Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keeping up with the Joneses

In keeping with my fellow YCLF ladies...

YLCF Blog CarnivalMy Monday starts with the blaring clock alarm piercing through my foggy sleepiness at 7 am sharp. I sit on the edge of the bed, trying wake myself up from a good night's sleep. It never ceases to amaze me that I am rested when I wake, proving that Psalm 127:2 is certainly true in my life! "It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep." (ASV)

I slog to the bathroom, tripping over shoes on my way across the room. A few moments of splashing water on my face, and I am back to change into my "teacher clothes." The house is quiet, but I can hear Meg, our adorable Welsh Corgi/red healer mix, shaking her collar to let me know that she is ready for the day. I fix my hair, slip on my flip flops, and trot across the hall to Mom's room where Meg sleeps. She is sitting there attentively waiting for me to let her off her sleeping chain. She bounds down the hall, pausing to stretch on the runner, and ends up in the kitchen, bouncing on her hind legs, waiting for breakfast. I scoop her food into her bowl and lean over to drop food into the beta bowls where Theta and Iota are still groggy. Starting a pot of coffee is next before I let Meg out into our rec room where Hershey, my English springer spaniel, has spent the night. I have to wake him up, poor fellow; he is 14 now and almost completely deaf. He bounds to the door to be let out; they both nip at each other playfully on their way out into the yard. I go back in to enjoy a bowl of Cherrios in silence. My Bible is on the table, open to my beloved Psalms. I choke down my vitamins before letting the dogs back in. I need to be leaving.

I send Meg back to lay down until the rest of the family is up for the day. I walk out the door and across the street to work...yes, it is idyllic and as my friend Kristen says, so European!). :) I run an umbrella school for 140 students, and have students arriving in a few minutes for their tutoring lessons.

It's 8 o'clock. My first two students are here. It is quiet, and since the weather is so wonderful, I leave the front door open and enjoy the birds chirping and squirrels chattering. There are many today. The red-headed woodpecker alights on the house eave for a moment, and reminds of my childhood back in Tennessee. An hour later, my secretary Aly arrives, as do the next set of students. Monday morning has begun! Between tutor lessons, phone calls, and checking e-mails, the morning flies by. I get a text from my older sister Cori. Apparently, my six-month-old niece Corrie Lynn is babbling non-stop this morning. :) Such a cute little boo. My sister Sarah arrives to teach her students; she has spent her morning slicing bread at our family's bakery in preparation for Tricia's deliveries. She may have had a cake to decorate as well. It's almost time for lunch, and the kids are growing restless. "Ms. Mary Beth, call lunch!"

I grab a bottle of ice-cold water and settle at my desk in the office for 10 minutes to catch my breath. Log in to Facebook for a minute to update. I hear kids getting too loud in the backyard. I open the french door in my office and lean out. All is well. The kids are just swinging on the tree swing and laughing about someone's sleep over last night. I spend ten minutes praying for my students by name; does anyone else pray for them? I know the Lord will answer the cry of my heart...for them to be saved and live useful lives for Jesus! My just-younger sister Tricia pops in for a few minutes. "I am done delivering bread. What do you want for lunch? Mom and I are headed to McDonalds." Um, a fish sandwich sounds nice. One o'clock comes all too quickly. Back to teaching. I call "Lunch is over. Everyone back to your books!" Groans all around. By now there are 12 or so students absorbed either in a game of Monopoly or looking through the Class of 2009's photo album.

Getting them back to school takes a little while, but not too long. Everyone is obedient today! :) The afternoon student crew has settled in after 30 minutes or so. One of my rather talkative boy students is yabbering on about what he did over the weekend. I tell him, once again, to be quiet. It doesn't work. I promise, I have always had the world's most communicative boys as students!!! :D So untypical, I am told. I get to witness to several of my students at least four different times today, sharing the light of Jesus' saving power. I have a blessed job!
The fair is in town, so everyone is making plans to go. One boy says, "I have never been to the fair." What?!? Come on. You've got to go this year. Tricia and I have arranged to meet up with our sister-in-law Rachel to go on Thursday night. Fun-ness! I am a ferris wheel junkie. :P

Five o'clock comes rather slowly. The kids are picked up, and the tables are a mess. The phone messages are piling up, but I am so tired. I leave earlier than I planned. The office work will be here tomorrow. I clean up quickly and trot across the street after turning the AC down and locking up. Meg meets me at the door (on a side-snote, I love the new Benjamin Moore Classic Burgundy door color. I just painted it over the weekend...the last of my Fall Break.). Cute dog...about 6 pm, she starts waiting by the door for me to come home. She has chosen me as her human; it still puzzles me why. Have dinner to finish. Yesterday I had pre-soaked giant limas. Just need to mix up some cornbread and finish cooking the limas. Add some sea salt and fresh ground pepper and let it simmer...good southern eating! The smell is invigorating. I settle in the den with a laptop. Mom and Tricia are here, reading and studying, respectively. Meg wants to play toss with her rope; she could go on for hours, silly girl! Mom asks me about my day; she loves to hear about everything going on. I log into my online classes and check the student lounge area. No one has asked questions that I can answer. I crack my Nutrition textbook. I study for an hour before Tricia, pops out from under her earphones with "Okay! I'm ready to watch our shows!" First comes CSI Miami, one of my favorites. It is a good plot tonight, so we don't have to turn it off. Yay! :) Tricia mutes the commercials so we can study in between. The kitchen timer goes off...cornbread is ready. Boy, do we enjoy dinner! It reminds me of Daddy, who LOVED my lima bean soup. I know he is enjoying Jesus' presence in heaven, but I look over at his lazy-boy chair and miss him tonight. The show is back on. I change into my jammies during the next break, and turn on the fan. The leather couches sure do get hot fast! Hershey is needs to be fed, which is a long process; he is not hungry anymore, so I have to hand-feed him, which he LOVES! Eww. :(

Two hours, two shows, and 40 pages later, I am ready to call it a night. I look over at the clock. Yikes! I hustle to brush my teeth, and let the dogs out for the last time. I sit on the patio for a few minutes and look up at the clear sky. The stars are bright tonight. I spend a few more minutes, praying. I can think so clearly out here at night. Finally, I whistle and take the dogs in, tell Mom and Tricia that I love them, and close the door of my room. It's been a long day. A few minutes of K-Love on the radio and reading Elisabeth Elliot and the Proverb for the day, and I am off in lalaland. Goodnight, Monday. Goodnight, Jesus...and Daddy. I love you both so much.
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