Introducing Martha, the lady of the house. Martha had retired from her job as an events organizer when she was expecting. Now she was the mother of five year old twins, Beau and Celeste. Her sprogs were in their first year of primary school.
One classic suburban night, Martha was still attending to her twins' whining needs at ten o'clock. She had got half her pyjamas on, before Beau and Celeste started their attention seeking competition. "Not one more drink of water!" she grumbled at her adorable offspring. "Yes, I know it is dark.Now go to sleep! There is no one knocking on your window. It is the wind!"
Heading back to the fridge for wine o'clock, Martha found a notice from the school, a piece of paper, half under the refrigerator. One of her little treasures had forgotten to give it to her.
"Oh no!" Martha groaned aloud. Stunned, she read, "Tomorrow is purple theme day." This called for very quick thinking. Purple theme day meant purple clothes and a purple-based lunchbox for each of her twins. Purple times two, in other words. Suburban disaster awaited Martha as she gazed at her pantry. It was the day before grocery shopping day.
Grabbing her car keys at that late hour, she drove to the 24/7 store. There she found some purple juice in micro cartons, and the very last bunch of purple grapes. It was the final cluster of potential wine. But Martha had no time that night to be tired. She could still make purple iced cupcakes and purple jellies.
It was show time in her kitchen. She still had not finished putting on her pyjamas. Martha's husband had gone to sleep in bed, his laptop in front of him. She rummaged to find a couple of older purple t-shirts, and one pair of purple socks. Dreadful, but this was necessary, so her twins would fit in to their peer group.
Now to make cupcakes. Being a good all round Mum, she had purple food coloring. Her oven was soon hot enough, Martha was on fire tonight! The dog was in the laundry, to prevent him eating her culinary creations, bit of a lad that one. Martha created two mini purple jellies, she was going to be a winner. "Mothering should not be a competition," she told herself. Finally, Martha collapsed into bed, setting her alarm discreetly. She had to arise early, to assemble all this purpleness, like the lunchboxes, and getting her twins to wear purple.
Martha said a quick, silent prayer to Jesus, her best friend. What would Jesus say to her? "Keep smiling, keep praying." It was now past midnight, the household slumbered. Martha woke up at 5 am, had she slept in? No, it was going to be okay. Turning off her alarm, no time to dress up, this was purple day.
The twins were grumpy this morning, as usual. Definitely not morning little people. Martha was still clad in her pyjama bottoms, with her old t-shirt on top. She did not realize she had a blob of purple icing in her slightly brushed hair. Celeste, at breakfast, was being her usual normal picky self, rejecting her usual array of cereal. "Very first world," Martha thought. But the twins were only five years old .
Martha showed them their purple theme lunchboxes, all plated up. Beau made vomit noises, boys will be boys. Martha kept on smiling, as her bestie in Heaven kept advising her. "I'm not eating all that for lunch!" Celeste crossly told her mother. Then she tried to slurp all her milk from her breakfast bowl.
Martha kept on keeping on. The twins were very slow in dressing in purple, reluctant learners this morning. Martha finally had them strapped into their car seats, off to their academy of Christian learning. Maybe she would get an "A" in tolerance.
The twins slammed the car doors, as they headed into the classroom. Martha's phone pinged, a text. It was her husband. He was as cross as her kids. "This kitchen looks like a bomb hit it! There is purple goo all over our bed. The dog is still in the laundry, and I am late. Where's my coffee?"
"Smile!" Martha told herself. She sat in her car and texted back a smile. "I'll take care of all that. Have a great day!" She sounded like a supermarket chick, but nice with it. Another flash car roared away from the school drop-off zone. "Run, women, run!" Martha thought, wondering how they got the time to hold down jobs, as well as manage the domestic side of life.
Just then, there was a rap on her car window. "Oh, no!" Martha tried to slink down in her seat. It was the school principal, Ms. Galleon, an impressively scary sight. "Can I have a word with you" Martha was trying to hide that she still had her pyjamas on. "Was she in detention from the fashion police? Or was it the religion committee?" she pondered.
"I am hoping you can assist us," said Ms. Galleon, aptly named. "We need someone like you to head up our breakfast program before school. Everyone else is too busy. We have kids here who are malnourished, for different reasons. They have no breakfast, or decent meals, and are struggling to keep up with learning."
Martha did a double take. Had her Lord sent her an opportunity? This job brought a salary, she could contribute financially to their household. Martha mumbled that she would let the principal know. Ms. Galleon actually smiled, and Martha made her trek home. She hopped in the shower, took the dog for a walk on a sunny morning. Then she sparkled her kitchen, removing all traces of purple.
All the while, Martha was considering this job offer. No reason she could not do it, feeding kids was her special subject. The income would come in handy, with all their expenses. She texted her husband, sending a photo of their gleaming house. He phoned her, so she told him told him about her job offer.
It would mean they would all have to wake up earlier, she could take the twins. They could meet some other children, some of the have-nots. Martha would have to source foods for school breakfast, but their community had a food bank. Her husband make kissy noises,as he was over his grumpy. He volunteered to walk the dog in the mornings, when Martha started her job. They were really a good team, with their twins' best interests at heart.
So Martha was no longer retired. She joined the team at the primary school, a team of Christians. She welcomed the change in their routine in a positive manner. She had kept on smiling, now there was peace with her daily doves. (She fed the birds in her back yard too.) No one was going hungry, not on Martha's turf. "A wise woman builds," she told herself, she was building a future for lots of kids. "Have a great day!"
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