By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer
It had been a long night. I made it 30 years without pulling an all-nighter. But we were down to the wire, and we had to get the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers to market on time.
It was 5:30 a.m. before I crawled into bed for a prayerful couple of hours of sleep before my children woke from a full night’s rest ready for a new day.
The cost of being a work-at-home-mom can be steep at times. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it. Would it better to just have an office door I can close? Would it be better if I could be home and be all there? Will I ever figure out how to manage my time and not see all the areas I fail?
I don’t know. But I do know that it is in this limbo where grace makes all the more sense to me. Where grace becomes more beautiful, more grandiose.
Left to myself, I’m a mess. But His grace covers, and this day in my life is a testament to His everyday grace. After only two hours of sleep, I roused to this beautiful boy.
On Instagram, I said, “One must determine the quality of sleep by the state of one’s hair each morning.” He slept hard, and he woke happy.
I managed three hours of sleep before my boys woke one by one.
As a family, we shared a simple breakfast of eggs and avocado. We’re on day 23 of the Whole 30 Challenge. Today, I’m grateful for the extra energy this challenge has brought me.
I take the kids outside for some sunshine and fresh air. Today, the housework can wait. I’m spending time with my babies.
We water our vegetable garden and pull a few weeds. Since the soil is dry to the touch, we pull out the water hose.
My 3-year-old and I take turns watering everything. My 1-year-old comes in behind us managing to get as muddy as possible.
By around 10 a.m., the baby is ready for a nap and the toddler needs a snack. Before I head upstairs to lay the baby down, I rinse a pear for my oldest and clean my baby’s hands and legs.
My 3-year-old sits at the table to eat while I head upstairs. The baby goes down easily for which I am grateful.
I gather my homeschool preschool bag and thank God for lessons already prepared ahead of time and begin learning time with my 3-year-old.
I love that you can see the dishwasher sitting wide open in the background of the picture below.
We read about Creation and do a craft for Day 1 and Day 2 of Creation.
We talk about how everything God creates is good, and find all the letter G’s throughout the Bible story.
We quickly made an earth ornament for our Fruit of the Spirit tree to remind us of God’s goodness found in Creation.
Then, my 3-year-old and I curl up on the couch together and read stories until the baby wakes up.
When we come to a picture of Mount Everest, my son says, “We’re going to go there some day. We’ll climb that mountain. All we need is a backpack and some ropes. I’ll pull you up, Mom.”
This surprises me. How does he know anything about mountain climbing? But more than that I’m thankful he knows that travel is possible and is something our family does together. Nowhere in the world is off limits.
It blessed my heart to hear him say with confidence that we’d go there some day.
However, I’m not interested in climbing Mount Everest. I hope he’s not either …
Next we share lunch together as a family outside on the deck. During the warmer months, we eat outside as often as we can.
After lunch, my boys want to play in their room. So I pick up my book and head up to their room with them.
I enjoy my view and rest as much as I can. I use my iPhoneto answer a few emails and forward some customer service e-mails to the hubby to answer.
But mostly I just watch my children and read my book for the next hour or so. I read a few books with my youngest and laugh as he tries to find his belly button.
Eventually the baby is ready for an afternoon nap and my oldest goes outside to play in the sandbox. I set up shop with my computer for a bit while my son builds sand towers and plays David and Goliath with his imaginary friends.
When the baby wakes again, both boys play in the sandbox together. I am so grateful for this little slice of heaven.
After finishing up the dishes and writing a quick blog post, I put my feet up again by 8 p.m. to read about gut health. This makes me laugh for some reason.
By 8:15, I am in my bed asleep.
When work gets more of my attention than my children for a season, it’s easy to feel guilty. So I cling to grace – the unmerited, undeserved favor of the Lord who guides my everyday, leads my every decision, and stands sovereign over even my failures.
It is Jesus whom I run to, cling to, and put my hope in.
The days when my family gets more of my attention than my work are days that I cherish. These are the days the dishwasher gets left open, the laundry continues to pile up, and the floor can be mopped some other time.
These are the days in my life that I rest in grace, and enjoy my family from morning to night.
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