The truth is I am a fairly optimistic person. Lately though, I have been tired. You know the feeling. You are so tired you actually hurt.
Yesterday was a day. Let's just say that I had my limit. My 10 year old dissolved into tears over a timed math test and my 7 year old discovered how to make it snow in Central Florida. (hint: think styrofoam). I gave up and decided to head to our community pool. Physical education is a school subject after all! Besides, I thought a little sunshine might be good for me, too. Earlier, I had thrown up one of those prayers to Jesus, "Lord, Help me. I can't do this today. Send encouragement." Luckily, He delivers poolside.
I was watching the girls play another round of "Which mermaid are you?", and the lady who cleans the pool stopped by. This is what I have always called her. We struck up a conversation about the nice day and the lack of respect some kids have these days for public property. But then the conversation turned. She saw my sweet 6 month old and said, "Four girls, that is so great!" I was immediately encouraged because most people laugh or apologize to me for having four girls. As it turns out, she is a homeschooling mother of 5, and Her youngest is 17. Instantly, we had a connection. We spoke for about 15 minutes and my heart was lifted. When I left she said, "Keep going, it is worth it. And if you need a break, I live down the road."
I can't tell you how loved I felt. His great big love for me is wider and deeper than I will ever know. (Ephesians 3:18). Jesus knows when I need to be encouraged. He hears my cries for help. And He is willing to use whoever or whatever is available. Even pool cleaning ladies. Her name is Elaine. If I disappear for awhile, you can find me at her house.
P.S. Technically speaking I was in a chair...this time it just happened to be poolside.