Monday, May 30, 2016

Overwhelmed but Unshakable

(Written two weeks ago...)

Parenting isn't for the faint of heart. I tell myself that frequently when I am pushed to the end of my strength over and over again.

By a messy grown-up boy whose stuff trips me every time I walk into the room.

By a broken-hearted daughter who needs more time to talk.

By the middles who constantly take my phone and put it places where I can't find it.  (Just a hint, my FB is their FB.  They LOVE seeing all of my friend's posts.  Now you know.)

By Little Man's never ending one-more-question-mom-just-one-more-thing.

By the never-ending activities, games, uniforms, laundry, food to be fixed and dishes to be done, dorm room stuff to be sorted, FULL calendars, to-do lists that have to be added to constantly, and the exhaustion that seems to find new depths every single day.

I won't lie - I'm overwhelmed with it all.

Then, I walk by the playroom at 10:30 on a Sunday night, when the Coach has gone to bed and the younger kids have, too.  When I've been working on lists for the week and digging out from the email.  After I went to the store so I could make dinner, then cut three heads of hair, before another three loads of laundry.

And there my three oldest sit watching Aladdin.  Together.  Laughing because none of them have ever seen it.

Can I just tell you?  I may be overwhelmed.  But my heart is full.  These people, MY people, are my favorites.  For all of the exhaustion and busyness and things that must be done...

This is the best life.  Truly.

Because when Son (#1) leaves for his summer job in Colorado this week?  We'll all MISS him.  And stalk Instagram for pictures of him.
When the Coach and Son (#3) leave for Honduras to work at a mission there after school gets out?  I'll cry because they will take my heart with them.
When Son (#4) leaves for Montana on a leadership/missions trip?  It will leave a big giant HOLE in our troops.
When Son (#3) leaves for Impact 360 Immersion in Atlanta?  I'll be sad because when he's gone it's just not the same.
When Daughter (#2) leaves for Africa with Reaching Souls International?  I'll MISS her.  So much.

My hope is in the undeserved grace of our loving Lord, not in getting it all right.  And that's enough.

And yes, the boys do stand on their toes to try to be taller than each other.  Never a dull moment.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Can I confess something?

I'm hiding.

Turns out the only non-messy and somewhat quiet place in my house is my Daughter's (#5) room.  Which was Daughter's (#2) for the longest time, but has been occupied by the second girl in the family since college began in the Fall for our oldest girl.

I'm not hiding because I'm trying to avoid my family.  They've been sweet and kind today.  Flowers from the Coach, gifts and cards from the troops.  Church with all eight of my kids (so rare).  Brunch with my mom and mom-in-law, courtesy of my Dad's famous pancakes.

But the house?  I have no words.  Son's (#1) stuff from college that's being sorted for storage until next Fall and another Summer at the ranch.  Daughter's (#2) stuff she's started bringing home - she'll be back for good in another week. Laundry.  So much laundry.  I've just decided not to fold it, today.

And my email?  Fast approaching 100 unread messages.  Yikes.  Not the time of year to avoid that, for sure.  Both email and calendar desperately needed attention.  So here I sit.

The Coach ordered me a new silverware rack for our dishwasher for mother's day.  He's ever practical - and honestly, having to place the silverware strategically to avoid all of the broken places IS super annoying.  He knows it's been driving me crazy.  He has so many amazing qualities that I adore - I couldn't ask for someone more perfect for me.

We had a lovely date night last night (it had been SO long) with coffee after.  Which followed Captain America Civil War with all of the kids in the afternoon.  Which followed flower shopping for the yard.  Which followed a 6 mile run and breakfast together.

It's just unglamorous life here.  Every day life with girls arguing over which dress they were going to wear first or little man making his own pine cone bird feeders all over the dining room table, or someone deciding to make a blue funfetti cake (because we had the mix?) at 4:30 in the afternoon.  Smells like it burned.

It's messy.  I admit at times I wish for something more... well... less messy.

You hope, as a mom, that you have taught (are teaching?) you kids to serve others, to think of others, to be kind and lay aside their own comfort or convenience to help someone else.  I'm not so sure that today's picture of my success at that is a pretty one. I love my troops, but we'd have to dig them out of this house if no one made them help put things away and wash dishes and fold laundry.

For now?  I'm going to leave it all until tomorrow.

I'm going to remember that just as the Lord isn't done with me yet (Whew!), I'm not done with my troops, either.  Neither is their Heavenly Father, who loves them way more than I ever could and has given them the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to transform their hearts - something no amount of mothering could ever do.  That's my greatest hope - that's it's not all dependent on me.  Thank you, Jesus.

If only Starbucks would deliver in here.

For my sweet mom and my mom friends who have kids who are breaking their hearts today (and not just messing up their house?)?  I'm praying for you.  God loves those prodigals in unimaginable ways.  Even when I just want to strangle them for the pain they cause you.  He forgives.  He continues to draw them to Himself.  We haven't seen the last chapter of your story, yet.

Keep praying.  Keep hoping.  Keep loving.  Keep forgiving even when your heart continues to be broken by their destruction.

If you need me in the meantime, I'll be available by email (which is now all read, thankfully) until the laptop battery dies.  Because I am NOT going out there to get the cord.  Someone probably moved it and didn't put it back, anyway, so what's the use?

Happy Mother's Day, Friends.  Grateful for each one of you and the way you bless me in this journey.