Pay Day

Sometimes when you’re in the middle of raising a family the continual noise, chaos, conflicting schedules and constant demands can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get discouraged. Family building is a wild ride that invites us to throw out every single ounce of pride and selfishness.
Like a roller-coaster ride, family life is full of hills and valleys. On the way up we feel like laughing and on the way down we feel like screaming. Sometimes we wake up, stare at the ceiling and wonder how we are going to get the kids to do their homework, practice the piano, clean up their bedroom, brush their teeth and be nice to each other for one more day. I mean what’s the point? We just have to turn around and do it all over again the next day. Finding a moment to relax and simply enjoy our children seems like an illusive dream.
Amidst the chronic drama of every day life most parents wish they had several body clones. Then we could be in six different places at the same time. For a typical week day schedule means that Cub Scouts, youth activity, church planning meeting, choir concert, baseball practice and a baby shower all fall on Thursday at exactly 7:00 p.m.
Real families don’t look like those fake photo shoot models in the slick magazines or play out like the contrived plots of Hollywood movies. Real families try, fail and try again. Real families give each other headaches, hassles, hugs and heart failure. Real parents find ourselves wondering if our children even learned one thing we tried to teach them over the blare of their loud music and quarreling. It’s easy to grit our teeth and wonder what we were thinking when we got ourselves into this whole mess.
Then suddenly pay day arrives and we’re ready to go back to being the mom or dad for one more day. Golden moments are God’s pay - our salary and year-end bonus all rolled into one. These moments are like sunlight dancing on water, unexpected flashes of light that make tears come to your eyes.
Moments like . . . licking vanilla ice cream with Joseph on the warm west steps . . . discovering Arianne’s secret garden hidden in the trees, feeling April’s soft infant skin on my lips while I blow bubbles on her belly . . . hearing the crack of the bat when John hit his first run . . . laughing while Jordan flipped cartwheels in the living room the night before he got married . . . rubbing warm noses and soft checks together with Alisa at bedtime . . . holding Amy in the oxygen tent at the hospital . . . listening to Ashley sing like an opera star while I’m peeling potatoes in the kitchen . . .cheering as Aubrey made her three-point shot . . . and jumping to my feet after Jacob made the winning tackle.
Much like fireworks in July – golden moments are inner explosions of joy that fill your whole body with color and brightness. Time stops just for an instant and takes your breath away.

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