This morning I discovered that preparing the house for a showing is a whole new ball game with four kids at home all day. I actually thought it would be easier to clean with the big boys around to help out, both with chores and the little kids.
Um, not so much.
By the time 11:00 a.m. rolled around I was completely stressed. If the kids were in the house, they were making messes and waking up Lexi. If they were out of the house, Gavin was escaping the backyard and everyone came in and out a hundred times for this and that. Keeping the wood floor and the sliding door clean with such shenanigans was impossible.
As I was cleaning -- and mothering, and feeling exceedingly overwhelmed -- a scripture passage kept running through my head. It's from Doctrine & Covenants 121: 7-8:
"Peace be unto thy soul. Thine adversity and thine affliction shall be but for a small moment;
"And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high, and thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."
Oh, how I am trying to endure this phase well! I was also comforted by the words to "Be Still, My Soul," a portion of which reads:
"Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end."
I am always grateful when such things come to mind during stressful times!
Once the house was ready to show, we got in the car and had to be gone for 90 minutes. I was pretty sure that I couldn't manage such a feat. But manage I did....after a little pep talk from a friend on the phone.
We started at McDonald's. A kind soul offered to carry my heavily-laden tray to our table when she saw me balancing Lexi on one hip and the tray in the opposite hand. Lunch was mostly pleasant. The boys darted in and out for bites of food as they played. I caught my breath and spooned yogurt into Lexi's mouth in between her bites of chicken nuggets.
While we were at McDonald's, Garry called to tell me that someone else wanted to see the house today; their showing was scheduled just after the first one. We had to be out until 2:30.
So instead of going home for naps, we went to an indoor playground called Whit's End at the Focus on the Family Welcome Center. I had heard great things about this place, most notably the admission price: free. The boys had heard friends talk about Whit's End, as well. The kids were thrilled, and I was glad for an indoor "safe zone" where we could hunker down for a while.
I wish someone had warned me that Whit's End is a maze. My four kids ran in four different directions. I just had to trust that Zach and Tyler would be OK; it was tons of work just keeping track of Gavin with Lexi on my hip. I silently prayed that no one would get abducted or hurt. Several people commented on how I should have brought a friend to help me. The hour we spent there was completely exhausting. I was sweating when we left. Sweating, I tell you!
I did manage to snap a few pictures:
Today's showings went really well -- especially the first one. On Sunday we have scheduled a second showing with a family who came last week. Their agent called yesterday to say her clients are very interested. We are ever hopeful that someday soon -- very soon -- this crazy phase of life will "lead to a joyful end."