Thursday, January 21, 2016

Walking with Him

Tuesday was one of those days where I felt like I had it all together.

I woke up early, worked out (with a little helper crawling underneath me while I attempted push-ups and adorably imitating my squats), and took a shower. Boom. Mom achievement unlocked.

I made a healthy breakfast for my boy and me, got us both dressed and bundled in innumerable layers against the Chicago January cold, and drove to drop him off with his babysitter (who also happens to be my sister. Hurray!). I even stopped on the way to drop off a UPS package. So far, so good.

While my sister watched the little man, I focused with laser-like intensity on work. I crossed six things off my to-do list. I got positive feedback on a project.

I drove home, put the little man down for a nap, and tidied the house while quickly eating lunch. The members of our church's moms' group trickled in for the monthly Rosary play date. I served tea and hot chocolate and homemade cookies, and felt cozily domestic.

The ladies left and I made dinner, again with a little helper by my side. We drove to the airport to pick up Daddy, who had been out of town on a work trip. He came home to a clean house and delicious meal. After family dinner, I put the baby to bed and finished my evening with some quick yoga and painting my nails.

Finally I sat in my favorite chair to rest for a little while. The night before I had begged God, "Please give me the grace to get everything done that I need to do tomorrow." Now as I surveyed the day that had passed, I thanked Him for answering my prayer. The day had unfolded perfectly according to plan. "Thank you for helping me get through everything I needed to do today. Thank you for walking with me today, Lord."

The next morning, however, could not have been more opposite.

We woke up late so I skipped the work-out and shower. A hasty breakfast of buttered toast would have to do.

Again I dropped off my son, but today the emails were less uplifting. An important email hadn't been sent. I was running behind on a project that was taking 5 times longer than it should have. My to-do list was growing longer and longer. I felt frustrated and stressed, but finally had to stop working and go home for naptime.

Once he was sleeping, I made a pot of tea and settled down to work. Now, I thought, I would finally get the peace and quiet to salvage the rest of my day—until I was interrupted by the sound of coughing from the bedroom.

I went in to find my poor baby throwing up all over the bed. I held him and tried to wipe him up, but he threw up again and again, and finally I just let the sheets catch it all. Alright, forget about working. The baby went in the bath, and once he was clean and wearing fresh pajamas, it was time to strip the bed and wash the sheets.

But the fun was far from over. He threw up again and again. We went through numerous outfits and towels laid on the bed. Finally I started to just catch it in my hands rather than go through another outfit. I had to laugh at how classically "mom" that was to do.

I remembered that we needed to eat dinner that night and began throwing together a soup composed of "odds and ends from the depths of the fridge" while holding a sad clingy little boy. I texted my husband, "Be prepared to come home to a disaster." He mercifully came home soon after and held the poor sick baby amid the mess while I attempted to finish cooking and cleaning up the kitchen. The soup began to clump weirdly and stuck to the pot. Would it even be edible? In the midst of all this, I got an email about a work task I'd forgotten to do. Shoot. My husband came over to check on the soup, and when he commented on its weird texture, I was so frustrated I yelled incoherently at him. Shoot again.

Finally the soup came together somewhat edibly. We sat down and ate dinner together, then I finally put the baby to bed. Now it was time to make my shopping list for the next day's planned grocery trip and wrap up a bunch of loose ends for work. Right before bedtime, the baby threw up again, and we switched out the towel on the bed for the umpteenth time.

As I lay in bed that night, tired and defeated, I tried to turn my thoughts toward prayer. The day had unfolded nothing like I planned. But still, in the midst of the chaos and the mayhem, I knew that He had walked with me. Again I found myself saying, "Thank you for helping me get through everything I needed to do today. Thank you for walking with me today, Lord—for never leaving my side."

We all have those days. The great ones and the ghastly ones. Sometimes they come side by side. But hopefully at the end of either one, we can say, "Thank you, Lord, for walking with me today." That's all I ever want to say, at the end of every day—as long as I do, I know deep down that all is well.


  1. Hey, you made dinner on a day your baby had a stomach bug! That alone is pretty impressive - I would have 100% served cereal or cheese & crackers. Also I would have definitely called my husband crying at some point instead of just texting :)

  2. Oh no, poor little guy! You got an impressive amount of stuff done for him having the stomach bug... I definitely would have called dad to get dinner on the way home and not even attempted anything in the kitchen. :)

  3. Beautiful reflection! And I hope Frankie is doing better. Stomach bugs in kids are the worst!!

  4. Beautiful reflection! And I hope Frankie is doing better. Stomach bugs in kids are the worst!!

  5. Tess, I can so relate to this! There are days when everything seems to go smoothly and I feel like Superwoman, and then the next day is a complete disaster and I feel like a failure. But I'm slowly learning that God is with me on both kinds of days—whether things go wonderfully or terribly, it's not all my own doing, and the bad days make me more aware of my need for and dependence on Him.
    I hope Frankie is feeling better!

  6. Beautiful post. I can most definitely relate on multiple levels. I'll be praying that little Frankie gets better soon and that YOU stay healthy too!

  7. This was such a wonderful reflection! I am expecting my first child and am a little nervous about what's to come... but reading this was a great reminder that there will be both good days and bad days, and that the Lord will walk with us through both. I hope your son is feeling better!

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