Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Day in the Life

Sometime last year I posted a list of 55 Precepts for Christian Living by Fr. Thomas Hopko. I have seen the list circulated quite a bit since then and I recently came across the suggestion of journaling through each item on the list. I thought that was a wonderful suggestion and, as I considered doing it, I decided that I'd like to share some of my thoughts here.

First on the list: Be always with Christ and trust God in everything.

Most of the time I am not aware of His presence. Most of the time I'm thinking about other things. In fact, most of the time I forget about Him altogether. But sometimes I do make an effort to remember, and I do make an effort to pray, and He has blessed my efforts tremendously. I can't say that I am always with Christ, but I am trying to learn how to be with Him, looking forward to the day when I really can be always with Him.

I've always thought it would be fun to do a "day in the life" kind of post. So I've done that below and tried to show what my efforts to be with Christ look like most days. I lose my temper, and I often forget about prayer for hours on end. But the following is fairly accurate snapshot of my days:


6:00am: Wake and glance at the clock. Everyone is still sleeping and I contemplate getting up to say my prayers.

6:01am: Thump, thump. Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter.

"Mama! Can I lay with you?"

Lord, have mercy. "Yes, come on this side."

Rustle, rustle. Squirm, squirm. Whisper, whisper.

"Mama, is G awake?"

"No. Lay down or you have to go back to your bed."


6:35am: Rustle, rustle. Whisper, whisper. Baby G starts squirming. I roll over to nurse him and hope he'll fall back asleep. Rustle, rustle. Now it's both of them. J and I smile and coo at G, while he squirms and smiles. I notice that the sheet is a little wet. I guess that means I have to change a diaper.

6:50am: I get dressed and light a candle to say my prayers. 

O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth....

Thump, thump. Pitter, patter.

"Mama, can I lay by G?"

"Yes, M. Go ahead."

Our Father, Who art in  Heaven...


"MAMAAA! J is hitting me!!!!

Lord, Jesus Christ...
"You can both be next to him. Be gentle."

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

7:03am: I finish my attempted prayers and pick up G to get ready to head downstairs. I barely make it from my bedroom into the hallway before I have to break up another fight.

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. Help me to make it through this day. Give me strength. Give me grace. Lord, have mercy.

7:55am: After opening the blinds, starting breakfast and many interrupted attempts to check email, breaking up more fights, facilitating dressing and chores among the girls everyone is finally sitting down to breakfast. G is playing somewhat happily on the floor, but I can tell he's still tired - he hadn't been quite ready to wake up yet.

Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud. 

"Good morning, S."


8:00am: S sits down to breakfast. I take a few bites of my own oatmeal and try to quickly read the Bible readings from the lectionary for the day.


"S!!!!!!!!! STOP IT!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!"

Lord, have mercy. 

"S! Stop right now! Leave her alone. Are you done eating? Go get your chores done.

For once there's no whining and complaining.

8:15am: S is doing his chores and we have a short interval of relative quiet. I try to get dishes done and have M do her kitchen chores. I have to call her several times, but she finally comes and wipes the table.

"M. Come back and sweep please."

Whine, whine, whine. Stomp, stomp, stomp. 

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. Give me patience. 

8:30am: S is back downstairs and I inform him and the girls that they have about an hour of free time before we'll be starting school. I wrap up G, who's clearly ready for a nap, and try to get him to fall asleep as I move about, starting laundry, checking done-ness of chores, and getting ready for the school day.

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 

9:00am: I try to sneak in a few minutes of time online. G is almost asleep. Once he's all the way sleeping I lay him down in his crib.


Lord, have mercy! 

I rush downstairs and to find out what the noise was and angrily tell everyone to be quiet because G is sleeping.

9:20am: G is awake. I go get him out of his crib, nurse him and then gather everyone for morning prayers.

"O Heavenly King..."

Poke. Pinch. Giggle. Squirm. 

Lord, have mercy. 

"Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal..."

"Mama, will you hold me?"

"O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance..."

"Mama, she pushed me!"

"Rejoice, O Virgin, Theotokos..."

We settle down to do our Morning Basket time. About every couple minutes someone interrupts or complains, or says they're hungry.

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 

10:15am: We finish Morning Basket and everyone scatters while we have a break. G is back asleep and I try to clean up the table a little bit so we have room for other books and papers.

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 

11:00am: G is asleep again. I start working with X on her school work, and remind S that he ought to start his list too. I go back and forth between helping X and M, while J quietly plays or sits on my lap and S is busy not doing his school work. I remind him several times that he needs to start too.

Lord, Jesus Christ....

12noon: Before we know it it's time for lunch. G is awake and everyone is hungry. I send them outside for a few minutes while I get lunch ready. J wants to be my helper. We make some sandwiches and call everyone in for lunch.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven...

Lunch is eaten. Children talk and tease. I try to steal a few minutes of quiet.


"Mom, I wasn't doing anything!"

Lord, have mercy. 

"Mama, M is trying to dip her sandwich in my milk!!!!!"

Giggle, giggle. 

"That's not funny!"

"Stop, M."

Lord, have mercy. 

The day continues. We finish school work, G takes another nap or two. I try to find time to sit and snuggle with J and M. I try to listen while X tells me about her newest drawing. I try not to criticize and nag at S, even though he constantly seems to be trying to push the girls' buttons. Every so often there is an interval of quiet. I try to stop and take a breath.

Breathe in, Lord, Jesus Christ

Breathe out, have mercy on me. 

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 

3:00pm: School is done, my husband is getting ready to leave for work. Everyone gives him a hug and kiss goodbye and goes back to what they were doing.

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 

Laundry needs to be folded.

Lord, have mercy.

Dinner needs to be started.

Lord, Jesus...

6:30pm: Dinner is over, the kitchen is cleaned. Many more fights have been broken up, much screaming and general rowdiness has prevailed. It's almost bedtime.

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 

8:00pm: J is asleep. G is almost asleep. S is quiet in his room.

8:10: G is asleep. I lay him down and think that maybe I'll be able to read a little bit before I'm too wiped out to think.

"M!!!! Stop talking!!! I want to go to sleep!"

Giggle, giggle.

"You girls better be quiet up there! Don't wake up G!"

"Mama, M won't stop whispering!"

Lord, have mercy.

"M, no talking, no whispering, no noise at all."

"Ok, Mama."

10:00pm: I realize it's getting late and I should probably get in bed. I shower and enjoy the silence.

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. 
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

10:30pm: I'm finally ready for bed. I try to say my evening prayers, but I'm half asleep already and I hardly know what I'm saying. I blow out the candle and crawl into bed.

Into Thy hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, I commend my soul and my body. Do Thou, Thyself, bless me, save me and grant me eternal life. Amen. 

Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me... 


  1. Lisa, I started crying halfway through this and cried the rest of the way. You were writing MY days. That tension, that tension of wanting to be present but never quite getting ahead of the next squabble, duty, or minor catastrophe. That wanting to have a few moments to still my mind and heart on Christ, to order my thoughts for the day, or even for the next hour. That being in a place of having to react to the life spilling all about me rather than be the guide and gentle leader I want to be. I don't know if you feel those things, but that's what I feel when my days go like this, and really, it's most days.

    There's something so beautiful about "Lord Jesus, have mercy…" It's like the inhale and exhale of life… "Lord have mercy…thanks be to God." "Lord hear our prayer…Glory to God."

    I really think I needed this post today. Thank you.

    1. Yes, Harmony. I know exactly what you mean. It can be really tough some days. Really tough.

      I meant to link this post when I wrote this yesterday, but I forgot. It's about the Jesus Prayer. I think you might like it:

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Lisa. I really enjoyed reading it. It is so refreshing to read such an honest account of a homeschooling mom's day :)

  3. This is beautiful. You are an inspiration.


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