a day in the life of leslie

(if you see some wonky formatting in this post, try reading it from my blog's home address, rather than the post-specific link.)

Hi everyone! I'm Leslie. I write over at Top of the Page.
I'm so honored to be invited to share about my days here on Annalea's blog.

I took some photos, but I'd like to also share what I can't show you in a photo.
There is so much more to my days than what can be photographed.

 Well. If we have to start at the beginning of the day, I must be honest. I am not a morning person. Not a fan of getting up when the clock says anything under an 8 for the first number. I am a tea drinker. Hot tea when it's chilly, but most of the year, I have iced tea. Every day. I figure there are worse things I could be addicted to. 

In a half-asleep state, I get dressed while the kids eat breakfast. I don't remember what I made them because I'm not awake yet. It was something healthy, I know that much.

What this photo doesn't show you is that nearly every day, I make an effort to present myself to the world pleasantly. It takes just as long to put on something ugly as it does something cute (thanks, What Not To Wear). So I took everything old and yucky out of my closet simply to up the probability that I choose something somewhat attractive on a daily basis, even when half asleep. I'm not talking supermodely perfection. It's just trying, as opposed to not (which is what I was doing for a while). Sweats are pajamas in winter. Running shoes and work out clothes are strictly for that. Boots and sandals are my BFF's. Lots of color and simple accessories can make a big difference. 

Also, I don't love wearing eye makeup. Today, I opted out. 

After drop-off, I'm back home by 7:50. Yep, still before I'm actually awake.

I like to spend some morning time with God. Today, Yoda and friends were next to my stuff on the couch. I have a bitty green Bible, a 3x5 flip card thingy where I keep my favorite verses for quick reference, and a notebook where I record verses I'm memorizing. What this photo doesn't show you is that I started memorizing verses in September, and never want to stop. Right now I'm working on a passage in Isaiah. I just read and read it until I know it. I'm surprised that memorizing is not as difficult as I expected it to be. I love this new practice of hiding God's word in my heart. 

This is the first year that both my kids are in school full time. It is crazy awesome and also I miss them a lot. But one thing I'm more free to do is go to lunch with friends.

What this photo can't show you is that I was meeting up with a friend whom I haven't seen in about a year. She is going through a disastrous situation and in need of encouragement. This photo doesn't show you that one of my biggest priorities is to be available to others. I gladly shuffle schedules and put off chores if a friend is in need. My heart is constantly burdened for other women in my life, particularly those who do not know my Jesus. I do my best to share His love when they need it most. 

Preferably over fish tacos.

I squeeze some errands into the day, and suddenly it's time for pick-up at school. Here is a common scenario. I'm running a little late, nearly out of gas, and my Check Engine light is on. That light has been on for about two years, by the way. Three car places haven't been able to get it to stay off, so whatevs. 

Yay! They're back in my arms. Well, at least my car. 50% of them were feeling uncooperative for a photo. The Angry Birds shirt was sort of ironic at that point. (Do your kids have grandparents that buy them character tees that you really don't want? Mmm hmm.)

What this picture doesn't show is that I try to be all "there" with them when they get in the car. No radio. Not on my phone. Just happy to see them, and interested in that long day they spent apart from me. It's all too easy to forget that six hours of their lives went by, and I wasn't a part of any of it. If stuff went down, I'm available to listen. And stuff does go down, more often than not. 

The first thing my kids and I do after school is what I call "Book Club." Since I am so tired at the end of the night, I now try to read to them right after school. They get snacks and a little downtime before hitting the books again. As long as they let me, I'll read classic literature to my kids. Books have always been a big part of our lives. This book, which we've almost finished, has been amazing. One of my new old favorites, for sure. 

Homework time is a bit easier with a blankie nearby. 

Many times in the afternoons, we have an activity to go to. What the photos don't show is that my husband and I have a loose guideline: our kids can choose one sport or extracurricular activity at a time. One. And even that makes us busier than I'd like to be. We live in southern California, where many of our friends have their children in three or more activities at a time. The families seem to be stressed out and overburdened. We've walked that line ourselves, and have chosen to do our best to keep things simple. When we do sign them up for that one high-demand activity, they are short seasons. And lots of fun. Right now, we have baseball and musical theater on the calendar. Check out my little slugger and my grubby pretend orphan.

Then dinnertime. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Anyone else? Sometimes I make really awesome stuff. Sometimes, all I can think of is grilled cheese. When we don't have a busy night, I try to distract my people from noticing I don't want to be in my kitchen for one more minute, and suggest we have a picnic at the beach. We pick up a bucket of chicken and bring along raw fruits and veggies. Who doesn't love that combo? 

Bedtime happens, at least for the kids. My son happens to be "starving" as soon as I leave the room every single night. My daughter hits the pillow and is out for the count. Tonight, I realized that I never did get around to this today. But the (albeit dirty) glass is half full, because I did meet with that friend. I did read with my kids. I did listen to their stories about the day. I did hug and kiss them a dozen times. I did pick wildflowers with them. I did cheer and drive and assist and make a teachable moment out of everything I possibly could. I did.

So I'm okay with the fact that I didn't do the dishes.

At the end of my day, I find myself sitting again with my tea. Green tea, this time. In the dark, in the silence.

I talk again to the Lord. What this photo doesn't show is all the little nicks from the day on my heart. The mistakes, the hurts, the unanswered questions, and the burdens. I don't even know I'm carrying all this until it's quiet and I approach Him. Here, He opens my eyes. The day's damage, all the unfinished business, the shame, and the waiting He's still asking me to do. The last thing I know before I sleep is that His grace covers me and my mistakes. He heals my heart and speaks love, friendship, and truth about who I am into my soul again.

And that keeps me going for one more day. 


thank you, leslie for getting us past the photo into the real life.  thank you for your humble heart and desire to follow Him.  from one tea addict to another, thank you for sharing your beautiful day.

if you're new, here is why i started a day in the life.
check out past guests in the series here.


Mary_Krause said...

i love this series and i loved hearing about your day, leslie.
i think we could have great conversations about fish tacos{favorite}, and my gas and engine light ALWAYS being on! :)
of course we would chat about our love for the Lord, and what He is working on in our lives.
i also love that you are available for people at any time.  that is a gift, and something i am working on very hard right now.  just being available for others.  thanks for the encouragement...the dishes can definitely wait!

sara said...

always ALWAYS an inspiration, leslie!  the reading after school, the purging of distractions to focus on the more important things to you, picnics, ONE activity at a time.......so very encouraging and affirming!!  thanks for this glimpse into your life!  xoxo

Colleen L said...

thanks for sharing an honest and humble glimpse into your beautiful life!  i love this series annalea - keep it up!

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