Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Truth Comes Out

I am having another one of those moments when I feel the weight of having four boys (funny - I accidentally typed "three" instead of "four" and had to backspace). Anywho, this "moment" has lasted about, oh I don't know, 11 days.

The first moment like this was when I was folding laundry for all six of us, all mixed together in one load. I was going crossed-eyed trying to figure out all the proper piles of jammies, pants, socks, and shirts. Remember that post?

This eleven-day moment is really a reprise of yesterday's post. And Monday's, too. Second verse - SAME AS THE FIRST! I am frustrated that I can't fit everything in to the day. I have so many things I want to be intentional about with my kids, yet the actual care and feeding of them and Ryan keeps on getting in the way (darn it!). How ironic: I could raise these kids a lot better if I didn't have any kids to raise. Ha!

I want to disciple my kids in the Lord, teach my kids how to be diligent hard workers, to know their Bible, to be good students, to treat their brothers well, to be generous givers, to memorize scripture, to love to read, to keep their room clean, to be helpful, to follow through to completion with a task, to ride a bigger bike, to obey the first time, to speak respectfully...

In a way I feel like I did when I was a first-time mom. You remember (or you are living it now) when you could hardly fold one basket of laundry throughout the course of an entire day; and it was all you could do to get dinner on the table - but you can forget about eating that dinner while it was hot... aw, who am I kidding?! I would have settled for just eating it warm! Nothing like cold mashed potatoes squishing around in your mouth.

Anyway, I am totally living in that place right now, where I am hoping that the laundry gets folded before a week goes by and we are actually digging through the baskets for clean undies. This week, four baskets sat clean but cold and wrinkly for two days before they got any of my attention.

And all day long the kids ask for my attention. They each have a mantra all their own:
Davis: Can we read another chapter out of ______ book?
Jackson: How about if we play a game together. Connect Four, or Rat-a-Tat-Cat. You choose. Or walking soccer, since you don't run. (Someday again, right pelvic floor?!?)
Weston: Pee-pees, Mommy! Pee-PEES!! Read? EAT!
Drake: Feed me, change me, put me to bed. BURP! Feed me, change me, put me to bed. BURP!Feed me, change me, put me to bed. BURP! Feed me, change me, put me to bed. BURP!...

And I love it. I want to read, play games, work puzzles, be silly, wrestle and cuddle at least once every day. But, honest-engine, there is not always time in the day for each of those things. In order for everyone to be taken care of - just yer basic feeding and care - takes nearly every moment I have. Now granted, I have a part-time job working for my husband that takes me away 15 hours a week. (Did I mention I love working with him?) But the bottom line here is life is full!

But my mother-in-law called me this morning. She is a loyal reader of my blog and read yesterday's post and said something encouraging that really blessed me. She has a great perspective on this because she loves living a life full of serving others and I believe it grieves her that she cannot be there 100% of the time for each and every dear friend and family member in her life (though she does everything she can to give everything she has... she has an incredible servant's heart). She reminded me that its okay to not get it all done. The yearning can leave you with a sweet taste in your mouth for a day to come when you can do more - that's called hope. In the mean time, be patient. This season is intense but short.

So, I am working through all this right now. I know I want to do everything I can to raise my kids well, but I must remember that I can't do it all right now. Not with an infant, anyway. But a day will come when I can give more attention, spend more time, be less scattered for the whole family. And I can live in that hope while still enjoying today.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I am sitting here feeling the EXACT same way..only I have one less than you! Thank you for the validation. Thank you for the truth. Tomorrow, I am going to just do the best I can!!

Ginger@chirgies said...

Oh Jenne, I hear you!!! That phrase, 'The days are long, but the years are short' has become one of my favorite mantras. I too get sucked into the 'if only' line of thinking, which I think is a place the enemy would love to keep us. I also think we place too high of expectations on ourselves too. So maybe some, ok a lot, of things won't get done, but that's ok. You can only do so much, and so whatever you are able to do, do it to your best, whether it's feeding that baby and stroking his cheek while praying for him, or turning an omelette for the love of Jesus. Thanks for the confessions about the laundry sitting - makes me feel more 'normal'. :) Hang in there girl!


jenki said...

I don't get it? It's not normal to leave laundry all over? What about only scrubbing my toilet when I see build up?
My mom, bless her heart, stopped cooking when I was....?...9. She never did all of the laundry, just what we asked for. She never prayed with me....not once. She did however tell me she loved me every day.
He is big enough to fill in our gaps, that is why He is God and I am NOT!!! I'm not Jan Ivester either:)..not even close.
Press on my fantastic sister...You are EXACTLY what He wanted!
Love you, Jen

psychninja said...

Right there with you, sister! There are so many things that feel like "have to's." I find myself grouchy and stressed out . . . and hopefully catch myself in that mode in time to remember that I only have these dear little ones for a short time. While it's easiest to put "mommy time" on the back burner, I have to remember that it's the one thing that I can't necessarily do later. Hard to get used to the idea that the next time the laundry will be all done or the house REALLY clean might be in 10 years! (Secretly, I suspect that it may happen sooner when they're both in school and I'm trying to distract myself from how much I miss them all day!!) Hang in there. You're an inspiration! I'm not brave enough to say "yes" to child #3 yet!