The Best Laid Plans .... an' all that

Last Saturday evening, I posted this photo

on my Homeschool on the Croft Facebook page, and on Instagram, with the following caption:

This is my Sunday morning. So many people want to misunderstand what it means to 'keep the Lord's Day holy'. Some seem to think it's a list of do-and-don't rules, but to those of us who love the Lord and, by extension, love His day, this is not remotely how we think. Rather, we have the privilege and gift of being able to set aside our week's duties, and switch off from the chores of the week. For this reason, I love to have the house tidy on a Saturday night, as much of tomorrow's dinner prepared, and be able to settle immediately after I get up in the morning with my cuppa and God's Word. I am going slowly through this book too - The Heart of Christ, by Thomas Goodwin. The book was a gift from DR last Christmas, and I'm only now getting into it, and loving the precious thoughts between the covers.

As I posted it, I wanted to add a few words to mothers of young children who are likely to read the caption above and, with a frustrated sigh, moan: "If only!"

'If only,' they'd say. 

'If only I could have the freedom on Saturday to get my whole house clean, but instead of a clean house on Saturday evening, mine looks like a bomb site!'

'If only I'd been able to peel all tomorrow's vegetables on Saturday, ready in their pans to be cooked after church on Sunday.'

'If only I'd have a full night's sleep, and waken fresh and ready to read God's Word and a good book.'

'If only when I get up on Sunday morning, I'd have time alone to read and meditate on the precious truths in this book.'

To them, I'd say:

'Mums, this is a season in your life where a tidy-house-Saturday is not only impossible, it's actually not desirable. Your house is your home, your children's home, and because it is, their stuff is going to be here, there, and everywhere. One more word: don't wish these days away. I can assure you, they'll pass quickly enough.

'And mums, I know that normally it's easy for me to have plenty time in peace and quiet on a Sunday morning to read, but it was not always like this. Far from it! This is my stage of life. And just remember - time and peace come at the cost of an emptying house. Let me tell you, it ain't all it's cracked up to be! 

'And one more thing, Mums: your vocation right now, being mum to your children, being chief cleaner-clearer-nappy-changer-food-maker-tidy-upper-listening-ear and everything in between - this is your God-given privileged vocation right now. I love this quote:

Truly, Mums, you are NOT failing if being at home with your children is your lot instead of being able to take them all to church. You are NOT failing if you're not able to be at midweek meetings because your children's routine bedtime comes before the meeting begins, far less, ends! Honestly, your 'job' is one of inestimable privilege.'

*      *      *

And so, having said all that, I want to now tell you last Sunday panned out in reality. Read on...

At 2am, Calum had to get up with Niseach to let her out. She was desperate for the toilet, and let's just say her poo was not, erm, 'normal'. 

At 7 am, I woke with Niseach crying, again needing out. Things were bad. I shall leave it at that. I can assure you, you don't want the details.

I showered her rear end.

She then needed out again.

I had to shower her again.

I was concerned that she was going to be left on her own for an hour-and-a-half if we left her to go to church, but I was convinced that 'she'll be fine, Mum'.

She wasn't. 

I can't describe (and wouldn't, even if I could) the smell that met us when we returned from church. Calum escaped and took Niseach out, and I began cleaning. Cleaning, and lighting candles, and spraying. I was so desperate to sort the smell out that I took my duster and sprayed Pledge on all the living room furniture. Lemon Flash for all the floors.... And so it went on. 

I eventually began making dinner, didn't get out in the evening because I couldn't risk leaving Niseach on her own again, and all this time .....

....these lay almost untouched. 

So you see - the best laid plans of mice and men ....an' all that. It happens to us all! 

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