As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Life These Days exhausting!  The last weekend of summer was a crazy frenzy of parties (for friends going away, visiting family, and birthdays) that I wouldn't have changed for anything.  Summer went out with a bang, and boy what a summer it was.

But then I didn't slide into fall quite as easily as I thought I would.  There was of course the neverending cycle of housework that went undone over the holiday weekend, that was mine to contend with.  Along with the start of a new school year, which in my household means homeschooling three little ones from K-3.  And oh yeah, I'm 36 weeks pregnant.  Which means that there is a neverending amount of work to be done, that requires a neverending amount of energy and motivation.   And some of those things are in short supply around here.

I have been feeling pretty desperate these days, as the reality sets in that I am getting bigger and am physically just not able to do everything I used to.  No problem, right?  In a few weeks the baby will be here and my body will be back to normal.  Wait a a few weeks THE BABY WILL BE HERE!!!  Meaning I will have all of this stuff to do on top of caring for a newborn!  How will I cope then, if I'm barely keeping my head above water now?

Through our school of community, a group of friends and I have been thinking about the question, "is reality always positive?" for some time, and these days that is what gets me through.  Because my particular situation - shere exhaustion and occasional overwhelmedness - is only a small part of reality for me.  Taken on its own, that's pretty negative, desperate even.  And yet, there is a bigger picture that is my life at this moment, that is anything but negative.  There is the joy of living with this incredible family, with these incredible kids.  There is the wonder of the new life that is growing inside of me, that I will (finally!) get to meet in a very short time.  There is the miracle of Christ present to me each day, in each moment of despair, saying, "I am with you, just breathe.  I will take care of you."  And you know, He really does.

Yesterday about mid-afternoon, I was standing over the sink about halfway through a mountain of dishes when I felt completely physically overwhelmed.  I could have put my head down then and there and had a nap.  My thoughts drifted to everything I had left to do - the vaccuuming, the laundry, supper - and I thought, "if I stop now, none of this will get done. But how do I work through this when I am so pregnant and so tired?"  I decided I would offer up the rest of this work as a prayer.  For sure I would finish the dishes, since it didn't make sense to leave them halfway done.  I had to do supper.  Vaccuuming fell off the list that day, and the kids were able to help with the laundry.  And though I pushed through, I still didn't feel good about my day, because I hadn't accomplished what I set out to do, what I could normally do any other day.

And then my husband came home. And the first thing he said was, "wow, the kitchen looks great!"  Then he went to the bedroom and shouted, "and you got a lot of laundry done too - you've had a productive day!"  And he really liked the supper I made, which is pretty good because I'm a kind of hit-and-miss cook (sometimes it turns out great, sometimes not so much!) and he is a very honest subject.  Then this morning he texted me from work to say how good it was to come home to such a clean house, and that he was so grateful that I loved him so well.  And all of it in the moment seemed to be so much work, and so much desperation.  But Christ was there, walking me through it, so that even though I didn't realize that the work I was doing was good, the good was nevertheless there.  It has been my great joy to see it in hindsight, having missed it the first time around.

I know the Lord is challenging me to let go of my own preconceptions about how life should be, and in particular what a perfect day should look like (how a good Mom does it).  As life continues to become more intense in my house, I pray for the grace to do the work I need to do, and the flexibility to change as is necessary for the good of my family.  To let go of the things I can let go of, and learn to depend on those around me.  To continue to do everything I can to care for the ones I love so much.  To not think any task is too small to make a difference, and do all things in love.  And most of all, to do all things with my eyes fixed on Jesus, who guides my weary feet along this path.

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