Today my temper won. And I was a bad loser, according to Calista.
We had had a fairly ok day, despite the fact we pushed through and skipped nap today. Brian had attempted to replace a door only to find we would have to rip out flooring to finish. Project scrapped.
The kids were sort of squirrelly and then blam: the blanket wars became too much for Calista. I think she felt neglected by the boys’ play and she lost.it.badly.
Her temper won today too.
After 40-45 minutes of being screamed at, I continued on my task: cooking a Chinese meal for Brian’s co-worker and family. of 6.
Somehow I kept my cool… or maybe a moderate temperature at least.
But then, I don’t know if it was walking into the spare room which is normally immaculate, only to find the bed unmade. Or the fact that I asked Brian to get all the seeds out of the dried red pepper and found them covered in seeds. Or when Calista started cracking eggs and cracked one on the counter, spilling into my box of stamping thank you notes craft box. Or maybe it was the 5-6 hours of sleep I’ve been getting for 5-6 weeks…
But I.LOST.IT. My throat still hurts from the yelling. And my wrists ache from the slamming drawers.
Suffice to say it was ugly.
About 45 minutes before our guests were to arrive, Brian asked if we should cancel. I said no way…
But I did text them to come a bit later.
When they walked in the door, I was calmer, only because I had banned everyone from the kitchen. And I banned their blankets…
I told the adults that only because they knew crazy (4 kids total, 2 adopted) were they welcome in our house. They laughed and took it all in stride. I told them about the slamming drawers, etc. They didn’t judge me.
Eventually we all were sitting down, enjoying a Kung Pao chicken, fried rice and Chinese broccoli meal. We compared notes on adopted kids. Our sons are about the same age and have very similar tempers and inabilities to deal with transition, large social functions and disappointment.
They did dishes. We ate a pie (finished it off Mom and Dad!). I had seconds on ice cream.
Then we kicked them out. They needed to go, but essentially we all agreed it was time to move to bedtime.
Calista and I eventually sat down and started her Bible reading and prayer time.
Luke 9: the disciples had just been let loose to do some Kingdom work and they were back. They told Jesus all about it and then He decided it was time to escape but apparently they couldn’t. The crowds kept up.
Eventually the disciples sound like they’ve had it. Maybe it was the last guy with leprosy who oozed too much. Or the screaming demon girl who bit James. Or the little girl who was so sick and sad Matthew thought he wouldn’t sleep for a month. Or maybe their feet had blisters from all that walking around and they just wanted to sit down!
So they wanted Jesus to send the people away. To take care of themselves for a change.
Jesus looked at them and said, you get to serve them in yet one more way: you’re going to feed them.
They of course have no idea how this will be accomplished since they only have a few loaves and fishes. There just isn’t enough!
Now, I knew I was hosting this dinner all day. I knew I had to feed these 11 tonight. But I had just had it around 5:00pm and yes, I had considered sending Brian over to their house with hot, fresh, piping pizza and soda. I just wanted to be done for the day. I had the food all ready to be served, but I just didn’t think I had enough of what it took to serve it.
So I did what the disciples were ordered to do: I organized. I figured out what to do next. I cleared the kitchen. I asked Brian to do a few things and had Calista help (she did 8 eggs in a row just perfectly plus made the sauce for the chicken all alone!).
Then the door bell rang, we had a great time and we had leftovers. We will enjoy those Tupperware leftovers now that our New Years Eve plans have changed due to illness (SUH-PRISE SUH-PRISE SUH-prise – Gomer Pyle).
But more than the goodie bags the disciples had after hosting their own dinner party, they learned that Jesus had much more power and miracles up His sleeve than they ever dreamed.
I am not just stuffed with good food tonight, but gained some strength as I got to sit down with other like-minded folks who are trying their best in the adoption journey. People who don’t tell you to just “be more like Jesus” and actually pile on the guilt and garbage.
Thank you Olsons for showing up so I feed you. And for the leftovers in the fridge and in my spirit.