A Stressful Day

I couldn’t help but giggle as I read my daughter-in-law’s (Stacey) text about her bad day. The downstairs of her house (kitchen, living room, bathroom, laundry room and dining room) were being totally demolished for remodeling –which was promised to only take 2 months! Meanwhile, last week, our grandsons (ages 8 & 6) were home from school 3-days for a snowday, a holiday and a teacher workday. All were sequestered in the upstairs playroom, which had a small wet-bar type of sink, a TV and all of their toys, but no bathroom. Only the refrigerator remained temporarily in the kitchen to hold milk, sandwich fixings and fresh snacks. All dinners were nightly eaten at a restaurant since there was no place to prepare a meal or eat.

Stacey was beside herself because the boys seem to be constantly fighting; even sweet, little 3-year old Amelia participated in the relentless sibling wranglings in the restrictive, claustrophobic, upstairs room. The frigid weather prohibited outside play, and the massive construction downstairs forbad them from exiting their space except for emergency bathroom runs. To make matters worse, their young Pug dog had unexpectedly come into heat and needed to be guarded constantly. Finally, Stacey took the kids to a movie; but at the theater, she suddenly realized she had promised weeks ago to take a meal to a friend struggling with Cancer. So, immediately after the movie, they ran to a deli to purchase a meal for her friend and family. Did I forget to mention that Austin has been absent for several days this week and will also be gone next week traveling for work?

I found myself reminiscing about the long days Keith was gone for baseball competition and I was home alone with our two young sons. And although I do slightly remember the frustration and anxiety of so much responsibility, I also find myself remembering the memories we created as a family and how we overcame the “Tremendous Trifles” of surviving part-time single parenting. I really learned to respect the full-time single parents.

Stacey and I texted a lot that long, fractious day, and I tried to encourage her. We are so proud of Stacey; she teaches her children God’s Word. Both she and Austin have so much patience with their little ones; and both walk the strong Christian walk at home as well as in public. We pray for both of our sons and their families daily—encouraging them as parents to follow II Chronicles 15:7: “Be strong and do not give up, for our work will be rewarded.”

A parent is like the farmer—“The one who plants and the one who waters…will be rewarded according to their own labor.” (I Corinthians 3:8).

From sheer exhaustion, the good parents often cannot see the forest for the trees. But as they continue to parent, they will be rewarded for whatever good they do. (Ephesians 6:7-8). And in just 20 more years, their children will thank them for their loving, hands-on parenting!

Currently, there is no kitchen, living room, downstairs bathroom or dining room. Some days are rough, but this loving young family is developing special memories that they will never forget as they learn to exist for a few months as a family of five in one cramped upstairs living area.
At home games, our sons loved to be on the field. But road trips usually found the three of us home alone.
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