Donkey Kong and Diddy
by Ashley Randleman
I’m tired, but my heart is full. We are just about ready to finish up two weeks of 5-days-in-a-row-of-Homeschool, and I’ve been putting four kids to bed by myself the past couple of weeks as Jeremiah caught the flu last week and is still recovering. I’m amazed at myself and God’s goodness and grace.
There have been a slew of long days, late nights, and let-me-at-least-kiss-you-on-the-cheek-before-you-get-out-the-door type of mornings.
On Donkey Kong, when the character Diddy can’t quite make the jump or throw the barrel, he gets to do an amazing thing - he slaps Kong in! They trade positions in their quest of getting through the tunnel, forest, or cave, and Diddy happily follows instead of leads. That’s my Friday.
But, today, it wasn’t. I led.
Jeremiah came home briefly while we were doing school and snuggled the kids a bit and laid on the guest room bed. He had a wedding rehearsal to lead at 5pm with a meeting beforehand at 4pm. It was 3:42pm, and I sweetly asked him what time he needed to be at the church. He responded with an, “4… 4:15 at the latest.” My Kong was wanting to stay. (Insert dreamy eyes.)
He got up to go freshen up and change. As I was occupied with Nathan’s schoolwork, I didn't realize that Lydia, my near-3-year-old, also left the room to go freshen up and change. She came back with her tutu on and her Frozen slipper shoes in hand. She was wanting me to help her put them on. She left before I could assist her. The next thing I knew, Jeremiah was carrying her into the school room as she was sobbing with big crocodile tears running down her cheeks saying, “Daddy won’t let me go with him.” Heartbreaking.
So, I took her into my arms and consoled her. I told her that I miss Daddy too and that I was sorry she couldn’t go with him. I told her that we were going to pray for Daddy and that she was going to be ok. And so we did. We prayed for Daddy.
We prayed for us as well. We asked God to give him and us the strength and grace for yet another evening without him. Today I learned that when you can’t slap Kong in, there is extra strength for Diddy.
Pray for your husband. When you miss him, his smile, his laugh, his touch, pray. Pray for his day and not just your own. Pray that you would keep a good heart and attitude towards him through the long days and late nights and early mornings and everything in between.
When you see his fatigue - love harder - and make him a cup of tea. Encourage your kids to pray for their Daddy. To lift him up in their prayers. They miss him too. Don’t be surprised when their “miss” shows up in various forms: clinginess, fits, sensitivity, sneakiness, defiance, and simple disobedience.
Love hard, dear momma. Brush your teeth and touch up your hair and makeup before he gets home. Have a hot meal on the table. Bake him his favorite dinner or dessert...or both.
Your husband is amazing. Tell him. Show him how much you appreciate him. Be the loudest cheerleader in his arsenal. Remind yourself, that this is only a season. It hasn’t always been this “dense” nor will it always remain at this pace.
And so, dear Diddy, hang in there. You will have more long days and late nights. You will continue to meet each other coming and going. The next time, you may be the one crying the big crocodile tears and watching him back out of the driveway. But, if you keep praying and asking God to help, I promise, you will win.
Sometimes, the things you want the most and can’t have are the very things that God uses to refine you, perfect you and discipline you with. So, cheer up! Wipe those tears away. Remember to pray and know that help is on the way.
Ashley Randleman is a pastor’s wife of 10 years and a mother of four (Nathan-6, Josiah-4, Lydia-2, and Titus-1). She and her husband, Jeremiah, planted River Church in February 2014. Ashley has a heart for the mothers and women in her life and church. She pours into them on a weekly basis from the comfort of her living room carpet over strong coffee and meaningful conversation.