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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Tri-mom-a-thon: We're All Winners
Date Posted: May 15, 2008

Most of us have run it many times. Some of us may just be starting the first leg and still be going strong, not yet having hit the wall. Eventually every mom can relate to the endless, joyful, dreadful, always-the-same-yet-never-a-dull-moment event of the Tri-mom-a-thon!

The first leg often begins at an indecent hour before the sun is even awake. Here's the event roster:

*Leg 1 - Wake up early to sneak in some undisturbed bathroom time. Awaken everyone else who needs to be somewhere in the next hour. (Use individualized methods for morning or not-morning personalities.) Convince all "wakees" that they will have a wonderful day. (Whether you believe it or not!) Get all parties dressed, check hair and teeth for evidence of brushing, feed pets (and coherent people who are awake enough to chew and swallow). As you walk through the house to pick up the paper on the front porch (if you're lucky), put away stray items left by the evil gnomes during the night. Dispense vitamins and sack lunches and herd everyone toward the door. Grab the keys and lock up, but not before doing a final visual sweep for forgotten book bags, permission slips, band instruments, sports equipment, science projects and hiding children.

*Leg 2 - Get everyone to their daily events - school, rehearsals, practices, games, appointments - on time with all required paraphernalia, smiling and encouraging all the way. Arrive at work or meeting on time with required notes or report, continuing to smile and encourage. Spend lunch hour filling prescriptions and arguing with the phone company over wrongful charges, politely, of course. Rush back to work while making a mental list of errands to run after the kids are picked up from school. Complete the work day efficiently, dealing gently with agitated coworkers and difficult customers.

*Leg 3 - Pick up kids from various locations (spanning a ten-mile radius). Power shop at Super Wal-Mart for three birthday gifts, school snacks, new shin guards to replace the one that was lost, and a week's worth of groceries which will be eaten by ungrateful children and unobservant husband in less than three days. Extra points are given for staying within budget. The handicap in this event is that you have two children with you. Like the pro that you are, you must manage to avoid the candy aisle, double back for the toilet paper you forgot and weed out all unapproved purchases as they are placed on the conveyor. Drive home, ignoring pleas to stop for Happy Meals. Prepare supper and feed everyone in shifts. Wash and fold three loads of laundry while supervising homework and cleaning up the kitchen. Pack lunches and sign notes for tomorrow before giving everyone a quick dip in the tub (wishing you had an hour to soak there with bubbles and a good book), tuck them in, read stories and give kisses.

The wonderful part about this race is that everyone who participates is a winner. One big advantage is that if you fail the first 100 times or so, you will get to compete again the next day, and the next until you become more successful. The rewards might be small some days, like a quiet moment with a piece of chocolate from a secret stash or an unexpected thank-you from a child who didn't have to eat the hated school lunch because you packed one instead. Down the road the rewards will get larger as your children and other women notice what you do and express how they want to be like you.

When prayer, scripture reading and fellowship with and mentoring by other women are part of the training routine, the tri-mom-a-thon will always end with some sort of victory.

Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

I urge to you continue reading the rest of Hebrews 12 and find peace in your race to be a mom this week!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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