Tuesday, November 1, 2011
How do we do this??
I remember years ago, I was part of a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. I was raising two, or maybe all three of my boys at the time, and they were all preschool/baby age. Three. Boys. Preschool age. And my life was very hard. I remember being shocked at how really difficult it was, and I felt unprepared for the sheer amount of raw energy it took on top of very little sleep. My journal entries from those days are filled with dramatic accounts of feeling like I was treading water-- and sometimes drowning-- in cleaning, laundry, loving, feeding, disciplining, changing diapers, and wiping runny noses. Many entries include quoting Scripture and begging God to help me. Yes, I was joyful and happy with my precious little flock, but I was tired too, and often feeling run down. At MOPS, we would deposit our children in classes around the church where the meetings were held, and gather together for some breakfast and coffee, listen to a speaker we could relate to, and then divide into groups to pray and discuss the topic for the day. I remember crying sometimes at those meetings. Not out of sadness, but out of joy, because I was someplace where PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD what I was going through. It was so encouraging just to know that I was not alone in my journey as a mom. That it really is hard, and I was not crazy, but we could all make it through with God's help.
That was many years ago, and those boys are older, but they are still boys. : ) I still also have a preschooler, and I am also homeschooling. I am not sure my life is any easier than it was then, but at least I am used to it! : )
Anyway, I was thinking today about my life as a wife and mom. About the many hats I wear, and how I feel the need to wear all of them well. I took time today to really think about everything that I do. Everything that is on my plate...all of the plates I have to keep spinning. And I am quite sure that YOU are a whole lot like me!
As Christian wives/moms, We are expected to:
-Have a vibrant relationship with God. Most important!
-Be a good wife. In many different ways....
-Keep an orderly house including...
-Cleaning the kitchen, cleaning it again, and cleaning it again.
-Train our children in the way they should go...in our house we have devotions together and memorize verses
-Provide nutritious meals and snacks each day, and make sure those meals get cleaned up after
-Grocery shop on a budget
-Make sure all the children have clothes to wear for all the different seasons, shopping for and rotating them when needed.
-Schedule and accompany kids to doctor and dentist appointments
-Make sure everyone has clean clothes in their drawers--mounded up on the couch doesn't count--or does it?
-Discipline the kids in love, and not anger : )
-And for homeschool moms--plan for the kids' education, including shopping for and buying all materials needed and...
-Teach all or most of the subjects to multiple aged kids
-Supervise music practice and endure any whining
-Chauffer kids around to Gymnastics, Speech Class, Violin, etc...
-Clean up all manner of messes made by children and animals
-Do fun things as a family
-Plan and spend quality time with each child
-Be a good friend and neighbor
-Serve the Lord in various ministries in and out of church
-Reach out to people in need
-I am sure I am forgetting some!
Yes, the family helps with some of these things, but the responsibilty really feels like it rests with us in the end, doesn't it? I promise I am not having a pity party. The point of this post is to encourage you, not discourage you! Just like at MOPS, I want us all to be reminded that we are all in this together. It makes me feel exhausted just thinking about that list, and yet, I do it. Well, kinda, sorta not really....but I do it! How do we do it??? I'm honestly not sure, but I do know that it is ONLY by God's mighty hand that it happens at all.
I am amazed at the list of things I do, because I know that in my own strength I certainly could not do it all. Somehow God gives me the energy, the patience, the stamina I need to keep going--and the grace, forgiveness, mercy and encouragement I need when I really mess up.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.-- Philippians 4:13
Sweet, tired mom, you are doing a great job! Keep up the good work!!