I've been reading a book called "Desperate" by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae. I'm enjoying it. It was a good book to dive into after devouring "Love in the Balance" in just a few days. "Desperate" is written for young moms. Encouragement and practical help for those "little" days.
I'm not feeling so young, today. But I remember having little ones. Lots of them. Taking six kids seven and under grocery shopping when our baby (#6), who didn't ever take a pacifier and was quite fond of screaming, always made it interesting. My favorite time of the day was when Daddy walked in the door, followed closely by 8:00 PM, when all of them would be snoozing in their (own!) beds. I miss those days.
Just kidding. Except for the sleeping in their own beds part.
We are in a different season, now. We don't need babysitters - four of them live here. I have two kids who can drive to school, practice, AND the grocery store. The Coach is always welcomed with shouts of "Daddy is home!" but it's often immediately followed by, "I need help with my algebra homework!" He's in charge of the math homework and I edit papers. It's how we roll.
Reading this book has taken me down memory lane, a bit. Reminding me that my expectations in those days might have been just a titch unrealistic. Maybe. Yet in my very foggy, sleep deprived memory. . . we did a fairly good job of holding it all together.
I had LOTS of help. LOTS. An amazing Coach who has never paused before pitching in with dishes, baths, laundry folding. . . you name it. He's the master of bedtime stories (even if singing isn't his strength) and NO ONE in this house wants to go to sleep without his prayers over them. Me included.
My mother - who rarely missed a day coming by to read stories, change diapers, spoon cereal into baby mouths, or fold endless loads of laundry. Bless her heart. . . she's still folding.
Precious, sweet sitters who the Lord provided in His perfect time to help with kids, cleaning, and the MUCH needed and appreciated date nights and weekends away.
I realize I have been extraordinarily blessed.
But along the way. . . I've also learned to let some things go. Some days I'm not so sure it's been the right choice. I guess when you weigh "having your act together" against "sanity", it probably was. . . but I thought some confessing was in order. For you younger moms who are still trying to do it all?
1. I don't read my Bible every day. I don't. (I can hear the collective gasping!) I should. But I don't. Daily Audio Bible is helping me get closer. . . but I still have days it doesn't happen.
2. My kids watch WAY too much TV. There. I've said it. Now. . . at the Troops, "TV" means "Netflix" or "DVD" - I'm not a fan of the actual television programming. But we still over do it most days.
3. We don't have "A" junk drawer. Pretty much EVERY drawer is a junk drawer. Just try it next time you're here.
4. My wonderfully organized method of keeping and passing down the kids clothes. . . has been abandoned to the attic. Well, I guess I keep up with the girls' clothes pretty well. But the boys? Good grief! As if it's not bad enough that they grow an inch over night on a regular basis, they don't WEAR the same things. Seriously. . . one only wears Wranglers (and I still love him!), one needs Levi's for the LONG length with a trim waist. And another can still fit in Old Navy bought on sale. What would BE the point of saving them from one boy to another? Hence the abandoned tubs in the attic. I think there is a car seat or two up there, too.
5. I am overly fond of baking. And eating my baking. And baking more for my kids. And friends. And neighbors. And everyone who stops by. Especially Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (which I would be baking right now instead of writing this post except we are out of sugar - ha!).
6. For most of my adult life. . . OK, ALL of my adult life. . . I've been battling the same 20-25 pounds. I've lost and re-gained it no less than four times since Little Man joined our troops. And he's 5. Do the math. I'm either gaining or losing and right now? I'm carrying 20 of that extra around with me. Just sayin'. See #4.
7. I am not always kind. Or happy. Or patient. Just ask my kids. Although the TV helps. See #2.
8. I would much rather stay up late getting things done for tomorrow than go to bed early. The Coach would much rather go to bed at 9 and get up at 5. And yet we still manage to love each other tremendously. THAT is grace!
9. I still haven't written thank you notes from Christmas. CHRISTMAS!
The most amazing part of it all? I keep failing, falling behind, missing the standard by a mile. . . but my Heavenly Father is faithful. Always. His grace? Sufficient. Even when my strength isn't. Even when my patience fails and my physical weariness overcomes. . . HE is enough. And He has graciously surrounded me with a forgiving Coach and children, parents, and friends.
These busy crazy overwhelming days. . . make me even more grateful for the years that my parents invested in me. . . teaching me God's Word. . . helping me to hide it in my heart. . . so that even when I DO fail to be the model Christian (See #1. And #7.) and the day is long and my eyes don't find the pages of my Bible. . . the Holy Spirit Himself brings His WORD to my mind and draws me to Himself.
And I highly recommend the Daily Audio Bible app. Love it.
Should probably go turn off the TV and read a book to the kids, huh?
No, to be honest (might as well be), I'm going to let them finish their movie so I can take my feverish, stinky, haven'tshoweredintwodays self to the shower. After I have Daughter (#6) - who quit screaming when she was about 18 months old - put some color on my one inch gray roots. Since I won't be running today, because I have been too sick to pick up my new shoes that my orthotics go in.
This is reality. Shins that hurt. Fevers (mine and Son #4). Feeling too crummy to shower for days. Messy houses. Long nights. Impatient mommas.
And a God of Grace.