When is the day done? When the sun sets? When the last plate has been dried and shelved? When the little one finally closes his eyes? When the weary motorist steps on the brakes a final time? When your head hits the pillow?
My day never seems to end. Not on those rare days when I am able to tick off every item on my to-do list, and not even on those times that I can count with the fingers of one hand, when Husband and I are on vacation and I don't have to be so chore-oriented.
In the home front, laundry has a life of its own. Two items are soiled as you fold and put away one item. Someone comes down for a late night snack just as you are enjoying the look of an empty dish drainer. In the homeschooling front, there is always that essay to be checked and discussed, or a difficult math problem that needs to be figured out. I will not even tell you anything about record keeping except that I have gained notoriety there. Then there are activities outside the house, like dental and medical appointments, food shopping that has to be thoughtfully planned if I don't want interim shopping cluttering the following week, accommodating invitations of co-midlifer friends who need company now and then, and buying clothes for the college freshman whose fashion sense got stunted when her frumpy mom insisted on homeschooling her for high school.
I do love my life and the lot that God has given me. I cannot imagine wanting to be anywhere else. But with everything that I have to do to keep that life and make it meaningful, I feel that almost nothing gets fully done, On a daily basis, I come face to face with my inadequacies.
Which is why, I need to end each day. To consciously and deliberately say that, yes, the day is done.
Because at the end of the day, I meet my God and He refreshes me.
I come to meet Him with what I have not accomplished and what I am not but hope to be, and He welcomes me with kindness and understanding. He is not the stern taskmaster. I present Him a list of my shortcomings, but while he chastises, He also readily forgives and invites me to the Sacrament of Confession. I complain and ask why things are not the way they should be, and He reminds me that I have to change myself before I demand to see any change. And as I complain, I am reminded of His blessings -- a loving husband, children who do not try their mom's limits, a functional home, and just enough to live by. And with thankfulness comes new resolutions, like patience for overflowing hampers, order in the children's lessons, creativity in planning meals, consideration for the uncomplaining husband, more frequent visits to the doting grandparents, braver attempts at weekday Masses, and gentleness and understanding for the stubborn child.
And with each encounter at the end of the day, I feel a little like those two travelers on the road to Emmaus. They recognized the Lord, and their hearts were filled with joy.
When is the day done? When my God calls and whispers, "Come to Me and I will give you rest."