sometimes i miss cassette tapes. i miss the sound that they made when you rewound them. remember that sound...


i need that sound in my life sometimes. like this morning.

here was the status update on facebook...

Lea Noblin Marshall
made 48 homemade cinnamon rolls. woke up someone whose alarm wasn't set correctly. fed 3 children breakfast. weathered a "where is my calculator? i have a trig exam!" crisis. delivered stressed high school student to her exam in the nick of time. delivered cinnamon rolls to middle school faculty meeting. and is ready to run the middle school carpool to middle school. all before 8 a.m. is it Christmas break yet?

and here is the REST OF THE STORY...

i got out of my warm bed at 5 a.m. so i could roll out the cinnamon roll dough that i made last night. i wanted to get them all made and in the oven so i wouldn’t be all stressed when the kids got up. i had volunteered to make cinnamon rolls for the middle school faculty breakfast. a once a year thing for me. 

so, speaking of the kids getting up, i am working on all of them getting up to their own alarm clocks. they all have different times they need to get up and it can vary day by day and i just can’t keep track of all that in my middle aged brain. besides it is a life skill that they need obtain. right?

i looked down the hallway at 6:50 (at this point you need to know that millie leaves for school with her carpool at 7:10. she usually appears to pick at her breakfast and drink her hot tea at 7:00ish). whoopsie, her light is still off. not good. i go to wake her. seems she set her alarm clock for 7:00 NOT 6:00. at this point i know that i should at some point let her reap the consequences. but it is the Christmas season and trig exam morning and it is a time for OUTPOURING OF GRACE over the reaping of hideous consequences. we will deal with alarm clock setting lessons at a later date when exams are not occurring. but despite the late awakening she gets ready on time. Christmas miracle. 

so now rosie is up and eating breakfast. the rolls are ready. 2 huge pans keeping warm and be iced right before i take them. my schedule is set in my head. 7:10 - millie is picked up, 7:15- lea gets dressed, 7:45- take rosie to school then take rolls to be at middle school by 8. then home to pick up maxx and claire to take them to middle school for their day to begin. check. check. and check. not an ounce of stress. peace and love and warm fuzzies all around.

millie’s carpool came. she left. i went back to our room to get quietly dressed (adam is still sleeping). the phone rings. millie is in the carpool car and can’t find her fancy smancy calculator that she MUST have to pass the trig exam. the carpool turns around to bring her back home. adam wakes up because of the chaos of me throwing on clothes and calling millie back to find out where that calculator might be. now i am going to have to take her to school. and take rosie to the elementary school AND deliver the cinnamon rolls to the middle school. oh, and ice the cinnamon rolls. oh, and find the calculator.

and even though i am relatively calm on the outside during this whole time (except for the icing throwing)... inside i am singing the “dirge of the great martyr named lea”. it goes something like this... oh, if only millie had set her alarm correctly. I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING FOR THESE KIDS. oh, if only adam would wake up early and help me with ALL of this (not that he stayed up late helping millie with her studying and oh, he does WORK ALL DAY!). I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE. oh, if only other mothers not as important and busy as i am would take in cinnamon rolls. I AM THE BOMB.COM AND I AM ABOUT TO EXPLODE. oh, oh woe is me. woe is me. OH, WOE IS ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

it is a catchy little tune. a bit too catchy. like the bubonic plague. spread by rats. little fanged thoughts that spread lies through my head. through my soul. suffice it to say that it was not well with my soul.

and whilst this dirge is playing in my head... millie finds the calculator. in her book bag. i am dressed-ish (granted it is what i wear most mornings). cinnamon rolls are iced. adam says he can get dressed and take rosie. and millie arrives at the exam right on time. and the cinnamon rolls are even a bit early. home on time to take middle school carpool. all fine. except in my soul because... i should have known better. i should have reacted better.

had i taken a deep breath at any point in the hyper crazy 10 minutes and thought about it for a second or two, if i had taken a moment to pray, if i had taken a millisecond to seek the Prince of Peace...then i would have realized that there was plenty of time to do it all. without waking adam up. without rushing around throwing icing around on everything. without disturbing the peace of a thursday morning.

but i didn’t take that moment to breath. i charged right through it lea marshall style. conquer with multitasking fervency and utter sheer martyring will of forcefulness. how many times will i just FORCE MY WAY without taking the time to breath? how many times will mrs. GET IT DONE RIGHT NOW AND MY WAY have to rear her ugly head before i learn a more excellent way? will i get to the end of my days and realize there was plenty of time, God had given me MORE than i could ever ask or imagine and yet, i always thought in scarcity. there won’t be enough time, money, me to go around. when will i put two and two together and KNOW, really KNOW that if God is a God of the cattle on a thousand hills that He can rule over the icing of cinnamon rolls and lost calculators. and He can even deal with moms who are at their breaking point before 7:30 a.m. singing songs of death in their heads.

and so then for the next hour i beat myself up about it. mentally. i kept thinking about wanting to hear that rewind sound. just rewind about 10 minutes. that was all the rewinding that i needed. just 10 minutes. this next time, i will handle it better. i will approach it with a calm and gentle spirit. with dignity. with Christ at the center... but i don’t get to redo that ten minutes. i just get to face the next ten minutes. and the next. and all the ones that He gives me.

perhaps an OUTPOURING OF GRACE is needed by everyone at this time of the year, since cassette tapes are passe and rewind doesn’t exist except in one place...

romans 7: 21-25
 So I find this law at work: 
Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 
What a wretched man I am! 
Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

ephesians 2: 4 
But because of his great love for us, 
God, who is rich in mercy, 
made us alive with Christ 
even when we were dead in transgressions—
it is by grace you have been saved. 

zephaniah 3:17 
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
   in His love He will no longer rebuke you,
   but will rejoice over you with singing.

i may not hear the sound of a cassette tape rewinding. but i do hear the sound of someone singing over me... and it isn’t a dirge. it is a love song.