally pushing against the tiny windows way up high on our front double doors, pleading to come in. It was Bobby... our zany, crazy, adorable "adopted kid."
He's yelling, "Hey! Momma Shrodes! Let me in! Let me in!"
I tried to explain..."the boys aren't here", cracked the door open ever so slightly, so as to not put myself in a compromising situation, but...you know Bobby! He's like a bull in a china shop... :-) Not to be put off, he completely ignores the fact that I have it cracked, grabs the door and swings it wide open and plasters his arms around me and says, "Momma Shrodes! I've missed you! I've missed you so much! I had to come and show you my new car!!!" Then he proceeds to stride past me into the family room, leaving me standing at the door. He's completely oblivious to the fact that I am standing there in my bathrobe completely speechless, which is a rarity. While I'm standing there staring, Bobby is pacing the family room talking 100 miles an hour non stop telling me about the prom the night before (see pic at left of him and his girl on the way to prom), and everything that happened and doesn't realize I'm uncomfortable at all, he's just having such a grand time talking. In a few moments he finally settles upon the wooden stool in the kitchen where he always sits.
I'm still at the door. What to do...what to do... So I quickly come up with an action plan. (I just feel like I can't hurt Bobby's feelings, being his "second Mom" and, his only "Mom figure" here in Florida - his real Mom lives in California and has since he was five years old. I knew he was just so excited and proud and wanted me to see his car and talk for a bit.) So, I said, "Be right back." I ran into the bedroom, shut the door, called Dustin and said, "GET OVER HERE IMMEDIATELY. BOBBY'S HERE!" He and Stephen jumped in the car and raced back home. Then got on the phone with my hubby and told him what was happening, and talked to him as I grabbed some regular clothes from the drawer, went and got changed. All the while, Bobby was having himself a great time changing some stuff around in Dustin's room with me hollering from the kitchen, "don't do anything he'll be upset with you for!"
"Oh not to worry, Momma, he knows, it's all good..."
The boys were dashing home to help me, and meanwhile I threw chocolate chip cookies in the oven and brewed a pot of Paris tea for all of us. The boys came home and we experienced the fun in the house that only Bobby can bring. He said he's sorely missed us and the church the past few weeks. He went on and on about it. Lots of things going wrong the past few weeks, needing his car, the gas crunch and a myriad of other stuff, but things are different now. It was so good to have him here and we had a talk about what's coming in the months ahead. We're all so glad it has not worked for him to move away for the summer, PRAISE GOD, and he will now be here. Being that he and Dustin will still be home now, he'll still be a fixture in my kitchen, sitting on the wooden stool talking to me while eating cookies out of the oven and drinking Paris tea.
I think of him, and Laura, and I just smile. If it weren't for my Dustin, they would probably not know Jesus right now, and more than likely wouldn't be in my house drinking tea or sitting on the kitchen stool or the lanai sharing their lives with us. There is nothing like seeing your kids live out their faith and affect lives forever for eternity. Momma Shrodes is proud. :-)