It’s not my favorite thing when I’m in the midst of preparing a meal and the kids are already complaining about how much they dislike it.  That’s not my favorite thing.  Lately I feel like I’m on Food Network’s Chopped three times a day and three times a day I stand before four judges who complain about the texture, the lack of seasoning, the color, the smell, not enough veggies, too many veggies and why I had to ruin it with chia seed.  I always get chopped.  It’s the gastronomic equivalent of Groundhog Day with Bill Murray.  I’m standing there, wisk in hand thinking, wait, they just hated my food yesterday.  How could they hate it again today; it’s a totally different meal.
So this morning as I was sauteeing veggies for a fritatta, kids swinging from light fixtures as they lobbed bombs of disgust in my direction I responded as any mature adult would.  I threw a temper tantrum.
I swore I never make it out of the kitchen unless it’s to clean up everyone’s crap (not a word we use here), called the dishwasher stupid (again, not a word we use here, but very tame when stacked up against the names I actually wanted to call it), stamped my foot and declared that I was never cooking another meal again.  Which I then blew all to heck by finishing the sautee and then following up with homemade waffles while the Smalls looked on with big eyes and Dan tried to smooth it over in his usual way-taking the trash out without being asked and avoiding eye contact.  They were all avoiding eye contact.
And the meal was just as big a failure as I’d anticipated considering the early returns.  Peter hated that there was sausage in his fritatta, Lucy wanted more in hers, and Tess just sweetly ate even though she clearly thought it was going to make her barf.  Grant, true to form, scarfed it all down then asked if he could make himself a burrito.  Dan prolly told me seventeen times how wonderful his fritatta was.  Sigh.
So when the kids asked to go to the gym and swim and Dan volunteered to take them I was on it like flies on stink.  Sent them packing with swimsuits and rashies and not an ounce of guilt.  Because the way I figure it, I’ve spent at least half of my summer in pools or lakes with the Smalls and almost none of it by myself, unless you count late night runs to Meijer.  Which I don’t.  And as I pulled out the ipad to update the blog, I heard Father whisper into my tattered soul, grounding me in the reality that if this is all I’ve got, if this is the lion’s share of my heart ache, then I’ve got nothing.  No kid dying of a brain tumor, no husband cheating on me, no dibilitating disease that’s robbing me of my independance, no fear of where the next meal will come from.  I’m just totally cup running over blessed, something I was squinting hard into my rear view mirror this morning to catch a glimpse of. But now it’s here, right in front of me and I can see it again and I’m determined to wake up every morning asking Father to remind me of how good I’ve got it.  Because it’s just so darn easy to forget in a world that is constantly sending the message that you deserve better.  Because the fact is that if I got exactly what I deserve, I’d be dead.  Instead, I have a standing invitation to approach the throne of grace and lay myself there and be filled up.  So that’s where I’m headed on this chilly afternoon when the leaves are blowing on the trees and it feels like fall.  Headed to hang out with Father.
This is me being real.  Totally ordering take out tonight.  Let them criticize someone else’s food for once…

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