Yesterday I started a bible study.
I went into a lady-filled room with comfy couches and God music. I drank coffee and I had a donut. I even got to ooo and ahhh over 2–count em’–2 newborn twin babies. I watched a video. I tried my best to focus, but in my old age of 29 I’ve picked up ADD, because I couldn’t get past the sound of pens clicking, pages turning, and babies cooing–I’m pretty sure I was trying so hard to concentrate that my face looked all kinds of contorted.
Now, bible-studying is not as easy as it sounds. You are given a book and a binder–and apparently you are supposed to remember to bring a bible with you. Which, by the way, I did. The ladies in this group are nice. They are friendly and you want to chit chat with them forever about how terrible a housekeeper you are or how little sleep you get on a regular basis. Though it is wonderful to meet someone who loves caffeine as much as you do, there is bible business to be conducted and the talking comes to a screeching halt. And as the video gets underway, you are going over the names of the ladies you just met in your head. You are trying to remember where it was that one woman said she lived, and what was this other gal’s husband’s name, and exactly how long has so-and-so gone to this church. And then from across the room a twin baby burps and stares at you and someone else shifts in her chair and brushes the hair out of her eyes and you can hear the wind whistling outside and you wonder if it’s going to rain and you hope that your kid is behaving his anti-social self in the church nursery and you think about texting your husband to see if he’s at home and if he’s not, will he please stop by the bank for you?
And then the bible study leader lady says a prayer and you are dismissed. You panic as you leave because you don’t remember a word of anything that was said. You flip through the pretty pink book you were given in the hopes that something will pop out at you–and something does! "Set your alarm and get up in the morning, sip some tea and spend some time in prayer before getting the kids up for school. You will start your morning out fresh and you will have patience and peace throughout the day!"…Or something to that effect.
So last night I decided I would get up early so that I could read my bible. By myself, before the kids woke up, before I got busy with chores, I would sit down with my book and my binder and my bible in a relaxed, distraction-free environment. I grumbled my way out of bed, tripped over a stupid dog, staggered to the kitchen and fumbled with the coffee maker for about 15 minutes. I got out my gear and sat down on the couch. I started right in praying and reading…but I didn’t get very far before Merrick started screaming his head off. I closed my bible in a huff. Grab baby, change diaper, pour the juice, let the dogs out…my quiet bibley morning was over before it even began.
Everyone is awake now. I’m in drill-sergeant mode and it is not pretty. I’m aggrivated with Merrick for waking up so early. I’m pissed off at the dogs for whining and eating and peeing and just generally living. Caleb asks, "What’s wrong with you?" I’m rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off, and Caleb is calmly cleaning up behind me, feeding the dogs and consoling the kids with the patience of a saint…a saint who got a full 8 hours of sleep.
"I’m so frustrated, honey!" I say through gritted teeth. "I’m trying to do this bible study the right way! I even got up early so I could spend some freaking time with the Lord! I’m so tired and I didn’t even get anything done! Everything I planned went to straight to pot! I am trying to be a woman after God’s own heart, but you people won’t let me!"
"Ug," says Caleb. I don’t care. I throw the kids in the car and get our morning drive to school underway. And I think to myself, "Why do I not pray while I drive? This is perfect!" And so I start my prayer. And God interrupts me and says, "What you just said back there? Was all jacked up. And you know it."
ME: "I do know it. But I can’t think about that now, I’m trying to pray. Do you mind?"
MIA: "Hey, Mom, why are you in such a bad mood?"
ME: "Well, I’ll tell you why. I’m aggrivated. We were supposed to have a nice relaxing morning. I woke up especially early today so I could spend some time alone learning about God. And then Merrick woke up earlier than usual and the dogs where whining and your dad was messing with me and you were going extra slow and so I was trying to pray just now here in the car but I can’t concentrate and now I don’t know anything at all about God!"
MIA: "Don’t worry, Mom. God loves you and he loves me, and Merrick. That’s the most important…Hey, look! A cardinal! Did you see that? Hey, Mom, can I listen to the Tinkerbell CD?"
And with that, I shut up. I hope tomorrow goes a little smoother. God does not seem opposed to letting a 5-year-old put me in my place.