Oh my, this may turn into a monster of a post because my brain is a wild mix of very tired and very full all at the same time. I feel like I jump out of bed every morning already running and do a nose-dive back into it every night just hoping for a few zzzzz's on my pillow, still imprinted with the marks I left on it from the night before. When I think back to pre-kids I laugh at the busyness I thought I had. I WAS busy, but with things I filled my plate with and in some weird way I liked to be busy.... I think it made me feel somewhat important to have "so many things" going on, it gave me purpose at times, and it filled me up at other times. Needless to say, busy has a new definition these days after 1 husband, 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a fish later. (Yes, 2 dogs....more on that another day :) This girl didn't know busy until these last few months. And would you believe me if I told you I do not have one stinking thing on my plate at this moment other then raising 3 boys, a little child-care that I provide still, and an occasional small group meeting (which is very occasional these days since we all have new babies!). I sat up the other night nursing a sick baby and tried to think of anything I do outside my house.... getting groceries, volunteering at school, and returning library books does not count.
I never in a million years when I was a little girl and wished for nothing more then to be a mommy think this life would be this way. It looked so easy from my perspective back then. Get married and have babies.... binga banga boom. Happy life, check! I didn't see the signs that I am sure my mother had of exhaustion, long hours, dirty hair, spit-up on clothes, empty coffee pots, dirty floors, and......happy kids. Oh yes, I do sort of kinda remember that visual. These days I am that visual. And some days, it gets the best of me. And then at my better moments, I remember God's words for me to be still. Our culture tells us to be busy, to do lots, cram things in, act stressed and over-commited, and never say no. Our Father tells us just the opposite. I think partly because HE knows that amongst the nitty gritty of intentionally raising these little ones, we have to find stillness in our heart because the work-load from raising children alone is simply put; busy. I need time to plan out activities and fun games that not only show my children how much fun we can have together, but also hear God's word. I need time to prepare good meals so we can gather around a table together and share in good conversation. I need time to turn my house into home, a place where all who live here want to land here at the end of their day. I need time to read stories to and listen to stories read to me, as my children learn that books and learning can take them anywhere. I need time to just sit and hold a baby, while he learns to trust and love. I need time to discipline, yes, that's right.... to pay attention to my children's stages and guide them lovingly and patiently. I need time to let interruptions happen in our day, so others feel welcome in our home and know our door is always open and inviting. I need time to have my kid's friends over, so our home can become a place for young ones to safely and lovingly grow, play, and be together. I need time to properly provide for my family, so they are healthy, clean, and physically taken care of. I need time to make family traditions, so my kids can look forward to and build on family togetherness through things we do together. I need time to just sit and pray, so my children are daily taken to the One who does truly watch over their every breath and step in life.
Being busy and having time go hand in hand for me these days. I must carve out the time to let my days be filled with the busyness of raising our kids and being a home provider, so that at the end of my day when I fall into bed exhausted I know my tired brain, heart, and body will have been best used for this season of life. This life as a mama is happy and wonderful and the most rewarding job I've ever done and ever will. It is also very hard some days, very tiring some days, and more then I ever dreamed. Even though I am so tired these days I addressed all my out of state Christmas cards to Iowa, tried to use my face moisturizer on my tooth-brush, put my milk away in my food pantry, returned some movies to the library and took some books back to the movie store, and can't remember what I did 1 hour ago.... this spit up on, dirty haired, overly coffee-ed, owner of dirty floors and laundry mountains, and oh yeah.... happy kids, is doing everything I can to say no these days to anything outside my duty as simply put "mom". The stillness this provides in my life is the stable part of my brain and heart that knows the direction it is going when everything else around me is going every which way. So, as I jump into the New Year coming up I want to go in knowing that time is forever a gift and one not to be taken lightly. I hope to use it in every way I can being that mom I always wanted to be.