"Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox."
The morning began with a telephone call. Mama invited us to go with her shopping in a nearby town. She wanted us to treat the older girls & let them help pick out some new spring clothes for all of the kids. I quickly called Nathan. Of course he is always willing to watch the little ones. His new shop has a nice playroom. Soon, off we went!
It was such a beautiful, fun day! The girls, or course, had a blast! They tried on tons of dresses. I should have taken pictures of Marianna with what she wanted to get. She is such a little fashion diva...grabbing up anything with sequins & frills. She would dress in formal wear & high heels everywhere she went if I would allow. What is offered for such young girls to wear is ridiculously appalling! We also picked out clothes for the little 3 & enjoyed a deliciously, fun lunch in a Japanese Hibachi restaurant. Mama blesses us tremendously with making these purchases. She has always been a great giver. It's in her heart & shines through in every aspect of her life.
I return home to sleeping babies & a working husband. The house is quiet & messy. Nathan is great with the children & helping around here but hasn't quite conquered both at once! lol The girls race off to the see Daddy. I smile as I look around at the mess, thinking about how this use to annoy me. Toys scatter the floor in the living room. It appears 3 little kiddos had a lot of fun with their Daddy. The dishes from lunch are overflowing the kitchen sink & on the counter. The table is spotted with dried food, & the high chair looks plum scary. None of the beds are made, & apparently all of the children threw their PJs in the floor this morning in the rush of excitement to get ready. Other things are just randomly placed around. I am reminded of the scripture from Proverbs 4:14 I turn on a CD I really like. The music is uplifting. I bring in the shopping bags to add to the disorder. I begin to pick up, taking advantage of the naps in progress. I find the floor to sweep the kitchen.
As I clean around the house, I reflect on the scriptures. I think of the gift of my children & what an overflowing blessing each of them are. I think about how most of our society today wouldn't want 5 & the chaos that comes with the territory. I smile knowing what a joy they are. I think of the thousands of women who have chosen not to have children & went to work today in a high ranking, corporate American job. I wonder if they are proud of themselves & their accomplishments. They look so prestigious in their suits & heels & confident driving their commute in a luxurious, fancy car. I wonder if they too smile as they return home to an orderly, spotless house that is decorated with the finest of furnishings. I wonder if they work out at a big name gym & meet friends later on for a spectacular restaurant meal. I can't help but wonder if they are happy or desperately lonely in the quiet when they turn in at night. They never hear little feet sneaking into their room. Their beds are empty beside them. They wake up to the same life. They run that same course most everyday. No one has a boo-boo to kiss or a handful of weeds to share with a smile each day. They hear no little laughter that is attached to their heart & soul.
Yes, my house is sometimes messy, but it's a happy mess! I never know what to expect as I begin each day. It takes prayer & great effort to school & feed this crew. The laundry is usually piled high from the 7 of us. Yes, I wipe noses & butts here daily that are not even my own. I am constantly organizing. On occasion, I pull night shift to nurse others. I am certainly never lonely nor bored. My heart is bubbling over as I finish straightening up our home. I put some cookies in the oven. I take them to the shop for Nathan & the kids. They are hot & delicious! We enjoy them together, & I find out he has a surprise for me!
As you can see, Nathan finished my plant arbor! He has been working so hard on this project. He waded through water to cut down the right cypress trees. I helped him set the tree posts & frame it out last weekend. I can't hardly contain my excitement as I envision a flowering yellow vine growing up the poles & across the limbs in the years to come. Soon I can fill it full of beautiful spring hanging baskets! This is just a sneak peek at some of our progress for our shop. You can see the garden rows laid out beside it. The vegetable plants are already growing! I can hardly wait!