"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might..." Ecclesiastes 9:10
So I am really far behind. And when I say behind, I mean it. I don't think I've ever felt quite this far behind on things since becoming a mom. Transitioning to number five hasn't been a breeze but it hasn't been as difficult as you might think either. Now that Nathan is going on four months, he's great. Yet, I still haven't caught up from it all. And I don't know when I will. Everywhere I turn, I see something that needs my attention, something that is being neglected or something that needs doing. The more I see, the more I just want to hyperventilate about it all so I have to consciously shut it off or I'll throw myself into a frenzy.
So that's what I've been doing. I've been throwing my hands over my ears and yelling, "La la la la la" Jim Carrey style whilst trying to find just one thing to do, attempting to finish it and then starting something else. I haven't caught up yet. I probably won't for a really long time (if I ever do).
I'm just forever behind. Always behind. There's too much to be done. Back in the day, I used to be able to get the laundry done before it piled up again. That ended after number three came along. Now the clothes pile up in two seconds flat and I'm still folding some of the last loads from last week's laundry when Monday rolls around again. And hear me here, my kids help out, a lot! They help fold clothes, have daily chores and help me clean the house once a week. They're a huge help.
Yet, I'm still behind. Always behind.
As I stare, or rather cringe at all of the unfinished business around, I've been thinking a lot about my job here and what it takes to keep things running. It's tempting to be super discouraged about my seemingly insurmountable tasks. For someone like me, who is extremely driven and task oriented, this type of living can be overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to hold back the waves with the palm of my hand. As you can imagine, not really that effective.
However, I'm reminded, there's nothing new under the sun. Whatever season of life I find myself in, I pretty much always feel slammed. I think that's how most people feel. And you know what, I think that in some ways, it's good. There's something to falling into bed every night bone tired. We weren't made to coast. We were made with a purpose to work. And my little life might be busy, but it's not unproductive. The everyday dealings with each child are reminders to me that my job, although extremely busy, definitely matters. I'll probably always be behind, but I must keep chipping away because the little eternal souls placed in my care need me much more than I need rest. God will give me rest. God will care for my heart.
I might have to remind the little Miss to pick-up her never-ending strew of outfits from the day a million times. But I must not despair, I'm teaching her to pick-up after herself. If I don't, she'll be the biggest slob known to mankind when she's older and capable of being an even bigger fashionista.
Or I may want to keep naptime as my quiet haven and not read to my little man or have him practice his reading. It'd be easier that way and much less work. It's easier in the short term, but the benefits are only for me. He desires to get better at reading. And I am his biggest fan. Why should I not sit down and work with him? Why should I shine reading to him as well? Sometimes, I may have to put these things off but if I'm capable of doing them, isn't it more important to fill his mind with good stories and his soul with the Bible?
And of course, there's the listening to this funny chap while he sits on the toilet. His favorite thing is for me to sit on the floor next to him while he tells me some imaginative story-with the door closed of course! It always starts with some large animal and ends with wide-eyes and some bad guys being killed, followed by a swift wipe and he is off to the next thing. What about those words that are stored up in his heart? If I don't listen, who will? For only a mother can care about these such things. If I am too good to listen, where will his little imaginations go?
My oldest might not need me physically as much anymore but he needs me so much emotionally. He has big questions. He has dreams and he has concerns. If I don't address his concerns and indulge his dreams, how will he ever learn to grow up and be responsible? How can he learn to trust me if I sluff off his true feelings as unimportant?
The baby needs me in the most basic ways but he has a soul too. His heart overflows with love as we "talk" and I cradle him in my arms. His blue eyes dance as his belly jiggles with laughter. And the more I work to meet his needs, the more I fall in love with him.
And don't forget the most important person of all-this amazing man. Everything else in this house pales in comparison to him. I love my children more than anything but I am in love with this handsome man. Apart from Christ, he is my whole world and that won't ever change. What he needs trumps everything else. Except his ironing...don't talk to me about that. I've been behind on that for about a year now.
None of it is drudgery. It might be hard. I could get frustrated. I most definitely will never catch up on everything, but it's all good work. Lately I've been reminded that I should keep at it, day after day after day. Somedays I may just be putting my head down. Others might be easier to laugh amidst the chaos. Somedays may end in tears. Whatever it is, it's all from the hand of God.
It's His work that He's given me. And I am to attack it, live with it, flourish in it and revel in it, with all of my heart. I can't stand the never-ending messes and look forward to the day when I won't be rubbing baby spit-up into my clothes when I don't have a burp cloth handy. But I'm thankful for work. It keeps me busy, happy and just plain tired.
Which, if you ask me (most days that is), it is a great place to be.
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not fo rmen, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ..." Colossians 3:23-24