7 AM No alarm necessary for the Spirit wakes me with songs of praise. I enter the morning hearing, “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so….”
7:15 Arm strapped IPod in place and my own praises are blended with Revival in Belfast as I turn my bike into the neighborhood for a five-mile ride. Cool breeze, warm sunshine, and blue skies are perfect setting for morning worship.
I switch iTunes and keep the beat lifting weights and stretching. I’m past 50 now so these muscles are harder to keep in shape.
8:30 Breakfast of oatmeal and fresh fruit while sitting on my front porch. I can smell the herbs from my garden, delight in the roses, and watch the critters playing in the park. Critters defined as small furry things, not children.
9 AM Before the Throne in prayer and the Word. He is overwhelming with deep truths of His glory.
1:30 PM put the finishing touches on my next prayer study, wrote three blogs, and added a couple chapters to my novel. Hunger pangs pull me away to my garden where I collect fresh greens, tomatoes, carrots, and grapes. The perfect salad topped with boiled egg (for protein) and balsamic dressing. I treat myself to a hand full of chocolate covered raspberries for dessert.
2 PM Tori stops by with Eli and I insist he stays while she runs errands. We surround ourselves in toys and then squeal, sing, dance, and giggle together until nap time (for both of us).
4 PM Mike comes in and plays with Eli while I start dinner. The whole family is coming together so it’s Italian feast night. I start with Auntie Louie’s bread recipe.
I check the Italian beef that has been slowly cooking in the crock-pot. A pot roast smothered in Giardiniera, pepperoncini, zesty Italian dressing, and beef broth. It is fork tender…perfect.
Next comes Andrew’s favorite Bolognese sauce. I start with diced onions, carrots, and garlic sautéed in olive oil and a bit of wine. Next comes chopped pancetta, ground pork and beef. I love to add fresh herbs from the garden: oregano, thyme and touch of basil. I now add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce and a bit of paste. I leave out the cream because of allergies to dairy. No one ever seems to notice.
While that simmers, I decide to reheat the braciole from yesterday. This is Mike’s favorite and Dustin has become a fan. It also gives me a marinara sauce to eat over my pasta.
I make braciole with thin slices of beef stuffed with raisins, garlic powder, and Romano pecorino cheese. After rolling and securing them with toothpicks, I brown them in olive oil. They then slow cook in pasta sauce with a few links of Italian sausage, meatballs, and mushrooms.
5:30 PM and family starts to arrive: Dustin and Tori are first followed by Andrew and Morgan. Pasta is cooking and bread baking. The house smells yummy.
This is when my heart is at its fullest. I love to serve my family. I love to hear them laugh. I love life when we are all together.
6:30 PM Bellies are full. Sides ache from laughter. Dishes will wait because we are making plans for a family vacation. Eli is snuggled in my arms sleeping peacefully. Nothing gets better than this.
8:00 PM The kids are on their way home. Mike cleaned the kitchen. We sit on the porch swing watching the neighbor kids playing in the park, chatting with a few that stop in, and feeling blessed.
9:00 PM I close the day with some devotional reading. God’s voice delights me with His tender love and perfect grace. I fill pages in my journal of all He has done this day. I slowly fall asleep singing His praises in my heart.
I allow myself to get lost in sweet dreams of holding hands with Mike while strolling through gardens, playing with kids on the beach, family laughter around the dinner table, and cuddling with Eli while he sleeps.
Poor little guy begins to squirm at the intrusion of that awful loud ringing. I pat him asleep again. I settle down next to him. There it is again. What is that hideous sound? Eli whimpers. I groan. Rrrrriiiinnnnnggggggggg.
I jump out of bed ready to defeat the intrusion only to discover it is my evil phone waking me to another day. An unknown number tells me it’s another salesman. I don’t answer. Instead I stumble through the house. It only takes a few minutes to realize that my most perfect day had been a dream.
The kids won’t be coming to dinner. Eli won’t be spending the afternoon with Gramma. Maybe someday, but until then…
I’ll strap on the iPod, work my body hard, disciple myself to study and write, cook for two, and dream of family vacations.