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Long Day

Today was the first day of school for my Preschooler, 1st and 3rd grader.  It was a special day full of first day photographs and trying to get our family settled into a new routine.  My day was anything but routine.  It was an especially long day.

7:45 am // Left the house with all the kids, carrying their back packs, lunch sacks, and school supplies.

8:00am // Arrive at work and realize that I’ve left my back pack at home.  That back pack holds my Macbook, amongst other important things.

8:25 am // I decide to stay at work and just pick it up at lunch.

8:26 am // Can’t find my Moleskine, and realize it’s in my backpack.  The backpack is at home.  That moleskine holds my life and entire weeks worth of to-do lists.

8:45 am // Get home and realize that the Moleskine is NOT in my backpack.

9:00 am // Find the Moleskine back in my office.  Sitting in the middle of my desk.

9:50 am // The quick 15 minute meeting that started at 9:00am is finally over.

10:00 am // I settle into my office to get some work done before lunch, but did I mention that it’s the first day of school?  I office in a Parent’s Day Out building.  The sounds of screaming, crying children surround me.  The first day is a particularly loud day of crying.

11:30 am // I decide to head off-campus to get some lunch and work on a talk that I’m giving on Wednesday Night.  I’m looking for a nice place with some free Wi-Fi.

11:40 am // I arrive at Freebirds to eat lunch, only to leave horrified that it cost over $7.99 for a burrito.  I only have $5 in my pocket.  I knew I liked Chipotle better.

11:45 am // I arrive at Schlotzsky’s (Funny Name, Serious  Sandwich) to eat lunch.  Can’t find a parking spot.  Hit steering wheel in disgust.

12:00 pm // I arrive at United Market Street to pick up some pizza and a Coke, and eat in their super large eating area with free Wi-Fi.

12:15 pm // Still waiting for my food.

12:30 pm // Finally pay for my food, but can’t find a seat.  I guess every mother in town had lunch at Market Street since their kids were back at school.  Blerg.

12:45 pm // I decide to head home and eat lunch.  I figure I can get some work done at home.  It’s quiet there, no kids around.

12:46 pm // WhenI get home the neighbor is laying new concrete edging in their front yard.  Some cue the loud latino music, and concrete truck.

1:15 pm // I hurridly eat my pizza at home, and decide to just give up and head back to my office and try to work from there.

1:30 pm // I get to my office and it’s quiet.  It seems to be nap time at the Parent’s Day Out.

1:31 pm // Open to my office door to find that my lovely wife has taken up residence on my desk to finish up some of her work projects.

1:40 pm // I move Starr to an empty office nearby, and head back to my office.

1:41 pm // The Internet goes down in my office.  Shoot me now!

2:30 pm // I finally get some calendaring done in Outlook, and start to get busy on my to-do lists.  I’m now interupted by all the kids waking up from their afternoon naps at the Parent’s Day Out.

3:00 pm // After going to the bathroom, and returning I discover that I forgot I had a 3:00 pm meeting.  The person I’m meeting with is sitting in my office.

4:00 pm // The 3:00pm meeting is over, and our ARENA cHMS people are waiting for our 4:00pm meeting.  I will spend the next hour in this meeting.

5:15 pm // I arrive home and hug and kiss my entire family.  I get to find out how their first days were.  Good times.

5:45 pm // I wake up from an accidental nap.  I fell asleep with my neck tied up in a knot and stuck behind my back.  Ouch!

6:00 pm // I sneak out real quick for a haircut at the greatness of Sports Clips (Haircuts for Men).  But during my entire haircut, I’m assaulted by my stylist verbally when she finds out I’m a pastor.  She wants to know how much I get paid, what I do all week since I don’t really do anything when it’s not Sunday morning, and wants to know why I would even want to work at a church.

7:45 pm // After dinner I head out for what should be a quick 4 mile run.

8:00 pm // About 15 minutes into my run, I have to stop at a traffic intersection.  I  accidentally  push STOP on my iPhone Runkeeper App (review forthcoming), instead of PAUSE.  That resets my entire run history, and now I have to stand at the intersection and reprogram the stupid app for the last 3 miles of the run. Blerg…

8:30 pm // Finally get home.

9:50 pm // Watch my Texas Rangers get within 2 outs of no-hitting the hated Minnesota Twins and then give up a hit.  No no-hitter for tonight.

10:00 pm // Head to bed, and hope it all works out better tomorrow.  Good Night!

In spite of this super long day, I am still super blessed to have lived it.  Glory to God that my long days are still such pleasant  inconveniences!

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Jeff Mc Clung · August 23, 2010

    This looks like how I felt today. Glad to know that I’m not the only one swimming in the details of life and Children’s Ministry. Hope tomorrow flows better for you!

  2. Cheri · August 24, 2010

    Enjoyed reading this Jonathan!

  3. Kenny · August 29, 2010

    You’re right. Chipotle is better. :)